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Insurance claims continue to come in after Hurricane Irma

According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, losses from Hurricane Irma are now at $9.7 billion. That is about $1 billion higher than in April, and there had also been more than 54,000 additional insurance claims since then. It was expected that insurance claims would be made up to a year after the storm hit. The dollar figures do not include agricultural losses or damage done to government buildings. According to the state of Florida, agricultural losses were thought to be roughly $2.5 billion.

Of claims filed so far, insurance companies have closed 91.5 percent of residential claims and 68.4 percent of commercial property claims. There were 262,809 residential insurance claims closed without a homeowner receiving a cash payment. This was often because the damage done to their property was less than the deductible on their policies. There were another 58,544 commercial claims that resulted in no payout to a policyholder, which represented about 40 percent of all commercial claims made.

In Miami-Dade County, 33 percent of claims resulted in no payout with 20 percent still unresolved. However, according to a representative from the Office of Insurance Regulation, insurance companies had not been having problems making payments when deemed appropriate. Data released was not broken down by insurance company.

If homeowners' insurance claims are denied, it may be possible to ask that the insurance provider overturn its original decision. In the event that the decision stands on appeal, it may be necessary for a homeowner to seek the help of legal counsel. An attorney may be able to review a policy to determine if an insurance company violated its terms. Homeowners themselves may also review their policy to ensure that damage to their homes is covered.

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