- Tasha Carter, the Insurance Consumer Advocate for Florida, has been appointed by Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis as the state’s Hurricane Ian Chief Recovery Director.
- Disaster Fraud Action Strike Teams (DFAST) have also been deployed in impacted areas to educate the public about fraud and help them avoid getting defrauded.
- Industry losses from the storm could reach as high as $75 billion.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis on Wednesday appointed Tasha Carter, the state’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, as the Department’s Hurricane Ian Chief Recovery Director.
According to Patronis’ Office of Communications, the appointment was made to help streamline Hurricane Ian claims and offer solutions to problems that policyholders may face in the insurance claim process. Patronis also announced that the Department would hold another insurance village in Southwest Florida in mid-April.
“We’re not done helping policyholders. I’m happy to announce that we’ll be back in Southwest Florida mid-April for another Insurance Village. We’ll keep coming down as long as demand is there,” said Patronis. “Wherever we see a squeaky wheel, when it comes to Ian claims, we want to short-circuit the solution.”
Patronis also deployed Disaster Fraud Action Strike Teams (DFAST) in impacted areas. The units are made up of law enforcement officers who go door-to-door educating the public about fraud and helping them avoid getting defrauded.
Following Hurricane Ian, 43 fraud detectives and other support personnel were deployed to help with relief efforts, engaging more than 7,700 citizens, agencies, and businesses. The Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services also helped policyholders with initial payments by deploying to Disaster Recovery Centers following Ian. The Department set up an Insurance Village in January, which recovered $5.4 million for over 1,000 policyholders.
Three months after Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida, Progressive Corporation adjusted its loss and allocated loss adjustment expenses (ALAE) to $1 billion. The insurer said that the new estimate reflects a development of $400 million from its estimated loss and ALAE.
The report additionally noted that the company incurred $615 million in vehicle losses, including boats and recreational vehicles, as a result of the Category 4 storm.
Moreover, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) identified nearly half a million claims related to Hurricane Ian in the months after its landfall. NICB identified 471,581 with the majority as homeowner and business claims (272,465), with the remaining being personal automobile claims (151,892).
Immediate estimates forecasted Ian to become the most significant natural disaster for the insurance sector in decades, with industry losses from the storm having the potential to reach as high as $75 billion.