The whole nation watched this year as one of the most expensive hurricane seasons in the U.S. hit Puerto Rico, Texas and right here in Florida. After the winds have died down and the dust has settled, these regions are left to clean up the damage.
This season's damage is currently estimated to be worth $202.6 billion. This is just behind the 2005 season, which reported $211.2 billion in damage, according to the National Weather Service.
While the bulk of that damage is expected to come from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, plenty of damage hit home in Florida. As of Nov. 13, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported the state saw $5.9 billion in insured losses.
How will insurers pay out the damage?
Insurance companies should be sitting in a comfortable position to pay out the claims. In Florida, insurers are required to buy a portion of their reinsurance, which is secondary coverage insurers buy to ensure they can pay our claims from catastrophic losses, from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. This fund was fully funded as Florida entered hurricane season, with the capability of paying out up to $17 billion.
Even so, there is a possibility insurance companies may try to dispute damage, as they sometimes do with non-catastrophic storms. They may try to argue the damage was caused before the storm or that the water damage is not covered in the policy.
If you are concerned about whether or not your insurance claim will be paid out, working with an experienced attorney who can prove to the insurance company that the strong hurricane winds are what caused the water damage in the first place can help get the claim processed faster.
For now, we can all exhale knowing that we have a few months of reprieve before the next hurricane season begins.