A bill that would modify Florida insurance rules has been moved on to the governor's office for signature following its passage by state legislators. The bill includes a number of provisions related to insurance. It would increase the amount of reimbursement from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund from 5 to 10% for loss adjustment expenses. It makes clear that workers' compensation applicants do not need to have statements notarized and expands the applicability of discounts for multiple policies in some cases.
For some homeowners in Florida, the aftermath of a hurricane or other natural disaster may be the hardest part of the storm to get through. However, the process of filing an insurance claim and having it approved doesn't have to be a negative experience. Prior to severe weather occurring, it can be a good idea to take steps to protect a home such as repairing loose shingles or getting gunk out of gutters.
In the wake of damage caused by hurricanes that wreak havoc across the state of Florida, residents often sign over their insurance benefits to contractors while on the road to recovery. This practice can often lead to abuse according to many advocates. The state government is attempting to solve this problem by passing legislation that allows homeowners to rescind the assignment of benefits within seven days, or 30 days if the contractor has not begun any work.
Some Florida homeowners may feel like they've been paying higher insurance rates in recent years. According to a study by an online insurance quote website, this is exactly what has been happening across the nation over the past decade. The study shows that rates have gone up as much as nearly 90 percent in some instances. Part of the reason for this trend may be the increase in natural disasters over the same period.
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.
In 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the state of Florida. After more than a year, some homeowners are still waiting for their insurance companies to pay for damage that the storm did to their homes. One man says that his entire house needs to be gutted and rebuilt before he and his family can move back in permanently. While the man says that rebuilding efforts started after the storm, they had to stop because of mold.
The Florida Panhandle suffered widespread devastation when Hurricane Michael made landfall Oct. 10, 2018. The Category 4 storm carried peak winds of 155 mph and produced a storm surge of more than 20 feet. In addition to flooding and wind damage that occurred in Florida and neighboring states, the effects of Hurricane Michael could be felt as far away as Maryland.
One of the impacts of climate change could be that insurance will be too expensive for many people in Florida and throughout the country to afford. Climate change was cited as the reason why insurance companies lost $24 billion after wildfires burned portions of California. In addition to fires, increasing global temperatures could result in hail, rain and other significant weather events. Generally speaking, the more risk an insurance company has to take, the more it will charge for coverage.
The damages caused by Hurricane Michael continue to haunt people in Florida and cause significant damage to their pocketbooks. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, over $957 million in federal assistance has been provided to Florida as a result of the hurricane, five months after it was declared a disaster. This aid has taken several forms, including that of grants, loans and insurance payments for individual homeowners, business owners and state and local governments.
A couple in Florida claimed that their insurance company did not pay them enough to fix damage caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017. While they did eventually get the insurance company to increase its payout to $17,647, the couple says that the check still has not arrived. The couple claims that the roof still needs to be fixed and could start to leak at any time.