What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

'Katrina Sign Maker' Joe De Benvenutti Tells His State Farm Story

Sign in Joe De and Betty Benvenutti's front lawn on Beach Blvd, Bay St. Louis, Miss.

by Ana Maria

While expressing tremendous gratitude and appreciation to all the volunteers and church groups who came to help and who arrived in Katrina Land long before FEMA and the insurance companies, Joe De also expressed his frustration with being able to collect on his insurance premiums that they've been paying faithfully. Joe De and Betty hired an attorney to sue State Farm to pay on the wind coverage on which they've been paying their premiums.

Watch Joe De as he tells his story to Kevin Davis of KETY-TV, Santa Barbara.

Speaking what is in the hearts and minds of the many that Katrina impacted, Joe De said,
"All we want is what we paid for so we can get on with our lives."
Joe De himself works in the insurance industry. Naturally, he and his wife Betty were insured to the hilt.

Although homeowner policies provide for transition housing costs, because State Farm and other insurance companies refused to acknowledge their financial obligations for wind damage, the insurance industry essentially pawned off their housing costs to the federal taxpayers. Thus the tremendous number of FEMA trailers.

In the video, Joe De Benvenutti talks with Kevin Davis, a young and talented production assistant who hopes to break into reporting. Joe De provides a tour of his FEMA trailer as he talks about his family's life in a FEMA trailer some two years after Katrina took their 186 year old Bay St. Louis home on the beach.

Joe De and his wife Betty paid their premiums faithfully and, like homeowners all over the nation, simply expect that loyalty returned in the form of keeping their end of the good neighbor bargain. Joe De also shares the trouble he and his wife have had with their insurance company, State Farm. He's a delightful character who speaks his mind directly with that typical Bay St. Louis charm.

Kevin Davis works for KEYT -TV, an ABC affiliate in Santa Barbara, CA, and is currently looking for his first reporting job. Kevin can be reached at 925-788-1803 and

© 2007 Ana Maria Rosato. All rights reserved.
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