State Rep. Holly Raschein is set to hold a Wednesday event aimed at helping constituents sort through insurance issues following Hurricane Irma.
While Hurricane Irma came and went more than a year ago, many South Floridians are still feeling the impact of the storm. Some in the Florida Keys are still rebuilding, while others are attempting to navigate the myriad insurance issues which arise in the aftermath of a storm.
On Wednesday, the Key Largo Republican will be joined by staff members of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to help Monroe County property holders who are Citizens policyholders with any insurance issues they may have.
“We found that with a lot of folks who are working through hurricane claims, specifically the Irma-related claims, having an opportunity to meet one-on-one with actual representatives from Citizens can make a world of difference,” said Kate DeLoach, a Raschein legislative aide.
While Wednesday’s event is targeted at Citizens policyholders, Raschein’s staff says her office is always responsive to questions from constituents about any insurance issues which arose out of the storm.
And residents of the Keys are still dealing with those issues 15 months after the Category 4 hurricane hit Florida.
According to an annual population survey conducted by the University of Florida, nearly 3,000 people left the Keys between 2017 and 2018. Suicides in Monroe County have spiked. The tourism industry is still recovering.
According to FOIR data, nearly 10 percent of insurance claims in Monroe County remain open, with that number nearing 20 percent in Miami-Dade County.
So while the impact of Hurricane Michael may have knocked Irma out of the minds of many Floridians, those in the Keys are still dealing with its effects.
“We’re in the really hard part of the recovery now, which is getting through some of these claims and the longer road to rebuilding some of the homes that we lost,” DeLoach said.
“It’s going well, but we’ve definitely got to keep working at it. And things like this, I think, provide a really great opportunity for folks to meet with representatives in person, face-to-face, who can help navigate through some of these issues.”
Residents of House District 120 who own insurance through Citizens are invited to attend the event at the Big Pine Key Salvation Army building. Staff members from the insurance company are scheduled to be on hand from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Those looking to meet one-on-one with a representative are encouraged to call Raschein’s office beforehand to schedule an appointment. Her office number is (305) 453-1202.