With thousands of insurance claims still open, Florida's CFO hosts insurance village

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The saying time heals all wounds may be true for some things... but not when it comes to settling an insurance claim.

Florida's CFO is hosting a two-day insurance village Friday and Saturday to help locals with their open insurance claims. (WJHG/WECP)

That's why Florida's Chief Financial Officer and Panama City native, Jimmy Patronis, is hosting a two-day insurance village.

Hurricane Michael may have been a year ago, but the Holley Center Lecture Hall at FSU PC was bustling with locals still working to finally settle their insurance claims on Friday.

Lynn Haven resident Teddy Lipham said he's been "Fighting with the insurance company since last January, back and forth on email, no communication at some times. So we're here today to try to remedy that."

The 29 insurance companies attending this event offer policy holders a unique chance to sit down face-to-face with insurance representatives.

"It helped considerably because now we can put a face with a name and this gentleman Mckenzie has said that he's taken over the claim as of today. So we know who he is and I know who his supervisor is now because she's here," said Lipham.

At the last insurance village held in August, nearly 400 people received a combined two and a half million dollars in insurance payments.

Larry Skipper Senior who also lives in Lynn Haven said, "They had structural engineers come out and take a look at my... one wall was not caused by the storm. However I got four walls and the other three they will do some work on some. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me but that's why we're fighting it."

According to the Office of Insurance Regulation, more than 17,000 Hurricane Michael claims remain open.

One of those belongs to Skipper.

He said, "The average person doesn't know this stuff and then you get on the phone with someone, they tell you 'well I'm sorry we can't help you because you didn't do this and you know you didn't know. I think they capitalize on what you don't know."

With a history of insurance hassles behind them, many of these people remain hopeful and excited about the possibility of closing the door on a year of obstacles that kept them from returning to normalcy.

The insurance village will take place again Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the FSU PC Holley Center Lecture Hall located at 4750 Collegiate Drive, Panama City, FL 32405.

Organizations in attendance are: American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida; ASI Preferred Insurance Corporation; Castle Key Indemnity Company; Castle Key Insurance Company; Citizens Property Insurance Corporation; Edison Insurance Company; Family Security Insurance Company; FedNat Insurance Company; First Protective Insurance Company; Florida Peninsula Insurance Company; Frontline Insurance Company; Gulfstream Property and Casualty Insurance Company; Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company; National Fire & Marine Insurance Company; Omega Insurance Company; People’s Trust Insurance Company; Progressive Property Insurance Company; Safe Harbor Insurance Company; Security First Insurance Company; St. Johns Insurance Company; State Farm Florida Insurance Company; Tower Hill Preferred Insurance Company; Tower Hill Prime Insurance Company; Tower Hill Select Insurance Company; Tower Hill Signature Insurance Company; United Property & Casualty Insurance Company; United Services Automobile Association; Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company; US Coastal Property & Casualty Insurance Company; the Department of Business and Professional Regulation; Legal Services of North Florida, Inc., and Florida Healthy Kids.

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