No insurance hurting Decatur storm victims

Others have big deductibles or coverage that doesn't cover the full cost of damage.

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 5:40 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2018 5:41 PM

Cleanup and repair continues after last week’s damaging storms in Decatur.

To put their lives back on track, many people are counting on their car and home insurance. But, some people couldn’t afford the coverage, didn’t have enough insurance or have big deductibles.

A violent storm ripping through a neighborhood is bad enough. But, here on Decatur’s 7th Avenue NW, some storm victims have no insurance to help put their lives back together.

“It breaks your heart to see this in anybody’s neighborhood,” Billy Taylor told WAAY 31 News. For neighbors here, the mean storm that battered Decatur was destructive.

“It’s just tore up everywhere over here,” he told us. “Just every street that you go to. You’ve got trees down on top of people’s houses, cars and it was just a nightmare.”

Amazingly, Taylor’s house was untouched.

“I looked and I said, ‘Well, it didn’t get my house.’ I looked at my neighbor’s house. I said, ‘Maybe, she’s fine, too.’ Then she said, ‘No.’ She had a hole in her roof.”

Next door, a tree slammed down on Peggy Mark’s roof. A limb punched through her ceiling. Thankfully, she has homeowners insurance. But, the storm will still cost her a lot of cash. “A $1,000 deductible,” Taylor explained.

The next house over, there’s another insurance issue. “That’s my daughter’s car,” Shayeann Taylor told WAAY 31.

A giant tree smashed her daughter’s Mazda. “I was just thankful she wasn’t in it,” she told us. “That’s what went through my mind first.” The relieved mom says 22-year-old Tamira depended on her car to get to her part time job and to Calhoun Community College where she’s studying to be a nurse.

“It was a total loss. We were just devastated by it.” The crushed car has only liability insurance. “After I realized she didn’t have full coverage on it, it was just -- it was just bad,” Taylor told us.

And across the street, a bird’s eye view of a home with no insurance. 81- year- old Jo Bogart has a tough time making ends meet as it is. Now this.

“Her daughter is handling all that stuff,” Billy Taylor says. “She said that she was going to look for a contractor to come in. Got the tree off the house. So, she’s going to take it from there. She’s going to have to see what she’s able to do.”

Finding a way to pay to repair this storm damage is going to be tough. “If you don’t have insurance, you just have to do the best you can,” he said.

The storm’s destruction may be done. But, for some, the financial damage is just beginning. “You see it on television in somebody else’s back yard. Now it’s in our backyard.”

Insurance or not, neighbors here say they’re impressed and touched by the people who have come out to lend helping hands.

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