Hurricane Idalia Worsens Florida’s Insurance Plight
Florida is no stranger to hurricanes and the havoc they can wreak. Many homeowners suffered devastating damage to their properties during the recent disaster, Hurricane Idalia.
Florida hurricane property damage from Idalia is widespread and significant. When these disasters take place, homeowners expect their insurance to help them and reimburse them for the cost of repairs. Unfortunately, Florida’s insurance market has been struggling for some time, and Idalia only made matters worse.
When you are underpaid or denied by your insurance, contact Warner & Fitzmartin for a free consultation to discuss your claim in detail. We’re dedicated to helping homeowners file hurricane and flood damage insurance claims, and appeal unfair decisions by insurance companies.
Hurricane Idalia’s Damage
In late August, Hurricane Idalia hit Florida. Torrential wind and rain caused extreme property damage, loss of homes entirely, and even deaths. Steinhatchee, Perry, other Gulf Coast areas, and Keaton Beach sustained much of the impact. Parts of the Gulf Coast saw up to 12 feet of storm surge.
Homeowners experienced roof and structural damage, flooding, and power outages. Mildew and mold growth due to exposure to excessive moisture was also a concern. Each of these issues requires extensive — and expensive — repairs. Some predict that insured losses could reach over $9 billion.
Florida’s Fragile Insurance Market
While Florida’s insurance market saw progress over the last year, it remains unstable. As the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia settles, insurance companies are likely to start charging homeowners assessments and more for premiums.
On average, premiums for homeowners insurance in Florida are already $6,000 a year. This number is due to the previous devastation Floridians faced from tropical storms and hurricanes. Since 2020, Florida has seen 16 other severe storms. In other states, the U.S. average for a homeowners insurance premium is just $1,700 a year.
To make matters worse, some insurers are ceasing operations in Florida. This impacts over 100,000 Florida residents, including policyholders of:
- Farmer’s Insurance
- Bankers Insurance
- Lexington Insurance
- United Property & Casualty Insurance
More people have taken out policies with Florida’s fast-growing insurer, Citizens Property Insurance Corp, which now holds 1.4 million policies. That is, there may be a “hurricane tax” surcharge for Florida insurance policyholders in the future to help homeowners rebuild their homes.
Owning commercial property only complicates this issue. Business interruption claims receive insurance payouts not just for property damage but also for financial losses due to business interruption.
If you’re dealing with claim denials and disputes, contact a specialized lawyer to learn about your options.
Some Floridians Are Uninsured
Another issue is that many Floridians don’t have flood insurance. When the damage to your home is solely from flooding, homeowners’ insurance policies may not cover it. Despite the National Flood Insurance Program offering coverage to Floridians since 1968, not many take advantage of this program.
Many Floridians are unaware that their homeowners’ insurance won’t cover all damages from storms, so they don’t see the significance of flood insurance.
Additionally, some don’t realize the threat storms pose to their property. Idalia’s Florida hurricane property damage was more than some expected. Around 785,000 properties in Florida are in areas that experience flooding, but FEMA’s flood maps don't recognize them as at risk for flooding.
Fighting Insurance Denials and Disputes? Contact Warner & Fitzmartin
Dealing with insurance companies alone is difficult, especially as you recover from the emotional aftermath of the Florida hurricane property damage Idalia left behind. Let our team at Warner & Fitzmartin help you. We advocate for your interests and protect your home.
Contact us at (561) 803-0167 today. We have someone available on the line 24/7.