When it began to rain last night, you didn't think very much about it. You had checked the weather report, and it appeared that this would just be a small shower. Unfortunately, the weather report was not correct. You were involved in a storm with high winds that were relatively unexpected.
One Florida woman got her 2018 Christmas present more than a year after her home sustained damage from Hurricane Irma - an adjusted claim payment that allowed her to repair her home. However, this homeowner's claim's process was anything but smooth. Initially, the claim amount was far below what was needed to repair extensive roof damage, so a complaint was filed with the Department of Financial Services that resulted in a long insurance company battle.
Hurricane Michael, which hit the state of Florida in October of 2018, is likely to have negative budget impacts on the state for at least a few years. Costs for recovery and relief are anticipated to go above the ones needed for Hurricane Irma in 2017. Before the hurricane hit, official projections showed a budget surplus. Financial analysts are new predicting that surplus will disappear as Florida residents try to recover from the disaster.
Florida homeowners have been dropped in large numbers by local insurance companies as many fear that premium rates will jump up in the year to come. Insurers shed around 87,000 policies in 2018, leaving many homeowners looking for new insurance to cover the gaps. These policy changes come after Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Irma led to $15 billion in property damage claims from insurance companies, according to the Office of Insurance Regulation in the state.
Some analysts say that Florida homeowners are facing unprecedented homeowners' insurance premiums, but the growth in fees cannot be attributed to hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. Instead, analysts claim that provisions in the state's insurance laws allow contractors to exploit the system to obtain high payments at the expense of insurance companies and, eventually, homeowners. State law allows for Assignment of Benefits, or AOB, under which homeowners can assign the right to their benefits to a third party.
In October 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida, which lead to 35 people losing their lives. At the time of landfall, the storm had sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, and it was noted for its rapid intensification just before impacting land. Both storm surge and fallen trees caused significant property damage in Mexico Beach and surrounding areas. Furthermore, building codes did not require that structures in the area be able to resist the storm's strong winds.