Church struggles after denied hailstorm insurance claim

A year after the Panhandleâ??s devastating hailstorm, the Friends & Family worship center in Amarillo has still not fixed its roof, and itâ??s leaking every time it rains.

Many local property owners still have insurance claims from last yearâ??s hail storm that are being denied by insurance companies. According to local contractor Robert Baker, when it comes to large scale commercial claims, this practice of denying claims is common, and in many cases lawsuits are necessary in order to be paid.

The folks at the Friends and Family Worship Center said their insurance company is claiming that their roof wasnâ??t damaged by the hailstorm.

â??Weâ??ve had a claim with this insurance company, travelerâ??s insurance company for a year now, and we came in this past Friday and we had a major leak,â?? said Pastor Gary Snider of the Friends and Family Worship Center.â?? â??All the water has come in and damaged the childrenâ??s church area.â??

Public Adjuster Rob Kitto said that the Friends & Family Worship Center and the Cornerstone Outreach center, which share a building, are currently suing the insurance company, and that this case is just one of hundreds, maybe thousands in our region.

â??A year into the storm a lot of homeowners or property owners are fighting with their insurance companies or unsure how to handle a claim they should have been paid that was denied, these claims are now starting to go to court and are being heard by judges and local juries,â?? said Rob Kitto.

According to Pastor Joe and Pastor Gary, Travelerâ??s Insurance said that the damage to their building is not due to hail.

â??Facts are facts; there were no leaks until the night of the hailstorm, and now we have water coming in and damaging the building, and the property,â?? said Pastor Joe Kirkwood. â??Weâ??re constantly putting buckets and even in one room we have to put a swimming pool out to catch all the water.â??

Public Adjuster Rob Kitto said if youâ??re still having problems with your claim, itâ??s important to first try to work with your insurance company.

â??If youâ??re a consumer whoâ??s having problems with your claim, the first thing I would do is call your agent and try to work with them,â?? said Rob Kitto. â??Try to work with your insurance company to get it resolved.â?? â??If thatâ??s not able to be done, and youâ??re not satisfied, look for a public adjuster or seek legal advice.â??

Pronews 7 contacted Travelers Insurance, the churchâ??s insurance company, but they did not return our phone calls. We also spoke with the lawyer assigned to this case by Travelers and she declined to comment.