PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- You lost food. You lost money. Your home may have had some damage, but not enough to meet your insurance deductible. Sound familiar? Tampa Bay insurance agents tell ABC Action News in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, they received hundreds of calls from people with damage from the storm, but not enough to get money from their insurance company.
Marilyn Bartolo knows that struggle well. The Lealman homeowner had a portion of her roof leak and cave in during Hurricane Irma. She contacted her insurance agency but was told they couldn’t fix the issue because she may have had missing roof shingles before the storm hit. FEMA also couldn’t help, denying her claim because they insisted the insurance company should pay for damages. It wasn’t until a non-profit organization stepped in, after months of collecting rainwater in buckets, that she finally got the damages fixed.
Now, new insurance coverage has emerged in Florida that reimburses out-of-pocket expenses not covered by traditional insurance. It’s called StormPeace, and it promises to wire money to policyholders' bank accounts within 72 hours after storms with no inspections, no adjusters, and no deductible. Then, customers have 45 days to submit proof of receipts, contractor estimates, etc. The stronger and closer the hurricane is to your home, the higher the payment is to customers.
The policy covers food spoilage, generators, gas, damaged fencing, downed trees, flood damage from storm surge, damaged carports, and evacuation expenses.
Following Hurricane Irma, nearly a third, 297,000 of 924,400, insurance claims were closed with no payment. One of the biggest reasons: The repairs were less than a homeowner’s deductible.
StormPeace could revolutionize the hurricane insurance industry in Florida according to St. Pete insurance agent Jeff DeNight.
Homeowners can purchase anything from $1,000 in coverage to $60,000.