Insurance moratorium leaves SWFL homeowners without policy options

Imagine not having home insurance as Hurricane Idalia’s impacts are being felt in Southwest Florida.

Hundreds of people have been scurrying to get home insurance, only to be told it’s too late after insurance companies enacted a moratorium.

Phones at McDaniel Insurance Solutions have been ringing off the hook with customers desperately trying to get home insurance.

“Now it’s too late. If that storm hits bad, we’re in big trouble,” said Paul Reitmeier.

His roof was damaged by Hurricane Ian and his insurer UPC went insolvent after Ian left him without insurance and the company did not pay for any of his damages.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: UPC Insurance cancels thousands of homeowner’s policies in Lee County

“We were very disappointed. All these years we’ve been with them and no claims and they got our money and they’re gone. Now we have no insurance,” Reitmeier said.

He said he’s been canceled twice by state-run Citizens Insurance in the last year because damages from Ian were not yet repaired.

“I’m concerned it (his roof) may have been weakened and these new winds may do some real damage and I hate to see that,” Reitmeier said.

He’s not alone. Reid McDaniel of McDaniel Insurance Solutions predicts many people are in the same boat.

“We’ve had people call and say they don’t have insurance or just got their roof repaired. Unfortunately there is not a lot we can do for those folks at this time,” McDaniel stated.

Insurance companies enacted a moratorium or freeze, and companies can’t sell any new policies.

“We can expect this one to last maybe a week just because of the way the hurricane is going to trail,” McDaniel predicted.

Anybody without home insurance is just holding their breath and hoping and praying for the best. 

The moratorium only impacts homeowners and renters insurance. It has no impact on any automobile insurance.

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