Water leak in couple’s home leads to battle with insurance company

Family battles insurance company over $30,000 repairs

UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A Monroe family says what started out as a water leak in their home has led to an all-out battle with their insurance company over $30,000 in repairs to fix the damage.

For six months, the family has been fighting with their insurance company to pay the bills. After getting no results, they contacted WBTV for help.

In April, Tom Trott and his wife noticed water leakage and buckled floors in 4 rooms and the hallway of their home. They contacted United Property and Casualty Insurance - their home insurance company - for help.

“And I was told verbally that it looked like it was covered. That being all well and good my next step was to contact a restoration company,” said Tom Trott.

Trott says UPC never gave him the option of companies to use, so he contacted Restopros. They came out in mid-April to diagnose the problem.

Over the next few days, they took out all furniture and put it into storage and used anti-microbial treatments. Restopros took out the floor, set up dehydrating equipment, and contracted out to install new floors, drywall and paint the walls.

Everything was completed in June.

“When Restopros contacted UPC for payment, UPC’s response was the cost was exorbitant and they weren’t going to pay,” said Trott.

The claim was more than $30,000, and Trott says Restopros said they’d hold his furniture as collateral until the bill was paid.

“Just day to day living - we have nothing to sit on, to relax on.”

To make things even worse, Trott says his calls to his insurance provider (UPC) were not being returned. In an attempt to get the family some help and resolve the problem, WBTV contacted UPC. They declined an on-camera interview, but in a statement indicated:

“UPC is aware of the Trott’s dispute. We also understand that the vendor hired by the Trotts has filed a lawsuit against them for its alleged unpaid services. UPC’s goal is to fairly adjust our policyholders' claims. UPC issued multiple payments to Mr. and Mrs. Trott to the extent their claim was covered under the homeowners' policy.”

WBTV also contacted Restopros, who contradicted UPC’s statement saying there is not a lawsuit pending, and they are trying to settle the situation with UPC. Alex Blair, an advisor with Restopros, declined an on-air interview but indicated that UPC has now paid part of the bill but not all of it. They want UPC to pay the rest of their portion.

“The Trott’s are in the process of signing it over to us so that way we can deal with the insurance company and the Trott’s don’t have to spend any money-- or do anything like that since they’re on a fixed income,” Blair says.

Six months after the initial water leak, for the first time the Trott’s say after WBTV’s calls, it appears the $30,000 bill has been resolved and hopefully, they will soon be getting their furniture back.

Best of all, no more sitting on their new floors.

“You guys did a great job of highlighting this - and God bless you for all your help, young lady,” the Trotts told WBTV.

As a word of advice, the Department of Insurance says always make sure the insurance company approves the cost and extent of the damage before hiring a contractor.

Officials say, you should always get an estimate and have it approved before work is completed.

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