Thousands still waiting for insurance to pay months after pair of hurricanes

ORLANDO, Fla. — In the span of six weeks, Florida was hit with two hurricanes. Now months later, thousands of homeowners are still waiting for insurance to pay for damage.

According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, there are more than 3,000 claims from Hurricane Nicole still open without a payment. Meanwhile there are more than 47,000 claims from Hurricane Ian still open without a payment.


Paula Whipkey is one of those people.

“All of a sudden water just poured down his wall like a fountain,” Paula said. “I thought everything would be covered.”

Read: Florida Disaster Fund awards $100,000 to Osceola REDI for hurricane recovery

Paula had much of her roof torn off during Hurricane Ian, she also received flood damage. As a result her claim is still working through the process with her carrier only offering her $20,000 so far, not nearly enough to fix the roof or the damage to her home.

“I’ve worked so hard in my life to get something, and I have to start over like I am 20 years old, heck I have more years behind me than I do ahead of me,” Paula said.

Read: Gov. DeSantis announces additional $500 million in hurricane recovery funding

For many residents the options are limited. If a claim drags on they can pay to fix the damage out of their own pocket and wait for reimbursement, however, people like Paula are discovering they do not have the money to fix the damage and they cannot live in the home until it is fixed.

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.