Hurricane Ian, one of the deadliest and costliest storms to hit Florida in almost a century, made landfall west of Fort Myers, Florida, in late September 2022. The Category 4 hurricane sustained winds of 155 miles per hour at landfall, resulting in the following aftermath:
- 97% of the buildings in Fort Myers Beach were either damaged or destroyed.
- Power outages left almost 2,700,000 homes and businesses without electricity.
- 160 individuals lost their lives, 148 of which were in Florida, and most of which drowned in the high storm surge.
- Extensive damage to road infrastructure along the coast where it made landfall, including severing connections between the mainland and barrier islands.
- Approximately 7,000 boats were damaged or displaced, leaving many scattered and adrift in inland waterways, tossed ashore, and piled on top of one another in marinas.
After natural disasters, the hardest-hit communities can feel powerless when dealing with insurance companies, and for those who weathered Hurricane Ian, this remains an unfortunate reality. Property damage claims after a disaster are not always honored, and insurers often take advantage of people's difficult situations to pay as little as possible on each claim—or outright deny them. Here’s what homeowners should know to ensure they are able to advocate for themselves and their families during this long recovery process.
How to Handle Your Hurricane Ian Insurance Claim
Knowing where to start recovering and rebuilding can be difficult after a natural disaster. For homeowners who have experienced property damage due to Hurricane Ian, one of the first things you should do is file an insurance claim with your home insurance provider. By filing an insurance claim, you can get reimbursed for some or all of the damages caused by Hurricane Ian. The property insurance attorneys at Stabinski Law provide the following guidelines to ensure you recover all the compensation available under your insurance policy:
- Prevent any further damage and ensure safety.
- Document the damage by taking photos or videos.
- Notify your insurance company or insurance agent.
- Read the fine print of your policy to follow the necessary procedure to file a valid insurance claim.
- Create an inventory of the damages.
- Take notes for every visit from insurance adjusters and every type of communication (i.e. letters, e-mails, telephone calls, etc.).
- Save all receipts from any repair expenses.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you're having difficulty getting your insurer to pay out on a legitimate claim, it may be time to hire an insurance attorney specializing in hurricane claims. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you through the process and help ensure that you receive full compensation for damages incurred during Hurricane Ian. They will also be able to handle any disputes with insurers so that you don't have to deal with them yourself and can instead focus on rebuilding your home as quickly as possible.
If your insurance company has denied your property damage claim or has failed to pay you a fair amount, call our firm at (305) 643-3100 or fill out our secure online contact form. A dedicated legal advocate is standing by to hear your story and provide representation.