Tallahassee, Fla. — As Hurricane Irma looms in the tropics, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) urges Floridians to prepare now for severe weather.
“With Hurricane Irma looming in the tropics, PCI urges Floridians to get prepared now,” said Logan McFaddin, PCI’s regional manager in Florida. “Irma has the potential to bring flooding and property damage not only to our coastal areas, but inland. Sadly, Hurricane Harvey shows us the scope of devastation that flood waters can bring.”
“PCI encourages Floridians to take proper precautionary measures, including having your agent or insurance company’s information readily available,” continued McFaddin. “We also highly recommend taking an inventory of your home or business, documenting items with a smart phone. In the event that your home, business, or vehicle is damaged, call your insurer immediately to report a claim.”
“Equally as important as being prepared, Floridians should beware of contractors that may come by a home or business looking to provide immediate services before you’ve even notified your insurer,” said McFaddin. “While it may seem like these contractors are trying to be helpful during a trying time, we’ve seen time and time again that there are unscrupulous third-parties looking to prey on those in need.”
“In fact, Florida recently has been plagued by assignment of benefit (AOB) abuse,” continued McFaddin. “Some roofing contractors and attorneys team up to get policyholders to sign an AOB after damage occurs. This allows the vendor to take control of the policyholder's rights, file a claim, and potentially sue the insurer. Often the homeowner is unaware of what is transpiring. The unnecessary lawsuit can result in a homeowner’s insurance rates increasing—or loosing coverage all together.”
“And, it’s not just homeowners who are being targeted—there are some bad players in auto glass repair, too,” said McFaddin. “These vendors already are infiltrating communities. Many Florida neighborhoods are barraged with marketing fliers at doors, repair trucks down the street, and billboards at busy intersections. Unfortunately, there will be many more should Irma bring extensive damage to Florida.
PCI Hurricane Precautions:
For information on storm readiness, please refer to: