|Date:||May 06, 2019|
PANAMA CITY, Fla. - With another storm season only a month away, victims from Hurricane Michael are racing to rebuild their properties.
In an effort to speed up the connection with insurance companies officials are trying to make it easier.
Seven months since Hurricane Michael hit Panama City and Bay County, thousands of home and business owners are still unable to get through to their insurance agency, but the Department of Financial Services has now created a new way to bring companies to customers.
Even after all this time, many locals can still recall the fear and damage Hurricane Michael left.
"Water came up and went out," George Goodman told us. "I had to have the carpet and flooring replaced and half the walls tore out."
Now the second wave of headache begins for those trying to file insurance claims and see what's covered.
"Instead of working on productive work now I have to chase down the insurance and the contractors," Lixiong Li said. "And get the estimate to try and repair the home."
According to the Department of Financial Services in the Bay County area, there are still over 18,000 claims related to Hurricane Michael, so they developed what they call an insurance village for agents and customers to meet in person.
"It's pretty significant for us to be able to assist those insurance consumers and also assist the insurance companies," Director Tash Carter said. "For us to make sure they have all the information they need in order to be able to make these consumers hold as quickly as possible."
How it works is people can sit down and one on one speak to their insurance company about their claim status or show pictures of their home or business damage moving them closer to receiving payment.
"We had one consumer here who spoke with her company and walked out with a $14,000 check in hand," Carter continued.
"Back porch was denied and after further review, they passed it through," Goodman said.
If you couldn't make it on Monday the event will continue Tuesday from 9:00 A.M.-6:00 P.M. at Gulf Coast State College in the East Student Union Building.