Officials Focus on Open Michael Claims
The Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) and Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) encouraged insurers again this week to redouble efforts to resolve Hurricane Michael claims. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis asked Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier to update the status of the insurance industry’s Michael response. Commissioner Altmaier responded that about 15 percent of the claims from Hurricane Michael remain open. The commissioner characterized this percentage as somewhat disappointing because Hurricane Michael occurred about nine months ago.
The commissioner quickly pointed out, however, that open claims can be attributed to several sources. Many of the claims are recently filed, which reflects that a number of policyholders were displaced after the storm. Commissioner Altmaier added that some of the claims involve complex and troublesome issues. Others involve attorneys or public adjusters and therefore tend to take longer to resolve.
The OIR followed by issuing memorandum OIR-19-04M related to Hurricane Michael claims. The memorandum informs insurers that the OIR will issue a follow up data call collecting information about the status of Michael claims adjustments. The OIR reportedly will be looking at claims trends and attempting to identify any impediments that might be hindering the resolution of Hurricane Michael claims.
CFO Patronis also mentioned the possibility of hosting another forum for policyholders in the Panama City area. Commissioner Altmaier responded that the OIR will support the forum and provide any assistance needed.