Panama City officials approve a $73 million insurance settlement
News Herald (Panama City, FL)
PANAMA CITY — Commissioners have approved a $73 million settlement with Florida Municipal Insurance Trust for damage to more than 200 city-owned buildings caused by Hurricane Michael.
In 2018, the city had almost 250 insured assets that were damaged by Hurricane Michael, but still has about 200 insurance claims that have not been resolved.
City officials already have received $43 million from FMIT through repairs provided by contractors and cash payments. The final $30 million will complete the settlement, allowing the city to continue rebuilding.
Mayor Greg Brudnicki said the city was well-insured and it was a question of what damage city officials could document after Michael's destruction.
"A tremendous amount of work goes into proving how much damage was caused by the storm. ... In the church, somebody's gotta be careful that we maintain those assets to a certain level prior to the storm so that they're not paying for something that they shouldn't be paying for," Brudnicki said. "So, it's just the same thing that homeowners went through and other commercial businesses go through. We went through it the same way, except we had a lot of buildings."
City officials will begin receiving payments 30 days after the formal release is signed.
Brudnicki said he believes they came up with a great settlement.
"Now we can go ahead and move on. We've received some of the funding already, a lot of buildings that they were responsible for ... (are) getting fixed," Brudnicki said. "And now, we had to get the rest settled. I guess, there was some 30 to 40 million dollars that still had to come in. Now we've got it settled, we can move on. We know what we're going to get and we'll spend the money wisely."