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Miami Florida Insurance Claim Law Blog

Roof repairs still needed eight months after Irma

Some Florida residents who experienced roof damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma are still waiting for help rebuilding eight months later. One woman claimed that the damage to her home was about $25,000, and she said that there was no point in cleaning the rest of the home until the roof was fixed. However, the homeowner said that she didn't have homeowners insurance and that FEMA had not been able to offer any assistance.

FEMA itself said that relief funds were not meant to be an alternative to buying homeowners insurance. In an email to a local television station, a representative for the agency mentioned that over $300 million had been allocated to help those who were impacted. In addition to homeowners insurance, FEMA says that flood insurance can be helpful in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane.

Get ready for hurricane season by insuring home

On June 1, Florida's hurricane season officially starts. However, some homeowners may be unaware that they need to purchase flood insurance earlier than that date to ensure their property is covered.

According to insurance experts, it takes 30 days for a National Flood Insurance policy to take effect. That means that, unless their private property insurance specifically covers it, homeowners will be responsible for any flood damage that occurs for a full month after they purchase their national policy. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, most private insurers do not cover flooding. As for FEMA itself, the agency only helps homeowners repair their primary residence to the point of being 'safe, sanitary and functional." All extras must be paid for by homeowners or their insurance.

Florida hurricane damage claims increased in 2018

Many Florida residents were impacted by Hurricane Irma, prompting homeowners to file claims against their insurance companies. The top 20 insurers in Florida were served with nearly 11,000 lawsuits in during the first quarter of 2018. This represents a 61.5 percent increase over the number of claims filed during the previous year. This increase could cause insurance costs to rise next year when homeowners apply to renew their insurance contracts.

One company reported that approximately 58 percent of new claims were related to damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Many of the claims filed challenged the scope of damage assessed by the insurance company, asserting that the amount of money paid was not adequate to restore properties to their previous conditions. Other claims challenged insurers' denial of responsibility for payment of claims.

Preparing to file a fire insurance claim

After a property fire, it is common to feel pressure to resolve a fire insurance claim as quickly as possible, especially if the property that suffered fire damage is your home. Depending on the severity the fire damage, you may have quite an ordeal ahead of you, one that may resolve unsatisfactorily or may trail on for months or years if the insurance company does not meet their obligations in a reasonable time period.

For many victims of property fires, striking a balance between these two extremes is more difficult than they anticipate, leading to settlements that do not fully address the losses from the fire or that take far too long to finalize. If you suffered fire damage to your property, be sure to take the proper steps to protect yourself and ensure that your insurer compensates you fully in a reasonable amount of time.

Flood insurance concerns for hurricane season

After Hurricane Irma, some Florida residents learned about what their flood insurance would and would not cover in a hard way. While flood insurance policies will repair the structure of homes, the policies will not pay to replace the damaged contents of the home unless the homeowners have opted to add content coverage to their flood insurance policies.

Some people who live in areas that are deemed low risk for flooding chose not to have flood insurance. With the hurricane, some of them suffered thousands of dollars in damages. Insurance experts advise people to get flood insurance regardless of where they live in the state. People who want to make changes to their policies should do so before hurricane season arrives. Many insurance companies will not allow people to make changes when storms are imminent.

Florida insurer agrees to reopen Hurricane Irma claims.

Individuals in the Miami, Florida, area should be aware that a major property insurer is reopening claims left over from Hurricane Irma. More than a third of the claims have been revived.

According to the insurance company, a shortage of contractors has led to a delay in reimbursement to its policyholders. If the claims are closed, homeowners and business owners are less likely to make repairs as many fear lack of reimbursement. According to the company, more than 24,000 claims will be reopened, allowing policyholders to submit additional proof of loss and repair estimates. The company asserts that many of its insured property owners were confused about initial payments, believing that was the only reimbursement they would receive.

Insurance claim data for Hurricane Irma

According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, losses attributed to Hurricane Irma are estimated to be $7.38 billion. That is about $600 million lower than an estimate made in February. Most of the damage occurred in the southern part of Florida, and a majority of the damage occurred to residential property. Of claims that have been made, 32 percent did not result in a payment being made.

Another 56 percent of claims that had been made were closed and did involve a payment being made. Overall, 15 counties saw more than 20,000 insurance claims made, and Miami-Dade County saw the highest number of claims at 120,921. Collier County had the second-highest number of claims with 77,434. Of residential claims that had been filed, 90.1 percent had been closed while 58.2 percent of commercial property claims had been closed.

Residents upset at slow pace of recovery after Irma

Florida residents who were impacted by Hurricane Irma are wondering why the pace of recovery is so slow. Some are worried that they will go into the upcoming hurricane season still in need of federal aid to recover from last September's storms. Residents say that they are not getting any response from FEMA when they inquire about help rebuilding. FEMA says that it is going to stop using trailers in June, which is when hurricane season starts.

Government estimates put the number of families still using the trailers at less than 200. In addition to the trailers, $62 million has been spent on temporary rental assistance according to the federal government agency. The county government says that it is waiting for aid to begin clearing debris out of canals in parts of the Lower Keys that experienced extensive damage from the storm. According to Sen. Marco Rubio, the money needed to help rebuild from the storm has been approved.

A storm can leave your roof damaged

As a homeowner in the state of Florida, you understand that your property could be subjected to heavy storms every now and again.

While there is nothing you can do to stop the bad weather from coming, there are steps you can take to protect your home. For example, you can use storm shutters to keep your windows out of harm's way.

Florida insurer reviewing Hurricane Irma claims

The estimates and payments provided to some customers of Citizens Property Insurance after Hurricane Irma might change. The insurance company that operates with backing from the state announced that it has reopened over one-third of 66,761 claims for damage after the storm. The insurer plans to review repair estimates for heavily damaged properties and disputed claims. Benefit claims that lacked repair estimates from contractors will also come under scrutiny.

The chief of claims said that the preliminary decisions about benefits provided by the insurer are not final. Once repairs begin, contractors sometimes adjust their estimates. The insurer warned people who have already received payments that they should not consider their claims closed or complete.

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