TALLAHASSEE — Former Florida Deputy Insurance Commissioner Lisa Miller says insurance companies taking claims calls from Hurricane Irma are handling them like an emergency room in a hospital: triaging the calls in order of severity.  Miller, President and CEO of Lisa Miller and Associates in Tallahassee, provided advice on how Floridians can navigate the post-Hurricane Irma claims process on the WMFE-FM Orlando radio program Intersection, available here:

Among Ms. Miller’s advice:

  • “Imagine an insurance company’s claims process like an emergency room, where cases are triaged. That helps the company rank responses from most serious to less serious.  When you call the insurance company, be a good neighbor and let the company know if there are fellow customers around you whose property is damaged and in worse condition than yours.”
  • “I’ve called several different insurance company claims lines and the waits are from 30-45 minutes, which is good given the volume of claims calls likely coming in.”
  • “As a homeowner, you want to work as fast and efficiently as you can to try to help your insurance company process your claim as fast as they can.”
  • “Take pictures to capture the damage. It’s okay if you didn’t capture photos before but it’s better if you did.  While speaking with your agent, be sure to take careful notes.  Ask the person that answers the phone for the insurance company what they need from you to help them get your claim into their system.  Take detailed notes as if you were in class at school.  Document every detail, including the time of your call, who you are talking to, and what you and that person agreed to.”
  • “You also have a duty as a policyholder to try to stop further damage to your home if you can, to mitigate the damage. It just makes sense to do so, if you can, for your own safety and speedier recovery.”
  • “Technology has advanced so much since our last significant storms of 2004-2005. Mobile apps from insurance companies make the claims process much more efficient.”
  • “There will be a lot of people knocking on doors offering to get you a free roof or free plumbing, but beware and remember the sage advice: If it’s too good to be true, it likely is. Beware of scams involving Assignment of Benefits.  Do not sign anything at all until you’ve read it and feel you understand it and if you have any questions, call the DFS insurance consumer hotline at 1-877-693-5236 or if you are out of state, call 850-413-3089.
  • “It is certainly an emotional experience returning home to mass damage, as our homes are usually the biggest and most precious financial asset we have. But be glad you’re safe and realize that you can rebuild.  It’s amazing how resilient Floridians are.”

Miller is also a former Deputy CFO for the state of Florida and hosts The Florida Insurance Roundup podcast.  She heads Lisa Miller & Associates, a Tallahassee-based business development, government consulting, and public relations firm.  On the web at

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