Nightmare continues for one couple after 2011 Good Friday storms

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KMOV.com

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 15 at 2:50 PM

(KMOV) -- The nightmare of last year's Good Friday twister continues for one Bridgeton couple who lost their home and their business.

Dan and Tona Court said they paid their insurance premiums on their house for 13 years, but their insurance company left them without a home for their family, and without a business.

The couple said State Auto refused to pay their claim, or the work it had already approved to start rehabilitating the house. Now they are suing the company and their insurance agent.

Rick Egelhoff, owner of Advanced Restoration, said his company has put $15,000 of work into the home, but has not been paid a dime.

"Every day goes by it gets worse," Court said. "What could be rebuilt and salvageable 10 months ago is now water-soaked and beginning to rot out."

State Auto said the couple breached their contract because they left the home for several months while Tona recovered from heart surgery.

"Our insurance agent knew full well that we were staying up in Moberly," Court said. "I had talked to him and said, you know, is there anything else that we need to do for our insurance, and he said 'No, I think you're good.'"

State Auto also claims they did not know the couple ran a daycare center out of the home. Tona said she even had an endorsement for the daycare on her policy.
 
"It's just a nightmare that won't go away," Court said.

The insurance company's attorney did not return phone calls on Friday, but in court records the company denies any wrong-doing.

The Courts also filed a complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance, which is encouraged by the state.  The department can often settle disputes with insurance companies on behalf of homeowners; however, the Courts case has extenuating circumstances.

To file a complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance, visit insurance.mo.gov and click on 'File a Complaint' in the right-hand column of the page.

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