Hurricane Sandy Couple Whose Home Was in Insurance Commercial Says Company Won't Pay Up

Rant 7

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

finances, home finances, home life, home repair, hurricane sandy


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I remember when we had a big earthquake here in Calif.a lot of insurance companies just closed up shop and said they couldn't afford to pay out. And they got to skate on that. Its a fucked little scam they've got going, to say nothing about the 10 to 15 thousand dollar deductible you have to pay for earthquake insurance ,and then the ass wipes tell you we can't help you. I hope these people win especially since they didn't give a release for them to use it.

Senia... Seniahmom

Insurance is a money makimg scam designed not to payout wherever possible. And yet we perpetuate the cycle out of fear.

nonmember avatar ELouO

First of all, 99% of people don't understand how insurance works. Everyone polls their money together so that in the event of an accident there is something to be paid out. Second of all, if you feel insurance is a scam then self-insure. You have the right to do that. In regards to the flood insurance, that is a government program. Insurance companies sell it to customers as a courtesy so that their customers don't have to deal with the nitwits at the federal government level. Being that the couple cancelled their flood insurance when they clearly live in an area prone to flooding is their fault, not Allstates. In regards to increasing premiums, does milk cost the same as it did last year? No it doesn't so what makes you think that insurance should cost the same. The cost to repair your car hasn't become less. I hate how people are so quick to b@t@h and moan about insurance companies but when the insurance company pays 10X the premium for a loss no one is saying anything.

jessi... jessicasmom1

what a shame people pay into these insurances only to not get anything out of it when something this drastic happens

RobynS RobynS

We have State Farm and have always had great service--though we've never had a claim as major as that.

RobynS RobynS

I do hope they win. It seems a lot more likely that wind would have caused the roof damage. :(

lovel... lovelychaos13

 this makes me very sad. my uncle and his family  have lost everything there and they had everyting covered with insurance  so no matter if it was wind s or flooding they had paid up never late. so how on earth then could the claim be denied? they kept curent despite rising costs through the years. for lord knows what reason the insurance company had yet to give them a reason to deny  the claim. the number to reach their insuance company has misteriusly been disconnected. seems for sure in my uncles case  it was a scam. at least they had  a fair amount of savings ect wealth buildt up over time that they are seriously considering letting it all go and  moving possibly to another state and buying another home.

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