Family Upset Following Insurance Settlement
EDINBURG – Wednesday marked one week since a driver crashed into an Edinburg family’s living room shortly after they’d left their home.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS was on scene as crews worked to secure the scene off of Freddy Gonzalez Drive and 2nd Avenue.
After we learned the driver wasn’t cited or charged in the accident and the family didn’t have renters insurance, we wanted to know what would happen in the settlement.
The woman who lives in the house with her husband, brother and three kids declined an interview with us but her mother did speak to us on camera.
Anita Weaver says life has been hectic for her family in the week following the crash.
“My grandkids are upset,” Weaver explained. “It’s a lot of problems. You have to look for another place to live.”
The driver of the truck had insurance. Texas state law requires at minimum, insurance must cover $25,000 in property damage.
In the last week, the driver’s insurance company settled with Weaver’s daughter for $3,500.
“That $3,500 was just for the sofa they lost,” she explained, adding that it didn’t cover the additional many smaller items that had been destroyed.
Weaver said the money also doesn’t pay for temporary housing while the family searches for a new home. She said they have to stay with other family members.
“They should have got rent or something for a month until they found something,” she said. “I’m pretty sure his insurance could have paid for that.”
In this situation, the family has to depend on the insurance from the driver responsible for the accident, and possibly even the property owner because they didn’t have renters insurance.
“Certainly having a renters policy would have helped in this situation,” explained Abraham Padron with SafeGuard Insurance in McAllen.
He says it’s a common problem he wishes he didn’t see.
“Unfortunately, less than 20 percent of the people out there who lease properties or who rent have renter’s insurance.”
Padron says that could be because of state laws. He said often times, homeowners insurance is bought because it’s required by the mortgage company.
Liability car insurance is required by the state of Texas, but Padron said most people who rent aren’t required to get a renters policy.
He tells us they run anywhere from $200 to $700 a year depending on what you own.
Padron said in this case, it could have paid for a hotel stay while the family figures out where to move.
“We want to indemnify you,” he said, explaining what an insurance company’s purpose is. “That means we want to take you back to where you were before you had your accident.”
Weaver says the settlement her daughter took was not equal compensation for what the driver ruined but CHANNEL 5 NEWS found out, it’s not too late for her to ask for more.
“When you take a settlement and you say ‘This is my settlement, this is it.’ A lot of the times an insurance company will come up and say ‘Here’s a certain amount of money, let’s take care of this,’” he explained. “But you can always ask for a supplement. A supplement is a change of amount.”
Charges were not filed against the driver. Edinburg police tell us the accident is classified as an accident with no injuries.
The driver is suspected of being distracted but there was no evidence of him being under the influence or on drugs, according to Assistant Chief Oscar Trevino.