First Hurricane Sandy victims had their homes destroyed by that ferocious storm -- and now they're being battered by insurance companies who are dragging their feet, finding loopholes, and doing anything they can to avoid pay-outs. Take this Staten Island couple, who was insured by Allstate. They evacuated their home before the storm, but a neighbor called to tell them that wind had knocked the roof off their house. Allstate, however, says the roof came off due to flooding -- and conveniently the couple didn't have flood insurance. (They had cancelled it earlier because their payments were far more than the few reimbursements they'd gotten in the past.)
The couple, Sheila and Dominic Traina, say they were massively ripped off by Allstate. But that didn't stop the company from using their home in a television commercial touting how they are "helping" Sandy victims.
The Trainas are not thrilled with Allstate. While their home was insured for $280,000, which would pretty much pay for everything they need, the insurer has only offered them $10,000 because they claim the roof wasn't damaged by wind, but by flooding.
The couple have refused to accept the offer and are going to fight Allstate. I say good for them. I've heard too many stories about how insurers screw people after happily accepting their premiums for years.
Another friend of mine -- who did have FEMA flood insurance -- also had her home destroyed in Staten Island and is getting the same runaround from her insurer that the Trainas got. Months after Sandy left her homeless, she hasn't seen ONE DIME from her insurer. Numerous phone calls have only gotten her the equivalent of "we're working on it." Despite not receiving any money, her rates have skyrocketed, making it impossible for her to even continue with flood insurance. (Not to mention she has suddenly been told she may have to rebuild her house on stilts.)
It really makes you wonder why anyone has insurance. Why not just take those premiums and put them in an interest bearing CD for a rainy day? At least you'll be guaranteed to get something back.
Do you have insurance? Has it worked for you?
Image via Sally9258/Flickr