UPDATE: Moore resident battles insurance company
Update: A representative of Farmers Insurance reached out to NewsChannel 4 today (July 30th). Foremost Insurance is a subsidiary of Farmers.
The head of their media relations claims they have already paid more than $80,000 to Mr. Becerra and almost $8,000 of that is for living expenses for him to live elsewhere.
Mark Toohey, with Farmers Insurance says, “People in Oklahoma know that Farmer’s is one of the largest, if not the largest homeowner’s insurance companies in the state. You know we’ve got a huge employee presence there. We’re very bullish on the state of Oklahoma. And we want to do what’s right by our customers.”
Becerra’s attorney tells us Farmers has not paid his client what they’re claiming they paid and that they only gave him the additional living expenses after he refused to move back into the home.
MOORE, Okla. — NewsChannel 4 has told you about a local attorney representing tornado victims who don’t feel their insurance companies are treating them fairly. Jeff Marr is calling his latest case the worst one he’s seen.
Gabriel Becerra lives directly behind the Warren Theater in Moore. His home was heavily damaged in the May 20th tornado.
He believes it should probably be bulldozed, but says his insurance company is telling him to move back in.
“They wanted me to live in here … they said this is liveable,” said Becerra.
Becerra says the adjuster told him he could live in one of his back bedrooms, but shortly after that the ceiling caved in. And almost every other ceiling in the home has caved in as well.
“He said well I got a lady down here, she’s living in one room in the garage. I said you gotta be kidding. ‘Nope. No electricity, nothing. She’s got a generator,’” said Becerra.
Several brick walls of his home now actually move, but according to the engineer hired by Foremost Insurance, the movements of some of those walls “Were not attributable to the subject tornado event, but rather were consistent with non-uniform movement of the soils.”
“Any fool can tell that’s not the result of settlement,” says Attorney Jeff Marr. “It’s a joke to tell this man and his family they have to move back into this home.”
In that same engineer’s report, it states, “Reportedly, the subject residence was damaged by a tornado that passed through the vicinity of the residence.”
“We can’t guarantee it, but reportedly a tornado passed through the vicinity of this house. You saw the inside of it. I mean that’s what he’s dealing with,” said Marr.
Becerra says he’s paid his premiums faithfully the entire 15 years he and his family have lived in this home, the first one they’ve ever owned.
He says he expected better from his insurance company.
“I’m the person that you do the right thing, I’ll do the right thing for you. So I’ve been paying, you have to pay me back,” said Becerra.
Foremost Insurance is a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance. Calls from NewsChannel 4 were not returned.