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Allstate Short-Changed Superstorm Sandy Victims, Uses Vicitims’ Ruined Home In Commercial

Mario Tama, Getty Images

Allstate may be good at protecting you from mayhem, but it seems they’re just as good at causing mayhem as well.

Just ask the Traina family in New Jersey. After Superstorm Sandy completely demolished their home, the couple claims that Allstate short-changed them, paying them only a fraction of what they were insured for. The company’s excuse was that the Trainas did not have flood damage insurance, and all the damage was caused by flooding.

A Staten Island couple said their insurance company short-changed them after superstorm Sandy destroyed their home, and then used their house in a commercial.

In October, Sheila Traina, 64, and her husband, Dominic, 66, had evacuated their home in New Dorp Beach in response to warnings from local authorities about the storm.

Traina said a neighbor who had stayed behind called and told them the wind had knocked the roof off their two-story home but their insurer, Allstate, said the damage to their home was due to flooding.

“He said the house came down before the storm, came down and water finished it off,” Traina said of her neighbor.

Allstate told her it was storm surge that caused the damage, she said.

The insurance company offered the Trainas, who did not have flood insurance, about $10,000 for the damages. They say the amount is well short of the $280,000 for which their home and its contents were insured.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Trainas, when they discovered their ruined home was being used in an Allstate commercial.

After their Thanksgiving dinner, Traina said her husband and grandchildren were watching a football game when her grandchildren said they saw their home in a television advertisement.

“It was just a picture of our chair and our kitchen window but it was noticeable what they were showing,” she said. “It was not a happy Thanksgiving after that.”

Allstate said the advertisement “showed general images of the destruction caused by Sandy including a partial image of the Trainas’ home.”

“It does not reference them as customers or in any way imply they are satisfied with the status of their claim. We regret any concern this advertisement may have caused the Trainas and images of their home will not be included in Allstate’s advertising,” the company said.

What a bum deal for this family. Even if they didn’t have flood insurance, not all of that damage was strictly flood damage. And then to go around and use that same demolished home in an ad without notifying the family is kind of a crap move on Allstate’s part. Sadly though, I doubt Allstate will give this family the money they’re looking for. I guess you’re not always in good hands with Allstate…

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