Five months after Hurricane Irma raged through the state, many property and business owners who claimed losses to their insurance companies walked away empty- handed in Charlotte, Sarasota and DeSoto counties.
About half have gotten paid so far.
The vast majority of insurance claims from Hurricane Irma have been closed out in the region as either paid, or not paid. Ten percent or more are still open in each of the three counties, according to data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
Irma hit Sept. 10. As of this week, a combined 20,430 claims were filed in the three counties, and 48 percent were paid. Statewide, payouts were greater at about 53 percent.
Across the three counties combined, about 40 percent of claims went unpaid.
Honing in on the individual numbers, in Charlotte County, about 50 percent — or 3,663 claims for losses — were paid. Nearly 40 percent of the claims were not, though, and the rest are still open, FOIR data shows.
Meanwhile, in Sarasota County 45 percent got insurance payments for their losses. About 43 percent of claims weren’t paid and the rest are still open.
In DeSoto, payout shares were greater. Nearly 62 percent of claims were paid there — a quarter were not — and the rest remain open, the FOIR data shows.
Most insurance claims from Irma were from homeowners. Hurricane claim deductibles across many insurers are typically around 2 percent of the dwelling value.
Hurricane Irma claims filed in Charlotte, Sarasota and DeSoto counties that closed without payment likely involved insurer denied overage — or the total damage incurred was less than the deductible, according to Joe DiMartino, a former insurance industry executive, consultant and founder of Consumer Insurance Trust, LLC.
“Nearly 500,000 residential property owners across the state have already incurred substantial out-of-pocket expenses due to Irma losses because of high hurricane claim deductibles that are standard policy across most insurers,” according to Consumer Insurance Trust.
“Hurricanes typically generate many claims due to flooding, but flood is not a covered peril under a typical homeowner policy,” DiMartino said.
And, some could face a policy surcharge at their next renewal.
DiMartino said he expects around 15 percent of insurers will levy a hurricane surcharge on varying policy renewal dates.
But he noted, claims that were closed without payment do not incur the surcharge.
FOIR will issue its next update on Hurricane Irma claims on April 9.
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