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Hurricane Damage Claims Archives

Florida municipalities still wrestling with Hurricane Irma costs

Homeowners and local governments in Florida are continuing to struggle two years after Hurricane Irma hit the region. The Category 4 storm struck the Florida Keys first before proceeding up the coast in September 2017 and left behind an array of debris as it traveled, including uprooted trees and bushes, broken branches and damaged palm fronds. In Orange County alone, local governments spent over $25 million to deal with storm damage, while Seminole County shouldered the burden of $17.8 million in costs. In Lake County, they paid $9.3 million, while they paid $5.8 million in Orlando and $4.9 million in Osceola.

Fewer insurance litigation cases after Hurricane Michael

There were fewer insurance litigation cases in Florida following Hurricane Michael than there were after Hurricane Irma according to one of the state's insurance companies. Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm, struck Florida's panhandle region in October 2018.

Flood disclosure not required in Florida

Florida homeowners may be surprised to learn that there is no state law that requires disclosure of whether a house has a history of flooding. This is in stark contrast to Texas, which has the strictest laws in the nation on such matters. However, Florida is the state with the highest flood risk.

Large number of Hurricane Michael claims still outstanding

Government officials in Florida are being critical of insurance companies for their failure to settle claims resulting from Hurricane Michael in 2018. The storm was rated as Category 5 and included winds gusting up to 161 miles per hour. It caused insured losses estimated at over $7.2 billion. More than 17,000 insurance claims were still pending as of Sept. 27, 2019. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said that 12,145 of the remaining insurance claims are for personal residential damages.

Homeowners still owed payouts for Hurricane Michael damage

According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Category 5 Hurricane Michael has led to over 150,000 insurance claims from businesses and homeowners. These claims represent over $7.1 billion in losses covered by insurance. The office noted that as of Sept. 27, 2019, 99,208 of those claims deal with hurricane damage to homes and other residential properties. While 132,201 claims, over 88% of those filed, have been closed since the devastating storm, this means that thousands of homeowners are still waiting for much-needed reimbursements for urgent repairs to their homes. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle with massive force and has left behind lasting damage as public buildings, businesses and homes go unrepaired.

Hurricane Michael's devastation continues a year later

Hurricane victims in northern Florida are raising the alarm that they continue to face severely difficult conditions one year after Hurricane Michael hit land. The Category 5 storm devastated rural communities and small towns throughout the Florida Panhandle as well as hitting some larger cities, such as Panama City and Port St. Joe. Even though the hurricane hit land in October 2018, residents continue to live in hotel rooms, trailers and tents as of fall 2019. Many buildings have not yet been repaired, and fallen trees continue to dominate the landscape in some places. Thousands of people have left the heavily impacted communities, especially due to the economic damage caused by the storm.

City sewer system damaged by Hurricane Michael

One Florida city is continuing to face massive bills to repair its water and sewer system damaged by Hurricane Michael. Panama City, the largest city hit hard by the Category 5 storm, has suffered ongoing sewage leaks. According to local reports, over 65,000 gallons of raw sewage ran through streets and ditches through the town and into area streams and waterways. The city manager said that there would be costs of $200 million to $300 million to revamp the water and sewer systems to prevent future spills. While officials said that the problems' origin predated Hurricane Michael, the storm damage caused even more serious devastation.

Thousands of Hurricane Michael insurance claims are still open

More than 18,000 insurance claims filed over property damage caused by Hurricane Michael last October have yet to be settled, according to Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier. The information was disclosed during a Senate Banking and Insurance Committee panel on Sept. 17.

Many homeowners lack flood insurance

Many Florida homeowners have dropped their flood insurance policies, despite continuing to face serious risks from hurricanes and other storms that could lead to significant floods. Tens of thousands of people could be at risk of financial devastation in case a hurricane or storm causes flooding. Traditional homeowners' insurance policies do not usually cover damage caused by flooding. During Hurricane Dorian, 59 different counties were subject to evacuation order. While homeowners in these counties held 734,445 flood insurance policies in 2011, that number had declined to 508,731 policies by 2019.

Hurricane costs for insurers could lead to higher premiums

UBS analysts studying the damage and expected damage of Hurricane Dorian predicted that insurers would have to raise their prices in Florida and elsewhere. Estimates for damages arising from natural catastrophes in 2019 reached $70 billion. Analysts anticipate that these high costs could diminish excess capital.

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