Skip to comments.Staten Island couple fights for their future [Angry at INSURANCE company...not Obama's Ineptitude]
Posted on 01/08/2013 5:54:03 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
... Sheila and Dominic Traina of New Dorp Beach have become the Staten Island poster family for Hurricane Sandy....
...[The Occupier of the Oval Office] walked down their block, he heard about their plight firsthand, and wrote a note to the couples grandchildren promising them he would help...
The couple recently turned down a $10,000 payout from AllState, their insurance carrier for the 43 years they lived in the house, saying it was vastly inadequate...
They describe their local AllState agent as very insensitive to their view of what happened and to their overall concerns. And theyre upset that an image of their house was used as a marketing tool and that no one from AllState sought their permission....
(Excerpt) Read more at silive.com ...
The ALLSTATE insurance corporation is depicted as the evil player in this drama. But an important note that was mentioned in passing in the tv report I saw was that the couple had CANCELED THEIR FLOOD INSURANCE.
Yet this article doesn't mention that fact...
The tv report DID mention these two are BIG fans of Obama, and don't blame him for the lack of help he promised them in writing. Keep in mind, the clown is worth MILLIONS. He could pay for a new house for them and NEVER miss the money.
But no media coverage of Obama and FEMA and the failure of the feds to step up.
My husband and I happened to talk to a man just last night who is in the home construction and repair business who had gone to a small part of New Jersey to help out an insurance company with claims adjusting after Sandy. He said that many people out there do not have flood insurance, and would try to tell him that the 70 mph winds had moved their homes off their foundations (not the flood water) in order to force the insurance companies to pay for the damage.
In the spring of 1998, we went through two big hail and wind storms in the Twin Cities area. Our insurance was from St. Paul Fire and Marine and they paid for all the damage to our cars, roof and windows.
We learned a good lesson; cheap insurance, like Allstate, is worth exactly what you pay for it.
But for one family, its not just the money that has them upset.
The couple’s Staten Island home was destroyed by Sandy and they said their insurance company, Allstate, is refusing to pay their full claim, offering a $10,000 dollar payout instead.
We didn’t sign it, we didn’t cash it and we don’t even want $10,000. That’s a joke, said Dominic Traina.
At the same time Allstate recently featured the Traina’s destroyed home in a television ad, thanking employees who were also affected by the storm.
You used our house that you were caring. This is not caring. This is a money thing, said Sheila Traina.
The Traina’s said Allstate concluded their home was damaged by flooding. They don’t have flood insurance.
They canceled it several years ago. But the Trainas believe their home was damaged by wind, not the storm surge.
We know what our neighbor had told us, that the wind hit it and knocked it down, said Dominic Traina.
This really is a lesson in making sure you have all the appropriate insurance, even if it costs more. You can’t just sign a policy and assume you are covered. You have to discuss the exemptions with the agent and then get more. This is where a good broker can help because they will tell you exactly what you have.
The media does distort stories like this. In their world, this couple should get 100% coverage even if they have a cheap policy. That’s like buying tickets for the cheap seats at the ballgame and demanding to be seated in the box seats.
As an aside, I have a family member who got “cheap” car insurance. He got in a bad accident where he hit two cars, a sign and went through a fence onto a golf course. His insurance ran out after the second claim and he had two or three parties suing him. He thought he was getting screwed too.
I hate to sound like a commercial but - I’ve had AMICA house and auto insurance since 1968 and in all those years I’ve been through car accidents, ice storms, wind storms, etc., and they have never let me down.
Just couldn’t pass this without a comment. I have been insured with Allstate for at least 57 years and they have handled any clains I have had in a very orderly and business like fashion. It would be unusual for an insurance company not to pay what is covered on the policy.
Water damage is one thing and wind damage is another and if you don’t have the coverage , they are not going to pay. Get a good Agent, regardless of the company you buy from and all companies have both.
You can sit in the barber shop and listen to someone bad mouth an insurance company but if you don’t hear both sides of the argument you can’t make a proper evaluation of the situation.
My experience has been that with large storms you do not deal with a local agent,
The insurance company sends in adjusters from all over the country and they could care less about you, unlike your local agent, who has to deal with you after the adjusters are gone.
I’ve had great experiences with Allstate. A car ran into my house and my agent was out with a contractor early the next morning.. Fixed in a week.. They refunded my deductible when they were reimbursed by the culprit.
They fixed my garage, pool, and car when my wife forgot how to drive (don’t ask).. Again, excellent service..
As my agent says, buy the flood insurance, it’s cheap as I’m not in a flood plain, but I live in Houston and I’ve been through 2 hurricanes - I’ve been lucky, neighbors not so much...
I’m curious if any freepers have had claims with their flood insurance and how well it pays? I recall these same issues when Hurricane Ike hit Galveston a few years ago - some folks are still fighting with insurance companies. It is idiotic for anyone along a coast line not to have flood insurance and that idiot Harry Reid should be raked over the coals by the media for his stupid comments comparing sandy to katrina. But the media will not mention it because he’s a liberal.
