Insurance companies claim managed repair clauses protect consumers, some policyholders disagree

Some policyholders unhappy with the outcome
Posted at 11:50 PM, Nov 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 16:00:50-04

Katie Morales believes her boys, 4-year-old Madden and 6-year-old Mason, are safer in the yard than inside their own home.

The family calls what they have been through a nightmare that started with a water leak in the master bath.

Chris and Katie Morales filed a claim and found out about a clause in their insurance policy.

Multiple insurers added a managed repair clause to the policies they sell in recent years. They sell it as a way to protect policyholders from fraud. Managed repair programs often force homeowners to go with one of the company's preferred contractors.

According to a YouTube post, Florida Peninsula says many of its 1,700 customers who have used the program give it rave reviews. But we found dozens of homeowners who have complained to the state about managed repair programs gone wrong.

In the Morales home almost all of the new flooring buckled within months.

Tampa attorney Donna DeVaney Stockham represents the Moraleses and nine other families who blame managed repair programs with various insurers for short cutting repairs.

The Morales's own engineer concluded the contractor failed to dry the subfloor before laying down the new floor. The report blames the short cut on both the buckling and a potentially dangerous mold problem in 4-year-old Madden's room. The couple moved 4-year-old Madden out of his room months ago.

Florida Peninsula declined to go on camera. Instead the company issued a statement denying the buckling and mold are claim related.

"The Morales family has a serious drainage problem causing excessive rain water to drain and remain under their home, causing moisture buildup that is not related to the claim," according to the statement.

Florida Peninsula sent its own engineer to inspect the home after the Morales's complained. That report blames the home's ventilation for the mold and buckling.

The Morales said there are no mold and flooring issues anywhere other than where the repairs were made.

When the insurance company denies any wrongdoing consumers have few places to turn. They can file a complaint with the state for mediation, but it is voluntary for the insurance companies or they can hire an attorney and head to court.