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Saturday, January 12, 2008

State Farm Wants Proof Hurricane-Damaged Homes Won't Be Left Vacant

(Photo courtesy FEMA/Mark Wolfe.)
Contributor: Shane Myers
January 8, 2008

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- State Farm is warning that it will cancel homeowner policies for about 6,000 of its customers in south Louisiana if they aren't able to demonstrate that their storm-damaged homes are occupied and are being rebuilt.

State Farm spokesman Gary Stephenson said says the company's goal is to work with customers who want to stay in Louisiana and rebuild their homes.

The company began inspections last April of homes and apartments that generated 75,000 claims following hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The company said it has inspected 50,000 so far and expect to continue through August.

State Farm wants to make sure that people are indeed using their claims checks to rebuild, so that the company isn't stuck with the extra risk of insuring vacant or poorly maintained homes. Homes that are abandoned are at higher risk for claims because of fires, vagrants, water pipe leaks, theft or vandalism.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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