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Kansas City call center helps hurricane victims in Puerto Rico

Posted at 6:52 PM, Nov 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-03 19:52:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As cellphone service is restored in Puerto Rico, more people are calling the Puerto Rico Insurance Commission for help.

Overflow calls are routed to a call center at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners headquarters in downtown Kansas City.

Dennise Perez is taking calls in the KC office. Her home in Puerto Rico was also damaged in Hurricane Maria. 

When the hurricane hit, Perez was in her home with her family. She called the strong winds a monster that ripped Puerto Rico apart. 

Communications systems, electricity, and water systems were severely damaged. Perez's home was flooded and the roof was ripped off. 

She works for the Puerto Rico Insurance Commissioner's office, and she and her family were flown to Kansas City so she could handle overflow insurance calls from Puerto Rico.

"The call center is helping Puerto Rico recover, and that is very important," said Perez.

She handles about 10 calls a day and is able to provide compassion and understanding along with information people need to get emergency assistance checks, begin the process of filing claims to get their homes and cars repaired, and pay for their medical care. 

It's a job she cherishes.

"Because it's my people, my Puerto Rican people," she said beaming with pride. 

Perez, her husband and two children will return to Puerto Rico on Saturday to begin the long process of restoring their own home.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is also helping insurance adjusters who want to be certified to go to Puerto Rico, respond to claims, and inspect the damage. Click on this link for more information.

NAIC is also currently assisting with two call centers in Texas following recent hurricanes.