TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — To get around the property insurance crisis, some have found creative workarounds to get insurance at a more affordable price.
That didn’t work out well, though, for Eric Leach of Gibsonton. His home, along the Alafia River, flooded from storm surge from Hurricane Idalia. While he didn’t have traditional flood or homeowner’s insurance because of the cost, he did have a policy he thought would cover most of his belongings.
“I bought this policy thinking I was safe, and I absolutely was not,” Leach said.
As insurance prices continue to go up, more people are turning to scaled-down policies, but will they do what you want them to when you need them?
What Leach did to protect himself is buy what is a popular workaround called Personal Property Insurance to cover $30,000 worth of belongings, such as furniture and electronics.
He even included flood and hurricane as causes of loss. He says he was shocked when his claim was denied. He says he was told the fine print in his policy excludes storm surge.
“They said something about if a tree fell on your house and rain came in and you had water damage that way, but to me that’s not a flood,” Leach said. “They said, you know if water came in from the ground up, that’s not covered. Well, that’s what a flood is.”
The denial leaves Leach completely on his own to repair his home. He has set up fans and torn out drywall and cabinets.
His plan is to slowly rebuild—and to cancel his possessions insurance policy.