State officials view St. Johns County hurricane damage


State officials joined with local government and business leaders Oct. 13 to view firsthand the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Matthew to St. Johns County’s coastal areas.

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier took a tour of some of the most hard-hit areas accompanied by members of the state legislature and insurance company executives. Following the tour, participants met to discuss the insurance industry’s claims-handling response. At the time of the tour, officials said, more than 39,302 insurance claims had already been filed across the state, totaling an estimated $218 million in losses.

“When disaster strikes, consumers need to find comfort in the belief that their insurers will respond, assess, and pay claims quickly,” Atwater said. “The presence of industry representatives here today instills confidence that this will be the case, and if not, we will be ready to address policyholder concerns immediately.”

Atwater said the state’s Division of Consumer Services was ready to assist consumers affected by Hurricane Matthew who needs assistance in the claims-filing process. Residents can call the division’s consumer helpline at (877) 693-5236 to speak with experts who can help them review their policies to understand their coverage and file claims for damage. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Additional post-storm information can be found on the department’s disaster preparedness website at