Hurricane Ian, which struck the southern United States last September, was one of the most powerful and destructive storms on record. Hundreds of thousands of people had their homes or businesses damaged or completely destroyed. And yet, according to a recent report, months later, as many as 40% of insurance claims related to the storm have so far gone unpaid, or have been denied.
According to a recent report, there have been 683,456 claims submitted to insurance companies in relation to Hurricane Ian damage. While most of these have been paid, 169,355 of these cases are now considered closed with no payment. At the time of the report’s publication, another 87,810 of these claims were still open and had not been paid.
Reporters also noted cases where insurance claims were paid, but policyholders ended up with much less than they expected. In one case, a policyholder told news reporters that they had been paid only $500 after losing their home entirely.
According to some analysts, one reason so many claims have been denied is that much of the property damage came about through flooding. When the hurricane approached the coast, it brought heavy rains and a storm surge that made rivers rise, with disastrous results for homes and businesses near their banks.
Many homeowners insurance policies specifically state that they do not cover flood damage. In some cases, homeowners have argued that the damage to their property came about through wind rather than flooding.
Here in Oklahoma, hurricanes may not be a big risk. However, flooding can happen in many parts of the country, and we have other natural disasters that can severely damage homes and businesses. When this happens, property owners hope they can rely on their insurers to help them cope with their losses.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often deny claims. When that happens, property owners can benefit from speaking to attorneys who have experience fighting insurance denials.