Call 11 For Action: Do you understand your homeowners insurance? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Call 11 For Action: Do you understand your homeowners insurance?

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After a pipe burst in the laundry room, Lisa Hutchins filed a claim with her insurance company, only to be dropped before receiving help. After a pipe burst in the laundry room, Lisa Hutchins filed a claim with her insurance company, only to be dropped before receiving help.
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ROSSFORD, OH (Toledo News Now) -

All this winter weather caused a lot of problems, forcing some homeowners to file insurance claims. But how much do you know about your homeowners insurance? Do you know what's covered, or that it could be dropped immediately if you file too many claims? A family in Rossford learned the hard way.

With anything in life that's used comes a little wear and tear, just ask Lisa Hutchins. She purchased her home in Rossford over a decade ago, and now things aren't going so well.

In January, a pipe in the laundry room burst, spilling water everywhere. Buckled floors and damaged tiles are a part of her home now.

"It poured out of the laundry room, into the dining room, into the kitchen. It just kinda took over the first floor," explained Hutchins.

So Hutchins did what any homeowner would do: contact the insurance company.

"Before I could even receive my first checks, I received a wonderful letter from American Family [Insurance] letting me know they dropped me," said Hutchins.

She was dropped without any prior warning to filing her claim. Hutchins was shocked and couldn't get an answer as to why.

"It got to the point where they wouldn't call me back, they gave me numbers for another adjuster," said Hutchins.

Hutchins had enough, so she decided to contact our Call 11 for Action team. After reaching out to American Family Insurance, a media spokesperson said the company does not discuss details of their customers' cases or policies.

However, the company does a yearly review of its customers' past claim history, as a factor in determining eligibility. Hutchins has four claims in her 13 years with American Family - including the claim filed in January - all for different reasons and amounts.

"Our intent is to consider more broadly the cost of insurance for all of our customers, and in instances like this, it's appropriate to non-renew an individual customer," explained Steve Witmer with American Family Insurance.

"We pay thousands of dollars in premiums to have homeowners insurance, and I have to worry about whether or not they're going to drop me, because I filed a claim," responded Hutchins.

Other home insurance companies say it's perfectly legal for an insurance company to drop a customer if they believe the individual has filed too many claims.

Ben Brown with Brooks Insurance decided to help Hutchins by setting her up with another insurance company.

"I would think that most of our companies probably wouldn't discontinue someone's insurance for that amount of claims," said Brown.

Hutchins plans to pick one of the companies offered and get her home fixed by the summer.

According to Brown, the average homeowner files one claim every eight and a half years.

Keep in mind, if you've been dropped from your homeowners insurance, any licensed agent has the responsibility to assist property owners in applying for coverage through the Ohio FAIR Plan.

If you have a situation where you feel you have been wronged, contact our Call 11 for Action office at 419-255-2255.

Mobile users, click on the "Video" button in the app to watch this story. Download our app here.

Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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