We have earthquake insurance in Eastern Kansas because we have a three story chimney. It only costs us about $20.00 a year. And everyone should go through their house and take photos of valuables, get them appraised, and index them with their homeowners. I had jewelry stolen in a break-in. The jewelry that wasn’t indexed I hardly got anything but the one ring that was I got full value.
I spent forty years in the insurance industry, life, health, property & casualty and most insurance companies have no objection to paying legitimate claims. I was in a meeting once with the Group Senior Vice President of claims for a major insurer (fortune 100 company). He explained to me that for 200 years the company had made a good living playing by the rules. As a side note he was an ordained minister as well.
If you are properly insured, your claims will be paid. There is long established and scientifically sound forensic studies that will determine whether damage is caused by wind, rain or flood. No private company underwrites flood coverage completely; most companies simply act as agents for FEMA for flood insurance. The claims are managed by the company and paid by FEMA.
I can see one thing inevitably arising from the mess with Sandy: Since private insurers are so blatantly incapable of pleasing everybody, the gov’t will need to step in and pool all private insurance under the FEMA flag, as they do with flood insurance. A gov’t agency generates a HUGE mountain of cash, evil greedy capitalist insurance companies are put out of business and the gov’t saves people from their own bad decisions once again. I can smell it in the air.
The fact that people live in these areas should not cast a huge expense upon the taxpayers to protect their property through beach and dune rebuilding. This couple complained for years about the imminent threat, yet failed to carry flood insurance - that is just ludicrous. The earth changes - water gets displaced. As volcanic islands are created in the oceans, the water is displaced elsewhere. As fault lines create ridges in the oceans, the water flows elsewhere. The fallacy that the oceans should maintain the same shorelines in perpetuity is just ignorant.
My daughter’s father-in-law is an architect/engineer who designs custom “colonial style” buildings, i.e., buildings that use techniques and materials available in 1700’s. (Okay, it’s a small market.) He is also a claims adjuster for certain insurance companies. When a storm hits New England and damages colonial era buildings, or recreations like Old Sturbridge Village, or hoity-toity colonial era replica homes, he goes and makes the adjustments. He says he has never had is estimates (or expense reports) challenged by the insurance companies and has never felt any pressure to low ball estimates. He just gives them an honest estimate.
I applaud your Daughter’s Father In Law. I can only speak from my experience.
But someone forgot to give the talking points to the caption-er for the photograph:
Dominic and Sheila Traina behind their washed out Deli on Cedar Grove Avenue in New Dorp Beach after Hurricane Sandy brought a destructive tidal surge.
Of course, a 70-mph wind isn't going to knock any reasonably-built home off a foundation. A wind gust would have first ripped off the shingles and siding. Looking at the house behind them, it appears the roof is intact.
I guess I should point out that their argument is that, before the storm surge pushed their house into the street, a wind gust tore off part of their roof.
They claim their neighbor saw it happen and called them.
I would expect that if the neighbor is willing to sign an affidavit to the claim that the roof was torn off before the flood, the insurance company will pay for the roof damage.
The article also points out that the house was later pushed out of the street by a large truck, making it hard to tell what damage was caused by what part of the storm.
Most of the article was typical whiny liberal crap. They want the EPA to fix all the environmental damage caused by erosion of old properties which used to be where the beach is now, and they ALSO want government to pay to protect THEIR property from nature, probably by human construction which otherwise the environmentalists would scream about.
They were also upset that the community built a park for children to play in, rather than spending tax dollars to reconstruct the shoreline to protect their home.
And, as the article and people here point out — they railed about the certainty of a flood for years, but dropped their flood insurance.
Anyway, it doesn’t look like they are trying to collect for the entire cost of rebuilding their house, just what they think is a fair cost for the damage done before the flood hit.
We have some friends that got flooded when Lake Travis went over 700 MSL back in 1991. The insurance company came out after the lake dropped and they got a full settlement.
Several years ago the LCRA has raised the pool level to 690 instead of 680 MSL and the insurance company sent them a notice that they are no longer covered for flooding.
We don't have flood insurance. Our home is about 750 MSL and the top of Mansfield Dam is 715 MSL. If we ever flood, Austin would be washed into the Gulf of Mexico. Hmmmmmmmm, not a bad idea for Texas.....
That is the standard for leftards. The utopia will come soon, we just need more time and in the case of failure you get to blame evil corporations.
Morons will clap and bark like seals...
I realize flooding happens in odd places when least expected but there is really no excuse for those along the coast line - It irks me that I’m paying for some idiot who didn’t want to pay $300 a year for flood insurance....they made that choice, not me.
I have a lot of experience with flood claims under NFIP. They are almost always paid more quickly and with less nickle-and-diming than wind claims. People living in coastal zones or in other flood plains are courting disaster if they don’t maintain coverage. I really have run out of patience with these Sandy crybabies.
