North Minneapolis tornado victims suing Allstate

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North Minneapolis tornado victims suing Allstate

Unread postby RatPak11 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:59 am ... bc%7Clarge

North Minneapolis tornado victims suing their insurance company
6:38 PM, Jul 18, 2012
Written by
Janel Klein

MINNEAPOLIS - When Jenae and Travis Hutchins got married nine years ago, they bought their first home, a two story house on Russell Avenue North ready for a young family.

"We wanted something that was move right in and not have any issues," Travis said. "And that was this place for us."

Until last summer's tornado, with winds of up to 130 miles an hour the Hutchins say damaged their home.

"The house acted like a bellows, essentially," said Travis. "It came in and sucked out and that's why we have the floor ripples and the separation of this wall."

But when the couple called their insurance company, Allstate, to claim $204,000 for repairs, they instead got $68,000, and now they're suing Allstate for the difference.

"It couldn't be more of a Goliath vs. David situation," said George Antrim, the attorney representing Travis and Jenae Hutchins.

In Hennepin County civil court Wednesday morning, the Hutchins say the $68,000 offer won't begin to fix their house. And they're worried that even an appraisal splitting the difference will likely leave them thousands of dollars short.

"My clients are still trying to get their home repaired," said Antrim, "And they can't do it for 140,000."

They also can't do it fast enough. Travis and Jenae say they're frustrated they've waited more than a year without a settlement while they live in a rental with their home unrepaired, unlivable, and now in foreclosure.

"(We're) still no further along or better off, really," Travis said. "In fact, we're probably worse."

Allstate says that because of customer privacy and pending litigation, it can't comment on this specific claim. But it says overall, it's committed to responding to claims in a fair manner based on the specific policy.


Tim Peddycoart · Insurance and Internet Marketing at Tim Peddycoart
If I were able to place a bet - it would be the home was not insured to replacement value and it is the reason there are claims issues. Alison is correct. The purchase cost or market value of the home can be and usually is different from replacement cost. It's possible the insureds didn't know, but, unlikely. It is more likely they were looking to go cheap on insurance and now realize it was a mistake. Its possible their agent didn't advise them correctly, but, improbable. Agents generally don't want their clients to be under insured and have claims issues. It's not worth the hassle and possible E&O claim for the agent. If someone gets a deal on a home and pays $60,000 for a home which costs $200,000 to rebuild and insures it for less than replacement - there are going to be issues at claim time. If you pay for half a p...olicy and expect a full policy settlement - you're deluding yourself. The sad thing is a full replacemnt policy doesn't cost much more and sometimes - it's actually less - especially in this case. I hate to say it - but, I bet Cheap skate Charlie wanted to pay less than everyone else - now wants to blame/sue the insurer and get help from the community and increase everyones costs. One of the reasons we have insurance is so we don't have to be a drain on the community. If for some reason Allstate is cheaping out - which would be unlikely - as they don't need the bad publicity, etc. However, they should rot in hell if they arbitrarily went out of their way to screw the insureds. Which again is highkly unlikely.

Cassie Mahler · Rasmussen College
As an insurance agent myself it’s my job to make sure people's homes are insured for replacement value. If it wasn't and the consumer was under the impression that is was the insured’s can not only sue their insurance carrier but also their agent. Who wants to deal with an E&O claim? Def not me. I think that agents think they are untouchable but we are not. If you didn't even offer the coverage to the client for replacement value or go over it and have the insured turn it down, they insured can sue you! Why would you even take the chance? The insured’s are not the ones who know the ins and outs of their insurance. The agent does! That is why they come to you. To protect their home and their lives!! It's your job as an agent to help the client make those informed decisions. To let them know the value in their coverage and any go...od agent WOULD NOT let their clients only insure their home for ACV!!! I go over every option with my client’s because you never know what will happen but if something does happen, I want my clients to know we will take care of them the best we can! We will try to have every angle covered. I personally feel it’s never a client's fault for their insurance decisions. It’s the agent who can't explain the importance of their insurance or the value of it. When insuring a home that has a mortgage, the home has to be insured for replacement or acv. You cannot insure a home for less than the replacement cost if the home has a mortgage. The truth is an agent can sway how replacement costs are done. They can say the bathrooms or kitchen were builders’ grade to lower the replacement cost which will in turn lower their premium. Agents do this! I see and hear it all the time and it’s sad!! Why mess with people’s lives!!! It’s not all price people! The agent that sold this policy should be doing annual reviews of the home to either increase or decrease coverage according to inflation cost with building materials. Market value does not have anything to do with replacement cost. Market value is what your home is worth on the market, not what it cost to rebuild it. Agents need to help their client’s understand their coverage and help them make more informed decisions. Agents need to take more time to explain the client’s policies, go over what their coverage does for them, and why it’s important.

