TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – April 2, 2018 – More than a third of Hurricane Irma claims filed by customers of state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. have been reopened, the company said Wednesday.
More than 24,500 of 66,400 claims – about 37 percent – have been reopened at some point since the September hurricane for additional payments and to allow policyholders or their representatives to provide additional information related to their claims, Citizens said in a news release.
So far, Citizens has paid out $604 million to policyholders, and 54 percent of claims filed with Citizens have been closed with payments. These are among the claims that have been reopened, Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier said.
Claims that remain open are likely to have extensive damage, are the subject of disputes over repair costs, or are still awaiting a contractor’s repair estimates, the release said.
Across Florida, Hurricane Irma has so far generated 900,228 claims to all insurance carriers, according to the state Office of Insurance Regulation. Of those, 479,673 have been closed with payments and 293,229 were closed with no payment, primarily because the damage value did not exceed policyholders’ hurricane deductibles. About 14 percent of all claims remain open.
Total value of insured Irma losses is estimated at $7.9 billion.
“We want to reinforce to people that what we have provided them is an estimate, and that estimates may change as repairs begin,” said Jay Adams, Citizens’ chief of claims. “The initial estimate and payment does not necessarily mean your claim has been concluded.”
The company issued initial payments immediately after the storm to policyholders whose losses exceeded their hurricane deductibles, the release said, adding those initial payments were based on the actual cash value of damages caused by the storm. Additional payments to cover replacement costs are paid as repairs get underway, Citizens said.
Supplemental payments are available when additional Irma-related damage is discovered as repairs are made, or if the cost of labor or materials to make repairs has increased since the initial estimates.
“As repairs begin, policyholders should contact Citizens before beginning repairs for damages not included in our initial estimate, or if the contractor gives a higher figure for the repairs described in the initial estimate,” the release stated.
Citizens’ representatives can be reached to answer questions and address concerns by calling the Citizens Claims Resolution Unit at 866-411-2742, ext. 7794, or by emailing ResolutionUnit@citizensfla.com.
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