State Farm leaves Valley woman swimming in repairs

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

MESA, Ariz. - A Mesa woman has $12,000 to $15,000 worth of water damage in her kitchen.

However, after turning to her home insurance company to cover the costs, she says the insurance company instead turned their back on her.

"I was sweeping and I saw a ripple," says Rosanna Buckmister. That ripple of water has turned Rosanna's kitchen into a disaster zone.

"A kitchen is the central part of my home and if my kitchen is messy or dirty, I don't feel good inside," she tells 3 On Your Side.

However, Rosanna's kitchen is a lot more than messy and dirty. Not only have her floor tiles been ripped up but her appliances and kitchen cabinets have also had to be moved outside because she recently discovered her dishwasher was leaking and that the water caused considerable damage to just about everything in her kitchen.

"It was the first time I had ever seen anything like that in my life," she says.

Rosanna turned the matter over to her insurance company, State Farm Insurance, which told her to get a contractor out to stop the leak, extract all the water and to assess the damage.

"So, I called a contractor and they came and they found that there was more extensive damage than I had thought."

The damage was significant, winding up behind the drywall and entering into different rooms in her home.

The total cost for repairs is between $12,000 to $15,000 but State Farm Insurance told Rosanna they were denying her claim because it was an ongoing leak she should have discovered earlier.

"I had a leak under my dishwasher that I didn't even know was there and as soon as I found out it was there I called them," Rosanna explains.

3 On Your Side got involved and asked State Farm to look at the issue again to see if maybe they made the wrong decision. But after reviewing it, State Farm stuck to their guns and denied the claim, saying they found rotted wood and mold indicating the leak was not a sudden accident which is covered.

In an email to 3 On Your Side, a State Farm spokesman says, "Since leakage occurred over a period of time, it is unfortunately not covered under the policy."

Rosanna says she can't believe it.  She made sure to pay her premiums on time in case she ever needed State Farm and this is what they do to her. "They haven't been there for me at all," says Rosanna.

State Farm says this was a maintenance issue and that they only cover accidents, not maintenance issues.

I think the decision made by State Farm is the wrong decision and is one reason why many consumers are discouraged and angry with the insurance industry.