The Trusted Choice Relief Fund is available to provide financial assistance to insurance industry personnel impacted by Hurricane Ian.
Hurricane Ian made landfall on the southwestern coast of Florida, and the Trusted Choice® Relief Fund is accepting donations and grant applications to support those dealing with its aftermath.
Crashing ashore as a Category 4 hurricane with torrential rain and winds of up to 150 miles per hour, Hurricane Ian was on the precipice of being categorized as a Category 5 hurricane. While the storm is expected to weaken today and through to the weekend, residents in central Florida could still experience hurricane-force winds.
The most damaging winds hit a rapidly developing coastline where the population has jumped sevenfold since 1970, according to the U.S. Census. At least 2.5 million people in Florida were ordered to evacuate while 2 million homes and businesses were without power.
The Trusted Choice Relief Fund is available to provide financial assistance to insurance industry personnel impacted by Hurricane Ian. If you would like to help your fellow agents who may have been impacted by Hurricane Ian, you can make a donation to the Trusted Choice Relief Fund. Or, to apply for funding, view the fund guidelines and download the Relief Fund application.
“As this hurricane cuts a path of destruction across Florida, our thoughts and prayers are with our agents and brokers, their staff members, families and clients who will be affected by the devastation," says John Costello, Big “I" chairman and vice president and construction practice member at USI Insurance Services in Rochester, New York. “We stand ready to help financially through our fund so that we can support our members as they are working hard to help their customers through their greatest time of need."
Funds provide Big “I" state associations and member agencies and brokers with financial support for immediate or ongoing needs when other resources are not available, filling the gap until other funding sources become accessible. The fund also provides insurance agents with supplies and resources to aid victims and surviving family members in their communities.
Established by the IIAA Educational Foundation in 2007 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity, the fund distributes cash grants to victims and surviving family members of natural disasters. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
In an already troubled insurance market, the hurricane could have long-lasting effects beyond the enormous physical property losses. However, the Big “I" will continue to support consumers, agents and the wider insurance community.
“The weeks and months ahead will undoubtedly create huge implications for Florida's already challenging insurance market," says Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I" president & CEO. “We look forward to working with many industry stakeholders, including carriers, the Florida Association of Insurance Agents—our Big 'I' state association—and others to help our agents address the insurance needs that Florida consumers and businesses will have in the future."
“The Florida Association of Insurance Agents will have the Trusted Choice relief team and van throughout Southwest Florida assisting our agents and their clients with the resources they desperately need, and our national association will be coordinating closely with them to provide the necessary resources," he added.
Hurricane Ian is one of the most ferocious hurricanes to make landfall on the U.S. mainland. Hurricane Michael came ashore in Florida's panhandle in 2018 with steady winds of 155 mph, while Hurricane Ida landed in Louisiana with winds of 150 mph last year.
Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.