Florida residents who were impacted by Hurricane Irma are trying to clean up the damage done by the storm. However, their insurance companies are offering less than what it may actually cost to repair that damage. One woman said her insurance company estimated the damage to her home to be $11,074. A public adjuster said the damage would cost $94,268 to fix. Another person said that her insurance company also offered thousands less than contractors would need to fix her home.
Homeowners who are not happy with their claim amounts should contact Florida's Department of Financial Services. The department will review claim disputes for free as well as provide assistance free of charge. So far, it has received 1,469 complaints, and they are primarily related to delays in handling claims or having claims denied entirely. However, it is important to note that filing a claim with the state may not guarantee a favorable outcome for a homeowner.
It is generally a good idea to have a homeowners insurance policy whether people are required to get one or not. It may protect against wind damage or other types of damage commonly seen in hurricanes such as downed trees or other debris crashing into a home. However, it is important to note that damage caused by floods is generally not covered by a homeowners insurance policy.
Those who have experienced property damage after a hurricane may wish to contact an attorney. Doing so may make it easier to work with an insurance company to get money needed to repair a home after a storm. It may also make it easier to go through the appeals process if a claim has been denied or is approved for less than the actual amount of the damage.