Homeowners urged to seek legal help after being denied insurance payouts following Ian

Article Courtesy of Channel 2 NBC

By Dave Elias

Published May 25, 2023


Many homeowners who were victims of Hurricane Ian say they’ve been left empty-handed after their insurance companies refused to pay them for damages to their homes.

Dozens of people have sought an attorney, but many of them are on the brink of giving up.

It’s been nearly eight months after Ian, and Monica Schmucker, an insurance attorney herself, as well as dozens of other people who live in the Fort Myers Beach area feel as though they have been left hanging by their insurance company.

They haven’t received anything and say they have no option, but to sue their carrier.

“When we stepped out we really couldn’t do much walking. It was a big debris field,” Schmucker said.

She is recalling seeing her home after Ian tore apart her entire neighborhood.


“It just looked like a bunch of lost zombies, right? Everybody was walking. It looked aimless and shocked. Nobody knew what to do or what to say or where to start,” she recalled.

Schmucker started by calling her insurance company to file a claim.

“I did have insurance, but that was a whole other nightmare,” she said.

That is because eight months later, she still has not had a payout.

“It’s an extremely difficult thing to have to deal with on top of losing everything,” Schmucker said.

She is one of many who has an attorney working on her claim.

Peter Kamm is an attorney with Henderson Franklin in Fort Myers and said he currently has 75 families he is currently representing.

“We’re only handling claims where people have a denial from their insurance company or a very low offer on a catastrophic loss,” Kamm stated.

According to state data from March, there are nearly 110,000 claims that remain open.

“A lot of these carriers are saying that your damage was primarily flood or all flood,” Kamm said.

Doug Quinis the Executive Director of the non-profit American Policyholder Association and said companies are saving millions by not paying out.

“Do not quit advocating! You have to fight. What is happening is unjust and I’ll say it’s un-American because these are people at their most vulnerable times,” Quinn said.

The best advice according to the experts is, if you’ve been left hanging by your insurance company, you may want to consult an attorney to get help.