Consumer Watch: Floor collapse brings insurance policy into question


Posted on February 17, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 17 at 7:33 PM

(WHAS11) - Janice Fluhr is a 20-year customer in good standing with her insurance company. When the floor of her home collapsed back in January, Fluhr thought she was covered.

Turns out, maybe she isn’t.

"(The living room) isn't the only room it's affected. It's affected my living room, my kitchen, my bedroom,” says Fluhr.

Janice has been living with broken plumbing under her home, her sewage has nowhere to go and neither does she. Her insurance company, Indiana Insurance, hasn’t yet determined whether she’s covered.

Janice says, "I am sick. I don't have the money to move somewhere else. I don’t' have the money to fix it. I'm responsible to pay for someone to come here and dig a hole and I have to pay to stay somewhere else. I can't do it. I'm a paycheck to paycheck mom."

She has already had to buy a new water heater.

And, at the advice of Indiana Insurance, she payed a plumber to scope her lines.

Contractor Kenneth Davis says the results of this scope indicated a clogged sewer line preceded the collapse.

A representative from the insurance agency has told Janice that she needs to get out of this house as soon as possible.

"I can't. I don't have the money to do that," says Fluhr.

WHAS11’s Andy Treinen called the insurance company. Her policy clearly indicates that she’s covered for collapse, but a representative told us that for privacy reasons, they couldn’t comment on her specific case.

After the call, Indiana Insurance has agreed to pay the cost of having her floor dug up in search of a cause.
The two estimates to fix the floor are for $41,000 and $42,000.
Fluhr has to leave her home while the floor is dug up. If Indiana Insurance ends up paying the claim, they’ll also reimburse her for her living expenses.

If not, she’s on her own.