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Insurance is critical in Florida hurricanes

Hurricanes can be costly for many homeowners in Florida who rely on insurance policies to pay for damages after a serious storm. Indeed, Florida storms extract a financial cost as well as a physical one. Between 1987 and 2016, damages from storms in Florida comprised 13 of all insured losses across the country. While hurricanes can strike elsewhere, six of the 10 most damaging hurricanes in the nation's history hit Florida during at least part of their paths. In 2004 and 2005 alone, four of these storms hit the state, inflicting damage on top of existing damage.

While there continue to be more big storms in Florida, a 1992 hurricane continues to hold the title of the costliest: Andrew, which caused $25.4 billion in damage when adjusted for inflation. Hurricanes can cause damage to state and federal institutions as well as private homes and businesses; military bases, roads and other installations have been hard-hit by previous storms. However, homeowners generally rely on their insurance policies to cover their losses, and they pay a hefty price for the privilege. Premiums in Florida can be much more expensive than they are elsewhere. Homeowners insurance policies often cover wind damage, hail damage, roof problems and other issues caused by storms but exclude flood coverage.

In general, people in Florida obtain flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. They may also opt for private flood insurance in some cases. There are 1.8 million flood insurance policies in Florida, the largest number in the nation. High-risk areas in the state continue to attract new residents, however, due to their beautiful coastal locations.

Despite suffering severe damages in major storms, some Florida homeowners face denied insurance claims or delayed payouts. An attorney can help people to pursue the compensation they need from their insurers after a storm.

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