2022 Hurricane Ian – Insurance Claim and Recovery Help

If your home or business has been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ian, United Policyholders’ Roadmap to Recovery® program will help guide you in valuing and documenting your loss, understanding insurance rules, settling your insurance claims fairly, and finding qualified professional, charitable, and government help. United Policyholders is non-profit and has 31 years of experience helping individuals and communities hit by disasters.  We’re rooting for you and here to help.  No strings attached.

May 2024 Update:

Hurricane and Insurance Recovery Open Office Hours

Location: Cooper Street Recreation Center, 650 Mary St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Time: 3-6 p.m. Eastern Time

Dates: 5/24, 6/7, 6/21, 7/12

April 2024 Update:

The online application portal and submission of new applications online or in-person for the LeeCares Hurricane Ian Housing Recovery Program will conclude at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 15. Funding for the LeeCares housing program comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery allocation to Lee County to address the disaster recovery needs of residents affected by the hurricane.

Programs for which individuals now can apply:

  • The Housing Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Elevation program may assist income-eligible property owners to repair, replace and/or elevate property that suffered hurricane damage.
  • The Home Purchase Assistance may assist income-eligible home buyers to purchase a qualifying primary residence outside of the flood zone in Lee County.

To view a full list of eligibility requirements and documents needed to apply, visit www.leeflcares.com.

Questions can be emailed to leecares@leegov.com. Individuals also can call 239-382-5453.

January 2024 update for Lee County

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funding to Lee County, Florida to address the disaster recovery needs of residents impacted by Hurricane Ian in 2022.

Funding is available to eligible residents through one of three programs:

  1. Housing Rehabilitation, Reconstructions and Elevation (HRRE): helps property owners repair, reconstruct, and/or elevate property that suffered hurricane damage.

  2. Housing Purchase Assistance (HPA): supports low- to moderate-income homebuyers with soft second mortgages covering various costs for buying homes outside the Special Flood Hazard Area.

  3. Voluntary Residential Aquisition (VRA): provides homeowners with hurricane-damaged homes with repetitive loss funding to relocate to safer areas outside of the floodplain.

The LeeCares Individual Housing Recovery Assistance programs applications will open on February 1, 2024. To view a full list of eligibility requirements and documents needed to apply, visit www.leeflcares.com. Questions can be emailed to leecares@leegov.com. At noon on Feb. 1 when the portal opens, individuals also can call 239-382-5453.

June 2023 update for Sarasota County
If you were impacted by Hurricane Ian, reside in Sarasota County, and feel you need assistance with your recovery, please contact United Way of Sarasota at 941-484-4811.

If your rental, home or business was insured for flood damage, there are some differences in how a flood versus a home insurance claim gets adjusted and settled, but many similarities. Wind damage will be covered under your homeowner’s policy, while flood damage caused by storm surge should be covered under your flood policy.

Key Tips

  • Take photos of the damage BEFORE clean-up, disposal or repairs.  Photo document all damage.  Start a list so you can get realistic estimates of  costs to repair or replace your property.
  • Keep a daily journal where you jot down contact info and notes on conversations with insurance, repair, government, and other professionals.
  • Focus on drying/cleaning out, avoiding further damage, while getting all damage inspected, measured, and estimated by qualified, reputable, and independent experts.
  • Flood insurance policies have different rules than home insurance policies.
  • Start working on a detailed and itemized “proof of loss” form but don’t rush and leave things out.
  • Give your home and/or flood insurer a chance to do the right thing, but advocate for yourself and be prepared to get help if you’re not being treated fairly.
  • Free government help is available through the Division of Consumers Services,  FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program. Florida also has an Office of Insurance Regulation, but consumer requests for assistance are handled by DFS.  NOTE:  DFS and the NFIP are under-staffed and overwhelmed, so get educatedspeak UP” and do your best to resolve problems directly with your insurer before you contact them for help.
  • Professional help with your individual claim is available through experienced, licensed public adjusters and attorneys and estimators that support and volunteer with United Policyholders.
  • You may have damage that’s covered by both your homeowners and flood policies. Please visit our State-by-State library and select your state to find additional resources.
  • If a home or flood insurance adjuster says damage isn’t covered, but you feel it should be, get an independent professional opinion before giving up on getting some or all of your claim paid.
  • Speak “UP” (politely push for fair treatment)  If you’re getting the runaround, TELL YOUR STORY!

Check your home and wind policies for special deductibles or coverages related to Hurricane damage. You’ll find lots of information in our library, tips, videos and tools.  Every type of insurance policy contains a deadline for submitting your proof of your loss and claim.  NFIP flood policies usually require a complete proof of loss to be submitted within 60 days of the storm, but FEMA has extended that to 365 days for Hurricane Ian claims.

If your home is damaged or destroyed, our guidance on insurance, clean up and professional claim, construction and legal services will help you get started on the road to recovery and make good decisions or repairing or rebuilding or replacing your home.