If you're dreading the next few months of hurricane season, you're not alone. Hurricane Matthew last year was a wake-up call for a lot of Floridians. For years we went without a powerful hurricane in our state, which lulled a lot of home owners into a false sense of security. Some home owners neglected their insurance policies as a result, which had ruinous financial consequences for some after the storm passed.
For years, Florida residents enjoyed summer after summer of hurricane-free weather. That was until Hurricane Matthew broke the cycle in 2016. While many thought they were covered, some discovered far too late that their coverage wasn't enough.
Based on a 2014 study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), the Insurance Information Institute estimates that 1 in 8 drivers are uninsured in the United States. In Florida alone, the IRC estimates that Florida has some 3.2 million uninsured drivers, which places us as one of the top five states across the nation.
Since its establishment in 1972, most drivers in Florida have been able to turn to their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to collect up to $10,000 (on a typical policy) to cover medical costs and lost wages caused by a crash. That was until 2012 when the law was reformed by House Bill 119 (HB 119) in an attempt to cut down on fraud.
Even though Hurricane Matthew has been downgrade to a category 3 hurricane, the storm is still expected to cause considerable damage all along Florida's east coast. With winds expected to reach 120 mph and a storm surge that has already caused flooding in northeast Florida, says one Weather Channel article, it's already starting to look bad for home and business owners in our state.