Retired NASA contractor Joe Harris and his wife have lived in Merritt Island for six decades and off the Indian River for the past eight years.
Residents on Sanibel Island, a small coastal community outside Fort Myers, suffered a direct hit. A lack of insurance could prove life-altering for them and many other Floridians.
Hurricane Ian could cripple Florida's already-fragile homeowners insurance market. Experts say a major storm like Ian could push some of those insurance companies into insolvency, making it harder for people to collect on claims.
Major hurricane Ian’s impacts and losses are set to add to the capital pressure experienced by Floridian primary insurers and even the state’s new $2 billion Reinsurance to Assist Policyholders program is unlikely to make insurers whole again, given they now lack private reinsurance protection.
Hurricane Ian continued to churn through central Florida Thursday morning, leaving widespread flooding and wind damage in its wake. It was too early to know the extent of property insurance claims from the storm, although a few analysts and officials offered some preliminary estimates.
Hurricane Ian certainly will cause billions of dollars in property damage amid a crisis in Florida’s insurance market that features withdrawal or closure of carriers and a tightening in the availability of reinsurance — that is, insurance for insurers.
The Florida Senate approved a take-no-prisoners tort-reform bill Thursday and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it into law Friday.