Hurricane Ian claims total $474 million in estimated losses

Hurricane Ian claims total $474 million in estimated losses

Early insurance claims from Hurricane Ian totaled $474 million in estimated insurance losses, according to claims data posted to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website.

On Friday companies were asked to submit data and there were 62,047 claims with estimated losses of $473.828 million.

The majority of the claims were for residential properties, 49,191, and 41,778 were homeowners.

More than 1.1% of the claims for residential properties were closed, with 496 closed without payment.

4.2% of claims for homeowners were closed with 458 closed without payment.

With seven of the 628 commercial property claims closed without payment, 1.1% of them were closed.

Of the 62,047 claims, only 1.1% had been closed.

Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis described the hurricane as a 500 year flood event. The storm has caused well over $100 billion in damage, including $63 billion in privately insured losses, according to Karen Clark Co.

If those numbers are borne out, that would make Ian the fourth costliest hurricane in America's history.

Florida's property insurance market was already in danger, and the state has strained under billion-dollar losses, insolvencies and skyrocketing premiums.

The private insurance industry has lost more than $1 billion in each of the last two years, and hundreds of thousands of residents have had their policies dropped or not renewed.

The average annual premium has gone up to more than $4,200 in Florida, an increase that's triple the national average.

More than a dozen companies have stopped writing new policies in the state, and several have closed their businesses this year.

The state's public insurer of last resort has been the place where homeowners have flocked to. Citizens Property Insurance topped a million policies for the first time in almost a decade this summer.

State regulators and insurers blamed homeowners lawsuits as a major cause of the state crisis.

In May, lawmakers approved sweeping legislation that many in the statehouse viewed as a significant first step in repairing the market.

Flood insurance policies, including those in Citizens, do not include flood coverage, which is handled under a federal program and is separate from the insurance market.

DeSantis said we are looking at a lot of flood claims. I am not saying there isn't going to be a lot of wind damage, but I mean it's a hurricane so you're likely to see that.

There is more that I want to do in terms of wind insurance and that will be something that we are going to address, he said. At the end of the day, we have to make sure folks are taken care of, and so we will do whatever we need to do. The governor said Wednesday that Citizens should be in good shape even after claims from Hurricane Ian.

A spokesman for Citizens said 225,000 claims and $3.8 billion in losses were from Ian, although he said the projections were before the storm made landfall and were subject to change.