Home insurance forum taking place

Jacksonville forum taking place to help protect home owners

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A home insurance forum is taking place Wednesday night in Jacksonville to give homeowners the chance to ask questions that will help them protect their home and family.

Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Smith Westcott and Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services is offering Florida homeowners an opportunity to improve the insurance claim-handling process by sharing their experiences.  

On Wednesday, March 27th, Jacksonville-area homeowners will have an opportunity to speak face-to-face with Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate regarding claims issues.
he forum is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors located at 7801 Deercreek Club Road in Jacksonville.

 "Often consumers are confused and intimidated in the claim-handling process," Westcott said.  "This is an opportunity for consumers to share their experiences to help improve the system for everyone."

Westcott is appointed by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who also oversees the Department of Financial Services.  

Most recently, Westcott has been a vocal advocate when it comes to inappropriate use of consumer credit information to deny a claim; more consumer protections for policyholders in Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state's insurer of last resort; and more disclosure for homeowners regarding force-placed lender coverage.

Tasha Carter, Director of the Division of Consumer Services, will join Westcott at the forums.

The Division of Consumer Services operates the CFO's Insurance Consumer Helpline.  

Last year, the division received more than 325,000 consumer calls and helped recover more than $22.5 million for Florida policy holders in claim payments and premium refunds.

"We step into the shoes of consumers and represent them directly in their dispute," Carter said. "We want Floridians to know they have someone in their corner when it comes to protecting their families, homes and hard-earned dollars."

Policyholders who need immediate assistance with an insurance-related issue should call the toll-free Insurance Helpline at 1-877-MY-FLCFO (693-5236) or seek assistance online.

Everyone is welcome to attend Wednesday night's forum and is reminded to bring their homeowner's insurance policy information.

For a full schedule of events at the forum, click here.

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