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Woman May Have to Pay $4,500 After City Water Backs Up in Home
SPRINGFIELD -- A Springfield woman is at the mercy of the city after a water main break led to a water back up in her home.
"I heard something go boom and initially it sounded like my air-conditioner. About 45 minutes later I heard something like water running out of the hallway," said Alicia Hall.
She says last Tuesday she was ankle deep in water in her own home.
"The water was coming out of here and it was going everywhere, the carpet was soaking wet," she said. "It was smelling."
Hall says the city was near her home working on a water main break when the water bust into her home. She says city workers asked her if she had insurance.
"I said 'what does my insurance have to do with this?' He said, 'we would pay your deductible. But we are not going to pay for the other damages' and I'm thinking in my mind wait a minute now, this is something you guys created."
She called her insurance anyway and they came out and gave her a quote for about $4,500 and told her they would not cover it because her policy does not include drain and sewer back up.
We called around to a couple of insurance agents and as it turns out that's not that uncommon. Most homeowners' insurance policies will only pay for damage from mechanical breakage, like if your pipes or hot water heater burst. That's pretty standard, but if you want drain and sewer back up, that's optional coverage that you will have to ask for. Mold and mildew remediation and flood damage are also optional policies.
"I just felt like I was between a rock and a hard place because nobody wanted to pay for the damage that was in my home and I just felt like, what I'm I going to do? We can't stay here because the bacteria, mold and mildew is coming from the carpet," she said.
Hall and her sister, who has Down syndrome, stayed in a hotel for a week while the water receded. Her insurance company paid for that, but now they say they need the city to fix the problem.
"What they were doing up here broke my water line and now they expect me to pay for it but I had nothing to do with it," she said.
We reached out to the City of Springfield, and Deputy Law Director Andrew Burkholder released this statement: "The city has passed the claim to its insurance carrier and they will process it."
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