St. Augustine man battles home insurance company after Hurricane Irma

A St. Augustine family says they survived Hurricane Irma now they are facing another nightmare, this time with their insurance company.

A St. Augustine family says they survived Hurricane Irma now they are facing another nightmare, this time with their insurance company.

Rob DePiazza's says he's maintained a home insurance policy with Florida Farm Bureau Insurance for 20 years. He says he is shocked to find himself in a battle with the company after he's paid his premium on time, every month, for years.

Depiazza's says he pays $2,000 a month in insurance cost; $500 goes to Farm Bureau Insurance for home coverage, he claimed.

"It's frustrating how things are being handled," DePiazza said. 

DePiazza's house, on Prince Road, was ripped apart during Hurricane Irma.
    
More than a month later, it still looked like the storm had just hit.

"It's destroyed," DePiazza added.

That's where the trouble is. DePiazza says Farm Bureau Insurance says the home can be repaired and is not a total rebuild. Thus, the insurance company only wants to pay out a portion of the max benefit amount.

"Presently they're offering $123,000 on a $194,000 structure coverage," DePiazza said. "The reality is you can't build a comparable house, a 1600 square-foot house, for $123,000."

We went by the Farm Bureau insurance office in St. Augustine, the office was closed. We also called but it was after hours so we left a message.

De'Piazza, who owns Screen Arts, a small St. Augustine printing business, says he's concerned the short-term displacement coverage under his policy will expire leaving him out in the street.
      
"It's all about money. They want to pay as little as possible out of pocket and They know that someone without their home is going to be desperate," DePiazza said.

DePiazza says he insures his vehicles with Farm Bureau Insurance, as well, and have not had any problems with that branch of the company.

He hired a public insurance adjuster hoping they would be able to negotiate a better settlement.
     
We will update this story when we hear back from Farm Bureau Insurance.

If you are having the same issues with your insurance company, let us know by sending an email to news@firstcoastnews.com

For more information on what to do click here
     

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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