Mike Spink · Recruiter at Vivid Videos
You should have put your hands out like the rest of the community. (Even though the "Community" people just rented their homes) They got all kinds of help. Free money, housing food and even to this day the "Community" people are still crying and asking for handouts. This normal white couple is getting screwed. Doesn't make sense to work and pay your insurance. You just need to go out their and say I'm entitled and give me wic/ebt/snap and everything will be all right. Ohhh, and vote for Obama....

Mandi Studler · Top Commenter
..Nice face there, Mike.. You're obviously a very respectful fellow. You also obviously don't know the N Mpls community. I've worked there for over 6 years and have volunteered in the community since the tornado hit. Not everyone got "all kinds of help", and it's not just this "normal white couple" that's getting "screwed". The entire community is underwater because of rampant slum lords, very few jobs, systematic failures-not to mention the foreclosure crisis (which, before you start shouting "Obama's fault" and pounding splinters into your fists, is a very for real thing; the city of Los Angeles is suing US Bank Corp, for example, - HQ'd in MN - for illegal foreclosure processes and failure to care for it's foreclosed properties) . Drop the porn subscriptions and buy an empathy chip, for goodness sake.

Mike Spink · Recruiter at Vivid Videos
Mandi Studler It's white folks like you that the "Community" laughs at. They say look at that white girl cleaning up for us. When you watch the news you see 50 plus white people working and you see 2 "Community" people talking to the news saying how grateful they are. Wake up!
In the background you see some fatherless kids buzzing around on their bikes.

Alison Price · Augsburg College
Market value has absolutely nothing to do with a home's replacement cost. Most insurance companies today issue a form known as HO-3 with extended replacement cost. Some companies have different names for it. Each category, Home, Other Structures, Contents, and Loss of Use is all related to what the home is insured at, not its market value, current or otherwise. Extended replacement usually is 20-25% above listed Coverage A amount. Allstate had ample time to inspect the property if they had insured it for any length of time (over 60 days). If they saw a risk that they wanted to cancel, they had opportunity to do so.

Important to note: Insurance companies often offer actual cash value first (ACV), and then when the repairs are done, cover the difference between ACV and the real Replacement Cost.(based on much mutual discussion, bids, estimates etc.) It seems as if part of the story is missing, or perhaps a substandard policy was issued. In that case, the potential for an errors and omissions suit is available.

Kathy Lemke Haun · Goldsboro, North Carolina ... 19033.html

Here is another video that shows how awful Allstate is. My brother and family had the same thing happen to them in Virginia in April 2011. Their home of 28 years was destroyed by a tornado and Allstate has yet to settle the damages. Allstate has caused our family immeasurable grief over the past 15 months. My brother had terminal cancer. His only wish was to go home before he died. Allstate prevented that from happening. Allstate is rated the worst insurer for consumers. Check out FBIC (Fight Bad Faith Insurance Companies) on Facebook.

Dan Bixby · Top Commenter · Anoka Senior High School
Somehow I knew just by reading the headline that this was going to have something to do with Allstate. This is far from the first time I have heard of Allstate not paying fairly on claims. Might as well not have insurance if they are going to screw you when you make a claim. I would avoid Allstate like the plague and anyone who does have insurance with Allstate, I would advise you to drop them ASAP and find a different insurance company.

Greg Applekamp · Metro State
Sad but true they won't win anything. It pays to do your research on where you live, what your house is worth and what insurance company is fair. If you live in North the value of your home isn't going to be appraised at anything great-no matter how much work you put into it. Sad for the homeowners but insurance companies can do what they want when it comes to appraised value

Dan Evans · Works at Semi-Retired
You get what you pay for. To bad
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Re: North Minneapolis tornado victims suing Allstate

Unread postby RatPak11 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:39 pm ... -in-court/

14 Months After Mpls Tornado, Homeowners Battle Allstate In Court
July 18, 2012 6:45 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For Jenae and Travis Hutchins returning to what had been their home isn’t easy. For the schoolteacher and nurse, the excitement of maintaining their first home has suddenly changed into overwhelming anxiety and stress.

