#1 reason for unpaid hurricane claims? Minor damage
The 2016 hurricane season is a wrap, and you are probably seeing a few news stories detailing the number of insurance claims from Hurricane Matthew, as well as the insurance claims from Hurricane Hermine. More than 87 percent of claims from Hermine are closed; almost 78 percent of claims from Matthew are closed. But the news headlines do not focus on that positive note. Instead, they point out that about a third of claims from the storm are unpaid. You have to read down six paragraphs in the newspaper story to find out why. I’ll tell you in the second paragraph below.
There are two primary reasons claims are closed without being paid:
- Storm damage was minor and under the amount of the hurricane deductible, or
- The damage was not covered by the policy.
Everyone knows headlines don’t tell the whole story. They are designed to attract attention and are not written by the reporter, but by someone looking to grab the reader. To be truly informed, we have to look beyond the headline, true?
Insurers have encouraged policyholders to report storm damage even if it is minor because Florida has a calendar year hurricane deductible. That means storm damage from more than one storm in a season counts toward the deductible amount.
Damage not covered from the storms would include falling trees that do not damage an insured property, such as your house or fence.
Now you know rest of the story.