WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — After Hurricane Idalia blew through North Florida this week, insurance companies are now jumping into the spotlight.
And experts say the costs could affect everyone's insurance.
With cleanup and damage assessments underway, the price tag could be large.
"One put it at $9 billion for Idalia and another put it anywhere from $12 to $20 billion, a significant amount of money, nonetheless when compared to Hurricane Ian, which was in excess of $50 billion," Michael Barry with the Insurance Information Institute said.
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Those are the early estimates, and it could signal an outcome that was not originally feared in an already skittish insurance industry.
"When you look at the path of Idalia making landfall in Taylor County, [the storm hit] a relatively unpopulated part of the state. Florida has 20 million plus people," Barry said. "Had the storm hit Tampa-St. Pete, we'd be looking at completely different numbers, much higher loss figures."
The state's biggest insurer, state-run Citizens Insurance, also stands to have far fewer claims than Ian last year.
The state's notoriety for the most expensive insurance in the country has left many with few options.
"Citizens right now is kind of our canary in a coal mine," Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said. "Citizens has grown to about 1.2 million policies, but as of this week there is outside capital, outside insurance companies coming and said, 'You know what, I want to buy policies from Citizens to the tune of over 200,000.'"
Those companies and others, Patronis said, are largely waiting for this year's hurricane season to end.