MADISON, Fla. (WCTV) – Damage from Hurricane Idalia is costing insurance companies nearly $98 million as more than 8,500 people file claims on their homes.
But that number only reflects people who have property insurance.
“It’s stressful, but what do you do?” Bruce Newcomer said.
Newcomer wasn’t one of those people because he didn’t have insurance. He dropped the policy for his home in Madison on July 24 after his company raised his rates.
“We debated it and it was like ‘Well, we have to eat,’ and bills and all that stuff,” Newcomer said.
Now, even more bills are piling up like the debris in his yard.
“When we had the trees removed so we could get a tarp before there’s more rain, it took our last $2,000. I told my wife we had $50 to our name,” Newcomer said.
Even with the damage left behind, Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a conference before Idalia made landfall that there is light at the end of the tunnel. New insurance companies are coming to Florida for the first time in years, which he credits to new state laws.
“Obviously, I wouldn’t want a storm. That would’ve been better for us for sure to not have a storm,” DeSantis said during a news conference at the Florida Emergency Operations Center. “But I think how the people have gotten into the market will be able to respond to this storm will likely be more feasible, and sustainable prior to our reforms.”
The state’s Citizens Property Insurance Company is now the largest property insurer in Florida as many companies leave.
Newcomer is encouraging people across the state to consider all their options before going without.
“This time we’re going to make sure we get it and keep it,” Newcomer said.
Citizens has nearly 1.4 million policies, with nearly 9,000 added last week. Private insurance companies were approved last week to take over about 200,000 policies from Citizens.
Under the new laws, Citizens customers must accept officers from private insurers if the price is within 20% of Citizens premiums.
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Clinton Mora is a reporter for Trending Insurance News. He has previously worked for the Forbes. As a contributor to Trending Insurance News, Clinton covers emerging a wide range of property and casualty insurance related stories.