Hurricane Irma insurance losses in Florida close to $10 billion

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PHOTO VIA NOAA/CIRA
Insurance loss estimates from Hurricane Irma have hit $9.7 billion, up by more than $1 billion since April, according to the latest numbers posted by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Insurers also advised the state agency that the number of claims had reached 987,767 from the massive and deadly September storm. The was up more than 54,000 from when numbers were previously updated in April.

Officials said they expected claims to be made for more than a year after the storm, as property owners are able to get complete assessments of the damages.



Erin VanSickle, deputy chief of staff in the Office of Insurance Regulation, said to the agency’s knowledge, no insurer has indicated difficulty in paying claims.

The state agency doesn’t release data by individual insurance companies, asserting protection of trade secrets. The numbers also don’t include most agriculture losses, which the state has estimated at $2.5 billion, or damage inflicted by the storm on government facilities, including buildings, roads, parks and beaches.

Insurance companies had closed 91.5 percent of residential claims but just 68.4 percent of commercial-property claims, according to the numbers, which were as of Tuesday.

Of the 823,733 residential claims filed, 491,273 had been settled with some payment and 262,809 resulted in no money changing hands. Insurance officials have noted the amount of damages often fail to reach policyholders’ hurricane deductibles.

On the commercial side, nearly 40 percent of the 58,544 claims failed to result in insurance payments, while nearly 30 percent had seen money paid.

Across the state, the top counties for damage claims were Miami-Dade with 125,636, Collier with 88,934, Broward with 80,958 and Lee with 79,804.

Nearly 20 percent of the claims in Miami-Dade County had yet to be closed, while 33 percent had been closed without any payments.

Broward County had the next highest percentage of open claims, at nearly 15 percent.

Collier was at 89.5 percent closed, Orange County was at 93 percent, and Duval County stood at nearly 95 percent.

Irma made landfall twice in Florida on Sept. 10. It first hit Cudjoe Key, less than 30 miles northeast of Key West, and later hit Collier County before running up the peninsula.

Overall, 16 counties each had more than 20,000 insurance claims.

Orange County had seen 73,982 claims filed and Duval, which suffered major flooding from the St. Johns River, had 36,830 claims.

Monroe County, which comprises the Florida Keys, had seen 30,767 claims, of which 57 percent required insurance payments and just over 10 percent of the claims remained open.