Homeowner claims insurance offer won't pay for repairs to storm-ravaged house

Insurance does not pay for repairs

TAMPA - Tropical Storm Debbie chewed up a large portion of Virginia Thomas's roof.  The ensuing water damage saturated the plaster ceilings which are caving in around the 65-year-old.

Garbage cans litter almost every room.  They are there to catch water every time it rains.  

Thomas has lived with the wet walls, water leaks and mold-covered insulation for nine months.  She said her insurance company, QBE First, paid  $5,600 to make repairs.

Thomas says she approached three contractors, none of whom would touch the job for the money QBE First paid out.

Licensed public adjuster Jennifer Wilson estimates it would take around $40,000 to repair the home.  

Triad Public Adjusters claims QBE's adjuster left much of what is needed out of their own estimate.

Until now, the homeowner had no idea she could turn to the Department of Financial Services. The state agency mediates claim disputes for Florida homeowners.

I contacted the DFS and the office confirmed it would review the case.

We sent some of our video of the inside of the home to QBE First.  Their corporate marketing manager confirmed they will now review Virginia Thomas's claim.

The company released the following statement:

"We at QBE do our best to ensure we adjust claims consistent with the law while being helpful to the policyholder. Consistent with applicable law, QBE does not discuss specific claims with anyone other than the insured on the policy and QBE authorized entities. We handle each claim with the utmost integrity and apply high standards in our due diligence when working through the claims process."

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