Hurricane deductible reimbursements on the way


Published: Saturday, January 29, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 28, 2005 at 10:48 p.m.
The first reimbursement checks to Floridians who paid multiple hurricane deductibles in 2004 are set to be mailed within the next week, and other property owners who may qualify for the payments are being urged to file claims before the March 1 deadline.
The payments are being made under the Multiple Deductible Reimbursement Program that was launched by the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) on Jan. 10. The program was created in response to financial hardships suffered by Floridians when four hurricanes hit the state in August and September, causing extensive property damage, and resulting in some property owners facing multiple insurance deductibles.
The state Legislature, in a special session last December, appropriated $150 million in relief funds.
Those eligible for the program include homeowners, renters, mobile homeowners, owners of manufactured homes, cooperative units and condominiums, as well as homeowners and condo associations, who paid one full deductible for hurricane losses and also incurred deductible losses from a second, third or fourth hurricane.
Applicants may request reimbursement of the amount of their loss in excess of the first deductible, up to $10,000 for damage caused by two hurricanes or $20,000 for damage caused by three or more during the 2004 season, according to the Department of Financial Services.
Condo associations can recover up to $3,000 per unit that did not have insurance for assessments, the agency said.
Payments will be reduced by $100 of the total reimbursable amount, and may be further reduced by any federal, state, county or city grant received to cover the deductible.
However, all applicants must have documentation from their insurers to verify that more than one hurricane claim was filed. And individuals who still have not received application packages from their insurer should immediately contact the insurer or the DFS.
"Their first call should be to the insurer," said agency spokesman Bob Lotane. "Ask if they are sending the forms. The forms these people should be getting should be partially filled out." If the insurer is unhelpful or unwilling to provide the necessary documentation, individuals should contact the agency, Lotane said.
The DFS can be reached toll-free at (800) 227-8676, and information and applications involving reimbursement program may be accessed at www.fldfs.com.
Doris Chandler can be reached at (352) 374-5094 or chandld@gvillesun.com.

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