First Wind Versus Water Case Heads To Court - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

First Wind Versus Water Case Heads To Court

Every year when he renewed his homeowners insurance, Paul Leonard thought the hurricane coverage was all he needed. But just to be sure, he says he repeatedly asked his agent if he should buy a flood policy. 

"I asked about flood insurance. His specific comment was I didn't need that stuff."  

Leonard says relying on his agent's word, he believed his policy would cover storm surge damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Leonard's attorney says the agent didn't want to be bothered with the extra paperwork required for flood insurance. 

"Didn't want to deal with the paperwork. Because the premium and commission the agent received was so little, it wasn't worth the effort to do all the paperwork to get flood insurance. So he discouraged, actively discouraged his clients, Nationwide's clients, from getting flood insurance," says attorney Dickie Scruggs.

Leonard lives two blocks from the beach. Nationwide says his policy clearly spells out what it will not pay in losses, including flood. 

"Flood water damage was not covered. We're sympathetic to the fact that they didn't have that coverage, but we have an obligation to live by the contract we agreed to. And to ask the judge to change the contract after the fact, that's not fair to Nationwide or to the thousands of people along the Gulf Coast that did purchase flood insurance," says Nationwide spokesperson Joe Case.

Case says the lawsuit is about "he said, she said." 

"Mr. Fletcher adamantly says that he told his clients if they lived in a flood zone or their mortgage company required it, they would need flood insurance."

Leonard says he just wants his insurer to live up to the deal he thought they both agreed to. 

"We're not looking for anything other than what we feel like we're owed - put our house back together, replace everything and put it like it was before Katrina."

The Leonards damage totals about $100,000. Paul Leonard testified Monday that so far Nationwide has paid him about $1,600, and that he estimates he has spent $30,000 out of pocket to repair his home so far.

The trial could go into next week.

by Marcia Hill

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Tornado watch in effect for South MS until 3 p.m.

    Tornado watch in effect for South MS until 3 p.m.

    Sunday, April 30 2017 10:22 AM EDT2017-04-30 14:22:54 GMT
    A tornado watch is in effect for South Mississippi through 3 p.m. Sunday. (Photo source: NOAA)A tornado watch is in effect for South Mississippi through 3 p.m. Sunday. (Photo source: NOAA)

    Severe storms are moving into South Mississippi Sunday morning, causing a tornado watch to be in effect until 3 p.m. The storms are expected to reach the I-59 corridor around noon before moving east in Stone, George, Harrison and Jackson counties. 

    More >>

    Severe storms are moving into South Mississippi Sunday morning, causing a tornado watch to be in effect until 3 p.m. The storms are expected to reach the I-59 corridor around noon before moving east in Stone, George, Harrison and Jackson counties. 

    More >>
  • Sand on highway causing unsafe road conditions

    Sand on highway causing unsafe road conditions

    Sunday, April 30 2017 10:02 AM EDT2017-04-30 14:02:04 GMT
    A WLOX reporter and photographer help a stranded motorist on Hwy. 90 in Gulfport Sunday morning. (Photo source: Bryan Caldwell)A WLOX reporter and photographer help a stranded motorist on Hwy. 90 in Gulfport Sunday morning. (Photo source: Bryan Caldwell)

    Sand on Highway 90 along the beaches of Biloxi and Gulfport are causing traffic concerns for motorists and for police. Shortly after 8:30 a.m., MDOT blocked off Hwy. 90 from the Armed Forces Retirement Home to Debuys Road. Once the weather passes on Monday, they will continue to clean up the highways. 

    More >>

    Sand on Highway 90 along the beaches of Biloxi and Gulfport are causing traffic concerns for motorists and for police. Shortly after 8:30 a.m., MDOT blocked off Hwy. 90 from the Armed Forces Retirement Home to Debuys Road. Once the weather passes on Monday, they will continue to clean up the highways. 

    More >>
  • Stormy weather expected for Sunday afternoon

    Stormy weather expected for Sunday afternoon

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:14 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:14:53 GMT

    Starting on Friday we had winds really pick up across South Mississippi.

    More >>

    Starting on Friday we had winds really pick up across South Mississippi.

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Homeless man gets makeover from big-hearted cops

    Homeless man gets makeover from big-hearted cops

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 2:44 PM EDT2017-04-25 18:44:10 GMT
    Tuesday, April 25 2017 3:49 PM EDT2017-04-25 19:49:50 GMT

    Police officers in Rome, NY, went the extra mile to give back to their community, helping one in need.

    More >>

    Police officers in Rome, NY, went the extra mile to give back to their community, helping one in need.

    More >>
  • Teen with cerebral palsy denied prom tickets

    Teen with cerebral palsy denied prom tickets

    Friday, April 28 2017 10:36 PM EDT2017-04-29 02:36:27 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:00 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:00:47 GMT
    Ashley Hamblin already has her dress picked out, but may not be able to wear it. (WSMV)Ashley Hamblin already has her dress picked out, but may not be able to wear it. (WSMV)

    She has her dress, her date, and an extensive hair and makeup plan. It’s all in anticipation of her high school prom, but a Middle Tennessee teen was denied tickets.

    More >>

    She has her dress, her date, and an extensive hair and makeup plan. It’s all in anticipation of her high school prom, but a Middle Tennessee teen was denied tickets.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly