The cost to insurance companies of Hurricane Irma continues to grow, as claims are tallied up for everything from roof repairs to downed tree removal.
The News Service of Florida reports that insurance loss estimates from Hurricane Irma posted by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation have risen to $9.7 billion, up by more than $1 billion from April. Claims have been for all types of storm-related costs, including roof repairs.
According to the news service:
Of the 823,733 residential claims filed, 491,273 had been settled with some payment and 262,809 resulted in no money changing hands. Insurance officials have noted the amount of damages often fail to reach policyholders’ hurricane deductibles.
On the commercial side, nearly 40 percent of the 58,544 claims failed to result in insurance payments, while nearly 30 percent had seen money paid.
Across the state, the top counties for damage claims were Miami-Dade with 125,636, Collier with 88,934, Broward with 80,958 and Lee with 79,804.
While the state numbers include residential and commercial damage, they don’t cover crop damage, which has been estimated at $2.5 billion.
According to the Naples Daily News, Florida Citrus growers have had one of their worst seasons since the 1940s, thanks in large part to the hurricane.
The newspaper reports:
Much of the blame is put on Hurricane Irma. The massive storm walloped citrus crops across Florida when it made landfall in September. Groves in Southwest Florida were hit especially hard.
In the 2017-18 season, Florida growers produced 44.95 million 90-pound boxes of oranges and 3.88 million similarly sized boxes of grapefruit, along with 750,000 boxes of tangerines, tangelos and other specialty fruit.
The combined 49.58 million boxes is the smallest number recorded since the 1941-42 season, when growers filled 48.65 million boxes during World War II.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam called the season horrible, but added that help is on the way for citrus growers.
“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the United States Department of Agriculture, Florida’s agriculture industry and our elected leaders, much-needed disaster assistance is on the way to help Florida’s growers,” he said.