Hurricane Irma will generate up to 70,000 claims and approximately $1.23 billion of insured losses to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, according to initial estimates presented to the Citizens board of governors.
Citizens said in a statement that, based on those estimates, it would have ample resources to pay claims. The $1.23 billion in losses will be paid from Citizens’ surplus, with $193 million expected to be reimbursed from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. Citizens would retain a $6.4 billion surplus after incurred losses available for future storms, it said.
'Continue to learn, prepare and improve'
“Much hard work and preparation over the last few years has paid off during Citizens’ initial response to Hurricane Irma,” said Chris Gardner, the chair of the Citizens board of governors. “However, given the magnitude of reported claims, we are sure to encounter unforeseen challenges. We will continue to learn, prepare, and improve our response capabilities with each storm situation.”
Citizens already has received 45,681 claims. That figure is expected to reach 70,000 over the next 18 to 24 months. So far, the bulk of claims have come from Miami-Dade (36 percent), Monroe (15.4%) and Broward Counties (14.9%).
Citizens was created by the Florida legislature in August 2002 as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, government entity to provide insurance protection to Florida policyholders entitled to but unable to find property insurance coverage in the private market.
Steven A. Meyerowitz, Esq., is the director of FC&S Legal, the editor-in-chief of the Insurance Coverage Law Report, and the founder and president of Meyerowitz Communications Inc. Email him at email@example.com.