TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — When just one Florida property insurance company went insolvent earlier this year, it left more than 20,500 people with their lives, up in the air.

Now the state—through the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association or FIGA—is left to clean up the mess.

Are they getting the tough job done? Investigator Mahsa Saeidi spoke with the man in charge.

FIGA has been very busy. They take over when an insurance company goes under.

Since 2019, nine insurance companies have become insolvent in Florida. United Property & Casualty Insurance Company or UPC had the most claims so it’s been the most challenging for FIGA.

Tampa Bay area mom Carolina Brinkley is expecting her third child in September, and is desperate to put the storm behind her. But Carolina says she doesn’t have time to enjoy this moment because she’s dealing with an open insurance claim.

Pictures show the damage to her property after Hurricane Ian. Now almost a year later, it’s still not fixed.

“It’s hard… it’s really hard and not knowing what the outcome is going to be, not knowing the financial burden, what it’s going to be,” said Carolina.

The St. Pete home was insured by UPC, which said the hurricane left “water damage” on the roof and ceiling. They also claimed the cost to fix it—approximately “$2,885.57″—was less than Carolina’s deductible.

A few months after they sent her the estimate, UPC was declared insolvent. To date, Carolina says she hasn’t gotten a cent.

“But it continues to grow you can see the crack line that’s continuing this way. we know there’s more damage than the eye can see,” she said.

“What makes UPC so different from the others, again, is the sheer size,” said Corey Neal, the Executive Director at FIGA.

The UPC insolvency has kept Mr. Neal busy. Since late February, FIGA has been left to investigate more than 20,500 UPC claims. Mr. Neal says close to a third have been closed.

“We’ve paid 45 million, but it’s starting to really pick up,” he said. “We’ve paid a lot of roofs.”

“We’re pretty knowledgeable in what things cost in every zip code in this state.”

He says FIGA will pay what’s owed on the policy but not a penny more. Why? Well, typically, Florida homeowners are the ones who pick up the tab when insurers fail. It’s called a FIGA assessment, and you’re already paying one.

“It’s very emotional, and we try really hard to show empathy and to help these people,” said Mr. Neal.

Carolina says she wants this resolved before her first daughter arrives.

“You pay for insurance in hopes that when something does happen like they cover you,” she said. “How do you pay for this and then it comes to the time when you need to use it and it’s like everybody disappears.”

Carolina says her FIGA case manager called her. The organization tells 8 On Your Side they’re going to immediately schedule an inspection and get a new estimate of the damages. Hopefully, that’ll allow them to settle this case for the right amount.

“Right now we’re sitting at 14,000 claims, we want to get down to 8,000 by the end of the year,” said Mr. Neal.

If you have a story or tip, email Mahsa at MSaeidi@WFLA.com