Ian survivors finding solutions at Insurance Villages


FORT MYERS, Fla. – Throughout the week, insurance professionals set up shop at what they call “insurance towns” in Southwest Florida, designed specifically to help Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole victims.

Today, these experts wrapped up the week in Fort Myers at Florida Southwestern College.

This week alone, up to 16 carriers paid out nearly $4 million in hurricane-related claims at the event, according to the Florida Department of Consumer Services.

“The key is to get the insurance companies here so they can meet with people, make sure the companies know the expectations are to resolve claims,” ​​said Greg Thomas, State Director of Consumer Services. “They’re aware of our presence here and we talk to the consumers as they come in and out. We ask the consumers if they’ve had success and if they feel like they’re not having success, and if we see a trend, then we’ll we may have a discussion with that particular carrier.”

Fox 4 heard from a Fort Myers resident at the event today who got full coverage for her mother after more than two months and working with five different adjusters.

“Ten minute conversation, and now I have a full roof replacement for my mom,” says Michelle Way, choking up. “As a daughter with a mother who was stressed … it’s great.”

Way’s mother’s complex sustained roof and roof damage from the storm, and the Homeowners Association is requiring all roofs to be replaced. Almost in tears when she said it was a relief to be able to talk to someone face to face and actually get the coverage her mother needed.

“I can sleep tonight,” Way said with relief in her eyes. “It was a 10 minute conversation and now I have full roof replacement for my mom. As a daughter with a stressed mom, it’s great.”

Fox 4 also spoke with a Punta Gorda woman who didn’t know about the event until last night. After getting a call from her roofer, Donna Briles arrived today with documents in hand, husband by her side and her roofer ready to talk to suppliers about the cost of repairs.

Briles got full coverage from her frontline insurance today – now she’s just waiting for the check.

“All this time I was getting discouraged,” she said. “I told my neighbors I’d be dancing in the street tonight, so I guess I’ll have to do a dance.”

Tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of this opportunity. Vendors will be on campus at FSW, 8099 College Parkway, AA177, Ft. Myers, Florida, 33919, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m

Policyholders must bring as much documentation as they can, including:

  • A driving license or other form of identification (passport/state issued ID)
  • Insurance cards and insurance policy information/documentation
  • Photographs or documentation of the property claimed as a loss due to Hurricane Ian
  • Repair estimates
  • Any additional insurance-related information that is readily accessible.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to space limitations, the insurance village will focus solely on insurance-related issues and staff from other agencies will not be present to assist with other post-storm benefits. For more information visit www.FloridaDisaster.org.

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