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As insurance claims are paid out after Ian, homeowners complain of underpayment

State records show 474,087 home owners insurance claims have been filed in Florida since Hurricane Ian.
Durso Home
Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-02 05:18:42-05

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — John Durso, Jr. had hoped to move into his new Port Charlotte home last fall.

Durso, who has been confined to a wheelchair for the last three decades, planned to live in the home with his sister and his 92-year-old Korean War veteran father.

“We need this house so that my father has my sister,” said Durso.

But Hurricane Ian had other plans when it slammed into southwest Florida and ripped off part of Durso’s roof.

The house is down to the studs.

A tarp remains on the roof, while the fence in the backyard is heavily damaged.

“You can see the wood all rotted out and the mildew because there was water,” said Durso as he gives Fox 4 Investigates a tour of his home.

Durso says multiple contractors have told him it will take more than $200,000 to repair the home and bring it up to code.

The check from his insurance was about half of that, $111,000.

“I cannot fix this house for $111,000. I talked to contractors,” said Durso.

Last month, Fox 4 Investigates highlighted the concern of insurance experts like Gina Clausen Lozier, a leading attorney in the field, about people being underpaid by their insurance providers.

“We’re seeing underpayments. Going out and issuing payments for the undisputed (claims) but not necessarily for the full damages at this point,” Lozier said.

Lozier says if you feel you’ve been underpaid by your insurance company, you can appeal to the provider, you can file a complaint with state regulators or you can sue your insurance provider.

“It’s just very frustrating,” Durso said. “I haven’t slept. I haven’t eaten. I’m a nervous wreck.”

State records show 474,087 homeowners insurance claims have been filed in Florida since Hurricane Ian.

Less than half of those have been paid out.

But it’s not clear how many that have been paid were paid in full.

“I’m being left high and dry,” Durso said. “I don’t know what else to do.”

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