Florida homeowners are continuing to suffer from the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, even six months after the storm hit the state with 155 mph winds. Forty-nine people were killed by the hurricane as it blew through 12 Florida counties, and the emotional and economic recovery period is continuing to linger on. A number of houses were destroyed and have not been rebuilt, while road damage and downed trees also persist in some areas. Some homeowners are even experiencing delays related to their insurance claims for storm damage.
The state’s insurance regulator said that 144,667 property damage insurance claims have been filed as a result of Hurricane Michael. Of those, 95,632 were residential homeowners’ insurance claims. In total, the claims already filed amount to over $6 billion in damages, and the total costs could rise to twice that amount. The storm came to land at Mexico Beach, where 800 homes were destroyed. The destroyed homes account for half of those in the community. Of those that continue to stand, half still do not have electricity or water service.
The Bay County School District also reports that 4,800 students remain in some form of temporary housing. Outside the individual losses, the damage to the state’s environment and lumber industry was also significant. Some estimate that up to 95 percent of the forest canopy was toppled in nearly a million acres of North Florida forest, leaving behind compromised infrastructure and fire hazards.
Despite the devastation caused by the hurricane, some homeowners continue to face delays and denials of their insurance claims. An insurance attorney can help homeowners to challenge delays to their hurricane damage claims and help them receive the funds they deserve.