Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across much of South Florida last month, leaving many residents with the monumental task of rebuilding their lives in the wake of the storm. Some Floridians were lucky and were able to avoid the storm for the most part, making their transition to post-hurricane life smooth. However, for others, fallen trees, damaged roofs and windows, and extreme water damage caused significant property damage, requiring tens of thousands of dollars to rebuild, if not more.
For most affected homeowners, their South Florida property insurance policy should cover much of the damage they sustained in the storm. Indeed, according to a recent news report, there have been approximately 562,000 insurance claims filed related to Hurricane Irma damage. Added up, these claims represent about a $3.6 billion loss, and that figure is expected to increase with time. Most of the claims came from Miami-Dade, Orange, Broward, and Lee Counties.
Given the number of claims filed in South Florida last month, one may expect that a homeowner will face significant delays when waiting for their claim to be approved. In addition, if the insurance company does not agree with the homeowner’s claim amount, it may offer a reduced figure in hopes of a quick settlement. A desperate homeowner in need of financial assistance to rebuild their life may be tempted by such an offer; however, an insurance company’s initial offer is rarely non-negotiable.