The CFO of Citizens Property Insurance has said the insurer is incredibly strong financially despite handling more than 70,000 claims related to Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida during September 2017. In total, the company has sustained losses in the amount of $1.81 billion related to Irma. Approximately 16 percent of Citizens’ 442,629 policies had claims related to the hurricane.
Citizens is a state-backed insurer. In settling claims from Irma, the company has turned to the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund for $534.7 million in funds and has received $126.4 million from private reinsurance organizations. In touting the company’s strength, the CFO of Citizens highlighted its $2.2 billion in Hurricane Catastrophe Fund coverage and its surplus funds of $6.5 billion. This is a strong position with two months remaining in the hurricane season for 2018.
More than 72,000 new Hurricane Irma claims have been filed with Citizens since April 2018. Policyholders have up to three years after the hurricane to submit claims for damages. According to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, Irma caused an estimated $10.45 billion in losses that were insured. This is higher than a previous $9.7 billion OIR estimate.
As of August 13, 2018, insurance companies had processed and closed 91.7 percent of claims made by property owners. The total number of claims amounted to 997,237 at that point. A little more than 60 percent of Hurricane Irma claims resulted in payments made to the policyholder while 31 percent have been closed with no payment for the policyholder.
In a case where a Florida resident has a claim against an insurance policy, an attorney might be able to help. A lawyer with experience handling hurricane damage claims might examine the facts of the case and the provisions of the relevant insurance policy to find valid claims. A lawyer could also communicate with the insurer on the client’s behalf to accelerate the claim settlement process.