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The "Farmers Insurance News-Alert" website is dedicated to providing the consumer and general public with detailed information concerning the Farmers Insurance Group. This includes fraud reports, consumer complaints, lawsuit's and other legal actions taken against this company. All information contained herein is for educational purposes only. Original sources, when known are sited.

 

WOMAN'S PATIENCE GOES UP IN FLAMES OVER INSURANCE

A woman is camping outside her burned-out home to protest her insurance company's refusal to pay for many home repairs. Her house was damaged in a fire set by her husband after he beat her unconscious.

``I want them to pay for the full amount of the house and the contents of the house, so I can get back to my life,'' Diana Smeltzer, 52, said Thursday.

``I feel Farmer's Insurance is punishing me for surviving this violent crime.'' Walter Barron, Smeltzer's insurance agent, referred calls to his manager Thursday. ``I'm not at liberty to comment on this,'' he said. The manager did not call back. Diana Smeltzer has been staying in a tent outside her home in the 10000 block of Countryside Drive since Tuesday. She plans to stay there until the insurance company pays up.

The ordeal started two years ago, when her then 55-year-old husband, Brent Smeltzer, beat her and choked her, leaving her unconscious on the kitchen floor. He then poured gasoline around the house and set it afire. She escaped, but their 17-year-old poodle, Che, died. Brent Smeltzer was convicted in February on several charges including arson, reckless endangerment and cruelty to animals, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

In the meantime, Diana Smeltzer had been battling with Farmers Insurance Group to get her house rebuilt and for compensation for her personal possessions. When the company finally agreed to pay her in April, it was for $42,257.22, half of the lowest bid quoted for her home.

``That did not include plumbing, electricity, heating and air conditioning and landscaping,'' she noted. Diana Smeltzer says it would cost more than $100,000 to rebuild her house,
and that she suffered a loss of $76,000 in personal possessions. Last week, when she was seeing her therapist, he advised her to do something to make her feel better about her situation. ``I told him that I needed to go home,'' she said. ``He told me, `you go home and you find some way to make that happen.' ''

``I'm not trying to damage Farmers,'' she said. ``I've been patient with them for 511 days (since the fire). Farmers has been making me invisible. I am doing this to get my voice back, to get control and to get my life back.''

 

 

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