Homeowners Beware: Insurance may not cover everything - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Homeowners Beware: Insurance may not cover everything

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ROSSVILLE, GA. (WRCB)  --  An elderly Walker County couple found out the hard way, their homeowners insurance doesn't cover leaking or damaged pipes. Now their health is at risk.

Jack and Gladys Parker moved into their Rossville home in 1957.

"I like where we are because nobody ever bothers you," Gladys says. 

Fifty-five years later and now in their 80s, moving is not an option; but, they may not have a choice.

"The inspector said that it was not safe for them to be here because of the mold," says Terri Short, Gladys and Jack's daughter.

Three weeks ago, one of the Parkers' care takers noticed mold growing on the dining room chairs and table.

"That was the first sign of any problem," Short says.

Short and her sister Cathy immediately called an inspector who found mold in nearly every room of the house and in the crawlspace underneath it. He found the cause was a leaking pipe under the house.

The Parkers filed a claim with their insurance company, who sent an adjuster to look at it.

"It appeared to him that with the amount of mold that there was it had been leaking for quite some time, probably a year or more," Short says.

In there lies the problem. The adjuster told the Parkers their deluxe insurance policy would only cover the cost to fix the pipe if it had suddenly burst. Since it was not a sudden problem, the Parkers, who live on a fixed income, would have to foot the bill.

It's a proposal that's still hard to understand.

"We can stay here while they fix it can't we," asks Gladys. "No, mother you can't," Short replies. "Why not," Gladys asks.

A spokesperson for Georgia's Insurance Commissioner's Office says their policy likely looks at the leaking pipe as negligence. However, the Parkers say they could not have known it was leaking until it was too late.

"You expect when you have a claim with the insurance company that it's going to cover it, but buyer beware or whatever, it may not," says Short.

Channel 3 contacted the Parkers' insurance agent. A spokesperson for the company says they cannot discuss details regarding individual policy holders, but they are going to reach out to the Parkers about the matter.

A spokesperson for Georgia's Insurance Commissioners Office also reached out to the family and says he'll look into whether their insurance company can take care of the claim.

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