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Two months after severe spring storm, some Ontario home owners still waiting for repairs

A Whitby resident whose home still has a hole in the roof after being damaged by May's severe weather is speaking out on the challenges she’s faced attempting to have her insurance company issue proper repairs.

If your home is damaged by severe weather, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance company – but when a significant storm hits, there can be long delays for repairs and disputes about the type of work needed.

Debbie Joel told CTV News Toronto that although the storm that hit her home in May of this year prompted a state of emergency, she faced long delays before crews came to assess the damage to her home.

“No one was reaching out to help me and I wanted that tree off my roof,” Joel said.

She says the storm saw two trees crash onto her property, including one that landed on the roof of her house.

Damage from severe weather on Debbie Joel's Whitby property.

Following the storm, Joel said it took almost four days to file a claim with her insurance company and despite making many calls, she says she had trouble getting someone to contact her back.

She also says there were issues getting rid of the debris and that a large part of the tree actually remained on her roof for three weeks after the storm.

Joel is insured with Toronto Dominion Insurance (TD Insurance) and she said she’s had to speak with seven different adjusters, but is no closer to having her roof repaired.

The hole in her roof remains covered with a tarp and now she’s concerned there’s water damage inside her home.

Joel said her insurance company wanted her to accept an $18,000 payout to repair the roof and other damage, but she hired a structural engineer to get another opinion, and he said the cost to repair the roof and other damage would be closer to $63,000.

“That disparity is too much – no one is even going to look at that roof for $18,000 – nevermind the damage to the front porch and other areas,” she said.

In a statement to CTV News Toronto,Julie Bellissimo, a senior manager with TD Bank Group Corporate and Public Affairs said, “[they] strive to help our clients as quickly as possible when a claim occurs.”

“When a large weather event hits, such as the May storm…, claim processing times to assist our customers sometimes take longer than normal,” Bellissimo said.

“We have been working closely with Ms. Joel since the incident on May 21 to inspect and provide all the services she needs for her home and will continue to do so to repair her house to pre-damage condition as quickly as possible.”

Joel said she has been with TD Insurance for 30 years and has never once made a claim.

“I want my roof fixed. I want it repaired properly. I don't want a company coming in that is going to nickel and dime the repairs,” she said.

In the event you have a claim with an insurance company and don't agree with their payout, you can file a complaint with their ombudsman.

You can also take your case to the General Insurance Ombudservice which is an independent dispute resolution service that provides free and impartial help to Canadian consumers of home, automobile and business insurance. Top Stories


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