Floridians urged to prepare for insurance claims as tropical system looms

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Tropical Storm Ian strengthens with a path toward Florida as a major hurricane, state officials are urging Floridians to prepare for possible post-storm insurance claims.

In a public service announcement Saturday, Chief Financial Officer and Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis encouraged people to take photos and videos of the outside and inside of their homes before and after the storm.

“Tropical Storm Ian, in the next few days, will more than likely become a hurricane. What I want you to do is take your smartphone, go walk outside your house, and shoot a video of what it looks like today. Then, go back inside your house and shoot that same video again,” Patronis said. “If you are affected by this storm, this will give you cut and dry example of what your house looks like before and after the storm if you have damage. You’ll have that to take to your insurance company in order to have a cut and dry claims process.”

Residents in Northeast Florida are urged to take advantage of the nice weather this weekend to get their preparations in place.

Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded the state of emergency on Saturday to include all counties in Florida, requesting a federal pre-landfall emergency declaration in anticipation of the storm’s impact.

“This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations. We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm,” DeSantis said.

In response to the state of emergency, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody activated the price gouging hotline Friday.

Florida’s price gouging law only applies to commodities and services essential to preparing for, or recovering from, a storm within the areas of a declared state of emergency.

“If anyone suspects price gouging, report it to my office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM, filing online at MyFloridaLegal.com or using our free No Scam reporting app,” Moody said in a prepared statement.

For more information on price gouging, click here.

About the Author:

As a proud alumnus of Bethune-Cookman University, Kendra is a Jacksonville native, who loves all things lifestyle-related.