Clearwater “Gator Lady” gifted $10k in free repairs after insurance claim denied


CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — First, a giant alligator broke into her home causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Then, her insurance company denied the claim to fix it.

Needless to say, it’s been a tough few months for 77-year-old Mary Wischhusen of Clearwater. But now a local company is stepping in to help…for free.

On May 31st, a giant alligator broke through a window and into Wischhusen’s home in the middle of the night. It destroyed a large window, shattered glass furniture, and put some pretty big dents in the walls.

“I thank everyone in this community, every who came out to help me,” Wischhusen said about the support she received after.

Then Wischhusen filed a claim with her homeowners insurance, which as 8 On Your Side first reported, was subsequently denied.

Hearing that didn’t sit right with Peter Vetere, Vice President of Home Performance Alliance.

“So, when we first say the story on Channel 8, we wanted to investigate how we could get in touch with Mary,” Vetere said.

After coming to check out the damage, Vetere and Home Performance Alliance decided to replace Mary’s broken window for free. They’re also going to replace the one next to it so they match, and patch up the dry wall inside the house where the gator’s thrashing tail left deep holes.

“It comes full circle,” Vetere said. “Because what you give comes back to you.”

As Wischhusen signed on the dotted line for her free-of-charge contract, she was full of thanks for her new friends and their generosity. She also had a few words for her former, unwanted house guest.

“Don’t come back!” she said.

The windows will take four weeks to manufacture and a few hours to install.

Brad Allen, one of the Clearwater police officers who reported to Wischhusen’s home for the gator 911 call, had previously started a GoFundMe to help raise funds after the insurance claim was denied.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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