The costs of Hurricane Michael keep going up for Florida homeowners who were hit hard by the storm. Estimates of the damages caused by the hurricane in the Panhandle have been revised upwards to over $12 billion. That figure is twice the initial estimates made by analysts from the insurance industry. In addition, weather experts say that the hurricane might have been a category 5 storm rather than the category 4 designation it initially received.

The hurricane made landfall on Oct. 10, 2018, near Mexico Beach in Bay County. It hit Florida first before rampaging through Georgia and the Carolinas. Over 1.2 million homes were left without power due to hurricane damage, and 45 people lost their lives in the storm. The Panama City Medical Examiner released the names of 29 people who died in the storm, who ranged in age from 22 to 94.

While original estimates of property damage foresaw $14.58 billion in losses across four states, analysts now say that $10 to $12 billion in damages occurred in Florida alone. The initial estimate included $6 billion in Air Force fighter jets destroyed at one base. The costs of the storm are also significant for everyday homeowners and businesses. There have been 82,485 residential hurricane damage claims filed so far, and 42.4 percent of those have been paid out while the majority continue to wait.

Homeowners rely on their insurers to pay their homeowners' insurance claims accurately and promptly in case of a storm. However, some encounter resistance and attempts to deny or drive down their claims. An insurance attorney may work with homeowners to challenge an insurer's delays and seek quick action to help homeowners get the funds they deserve.

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