Fla. claims for Irma damage top $5 billion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Oct. 24, 2017 – Six weeks after Hurricane Irma ripped through Florida, claims for damage have now topped $5 billion.

More than 23,160 property owners in Southwest Florida have filed claims for insured losses from Irma, according to an updated report Monday from the state Office of Insurance Regulation. That is 700 claims added since last week from Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

The state agency said 772,934 owners of residential and commercial properties statewide had submitted claims to insurers as of the end of last week.

Total losses have now climbed to $5.31 billion, up by $740,000 from the previous week.

Homeowners account for 66 percent of the claims so far, the agency said. Another 11 percent come from other residential properties and 6 percent were filed by owners of manufactured homes.

Those claims do not include flood damage, which is not covered by homeowners’ insurance. Data analyzer CoreLogic has said flood losses in Florida and elsewhere could hit $38 billion, and up to 80 percent of the damaged homes might not have flood coverage.

The combined destruction of property from Irma and Hurricane Harvey, which struck Texas in late August, could range from $150 billion to $200 billion, according to a preliminary estimate from Moody’s Analytics. Moody’s said the U.S. could suffer an additional $20 billion to $30 billion in lost economic output from the two storms.

More than 40 percent of the damage claims from Southwest Florida have been closed, although nearly half of the closed claims were rejected for payment.

In Sarasota, 9,536 property owners had filed claims in the latest report. Some 1,929 have been paid and 2,061 were closed but not paid.

Manatee reported 7,302 claims, with 1,808 paid and 1,415 closed without payment.

A total of 6,323 claims came from Charlotte, with 1,297 paid and 1,162 closed without payment.

The three counties account for about 3 percent of the total Florida damage claims filed with insurers, the agency said.

Miami-Dade County reported the most claims, followed by Orange, Broward, Lee and Collier counties.

© 2017 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla., John Hielscher. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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