Family without renters' insurance seeks help

SUV crashed through home Thursday afternoon

By Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Landscapers tried their best to clean the outside of a Northwest Jacksonville home a day after a man drove his SUV through its wall.

But the inside of the house is not such a quick fix.

Annie Hayes, who rents the home, doesn't know where she's going to live in the meantime.

"I am still real nervous and upset and shook up, and I really I'm just thinking I don't know what to do at this point," she said.

Hayes is with her daughter now, and this weekend she'll head to a hotel provided by the Red Cross. But after that, they don't know where she and the four other people who live in the house with her will sleep.

"What are we supposed to do on Monday?" said Sabrina Hayes, Annie's daughter.

She thought her mother's belongings and lodging would be covered under the homeowners insurance, but she was surprised to find out it only covers damage to the home itself.

This was the second time a vehicle crashed into the family's house. After the first time, they put up barriers and got insurance thinking they'd be covered if anything happened again. Now they say it wasn't enough.

"It doesn't cover any of her things inside of the house," Sabrina said. "It doesn't cover being able to help her have a hotel room or anything or anywhere to stay while the work is being complete either."

State Farm insurance agent Matt Carlucci, who doesn't represent the family, said those things are only covered by renters insurance, something Annie Hayes didn't have.

"Sometimes it's surprising the people that you talk to, you would think that they would know, but they don't know," Carlucci said.

It not only covers a renter's belongings, but also expenses while the home is repaired, such as for a hotel. And only the renter can get it.

"The owner of that house had an interest in the home but he didn't have an insurance interest in her contents because they're her contents, they're not his," Carlucci said. "So there's no way he could even get a policy to cover her contents 'cause he has no insurable interest in that."

It's a lesson learned, one that's left the family without a home, but also an opportunity to help and inform others.

"I wouldn't want nobody else to go through that what I'm going through right now, you know?" Annie Hayes said.

Now she's not only working to find a place to live after this weekend, but she's working with the homeowner to figure out if she'll move back in once the house is fixed.

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