On The Circle: Delaware Department of Insurance opens Sussex County location

GEORGETOWN – A snip of the ribbon Friday morning made it official: Delaware’s Department of Insurance is open for business in the county-seat heart of Sussex County.

Before a huge gathering that included many elected officials, Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro officially opened the office located at 28 The Circle, Suite 1, Georgetown.

Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro cuts the ribbon at Friday’s opening of the Department of Insurance’s new Sussex County office location on The Circle in Georgetown. Pictured in the ceremony, front from left: State Sen. Ernie Lopez, Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, Commissioner Navarro, Rep. Ruth Briggs King, Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long and House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf; back from left, Georgetown Mayor Bill West, Rep. Harvey Kenton, Rep. Dave Wilson and Rep. Danny Short.

The location offers consumers in Sussex County the ability to meet with department staff in Georgetown. It will be staffed by two full-time employees.

“The Department of Insurance has offices in Kent and New Castle County. Sussex County Residents had to travel an hour or more to have their insurance issues addressed,” Commissioner Navarro said. “Now, within approximately 30 minutes or less they can be helped in our Georgetown office.”

House Bill 77 addressed the issue of citizen accessibility to be able to speak with department personnel locally by opening a Department of Insurance office in Sussex County. It allows greater accessibility to service the needs of one of the state’s fastest growing populations.

“Almost two thirds of walk-in visitors to our Kent County office are from Sussex County and the majority of them are seniors,” Commissioner Navarro said.  “I’m excited that we are now able to help them closer to their home.”

“It is so much nicer to have a place to go, close to home, a face to meet and greet you,” said Delaware Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, among the officials on hand for the ceremony and office tours. “Also for our business community I know that it is equally important for you to have a place to visit.”

House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf and State Representatives Ruth Briggs King and Bryon Short and Senators Brian Bushweller and Brian Pettyjohn sponsored HB 77.

When approached with the proposed bill, Sen Pettyjohn first questioned the cost.

“The real key about this bill was not only did it authorize the insurance commissioner’s office to be here in Georgetown, but it also allowed the commissioner’s office to move out of the city of Dover into space that was less expensive. It is great to have these services here in Georgetown,” said Sen. Pettyjohn, who recognized local businessman Ken Adams, who purchased The Circle property. “Kenny, thank you so much for transforming this building.”

“This was an investment for the state,” said Rep. Briggs King. “It was an investment for the Adams to do this.”

Georgetown Mayor Bill West points to The Circle location of Sussex County’s Department of Insurance office in Georgetown.

Georgetown Mayor Bill West also acknowledged Mr. Adams. “Kenny Adams – thank you for taking the opportunity to buy this place and make it what it is now. It sat here long enough, not occupied, and it is occupied officially today,” said Mayor West, noting there had been another possible location out on U.S. 113.  “But I think this is the best place for this … right here on The Circle, right in the middle of everything in Georgetown.”

“I’m thankful for Speaker Schwartzkopf and Representatives Bryon Short and Ruth Briggs King, and Senators Brian Bushweller and Brian Pettyjohn for sponsoring the bill and seeing it through,” Commissioner Navarro said. “We will be able help many more residents in Sussex County than we have in the past.”

Sussex County Department of Insurance office will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. T

The officer phone number is 259-7554.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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