I hear you. We’ve had a two claims caused by hail storms and one when the clothes washer got stuck open. We had water in the kitchen and dining room. All the wood floor and kitchen cabinets had to be replaced. Three claims in over 20 years at this house, and USAA never balked.
I don’t like paying insurance for other peoples’ lack to prepare either. I don’t like to pay for the uninsured motorists because some idiot buys just enough insurance to get their registration and state inspections on their vehicles.
I was on a team of volunteers who helped flooded people get re-established after Ike.
If you have flood insurance, you have Fema and the insurance company to deal with. The insurance adjusters come out multiple times to measure the losses of household items and building damages. Fema comes out (multiple times) to weigh the losses and measure everything. We met these insurance adjusters and fema agents every time they came to the house and answered their questions and handled minor misconceptions which would cost the home owner a lot of money. We got all the appointments asap - no delays. First ones in.
One handicapped lady’s daughter in law, for example, went around with a bleach bottle mixture and scrubbed every two by four in the inner walls to remove salts and to kill mold. She swept and scrubbed away all the plaster dust from the flood plaster removal crew so it would not damage tile floors. She scrubbed the tile floors to remove the dirty water. When the adjuster came out, he did not see the usual evidence of flooding. I was able to show him this woman’s cleaning project and he was very impressed with all the work she did and was really helpful to her after that. If I had not been there, he would have totally screwed up. Fema people are dumb as a post (sometimes mean) and need a lot of help...
Everyone we helped came out alright on their losses and restorations. But it was a full time job for many volunteers and home owners to make that happen. The phase of damage assessment is extremely important. Getting it right the first time is better than correcting errors in the aftermath. We did not want to rip them off and we did not want the elders and hadicapped homeowners we were helping to get ripped off either.
Many of the people wrecked have no flood insurance only wind insurance. Flooding did most of the damage during Ike. They usually thought they would get covered through some fema welfare funds that do not exist. It’s all done through expensive flood insurance. If you don’t have it, you are out of luck. It does not cover any damages outside the building structure.
Some of the people wrecked with flood insurance did not know to book quickly and meet insurance adjusters and fema agents and walk around with them, answering questions and helping them out and making sure things were right at that vital stage of $$ recovery. Some people were not aware that they needed to engage in overseeing reconstruction and many got ripped off by fly by night builders.
Renters with a brain knew to re-establish life beyond the wreckage and not hang around waiting to be taken care of by anyone. Most of them never came back to the area after it was repaired and never recovered their household losses.
Our volunteer leader lined up a couple of experienced contractors before the storm for the people he knew were too weak to handle it on their own. The guy leading the group knew what was important and what to do from other disasters he had served. Retired military Christian guy. He even had Christian disaster volunteers lined up. Tight ship and all that...
Other Christian volunteers helped the poor find housing elsewhere and encouraged relocation rather than waiting around (forever). The towns affected did a very good job in recovering the immediately needed infrastructure in Texas after Ike. I was impressed. Some are still wrestling with fema for payments.
Word spreads on what to after a storm on the Gulf. Lots of experienced people around. Some people are prepared with insurance and instruction ahead of time and are go getters and some people are short cutters and whinners. You will lose if you are weak in the aftermath of a storm.
I agree - whiners waiting for the government to take care of them. They didn’t prepare at all with food/water - just whined that the government wasn’t fixing everything immediately. Disasters happen - I don’t recall the East Coasters caring when the midwest floods almost every year, or a fire destroys thousands of acres of land in the West.( and of course I’m not saying every single person in the path of the storm - you all know the liberal whiners I’m referring to)
I saw a piece on TV a few months back where the local government on Galveston Island wanted to take the government HUD money and use it for rentals instead of a housing project (because of upkeep and crime associated in those dwellings) - and HUD flatly refused. They have to rebuild projects or lose the money. HUD doesn't care that assimilating folks into existing housing is better for them as well as lower crime rates since you don't have a large group of welfare rats sitting around all day together ( does that sound harsh?) - of course the HUD offices based in Houston are reportedly being investigated for all sorts of waste and fraud.....another piece showed a 98 THOUSAND dollar statue that was commissioned for some housing project. I realize that doesn't sound like a lot of money in the northeast, but $98K would build two small homes in Texas for the elderly.
Yeah, Houston is a mess, politically. I live outside Houston.
The towns and cities did a good job at the initial clean-up - schools, trash, roads, utilities, water.
The messes you are seeing come in the aftermath among the race baiters, politicans, DC wackos, etc. I don’t even hardly look at all that garbage unless it’s in my back yard. It makes me crazy. : )
That little disaster service project I signed up for before the storm turned out to be massive and intense for some months. But everyone got out alive and physically recovered. It takes people a while to recover inside themselves. It’s so difficult, disheartening and disruptive. When everything is up-side-down, it helps to be around a bunch of determined bossy Christian men working a project they know well. It is kinda like working through a war zone. Things are hopping! LOL