SOURCE: Katzman Garfinkel

April 30, 2008 11:02 ET

Looming FIGA Deadline Could Mean End of the Road for Thousands of Hurricane Insurance Claims by Florida Community Associations

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - Many Floridians are completely unaware that there is a June 2, 2008, deadline by which all claims against the insolvent Poe companies must be settled or a lawsuit filed against the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA). FIGA is a non-profit Florida corporation which was established in 1970 by the Florida Legislature to handle the claims of insolvent property and casualty insurance companies.

Those associations failing to meet this June 2, 2008 deadline will have their rights to seek further compensation under those insurance policies barred forever.

"It's astonishing that notice of this shortened statute of limitations has not been broadcast wide and far by FIGA to ensure that these individuals' rights are protected," said attorney Alan Garfinkel, principal of Katzman Garfinkel and a national expert on disaster law. "The exact number of people affected by this deadline is not easy to determine, but it would include all policyholders with the now insolvent Poe Companies (Florida Preferred Property, Atlantic Preferred and Southern Family Insurance Company) owning property damaged during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons."

Garfinkel stated that he would begin filing 158 individual lawsuits against FIGA on Wednesday, April 30, in Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County. Garfinkel is also pursuing a class action against FIGA in Palm Beach County. "These claims were underpaid or delayed as a result of these insurance companies' insolvency process and now these people are at risk of losing out altogether on millions of dollars owed to them because of this shortened deadline," Garfinkel stated. "With the economy in its current condition, association delinquencies at an all time high and the majority of owners being asked to make up the shortfall, these funds would be a welcomed source of relief."

If your association was insured by one of the POE companies and your claim has not yet been settled, the only way to protect your rights is to file a suit against FIGA prior to the June 2, 2008 deadline.

Katzman Garfinkel has been designated as "One of the Most Prestigious Law Firms in America" by Martindale-Hubbell. Founding Partner, Alan Garfinkel, has devoted his career to natural disaster relief and civil litigation. Mr. Garfinkel frequently lectures throughout the country on insurance law.

For more information about the FIGA deadline please go to www.figafacts.com or contact Alan Garfinkel at alan@hurricanejustice.com or by phone at 1-800-393-1529.

About Katzman Garfinkel:

Katzman Garfinkel is a law firm that focuses on community association and natural disaster law. With offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Naples, Ft. Myers, and St. Augustine, the firm offers residents living in all types of common interest ownership communities with a complete set of services including general corporate representation, collection, first party insurance claim recovery and construction defect litigation.

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