Insurance Reimbursement for Storm Damage Came Slowly For Some

A year after four tornadoes, a macroburst and a microburst ripped through Connecticut, some homeowners are still managing renovations and cleanup, and dealing with insurance holdups.

At Phillip Fein’s Southbury home, there are signs of progress.

"We got the roof on, got a new roof on and there's still some exterior work to be done,” said Phillip Fein. "Everything has crept along...you know."

On May 15th strong winds ripped through Sleepy Hill road. Multiple trees came crashing down everywhere.

"Devastated. Just absolutely devastated,” he told NBC Connecticut at the time. “It's something you always thinks happens to someone else and now it happened it me."

Back then, Phillip and Debbie walked from room to room taking it all in.

They found branches through walls, water damage and more.

"This branch went through the wall, through the heater, and it moved the toilet."

It came to $200,000 worth of damage. A year later their home is still under renovation.

"The hold up has mainly been disagreement between the contractor and insurance company on the scope of work," he said.

Fein says the home needs a lot more TLC on the inside versus the outside.

"We spent quite a bit of money for clean up,” he said.

Insurance companies don't usually pay for tree removal, just tree damage to your home in a windstorm.

"In a situation like a tornado there's really no liability,” explained Gerard O’Sullivan, director for consumer affairs at the State of Connecticut Insurance Department.

O’Sullivan said there is coverage if a tree hits your home and structure, but to expect delays.

"A lot of times, there is reason for delays in getting the claim finished,” O’Sullivan said.

In Connecticut, homeowners are required to have enough insurance coverage to rebuild or add on to their homes.

"When you sign up for homeowners insurance, the agent or the company is going to walk through a reconstruction analysis of your home to determine exactly how much is going to cost for the home to be rebuilt in case there's a fire or a catastrophic loss like a tornado or a hurricane,” he explained.

For Phillip and Debbie Fein, the wait is the hardest part.

"I can't be sad about it anymore. I just want to get through it and move on,” Phillip said.

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