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State increases Irma insurance loss estimate

Pointing to “human error,” the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on Thursday increased its latest property-loss estimate from Hurricane Irma by more than $1.2 billion.

The new number is $8.6 billion from the September storm. When updating the number of claims reported by private insurance companies last Friday, the office had posted the estimated losses at $7.38 billion, a drop of more than $600 million from a February estimate.

Department spokeswoman Karen Kees, who called the number in the initial post a “human error,” noted that some information from private insurers had initially been placed in an incorrect column.

The state agency doesn’t release data by individual insurance companies, asserting protection of trade secrets.

Thursday’s update didn’t alter the overall statewide number of 924,439 claims that had been posted last Friday.

Insurance companies have closed 90.1 percent of residential claims but just 58.2 percent of commercial-property claims. Across the state, more than 20,000 claims had been filed in 15 different counties, topped by 120,921 in Miami-Dade, 77,434 in Collier, 77,039 in Broward, 73,314 in Lee and 71,572 in Orange.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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