Many Florida families who filed insurance claims after Hurricane Michael might still not have received payment. At the end of June, 21,000 claims remained open.
In response to this, the chief financial officer for Florida conducted an event on Aug. 16 and 17 designed to allow consumers to work face-to-face with their insurers to resolve these claims. The Hurricane Michael Insurance Consumer Village was held at Gulf Coast State College. Before the end of the day on Saturday, the CFO said they had worked toward coordinating 22 insurance companies and arranged for over $2.2 million in relief. The CFO stressed that this relief was coming from the insurance companies and not from taxpayers.
On Aug. 17, the insurance consumer advocate for Florida said that over two days, they had helped more than 400 people. After being able to sit down and talk with an insurance company representative, many were walking away with checks. The CFO said he would consider holding the event again if it appeared to be necessary.
People who need to file hurricane damage claims but are not sure how to go about it or who have filed a claim for damage and not heard back from the insurer may want to contact an attorney about how to proceed. An attorney may also be able to help if the claim has been denied or if a person has been offered significantly less money than anticipated for damages. The attorney might also be able to explain the person’s rights and options for proceeding. In some cases, an insurance company might try to argue that damage was the result of other issues. Getting compensation for damage from a hurricane can be critical for people whose homes or businesses have been damaged or destroyed by a storm, and a denial can be financially devastating.