After 8 On Your Side story, work begins on couple’s home

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – The day after an 8 On Your Investigation questioned why an insurance company left a Clearwater couple in a damaged home for seven months, the company swung into action.

Workers from Rapid Response, the contractor for People’s Trust, arrived early Friday to clean up debris and pressure wash the house. Painting is scheduled to start Saturday.

“I can’t believe how quickly things are happening,” homeowner Ivonne Royal said. “I am so glad I called you guys.”

The couple has dealing with this ordeal since Sept. 8, when the driver of a truck swerved to miss a dog and cat and lost control. He barreled through the Royals’ living room. They were left with a big hole in their home – and no front window. or door.

Work on the couple’s home didn’t begin at all until February. Then, for weeks, nothing happened.

The day after our 8 On Your Side story, everything changed.

“It’s more than I expected and more than I needed. I just wanted my house fixed,” Royal said.

The Royals are thankful they turned to 8 On Your Side.

A representative with People’s Trust sent this statement:

“Our top priority is always to help our policyholders get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible, and in the vast majority of cases the restoration process can be completed in a relatively short period of time. We recognize how stressful it is anytime a homeowner’s house is damaged, let alone in such a unique and extreme circumstance as this.

However, this was a very unusual and complex situation involving structural damage to the home that required engineering studies, multiple inspections and obtaining permits. We regret the delays they have experienced during the process, but we are confident the repairs will be properly completed and this homeowner will soon be restored to normalcy.”

The company cites delays in permitting and engineering approvals. A representative said the windows have been ordered and as soon as they are in, major work will resume. A completion date is expected for May 9, but the hope is to finish the home sooner.

Painting is expected to begin Saturday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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