Some Florida homeowners are continuing to struggle almost a year after Hurricane Michael. Thousands of homeowners have submitted insurance claims that remain open and have not yet been resolved. There are 18,211 open claims filed after the Category 5 storm hit the Florida Panhandle in October 2018. These mark around 12% of the total claims filed by businesses and homeowners for their insured losses after they suffered serious hurricane damages in the storm. The state's insurance commissioner said that most homeowners are satisfied with their dealings with their insurers, but some are concerned about paying the bills that have accompanied their hurricane recovery.

The state commissioner estimated that half of the claims were reopened hurricane damage claims. In these cases, people received a payout from their insurance companies. However, the actual costs of the repairs they needed exceeded the original amount, so they reopened their claims with their insurers. He also said that the state's Office of Insurance Regulation has received few complaints from business owners and homeowners about the insurance issues.

The Florida legislature also considered the potential effect of reform legislation addressing the assignment of benefits (AOB). In these cases, policyholders assign their claims to contractors that perform work to repair their homes or businesses. Policyholders who cannot wait for reimbursement for their expenses may trade their right to benefits in exchange for immediate work. The reform changed the way that attorney fees are handled in AOB cases and allowed companies to sell policies that do not allow for AOB.

People often rely on their homeowners' insurance policies to cover their costs after serious damage to their residences. Still, they may face delayed or denied payouts on their claims. An experienced attorney may be able to help people protect their rights and seek the benefits they deserve.

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