SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — More than a year after Hurricane Irma, homeowners across Central Florida continue to deal with damage still left behind. But one homeowner is blaming her insurance company for delaying repairs to her home.
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Tammy Chewning says Hurricane Irma hit her house hard. Trees fell on her home.
“The whole house shook. The impact was scarier than I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” said Chewning.
She says her roof and much of her home remains in bad shape, and she’s had to replace the blue tarps on her home a dozen times in the last year.
Chewning says her insurance company has offered her $60,000 to fix the damage. But she says she had an independent appraiser look at her home, and that appraiser said it would take nearly $90,000 to fix all the damage.
“I’ve gone through three general contractors who’ve come out and looked at the house, and they can’t do anything with it with the amount the insurance company has given me to put towards it,” she said. “It’s basically a joke.”
Chewning says she got a notice from the City of Casselberry that notified her she’s in violation of city codes and could face up to a $250 daily fine if she doesn’t get the damage fixed.
A spokesperson for the City of Casselberry says Chewning hasn’t called the city, but if she does they would be willing to work with her on a long-term solution.
The city spokesperson says even if Chewning didn’t come into compliance, it would be February 2019 before her case would be sent to a Magistrate for consideration, and that the city can delay compliance deadlines to give homeowners time to come into compliance if they show they are trying.
Chewning’s insurance company says it has paid Chewning nearly $70,000, and that the claim is still open, and any other amounts paid will be based on appraisal.
She says walking away from her home isn’t an option. She says it’s been in her family for decades. She says her grandmother gave her the home before she died in 2014.
“She wanted to make sure I was okay, that I was safe and had a home, that I could save money and be okay – and prepare me for the future,” Chewning said.
She says she wants to get her life back to some semblance of normal, and she wants to keep a promise she made to her grandmother.
“I promised here I would protect and take care of it, and that’s exactly what I’m doing,” Chewning said.