Florida insurance commissioner emergency order allows homeowners more time to file Irma claims

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Thanks to an emergency order issued by the Florida Insurance Commissioner, homeowners dealing with damage from Hurricane Irma now have more time to file a claim.

The order gives property owners more time to assess the extent of damage and decide if it is severe enough to warrant filing a claim.

Property owners still can’t wait to make temporary repairs, though.

At Donna Hanshew’s Altamonte Springs home, half the roof is covered by a tarp secured by sandbags.

“It looks pretty bad,” she said. “I have pictures of it. It’s down to the wood.”

She filed an insurance claim, but so far she has not seen an adjustor or contractor and afternoon rains are threatening to cause more damage.

Because the damage is so widespread, it could take time for an adjustor to get to a property, insurance expert Shawna Andrews said.

“I would say three to four days before you get an adjustor out there,” she said. “It is handled by the severity of the claim and what these people need.”

The recent emergency order gives homeowners 180 days to supply their information to their insurance companies.

Normally, they would only have 90 days.

Getting a professional tarp installed to keep out the rain should be covered by insurance, Andrews said.

Even moving furniture into a storage unit to avoid damage should be covered too, she said.

“Anytime that you need temporary assistance with repairs, or to preserve your furniture, yes, that will be covered,” she said.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.