Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday that the state plans to help people whose homes were damaged after Hurricane Ian with insurance claims and called for “very quick payouts” to get people back on their feet.
As part of Florida’s disaster recovery centers, the state will also establish “insurance villages” under the leadership of Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis to help with insurance claims, anticipating that there will be a lot of flood claims and wind claims, DeSantis, a Republican, said in an update on hurricane recovery efforts in Tallahassee. .
“Insurance Villages” are a place where Floridians can submit claims to their carrier in person. According to Patronis, the state’s preliminary site will have between 20 and 25 carriers in RVs to initially provide living expense financing.
Florida homeowners faced an expensive and difficult home insurance market before Hurricane Ian hit the state, and flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. Those claims are filed with the National Flood Insurance Program, a federal insurance program administered by FEMA.
“Make sure if you’re looking into claims on your property, you document it. Take pictures, make sure. We want to be able to complete it as quickly as possible,” advised DeSantis.
Patronis advised people who have suffered damage to their homes that the “first phone call” people should make “should be to your agent, your carrier or my office.”
On Thursday, Hurricane Ian warned those affected to beware of insurance fraudsters.
“Predators who come, who initially try to sign contracts to manage the works, public adjusters. They’re going to come in like a bunch of bells, and they’re going to try to hit the neighborhoods, and people are vulnerable now,” Patronis said in a conference call with DeSantis in Punta Gorda, adding, “It seems. too good to be true, it is.’
On Friday, DeSantis praised the “Herculean effort” of the response and rescue effort in the wake of Hurricane Ian, as the state works to assess damage, restore power and get people food, water and supplies.
The governor also spoke with President Joe Biden on the phone Friday, the third time this week the Sunshine State has faced a catastrophic disaster.
Biden said Thursday that he plans to visit Florida “when conditions permit” and that he will meet with DeSantis, his main political rival, “if he wants to meet” during his trip.