TAMPA - Marvin and Kathy Tate have been married for over half a century. In all those years, Marvin says, they have never feared the threat of a storm like they did on March 30. “You just looked out there, and 'Boom,' that poor pump house was crushed.”
“All at once it went crack, crack, crack.” Marvin claims the neighbor’s tree crashed down and totaled their pump house and water pipes. “I had to buy a chain saw and cut this out so I could get in.”
According to state insurance regulators, if a neighbor's tree falls on to your property, it is considered an act of God, which means the homeowner with the damage would normally file a claim with their own insurance.
But the Tates do not have insurance, and felt their neighbor should share in the cost of the clean-up that affected both properties. But Cathy says they found themselves dealing with the bank that had foreclosed on the house next door. “We made 7 or 8 calls and all we could get was the customer service number.”
One West Bank owns the property. I called and explained what had happened to the Tates. In this email a spokesperson explained. “One West immediately assigned the case to a specialist and informed me that they would be reaching out to Mr. Tate to discuss the issue and help determine a resolution.”
Just days ago, the bank made a written offer of $2,200 dollars to cover the cost of clean up and the damage done to their shed. Marvin tells me, “It has relieved a lot of stress.”
If you are dealing with an insurance claim or property damage issue and are not sure if you have a claim or where to turn, contact the State of Florida Department of Financial Services in Tallahassee at www.myfloridacfo.com .
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