“To see where it is now is heart wrenching,” Jenae said.

After being ripped apart by the May 22, 2011, tornado, which tore through north Minneapolis, the couple’s home of eight years is both unsafe and uninhabitable. Floors are separated from their walls and badly cracked. The outside walls of both their house and detached garage are badly bowed outward.

From the outside, the house appears to be in relatively good shape, but structurally it’s a nightmare.

“Basically, they [Allstate] said we’d have to tear it off and rebuild it,” Travis said. “The insurance company’s point of view is to push it back and re-attach it.”

Travis says he fears that simple fix would create further damage to an already dire situation. His structural engineers agree and say much more extensive repair work will be needed.

Based on the Allstate adjuster’s estimate, the insurer cut the Hutchins a check for $68,000, which they have placed in an escrow account. But that amount is far short of what the Hutchins’ engineer says will be needed. That estimate is closer to $200,000 for all the repairs.

Meanwhile, the 12-month limit on temporary living costs has expired, and the couple’s living costs continue to add up.

“Essentially, it’s bleeding us dry,” Travis said.

With no satisfactory resolution to the disagreement over the true cost of damages, the couple is suing Allstate in Hennepin County district court.

In addition to the structural damages, the Hutchins are seeking collateral expenses caused by the delay in settling the claim. They say the company needs to honor the spirit of their $250,000 homeowners policy to make them whole again.

“The bargaining power between homeowners and insurance company is very disparate,” the couple’s attorney, George Antrim, said. “It couldn’t be wider and couldn’t be more of a Goliath versus David situation.”

But it’s up to the courts to decide whether Allstate’s acting in bad faith or following the terms of its policy. Following Wednesday’s court hearing, Allstate’s attorney declined to be interviewed.

And as time passes, the damages from the tornado continue taking a personal toll.

“This is where our marriage and our family started, so it has been a very emotional process,” Jenae said.


Playadude • 18 hours ago
Awe "The Good Hands People" there when you need them........

Lin • 15 hours ago
Typical of my experience with Allstate on a smaller scale. They would rather go to court than pay a legitimate claim.

Natalie Seim • 16 hours ago
Very frustrating. I can feel your frustration. Years ago we had straight line wind damage. We have State Farm. They paid us for the back half of our roof (which was damaged from the wind), but we needed to shingle the whole roof. Fought with them about this. Very frustrating and hard. Heard now, insurances have to cover the cost for the whole roof, not just one part of it. Going through the process was taxing, tiring and hard. Thinking of you and hope you resolve it soon.

Bill • 16 hours ago
The only thing worse than dealing with a large company is dealing with the government.

bike girl • an hour ago
This family paid for coverage for many years under a promise by Allstate for this amount, was assured by Allstate that in the event of such tragedy, they would be protected. If you have Allstate, change immediately. Their reputation is horrible.

HaHa • 18 hours ago
You want 250k for your home in North, Comical, 1st off the land has 0 value, so you're saying you had a 250k house,take the 68k and move north.

rose walsh • 15 hours ago• parent
The insurance contract is to make the house whole again. That is what the
200K is for, not market value. If HaHa lives north then move south.

chouetteharfang • 16 hours ago• parent
The only thing comical about your post is your ignorance. Land near downtown will always be worth something despite current socio-economic climates. Secondly, many of the homes in North (at least those escaping the slumlord vampirism that enables much of the crime here) possess architectural and aesthetic properties not found in the slapdash tract homes of the 'burbs. I don't doubt this home is worth the 250K policy. My NoMi home is about the same on paper, with original woodwork, flooring, and stained glass accent windows.

HaHa • 14 hours ago• parent
Hey guy go on your sidewalk and look around, then tell me your house is worth over 150k, this area is full of Section 8 rentals, slumlords and the unemployed criminals, im sorry you live here but wake up. Downtown lol, ur not downtown pal you're North!

chouetteharfang • 3 hours ago• parent
Flag as inappropriateReading comprehension is a beautiful thing, HaHa. NoMi is NEAR downtown, it isn't downtown proper. A policy reflects the restoration and construction cost of a home, not its market value. Finally, not every block in NoMi is blighted--Victory Parkway comes to mind.
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