Willowick woman loses homeowners insurance after one claim in 8 years

Insurance company follows its cancelation policy

WILLOWICK, Ohio - Linda DiFrancesco is now search for new homeowners insurance coverage for her Willowick home.

DiFrancesco was issued a notice by State Farm Insurance on April 8 that her coverage will not renewed, and will expire on May 23, 2014.

"I was floored, I couldn't believe it, never had a problem with them," said DiFrancesco. "I've been with them since 2006 and never had any issues until I filed one claim after flooding in Willowick in July of last year."

DiFrancesco told NewsChannel5 State Farm issued her a $10,500 check to cover property damage, but she never expected one claim in 8 years would caused her to lose insurance coverage.

"When you get a disaster like we had, you use it," explained DiFrancesco. "I paid my premiums, I paid for the whole year, they could have canceled me after they gave me the claim check, but they wait until the end of the year. I never had any other claims, not with them no, not one."

Dozens of Willowick homes where flooded after a July 20 storm produced 6 inches of rain and caused  city sewers to back-up. The incident caused Willowick to declare a state of emergency. 

"It's not fair, because they take your money for the premiums, they don't have a problem with that, but as soon as they have to pay a claim,' said Di Francesco. "I mean they did take a big hit because the whole city got flooded, but that's the risks they take, like we take."

NewsChannel5 confirmed State Farm followed the cancelation policy written into its contract with DiFrancesco, but we asked the company to further explain what caused it to drop coverage after one claim.

State Farm issued the following statement in response to our story:

"Due to privacy guidelines, it is inappropriate to discuss a policyholder's renewal or cancellation. However, decisions to non-renew are never made lightly.

Every situation is unique and reviewed on a case-by-case basis; sometimes we have to make difficult decisions that help keep rates affordable for all of our customers.

When reviewing policies, we consider factors including type of policy, tenure, claim activity and history."

Consumers can fight back by filing a complaint with the Ohio Department of Insurance .

Homeowners can also find help obtaining new insurance coverage by contacting the Ohio Fair Plan Underwriting Association at 1-800-282-1772, or getting on its website .

DiFrancesco urges all consumers to read their homeowners insurance policies carefully, and understand all term and conditions. If you don't like what you see, it may be time to shop for new insurance.

"I wasn't until I really read all the paperwork," said DiFrancesco." My warning to consumers is read your policy, because they could cancel you at any time."

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