Grant to help hard-hit town with hurricane recovery

One Florida town will receive relief funding to cover first responder costs almost a year after Hurricane Michael hit landfall nearby. Mexico Beach will receive a $1.1 million grant, announced by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The funds will go to support law enforcement operations and the Mexico Beach Fire Department. The grant comes as as part of $25 million in state funds that will be used to support areas affected by Hurricane Michael. In the small town of Mexico Beach, the annual budget is $1.5 million dollars. Costs related to debris alone were $60 million in the community.

Many Florida homeowners have open Hurricane Michael claims

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.

Best practices for submitting a fire damage claim

Florida residents who experience fire damage to their property may be entitled to compensation from an insurance company. However, insurance providers may try to minimize their liability or how much they actually pay out to their customers. Therefore, it is important to file a claim as quickly as possible and provide as much detail as possible when doing so. It is also important to get the insurance company to process and resolve the claim quickly.

Florida homeowners await possible hurricane damage

Many homeowners in Florida are concerned about the potential effects of Hurricane Dorian. Major storms have done significant damage to homes up and down the Florida coast in recent years. Driving rain, floods, wind and more have damaged windows, roofs and the entire structure of some homes. When homeowners face damages related to a storm, they rely on their homeowners' insurance company to cover the costs of rebuilding and repairing the damage. At the same time, many people continue to face delayed or denied claims from earlier storms even as they raise concerns about the potential effects of Dorian and other 2019 storms.

What to do following a flood insurance claim denial

Having your home flood can be an unnerving experience, and in some cases, you stand to lose a lot more than just items of sentimental value. If you file a flood claim with your insurance company and the company, in turn, denies that claim, it could throw your finances into a tailspin, costing you a substantial amount of money on repairs, asset replacements and more.

Thousands of Hurricane Michael claims still unpaid

Florida law requires that insurance claims on residential property be paid within 90 days, but the clock does not start running when the claim is made as many people think. Rather, insurance companies have 90 days from the point at which the insured and the insurer agree about the value of the claim. This dynamic has led to a situation in which residential property owners are often required to wait much longer than that before they receive compensation for their insured losses.

State event aims to resolve hurricane damage claims

Florida officials are convening public events in order to assist Hurricane Michael victims who are struggling with denied insurance claims or delayed payouts. The category five hurricane devastated many homes and businesses in Florida with high winds and torrential rain damaging roofs, bringing down trees and shattering windows. Despite the massive damage inflicted by the storm, some Florida homeowners have not yet received an insurance payment despite filing claims. The state's Chief Financial Officer is holding a series of Insurance Village events to promote better communication between hurricane victims and insurance companies.

Insurance companies still sorting out Hurricane Michael claims

Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida in October 2018, and the storm is believed to be responsible for more than $6.9 billion in insured losses. There were 148,347 claims made related to the storm, and of those claims, 20,484 have yet to be resolved according to state authorities. That represents roughly 14% of all claims made related to the storm. In Bay County, 17% of the 88,830 claims related to Hurricane Michael have yet to be resolved.

The insurance commissioner in Florida has warned insurance companies not to delay efforts to close any unresolved cases in a timely manner. He said that their reputation of the insurance industry was at stake as they work to help policyholders. The commissioner told the governor and other state lawmakers that he was concerned over the number of claims that were still outstanding as of July 2019.

Property damage and tax law

If a Florida property is damaged in a flood or hurricane, its owner may be entitled to a tax deduction for the losses that have been incurred. However, there are several conditions that must be met to qualify for it. First, the damage must have been caused by a storm recognized as a federal disaster. Second, the deduction is only available if damages were more than 10% of the owner's adjusted gross income.

Florida property owners misled by outdated flood maps

Florida property owners who rely on FEMA maps to identify whether their homes and businesses are at risk of flooding may be at a disadvantage. Outdated flood maps mark a number of places as low risk in Florida that have been hit hard in recent years by hurricanes. The maps have not been updated in a decade. For some areas, such as parts of Escambia County, it has been more than 15 years.

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