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Gov. Scott files order to extend window for insurance claims post-Irma

by Kelly McCabe

Under a new emergency order filed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Sept. 18, homeowners in the state have an additional 90 days to file claims  with their insurance providers for damage related to Hurricane Irma.  

The news Monday comes after the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported that as of Sept. 17, more than 335,000 claims had already been filed by homeowners for a total of about $2 billion, according to The Real Deal Miami

The office’s commissioner also is warning residents to be wary of what they sign when they communicate with contractors. Some may be presented with an assignment of benefits, which means contractors can communicate directly with insurance companies, endorse insurance payments and even file suit against the providers without the homeowners’ knowledge. 

“As Floridians return to their communities and begin the tedious process of evaluating damages to their homes and property following Irma, it is vital that they pay attention to any requests that may involve an AOB,” FOIR Commissioner David Altmaier said. “Homeowners are encouraged to file a claim directly with their insurance company to maintain control of the rights and benefits provided by their insurance policy in resolving a claim.”

Altmaier issued an emergency order of his own on Sept. 13 that, in addition to granting homeowners 90 more days to file claims, bans insurance companies from raising rates for 90 days and prohibits them from canceling or not renewing policies for homes damaged by Irma. 

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