In the history of Florida no other Hurricane has caused such unprecedented loss of life and property. When Hurricane Ian hit landfall at the south west corner of Florida, it cut a diagonal swath of damage from Fort Myers, through Orlando, and onto the east coast exiting into the Atlantic ocean in and around Daytona. No one contemplated the amount of destruction.
If anyone has ever driven through Florida, you realize how flat it is. When Walt Disney built Disney world, he was swayed by the number of beautiful sunny days Florida has, as compared to the rest of the country. In the chance of severe tropical storms and hurricanes, nearly every commercial and residential development consequently built dikes, dams, and drainage areas designed to whisk away storm water. Sounds great, but with Hurricane Ian, the coastal areas were decimated by the storm’s onslaught and with Florida being so flat, there was literally no place for the water to go. The secondary and just as devastating problem became the consequential flood damage. The man made solutions were no match for Mother Nature.
Canadian Snowbirds and Northern Snowbirds with Florida homes, had not yet started their southward migration. When they do, they will find wintering in Florida has taken on a new and much more expensive dimension. Winter homes, residences, condos, trailers, and RV’s that were destroyed or damaged need to be repaired or replaced. In addition home insurance rates will go through the roof and inflation has shown no signs of easing. Canadian Snowbirds also have to contend with the Loonie’s devaluation which adds almost a 40% surcharge to their US expenses.
Prior to the Hurricane, Florida was already crippled with home insurance coverage problems. In just this last year, approximately 7 of its Home Insurers filed for insolvency. Floridians were also paying the highest home insurance rates in North America. On average paying $4,400, per year, in comparison to the rest of of North America which averages $1,500 per year.
Since home insurance is so expensive, some Floridians and Snowbirds do not purchase home owners coverage, or if they do, purchase inadequate coverage. For example less then 1/2 of Floridians who live in floodplains purchase flood insurance, and less then 10% who live outside of a floodplain have it. Another factor is the increase in home values. Florida has had a tremendous influx of visitors, tourists and new residents moving into the state. Insurers use antiquated valuations which in essence means they do not provide full market value coverage. Therefore, even being “fully insured” has significant financial limitations.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the Florida insurance problem is quite dramatic. Florida hurricane victims are finding they do not have enough insurance to rebuild their home and/or cover their financial losses. Whether they can recover financially will remain an open debate for years to come. At least Canadian Snowbirds and others with second homes have a northern residence to live in. Most Floridians are not that fortunate.
As another sad corollary, insurers who offer home insurance to people who live in and around the coast consider it “bad business”. Hurricane Ian is another example why the State of Florida has to set up a more comprehensive state run Home insurance plan to make sure people are protected.
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CALL THE SNOWBIRD HELP LINE for HURRICANE IAN – FLORIDA HOME INSURANCE CLAIMS
SNOWBIRDS can CALL Michael Cerasa – Florida Attorney at Law, FOR IMMEDIATE HELP AND ADVICE. Centrally located in Orlando, Michael handles property damage claims across the state. Act quickly and have your questions answered and your assets protected.
“I work across the state of Florida helping innocent victims. I have a network of public adjusters whom I work with. We will review your home insurance policy, assess your financial damages, process your claim, and remit the appropriate documents to your insurer as quickly as possible.” Don’t be a victim twice. Call…