HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The cost of Hurricane Ian is now hitting homeowners in Florida. Connecticut natives who now live in the sunshine state are going through the claims process to recover what was lost.
“When I got up on the roof, I could see how the wind could literally separate material from the under decking and rip it off with the air conditioning unit,” Craig Cornelius said.
Cornelius, a West Hartford native who is now living in Fort Meyers, went back to Florida after being evacuated. He found his rentals torn apart by the gusting winds from Ian.
Using his cell phone, Cornelius showed the roof damage to his commercial property. He said he’ll have to pay the deductible and his insurance will cover the rest.
“Insurance for hurricane coverage is difficult to get,” Cornelius said. “I had to take three percent deductible, three percent of building value to get the coverage.”
John Kinney, head of claims and operations at The Hartford, acknowledged this to be the case down in Florida and Connecticut.
“[It’s] very common for states impacted by storms like this to have a deductible that may apply,” Kinney said. “Consult your policy to see whether it does or doesn’t.”
The Hartford has also seen many claims filed from policyholders that have experienced storm damage. On the insurance side, their advice is to prepare for the natural disaster and take action right after it happens.
“Take videos and pictures beforehand,” Kinney said. “Make sure you know what it looked like pre-hurricane versus post. So, make sure you take care of yourself there.”
Cornelius’ properties saw no flood damage unlike much of Florida.
“If you’re in a flood zone and have a mortgage, the company will require it,” Cornelius said. “But, a lot make the choice not to carry flood insurance.”
Data shows just 13% of Florida homeowners have flood insurance on their policy. Those that don’t have flood insurance will have to rely on FEMA grants, which don’t cover the full cost of the damage.
Ian is predicted to become among the costliest storms to make landfall with estimates between $25 billion and $40 billion in losses. President Joe Biden said that the federal government will help cover insurance gaps for damaged homes.