Ramsey Co. deputy, family qualifying as homeless as they fight insurance for home fix

A Ramsey County Sheriff’s deputy and his family officially qualify as homeless nine months after flooding forced them out of their home.

They’ve had to move around a few times as they battled their insurance company over repairs and living expenses almost since the start.

They also have four children who live with them.

It’s been a tough go for all of them, but especially one with autism and another with a neurodegenerative disease, whose condition may be getting worse because if their living situation.

Angela, the mother, gets emotional when she talks about the day a bathroom pipe burst and changed everything about the life she and her husband built for 24 years in the house.

She was gone for about three hours and came back to a geyser on the main floor with hundreds of gallons of water also flowing into the basement.

"When I came down here, I didn't even make it to the bottom stair because I could see water just gushing through from our subfloor, down through the trusses, all over everything," Angela said.

We’re not mentioning their last name at their request because Angela’s husband is in law enforcement.

But his position hasn’t helped in this situation.

Their insurance company is State Farm.

It initially paid for their hotel expenses and some repairs.

But Angela says contractors quit fixing the home when State Farm stopped paying the bills.

They’ve had to hop from hotel to hotel, to a family member’s basement, to another hotel.

And they say State Farm also stopped paying those expenses, even though their policy covered much more than they had spent.

All the moving and living out of suitcases is taking an especially harsh toll on 13-year-old Talia.

"We have a child with a serious medical condition and her doctors have stated that the extreme stress that we're enduring is accelerating her neurological decline," Angela said.

They’ve now sued State Farm.

Their attorney tells FOX 9 insurance companies often stall payments for months or years, hoping people will give up before forcing them to pay.

This family isn’t going to surrender.

"But it’s shattering us," Angela said. "It's shattering our family, our children. And we're trying to just fight for our children to get back in our home for their health, for their safety. And to have some normalcy back."

State Farm sent FOX 9 a statement Monday afternoon.

"While we would like to bring clarity and context to this matter, it would be inappropriate to make public comment as the matter is in litigation," said Kim Kaufman, with the company’s public affairs unit. "I can share that we have been working with our customer, their attorney and their public adjuster since their loss and believe we have provided every benefit available to them within their policy."

The family says State Farm has paid a little more than $20,000 for their alternative living expenses, but their policy had $167,000 in coverage.

And the company paid for about one-third of the necessary repairs to their house.

Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help with the family’s expenses while they fight to get back in their home safely.