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Can You Reopen a Closed Insurance Claim from Hurricane Ian in 2024?

Hurricane Ian caused devastation all across Southwest and into Central Florida in September of 2022. In the days and months that followed, many Florida property owners quickly got their insurance claims filed to recover from the damage. Despite their prompt action, some still saw their claims either significantly underpaid or denied altogether. Others got their claims paid quickly for the damages that were discovered at the time, but later down the road they discovered additional damage caused by hurricane Ian.

Can I reopen my Hurricane Ian insurance claim or file a supplemental claim due to newly discovered damage?

Yes, but it depends on your insurance policy. Recent changes to Florida law have greatly narrowed the time period homeowners have to file a initial claim or a supplemental claim, but as of writing this article on April 9, 2024, many property owners still have the ability to file an initial claim or submit a supplemental claim.

What does the law say?

Florida Statute 627.70132, titled Notice of Windstorm or Hurricane Claim, updated in 2023, outlines flatly when a property owner is allowed to file a new claim, reopen a claim, or submit a supplemental claim:

“A claim or reopened claim, but not a supplemental claim, under an insurance policy that provides property insurance, as defined in s. 624.604, including a property insurance policy issued by an eligible surplus lines insurer, for loss or damage caused by any peril is barred unless notice of the claim was given to the insurer in accordance with the terms of the policy within 1 year after the date of loss. A supplemental claim is barred unless notice of the supplemental claim was given to the insurer in accordance with the terms of the policy within 18 months after the date of loss.” 

As you can see, the terms “supplemental claim” and “reopened claim” are both covered in the statute. They refer to any additional claim related to losses from the same hurricane or major weather storm that the insurance company has already adjusted on. 

However, this is not the end of things. Florida law’s related to property insurance have changed several times since 2021. This is important because the deadlines that are relevant to your ability to make a new, reopen, or file a supplemental claim depend on when the insurance policy that was in place at the time Hurricane Ian hit (September 28th, 2022) is what determines whether the latest deadlines apply to you, or if you are protected by the more generous rules that were previously in place.

So how do I know if I can file a new claim, reopen a claim, or file a supplemental claim?

To help property owners better understand whether they can still file a claim, we have made this awesome chart that will let you know at a glance if you are still able to file a property damage claim due to damage from Hurricane Ian.

As you can see in the graphic, homeowners whose policy began between 7/1/21 and 12/15/22, which includes the vast majority of homeowners that may have had damage from Hurricane Ian, have until 12/28/24 to file an initial property damage claim, or to reopen an existing one. They also have until 12/28/25 to submit any supplemental claims for newly discovered damage from Ian, as long as they filed an initial claim within the appropriate time period.

For the small minority of homeowners who bought new insurance policies in the days leading up to Hurricane Ian, after 12/16/22, a different set of deadlines will apply. Because this small group of homeowners would be covered by the revised notice deadlines after the law changed, they are no longer able to file a new claim, reopen an existing claim, nor are they able to file any claims for supplemental damages at this time or any time in the future.

Moving forward, all Florida policyholders are governed by the new, shorter deadline periods. With only one year to file an initial claim, and only 18 months to file a supplemental claim, it is more important than ever to get your property inspected after any storm or hurricane passes over your property.

A quick word on commercial properties

When dealing with any claims related to commercial property damage it is important to remember that almost all policies carry a duty to promptly report any loss. That means you must declare any damages you find as quickly as possible. 

If you are trying to sort out whether you can file a new Hurricane Ian property claim, contact Tighe PA at 855-567-7776. We have recovered tens of millions in damages for our clients and our experienced team is happy to help walk you step-by-step through what can sometimes be an intricate claims process. 

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