Hurricane Ian insurance checks are coming with a scary warning

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — Thousands of property owners in Southwest Florida are starting to receive insurance checks in the mail months after the damage Hurricane Ian caused to homes.

However, many people are afraid to cash those checks because of documents warning that their case may be closed after they do so.

What should you do if you receive an insurance check after the adjuster finishes your claim? Reid McDaniel of McDaniel Insurance Solutions said you should cash it.

Reid McDaniel: You’ll often see that update that the claim has been closed. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. It doesn’t mean you can’t close the check. There is a lot of recourse, and sometimes things need to be adjusted, which is perfectly fine.

Dave Elias: There are people who are finding things even after the storm. Is that a concern, and can they go back and claim it?

Reid McDaniel: You may not know everything that was impacted, or maybe something got missed, or you forgot about something. Even though it says claim status is closed, you can file an amendment. You can still get a secondary check or a third check if you want.

Dave Elias: This may be hard to believe, but I have heard from folks who still have yet to see an adjuster show up. How common is that?

Reid McDaniel: It can be common, Dave. A lot of insurance companies, with the impact of Hurricane Ian being so large, they’re struggling to find enough adjusters and finding enough adjusters out to locations to get them moving quickly. Also, some insurance carriers are triaging folks, so if they can’t live in the home and their home is totally destroyed they’ll see those folks first, and you have some minor siding damages like that. You’re going to be one of the last people they see.

Dave Elias: We understand that there are people who are getting cancellation notices. Is that a big problem now? What do they do?

Reid McDaniel: Sure, some folks are getting non-renewals or cancellation notices from their insurance carrier. Unfortunately there are not a lot of insurance companies who are taking clients in our area. That can be difficult. Fortunately we have some carriers we work with who are taking new customers. But there are a lot of agents who don’t have a market for people.

Florida lawmakers are meeting in a special session December 12th. Governor DeSantis wants them to develop tax breaks for people affected by Hurricane Ian.

Legislators are also expected to take more measures to address the state’s ongoing insurance crisis.

They’re expected to get it all done by December 16th.

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