The impact of Hurricane Irma on Florida has become even clearer with the release of figures by the State Office of Insurance Regulation showing that more than a million insurance claims have been filed because of this storm. Estimated losses have already passed $11 billion, according to the state agency that tracks insurance losses and claims. While claims have slowed down since the storm hit in September of 2017, thousands of additional hurricane-related claims continue to be filed on a regular basis.
The massive storm resulted in hurricane damage claims being filed from all of Florida’s 67 counties. Figures for individual insurance companies aren’t released by the Office of Insurance Regulation. The agency’s numbers also do not include agricultural losses in the state due to the storm. Such losses are believed to have exceeded more than $2 billion, according to estimates. Damage to government structures (e.g. beaches, roads, and parks) also wasn’t accounted for in figures released. Another company that publicly reports insurance-related numbers reported nearly $2 billion in Hurricane Irma losses related to more than 70,000 claims.
In contrast, Hurricane Michael, which affected the Florida Panhandle in October of 2018 has resulted in more than 3,000 claims and nearly $150 million in losses, according to figures also released by the same company. The Office of Insurance Regulation puts Michael-related claims and losses higher — at approximately 119,000 and $2.9 billion, respectively. Insurance companies have closed more than 90 percent of residential Irma claims and almost 80 percent of commercial damage claims. More than 500,000 claims have resulted in payment. However, more than 200,000 claims resulted in no payment. This is usually the result of a failure of policyholders to reach established hurricane deductibles.
In the event of an insurance claim denial, an attorney can review the circumstances involved. An attempt could be made to appeal the denial or negotiate with the insurance company.