After power surge, and even with protection, Progress Energy did not replace fried appliances

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - For years, a consumer said, she paid $10 a month for surge protection.  Protection, she thought, for electronics and appliances in the event of a power surge.  Turns out, it did not come close to covering her losses.

Peggy LaRosa said a power surge struck April 2 with out warning.  Roofers working next door ran over and described smoke pouring out of the outdoor air conditioning unit.

The power surge destroyed everything that was plugged in, including the TV, computer and a $700 microwave.

One of Progress Energy's power lines went out, causing the surge.  

The homeowner assumed the surge protection fee she paid every month would cover her.

LaRosa says she ate cold cuts for six weeks, waiting for Progress Energy to process her claim.  It was only after we contacted PE did an adjuster come out.  And then the news was not good.

In an email, a Progress Energy spokesperson explained.  "If our device fails as a result of a surge, customers are reimbursed for the costs to repair or replace damaged items at fair market value."

But PE doesn't pay replacement costs, only cash value of lost items.  So the stove and microwave LaRosa paid a total of $1400 for years ago netted only $488 toward her claim.

Progress Energy apologized for the delays in the case, but stands by their coverage policy.  They did cut her a check for a little more than $1800.  

LaRosa did not file with her homeowner's insurance because her deductible was too high.

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