Hurricane Ian flood damage payouts near $800M

The National Flood Insurance Program has paid more than $793 million to people who sustained damage in Hurricane Ian, as the total continues to steadily increase, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Monday. 

The program has received about 44,700 flood claims from the Category 4 hurricane, which made landfall Sept. 28 in Southwest Florida and caused damage across the state. 

Last week, the program said it had paid out about $706 million. Residents who have mortgages on properties in designated flood zones are required to have flood insurance, which is mostly purchased through the federal program. But most Floridians don’t have flood insurance, exacerbating problems from the powerful Ian. 

Residential property insurance policies cover wind damage, but not flood damage.

Citizens’ policy count continues climbing

The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. added more than 3,500 policies last week, as homeowners continue to turn to it for coverage. 

Citizens had 1,132,701 policies as of Friday, up from 1,129,154 policies a week earlier and 1,121,114 policies two weeks earlier. Customers have poured into Citizens during the past two years as private insurers have dropped policies and raised rates because of financial losses. 

As a comparison, Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, had 532,788 policies on Nov. 30, 2020, and 741,420 policies on Nov. 30, 2021.