Glen Ellyn homeowners battle insurance company over $300K water damage claim

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. (WLS) -- You count on your home insurance to cover damage, but one couple is battling their insurance company over a burst pipe and a water-logged home with an estimated $300,000 in repairs and cleanup.

It's a water damage dispute over a burst pipe which nearly destroyed their home. It all happened while the retired couple was stuck in South Africa. Now, they say their insurance provider is refusing to cover their claim.

From the outside, their Glen Ellyn house looks picture perfect. But from inside, Betsy and Floyd Rogers' home reveals a flooding disaster.

"And it is very wearisome because I don't know how we're going to be able to restore this house, that's the real worry," Betsy Rogers said.

A burst pipe in January causing widespread water damage, leaving the entire inside walls and floors destroyed by a water overflow.



The repairs and clean-up were estimated at $300,000. That price tag and claim was denied by their insurance company, Allstate.

"We've used Allstate insurance since 1964, we've had car insurance, homeowners insurance, we haven't deviated," Floyd Rogers said. "We've paid our premiums regularly. we feel a little bit violated, they haven't even made an effort to come out and take a look at what the damage is."

"But you can't possibly understand how much is gone," Betsy added. "These were hardwood floors, the whole entire house, the whole entire house, the floor is gone. The rest of the house is all studs. So you have almost every single wall in the house is nothing but studs."

Betsy and Floyd are currently in South Africa, where they were visiting family when the pipe burst. They have been stuck there since the pandemic began due to restrictions, flight cancellations and challenges getting the vaccine.

"It was just a bad break, so in the process of the water coming out, it flooded the second floor, so therefore all the floors are gone, went down to the first floor, got down to the basement, finally flowed out the garage and caused 213,000 gallons of water to go," Floyd said.

The Rogers said Allstate is denying the claim because the couple wasn't staying in the home at the time and the pipes froze.

The Rogers and their attorneys said there were no signs of pipes freezing, and that the leak was a result of a failure in a supply line. They added that they never shut off the water or the heat when they left town.

ABC7 sent the Rogers' claim information, estimates and pictures to Allstate. The insurance company would only say: "We protect customers and their privacy, so we do not share specific claim details. We'll continue to work closely with the customer to resolve the claim according to their policy. "

Financial and consumer experts at the insurance comparison website Value Penguin said you can dispute your home insurance company's decision by filing an appeal, making a complaint with your state insurance department, and even asking the state to mediate a resolution if that doesn't go in your favor.

"It might be time to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit," insurance expert Andrew Hurst said. "But this is a last resort, you want to really think about whether it's going to be worth it and this is because it's going to be a long expensive, process. You might end up paying more for all the fees than if you paid for the repairs out of pocket."

"I am upset with Allstate because to make a charge that something has occurred when you haven't even collected the facts to support it or gone into a customer's place and look at what has gone on it is ridiculous. I mean Allstate is not supporting us at all," Betsy said.

The Rogers said they aren't sure where they will stay when they finally get back to the U.S.

If you're having a dispute with any insurance company you should also report it to the Illinois Department of Insurance.
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