Initiative to Urge Consumers to Prepare Now for a Disaster Later
With the arrival of the 2020 Hurricane Season, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate (ICA) Tasha Carter today launched Plan Prepare Protect: Are You Disaster Ready? to urge and help Floridians to prepare for an imminent disaster. This season is predicted to be active, with as many as four to six major hurricanes; we’ve already seen two named storms this season. With the development of Tropical Storms Arthur and Bertha, 2020 is the 6th consecutive year that a storm has formed prior to the official start of hurricane season. ICA Carter wants to ensure that consumers are prepared and protected if and when a hurricane or other disaster impacts our state.
“As an advocate for consumers, one of my priorities is to ensure Floridians adequately plan; effectively prepare; and protect themselves before, during and after a disaster,” said ICA Tasha Carter. “While still coping with the impact of COVID-19, consumers are preparing for a very different type of disaster. I am committed to helping consumers learn how to mitigate damages in hopes that the impact will be lessened, and the recovery is as smooth as possible.”
As a part of the launch of Plan Prepare Protect: Are You Disaster Ready?, ICA Carter has also conducted meetings with the top residential property insurance companies (by policy count) to discuss their Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Response Plans. ICA Carter provided feedback and guidance to companies to ensure that consumers can have confidence that, if a disaster occurs, their claims will be handled efficiently and timely.
ICA Carter offers the following general disaster preparation tips for consumers:
- Take time now to review your insurance policy and other applicable insurance resources.
- Research to learn more about the insurance professionals involved in the claims process, your hurricane deductible and your rights.
- Take these steps now to ensure you are prepared for a disaster later:
- Inventory your home
- Log important insurance contacts
- Make improvements to your home to mitigate damage
- Take steps to protect your home from further damage following a storm and to secure it from theft or vandalism.
- Protect your personal information and finances against fraudsters and scammers looking to profit from a vulnerable situation.
- Protect your rights as an insurance consumer by ensuring you understand any documents you sign.
For more tips, resources and information on how to prepare for a disaster, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/ICA/PlanPrepareProtect.
Tasha Carter was appointed by CFO Jimmy Patronis as Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate in August 2019. The ICA is an independent leader with an effective and powerful voice for all Floridians. In this role, ICA Carter is committed to increasing consumer awareness and education; assisting consumers with insurance-related matters; and engaging legislatively to represent Florida’s insurance consumers. The ICA serves the interests of Florida’s insurance consumers by representing the general public before the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR); examining rate and form filings submitted to OIR; recommending actions to DFS and OIR; and representing the general public on appointed boards and public forums.