For the last decade or so, the Atlantic hurricane season has been trending toward a longer season that brings more frequent and more severe storms. Although the first half of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season was relatively quiet, the second half of the season made up for that with Hurricane Ian, one of the most dangerous and destructive hurricanes to ever hit the State of Florida. If your Orlando home or business was damaged by Hurricane Ian, you are undoubtedly relying on your insurance company to reimburse you for the damage or loss. You may, however, run into unreasonable delays, an offer to pay far less than the full cost of the damage, or an outright denial when you file your insurance claim.
At Malik Law, we have first-hand experience with the destructive power of a hurricane, and we know the life-changing impact it can have on your family or business. When your insurance company fails to pay your claim in full and within a timely fashion, the hurricane’s impact lingers and grows. If your property was damaged by Hurricane Ian, and you are experiencing problems getting your insurance claim paid, an experienced Orlando Hurricane Ian insurance claim lawyer at Malik Law can help.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Getting More Destructive
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an average Atlantic hurricane season has 12 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), six hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), and three major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). In recent years, however, the Atlantic hurricane season has been more prolific and produced more intense storms. The 2021 hurricane season was the sixth consecutive above-normal season, the third most active year on record in terms of named storms, and marked the first time on record that the list of 21 storm names was exhausted two years in a row, according to the NOAA.
Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday, September 28th, near Fort Meyers and proceeded to tear a destructive path through the state before heading back into the Atlantic Ocean two days later. Because the City of Orlando is situated in the middle of the state, hurricanes typically pose less of a risk to people and property; however, Hurricane Ian came ashore as a category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 miles per hour and passed directly over Orlando before moving back out to sea, causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property along the way.
According to a Reuters article published on Monday, October 3rd, Hurricane Ian caused 81 confirmed deaths in Florida; however, that death toll may rise in the coming days as search teams reach areas cut off by floodwaters and debris. In addition, CNN announced that more than 613,000 homes and businesses were still without power as of Monday morning and thousands of residents did not have clean tap water, with over 100 boil-water advisories in effect.
The financial impact of Ian appears to be massive, according to a Bloomberg article that puts the cost to private US insurers at $63 billion in claims, which would make Hurricane Ian the largest storm-related loss in Florida’s history. Another estimate by CoreLogic puts wind losses for residential and commercial properties in Florida at between $22 billion and $32 billion and insured storm surge losses at an additional $6 billion to $15 billion.
Types of Damage Caused by Hurricane Ian
If you own residential or commercial property in Orlando or the surrounding area, your property may have suffered significant damage during Hurricane Ian. Although the storm was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it made it to the east coast of Florida, Central Florida was battered by high winds and inundated with over 14 inches of rainfall in the meantime. For many residents and business owners, high floodwaters, downed power lines, and debris left homes and businesses uninhabitable or caused severe damage, including:
- Water damage from leaking roofs to interior floodwaters.
- Electrical damage caused by downed power lines.
- Roof damage may include everything from missing tiles/shingles to holes in the roof from downed trees.
- Broken glass from high winds or water build-up.
- Structural damage caused by powerful winds and rain.
- Cosmetic damage such as missing shingles or siding.
- Landscape damage from uprooted trees, flying debris, and excessive rain.
- Vehicle damage caused by objects falling on the vehicle or floodwaters entering the vehicle.
Hurricane Ian Insurance Claims
If your home or commercial property suffered damage because of Hurricane Ian, you are likely counting on your insurance company to cover the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged property. You may even be unable to return to your home or reopen your business until you are able to complete the necessary repairs. Instead of being fully compensated shortly after filing your claim, however, you may find that your claim is:
- Delayed. Your insurance company may put procedural obstacles in the way to intentionally delay payment of the claim. Typically, this means seemingly unnecessary requests for supporting evidence or repeated requests for redundant forms.
- Underpaid. You may find that your insurance company only offers to reimburse you for a fraction of what it will cost to fix your property. Insurance companies do this because their goal is to pay out as little as possible on claims to show a profit each year. They often use repair/replacement estimates created by their own adjusters to justify underpayments.
- Denied. Your insurance company might deny the claim entirely or partially by claiming the damage is the result of an uncovered loss. Denials are particularly common when the claim is based on hurricane damage because many insurance policies exclude damage caused by a hurricane or apply a separate deductible to hurricane damage.
Get Help from an Experienced Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim Lawyer
The Hurricane Ian insurance claim attorneys at Malik Law P.A. are here to help if your insurance claim has been denied, delayed, or underpaid. We will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure your claim is paid in full and without further delay.
Call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando hurricane insurance claim attorneys will explain your rights to you and discuss your legal options at no cost.