Reports show Matthew-related damage might not be as bad as originally feared

Mon Oct 17th, 2016 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

It goes without saying that as soon as Hurricane Matthew was forecast to hit Florida, insurance companies doing business in the state almost immediately began preparing for worst-case scenarios. Indeed, initial projections were showing that certain areas of the Sunshine State could experience catastrophic damage.

Fast forward to the present, however, and these same insurance companies are breathing a sigh of relief, as the damage, centered largely in five coastal counties located in the northern part of the state, is proving to be more limited and more contained than originally anticipated.

According to the State Office of Insurance Regulation, numbers from 207 insurance companies indicate that policyholders across the state had filed 39,302 claims as of last Wednesday, with 76.1 percent spread out among the following counties, all of which were in the path of the storm.

  • Volusia County (11,955)
  • Duval County (6,536)
  • Brevard County (5,499)
  • St. Johns County (3,654)
  • Flagler County (2,273)

Conversely, property owners in South Florida, which was fortunate enough to avoid a direct hit from the hurricane, filed only 2.2 percent of the total claim volume, or 856 claims.

As for the estimated costs of these claims, early projections are showing roughly $218 million, the bulk of which will be borne by private insurers, which have a larger market share in the north owing to their reluctance to insure property in the south, a task that falls largely to state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Indeed, Citizens saw only 1,997 claims filed as of last Wednesday.

While it’s likely that the number of claims and the total costs of Matthew-related damage will rise in the coming weeks, it’s nevertheless appearing as if Florida’s streak of relatively good luck has endured. Here’s hoping this continues.

Consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible if you are experiencing any problems with denied or delayed claims under a homeowners’ or flood insurance policy. 

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