TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Just 45 days after Hurricane Ian ripped Brenda Elze’s Valrico home apart, Tropical Storm Nicole was at her doorstep, bringing more rain and damage.
“There’s more moisture. There’s more mold,” Elze said. “Getting building materials is going to be even harder.”
Knowing the second storm was on the way, Elze hired a company this week to secure her home with tarps and wood to prevent more damage. She says she had to do this because her insurance claim for the hurricane is moving very slowly.
Contractors, however, were unable to secure the entire house from the elements.
“They said they didn’t have enough time,” she said. “They ran out of time.”
Elze is not alone. Thousands of Floridians are still in the middle of Ian claims and have now been hit again.
Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA, offered this advice on navigating new claims.
“I think you need to reach back out to your insurance provider and let them know, ‘hey, this storm is here,'” Jenkins said. “Just take plenty of photos. Chances are you already have photos from your first claim, and then you go out and take additional photos and video of the additional damage.”
The good news: while hurricane deductibles are significantly higher than traditional homeowner’s insurance deductibles, a second claim during the same season will not require a second deductible.
Insurance experts say homeowners also need not worry about being charged a surcharge next year because of two hurricane claims.