TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s insurance companies have rejected tens of thousands of claims in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

New data shows that three out of ten claims have been closed without payment. So, are homeowners getting a fair shake? 8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi is looking into it.

Packing 150 mph winds and 15-foot tidal surges, Hurricane Ian rocked Florida’s already fragile property insurance market.

Now, nine months later, the state’s top insurance chief, Commissioner Michael Yaworsky has released new claims data online. It shows insurance companies have closed the majority of claims—nearly 86%.

From that batch, three out of ten claims, or nearly 200,000 claims have been closed without payment. Translation: Floridians didn’t get a cent.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is in charge of policing insurers. Commissioner Yaworsky has declined interviews, but in a statement, his office told us they’re “still in the process of reviewing this data.”

They said in many cases, insurance companies report that there was no damage or it was below the deductible.

David Murray is an attorney who fights insurance companies in court.

“Three out of every 10 claims they’re saying there was no coverage or it didn’t exceed the insurance deductible. I don’t believe that’s true. That’s not where we’re seeing,” Murray told 8 On Your Side.

His advice for unsatisfied homeowners?

 “They have the right to reopen their claim or to make a supplemental claim,” he said.

But it might be a waste of your time, according to long-time insurance broker Ronald R. Assise.

“The storm surge was astronomical.”

A standard homeowners policy covers wind damage or water coming from the ceiling down. It does not cover flood damage, or water rising from the ground up.

“Most of those that we know of that were closed without pay were closed based on the fact that they were homeowners’ claims and a homeowners policy does not cover flood,” Assise said.

So, if you do want to reopen a claim, you should do that sooner rather than later. Murray said there is a time limit.

If you’re not happy with your insurance company, make sure to file a complaint with the state.

Commissioner Yaworsky’s office says when they’re evaluating companies, they look at claims data, along with complaint data.

Here’s the full statement from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation:

Claims can be closed for many reasons and as such, for the most recent Hurricane Ian claims reporting period, OIR required insurers to report reasons claims were closed without payment. The top reasons claims were closed without payment as reported by insurers includes: damage below deductible, denial of coverage, claim withdraw by insured, and no damage. I’d like to note, OIR is still in the process of reviewing this data and we have not audited or independently verified the reported data.

OIR uses catastrophe claims reporting to determine the impact of Hurricane Ian on Florida’s insurance industry. OIR also uses claims data, in coordination with complaint data, to evaluate insurers and determine the need for targeted market conduct examinations. As you’re aware, following Hurricane Ian, OIR issued numerous data calls to track market impacts and initiated more than 50 market conduction investigations to evaluate aspects of the claims handling process.

For the most recent Hurricane Ian claims data reported by insurers, OIR is continuing to analyze the data and will initiate additional targeted market conduct examinations for Hurricane Ian, if necessary. Based on the findings of an examination or investigation, OIR’s market regulation units may take administrative action, impose administrative penalties, and require corrective action in order to protect insurance consumers from unlawful or harmful business practices.

I’d also like to note, Senate Bill 7052 enacted several consumer protections intended to support Florida’s policyholders following a disaster and strengthened OIR’s regulatory authority. As OIR works to implement this legislation, we remain committed to utilizing the full extent of our regulatory authority to ensure policyholders are protected. Additional information regarding this legislation is available here.”

If you’d like to share your experience with Mahsa, send her an email at MSaeidi@WFLA.com