Troubleshooters: Insurance Claim

Posted at 3:56 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 22:18:33-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — People are still dealing with damage caused by the big freeze of February 2021 across Texas.

In Monday's Troubleshooters report, a disabled woman has been trying to get her insurance company to cover her claims of a water leak in her home in the days following the extreme temperatures.

So she's called us for help.

Nora Hoelscher and her husband moved into their house — just blocks from Ocean Drive — about seven years ago.

Then in February 2021, the Big Freeze hit Texas, and that's when Hoelscher says their problems began.

Nora says she noticed something unusual about a wall in her bathroom.

"Well I noticed that in the mid-section, it looked like a pregnant woman. It was bulging like this," she told us. "So I touched it. And it was very, very hard. Very hard. So, I knew there was ice behind there."

Hoelscher says they began smelling gas in the house, so she immediately contacted her insurance company, State Farm.

She also told us, she and her husband stayed in their home until about nine weeks ago, when ServPro, a remediation company, knocked on her door.

They had good news.

"We're here to remove all your things. Put you in a hotel. And we're going to fix this all this up," she remembers they told her.

Further, Hoelscher recalls ServPro telling her they found a pipe leak underground, and asbestos.

The entire interior floor had to come up. ServPro would send their findings to State Farm.

The Hoelscher's have been living in a hotel for 2 months or so, waiting for State Farm to make a conclusive decision about their claim.

"I sit out on the front porch, sweat to death, and hope and pray that somebody's gonna call or come by," she told us.

And on June 14, somebody did.

It was State Farm, with bad news — as far as Hoelscher was concerned.

"They are not going to cover my claim, and I about had a heart attack. Because it was a continuous leak, and that's because they couldn't find it," she says.

Hoelscher says she would learn that "continuous leaks" are not covered in Texas.

She says she also found out that day, from the hotel she and her husband were staying at, not State Farm, that they had to leave.

However, later that afternoon, Hoelscher told us an adjuster called to tell her they could stay in the room till Friday, June 17.

The Troubleshooters first went to the home, and met Nora Hoelscher, the next day, Wednesday, June 15.

She had good news.

"Ten minutes after one, today, Wednesday, just before you got here, they called and said, 'we're going to honor the claim. We've done all this, so we feel we need to fix it. We need to do the right thing,'" she says.

"What did that feel like?" we asked.

"I cried, and I said 'thank you,'" she says.

On Wednesday, June 22, the Troubleshooters sent an email to State Farm, detailing the key points of Hoelscher's claim.

In State Farm's response two days later, their spokesperson wrote:

"I'd encourage you to check with them to see if they wish to share any of the updates with you," referring to the Hoelscher's.

Mrs. Hoelscher says she did not received an email or text from State Farm on that day, other than contact with an adjuster who told her they were working to get all the paperwork for her claim to management for review, hopefully later that night.

Hoelscher still isn't sure what State Farm's decision is on her claim.

"I feel like I've been through a war, and I'm tired, and I'm mentally tired, and I hurt all over from this stress," she says.

In fact, she told us Monday, June 27, she's still waiting for State Farm.

However, she says she's been notified that she and her husband can stay in their hotel room till July 7.

As soon as she knows what State Farm decides, she'll let us know. And we'll let you know.