The 2017 hurricane season ends quietly this week, but not before causing nearly $6 billion in damage as Hurricane Irma ripped through South Florida and the Florida Keys in September, marking the first major storm to ravage the state in more than 12 years.
As the 2017 season comes to a close November 30, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation remains financially stable and has so far closed nearly two-thirds of the 62,000 Irma-related claims, including more than 42,400 claims in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties.
Citizens continues to assist policyholders whose claims remain open or whose closed claims need to be adjusted further. Irma, which hit the Florida Keys on September 10, 2017, as a Category 4 hurricane, is expected to produce up to 70,000 claims and $1.2 billion in damages to Citizens policyholders.
“With $6.4 billion in surplus and substantial reinsurance coverage, Citizens remains fiscally sound after responding quickly and effectively to Hurricane Irma,” said Chris Gardner, chairman of tested Citizens’ Board of Governors. “But we still have much work to do. Our focus will remain on our policyholders until we have satisfactorily handled all outstanding claims.”
Industrywide as of November 13, 2017, the storm had produced 830,788 claims and more than $5.8 billion in property damage, according to data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Those figures will undoubtedly rise when the agency next reports industry data on December 4. Statewide, 64 percent of all Irma claims have been closed.
Many Citizens policyholders have already had their homes inspected and may also have spoken to a Citizens desk adjuster about their claim, the State-run insurer reported in its press release today, November 29. If covered damages exceed the hurricane deductible, policyholders also have received a payment from Citizens based on those initial estimates.
This check represents a partial payment for Irma-related damages based on Citizens’ initial adjustment. As repairs begin, Citizens said that policyholders “can rest assured” it will make additional payments – up to the policy limits – if further Irma-related damage is discovered or market conditions render the initial settlement inadequate to make reasonable repairs on covered losses.
Policyholders with claims are encouraged to contact Citizens at any time to report additional losses or damage discovered during the recovery process. Customers can also contact Citizens to discuss any initial claims payment, the basis of the payment, and whether any additional amounts may be paid.
“As recovery efforts continue following Hurricane Irma, Citizens wants our customers to know that we are here with you through the claims process,” said Jay Adams, Citizens Chief of Claims. “We understand the challenges of identifying all covered losses to your insured property caused by a major weather event such as Hurricane Irma. We are here to help.”
Policyholders suffering property damage should call Citizens first at (866) 411-2742 to report a claim. Representatives are available 24/7. More information can be found on Citizens website.