Ian recovery efforts begin in Florida and the Carolinas

By Adrienne Vogt and Joe Ruiz, CNN

Updated 4:41 p.m. ET, October 1, 2022
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8:53 a.m. ET, October 1, 2022

Biden pledges continued federal support for Florida, saying it could take "months, years to rebuild"

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Joe Biden speaks about the ongoing federal response efforts for Hurricane Ian at the White House on Friday, September 30.
President Joe Biden speaks about the ongoing federal response efforts for Hurricane Ian at the White House on Friday, September 30. (Susan Walsh/AP)

President Biden continued to pledge federal support for Florida as it deals with the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian — a storm he said was “likely to rank among the worst... in the nation's history.” 

“We're just beginning to see the scale of that destruction,” the President said Friday, in remarks at the White House. “It's going to take months, years to rebuild. And our hearts go out to all those folks whose lives have been absolutely devastated by the storm. America's heart is literally breaking.” 

Speaking directly to the people of Florida, Biden said, “We see what you're going through and we're with you. We're going to do everything we can for you.”

Biden claimed that the team of search and rescue experts pre-deployed in Florida at his direction is the largest in recent history.

On Thursday, Biden visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency's headquarters in Washington, DC, and announced that those in Florida without enough insurance will be provided individual assistance of $37,900 for home repairs and another $37,900 for loss of property, including “everything from automobile to a lost wedding ring.”

Biden also said that he intends to visit Florida and Puerto Rico, which continues to deal with devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona.

9:03 a.m. ET, October 1, 2022

Florida governor outlines plans for insurance payouts due to damage from Ian

From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks with the media during a press conference in St. Augustine, Florida on Friday September 30.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks with the media during a press conference in St. Augustine, Florida on Friday September 30. (WJXT)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday said the state plans to assist people who suffered damage to their homes after Hurricane Ian with insurance claims and called for them to be “paid very quickly so that people can get back on their feet.”

As part of Florida’s disaster recovery centers, the state will also set up “insurance villages” under the leadership of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis to assist with insurance claims, anticipating that there will be a lot of flood claims and wind claims, DeSantis said in Tallahassee during an update on hurricane recovery efforts.

The “insurance villages” are a site for Floridians to file their claims in-person with their carrier. The state’s preliminary site will have between 20 to 25 carriers in RVs to initially give out living expense funding, according to Patronis.

Florida homeowners had already been facing an expensive and difficult market for home insurance before Hurricane Ian hit the state, and damage from floodwaters is not covered by homeowners’ insurance. Such claims are filed with the National Flood Insurance Program, a federal insurer operated by FEMA.

“Make sure if you’re looking at claims on your property, you document that. Take photos, make sure you have it. We want you to be able to be made whole as quickly as possible,” DeSantis advised.

Patronis advised people who have suffered damage to their homes that the “first phone call” for people to make “needs be to your agent, your carrier, or to my office.”

On Thursday, he warned those impacted by Hurricane Ian to be cautious of insurance scammers.

8:55 a.m. ET, October 1, 2022

Hurricane Ian may have caused as much as $47 billion in insured losses, property analytics firm says

From CNN’s Chris Isidore 

A drone image shows debris amid damaged homes following the passage of Hurricane Ian, in Fort Myers Beach, Florida on Friday, September 30.
A drone image shows debris amid damaged homes following the passage of Hurricane Ian, in Fort Myers Beach, Florida on Friday, September 30. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Hurricane Ian may have caused as much as $47 billion in insured losses, according to an estimate from property analytics firm CoreLogic, which could make it the most expensive storm in the state's history.

That estimate is for insured losses, from both private insurance that typically covers wind damage, as well as water damage covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, which is run by FEMA. 

CoreLogic's range of loss estimates go from $22 billion and $32 billion for wind damage and an additional $6 billion to $15 billion in flood damage, so the low end of the combined estimate would be $28 billion, just above that $26.5 billion in losses caused by Hurricane Andrew, which hit South Florida in 1992.

But that estimate for losses due to Andrew, from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, represents the cost 30 years ago. Adjusted for inflation, the current cost of Andrew would be $55.7 billion. Even so, this would still put Ian as the state's second most expensive storm.