Richmond Hill: Insurance woes for some

Residents say most insurers have been cooperative

INDIANAPOLIS - After a Richmond Hill home exploded last November, damaging more than 120 homes, neighbors turned to insurance companies to help with repairs.

Now, some residents are telling RTV6 they were surprised by the answer they received.

Nearly 20 insurance companies have paid out millions of dollars to get Richmond Hill residents back into their homes. And a majority of people we talked to say their insurer was cooperative.

One homeowner, however, said her insurance company initially blamed nails popping out of the walls on the family's lack of using a dehumidifier. Others said they had to hire structural engineers costing hundreds of dollars to prove that their damage was more serious and required a large payout to make repairs.

Richmond Hill resident Michelle Smith said when it comes to the back and forth with insurance companies, her neighbors shouldn't give up.

"Fight for your rights. This is why you have insurance," she said. "This is why you pay your premiums. Don't let them dictate to you what they are going to do. This is your home. This was my home. I was going to fight for what I knew was the right thing."

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has subpoenaed all of the insurance companies involved to turn over pictures and documents associated with the blast. The information is expected to be used as evidence in the pending criminal case against defendants Monserrate Shirley and brothers Mark and Robert Leonard.

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