Hurricane Ian: One year later, resident still waits for relief

  • Insurance companies closed almost 200,000 claims without any payout
  • Lipaj filed a claim after his roof was destroyed
  • Original insurance company filed for bankruptcy, FIGA denied Lipaj's claim

NORTH PORT, Fla. (NewsNation) — It has been one year since Hurricane Ian destroyed parts of Florida’s west coast, and many are still waiting for financial relief to help them rebuild from the storm.

Insurance companies have closed nearly 200,000 claims without issuing payments, leaving many struggling to fix the damage caused by the storm.

The Category 5 hurricane brought flash floods and deadly high-speed winds to the Sunshine State, killing 149 people and causing catastrophic property damage.

Among those impacted by the storm and waiting for financial relief is North Port resident Craig Lipaj, who filed a claim after his roof was damaged during Ian.

Lipaj, who spent nearly 40 years as an insurance agent, received nothing in return. He told NewsNation he would not have imagined he would be here in the U.S. today without any assistance.

“My roof was pretty much destroyed,” Lipaj said. “It wasn’t able to be repaired.”

He explained his roof was not able to be repaired, and said no company in the state would even attempt to fix it. The only solution would be to completely replace it.

However, his insurance company went out of business and went bankrupt. It was turned over to the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA), which sent out engineers who ultimately said they couldn’t fix Lipaj’s roof.

Lipaj doesn’t know when his roof will be fixed but he says it’ll cost thousands, and that’s why he had insurance.

Right now, Lipaj is out over $20,000 for the work he’s done so far on the interior of the house, and that doesn’t include anything with the roof, which has been shrink-wrapped since February.

Hurricane Ian

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on NewsNation