Nearly a year after Hurricane Irma hit Florida, the amount of damage the storm caused continues to rise. And some areas of the state still have a long road to travel before recovering.
Florida property owners have filed almost one million Irma claims since the storm stuck in September 2017, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Just over 70,000 came from the six-county Tampa Bay area, including Citrus and Manatee. Of those, 55 percent were paid out and nearly 42 percent went unpaid, about the same as the state average.
Claims often go unpaid when the cost of damage doesn’t exceed the policy’s hurricane deductible. In other cases, adjusters determine the claim was not storm related or was not covered in the policy, which can include damage to landscaping.
Florida Today reports that some areas are far behind when it comes to rebuilding and recovering from the hurricane.
According to Florida Today:
In many cases, insurance claims haven’t been closed out and FEMA funds distributed. In some instances, delays have stemmed from the huge burden on contractors locally and in other hurricane-ravaged areas. In all, 7,131 residences and businesses in Brevard County were damaged during the devastating storm.
More than 93 percent of the 45,458 insurance claims from Brevard County — those reported by insurers to the state Office of Insurance Regulation — have been closed. But 3,065 of those claims remained open as of June 12.
And though there’s no longer a sea of blue tarps dotting the horizon, local roofers are whittling away, countywide, at the backlog of roofing projects. The county issued 2,778 re-roof permits between Sept. 10, 2017, and Aug. 1, 2018.
“Calls are still coming in for damages — customers needing repairs are calling; insurance companies working claims are calling,” said Dawn Willis, one of the owners at Mike Willis Roofing and Construction of Melbourne.