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Tornado Claim Dispute In Sewickley Westmoreland County Pennsylvania

Posted by Joe Brennan | Posted in Homeowners Insurance, Independent Appraiser, Insurance Advice, Insurance Claims Help, Insurance Dispute | Posted on 10-12-2011


tornado claim disputeTornado Claim Dispute:

March 2011 a tornado wreaked havoc in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania (PA). The tornado first touched down in Sewickley Township. Now, almost 7 months after the tornado ripped through the area, Jamie & Denny Cerilli have been notified by their insurance company, Allstate, that their tornado claim dispute will need to be settled via the insurance appraisal clause within their homeowners policy.

Allstate and the Cerilli’s could not come to an agreement on the amount of the damages caused by the tornado. Allstate has offered the Cerilli’s just about half of what local contractors have been quoting to do the repairs for. Allstate issued a written demand for the tornado claim dispute to be settled through the appraisal provision in the policy just this month of October 2011. The appraisal clause of the policy states:

Appraisal. In case the insured and this Company shall fail to agree as to the actual cash value or the amount of loss, then, on the written demand of either, each shall select a competent and disinterested appraiser and notify the other of the appraiser selected within twenty days of such demand. The appraisers shall first select a competent and dis interested umpire; and failing for fifteen days to agree upon such umpire, then, on request of the insured or this Company, such umpire shall be selected by a judge of a court of record in the state in which the property covered is located. The appraisers shall then appraise the loss, stating separately actual cash value and loss to each item; and, failing to agree, shall submit their differences, only, to the umpire. An award in writing, so itemized, of any two when filed with this Company shall determine the amount of actual cash value and loss. Each appraiser shall be paid by the party selecting him and the expenses of appraisal and umpire shall be paid by the parties equally.

Below is a news story posted by the local Channel 4 Action News (WTAE) with an interview and video of the damages suffered by the Cerilli family from the tornado.

SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — More than four months after a tornado damaged homes in Westmoreland County, one family is still struggling with its insurance company to sort out the damage.

Jaime Cerilli said she’s most concerned about her Sewickley Township home’s foundation because water poured into their basement. “This was our finished game room. This was the main area where my kids played. This did not look like this,” she told Channel 4 Action News.

Cerilli said the water damage also extended to the garage and that the roof and ceiling also collapsed. Cerilli said contractors told her the foundation damage is too serious to repair. “All the contractors say this house needs to be leveled,” she said. “This was not an issue we caused. This was not a pre-existing issue. This was a direct result of the tornado.” Allstate has offered the Cerillis less than half the total amount the house is insured for.

An Allstate representative told Channel 4Action News, “We really are in business to make people whole again after a catastrophic loss like this. We will do whatever is in our power, within the boundaries of their policy, to make that happen.” “If they can find us a contractor that will come and do this and fix this place up, we’ll do it, and they just won’t, and it’s consumed our entire life,” said Cerilli.

Allstate is paying for the Cerillis to live in a rental house but the family is not sure how much longer they’ll be able to stay there. “Our sons say, ‘Mommy, when are we going home?’ We don’t know when we’re going home,” Cerilli said. The Cerillis have also filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

Original Story:

Tornado Claim Dispute


If you need assistance with a Tornado Claim Dispute, feel free to contact Joe Brennan at 919-669-9111, or visit our Tornado Claims page.

Tornado Claim Dispute

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