Halifax Co. Church Fighting Insurance Company For Derecho Repairs
Halifax Co., VA - Two years later, a Halifax County church is still feeling the effects of the Derecho.
Hackberry Baptist Church lost the use of their banquet hall after the storm caused damage to the ceiling."Normally when you have a loss, you expect the insurance company to come by and pay whatever the loss is, " Pannell, but that hasn't been the case for Pastor Hubert Pannell.
He says Nationwide Insurance has refused to pay for the damage to the church - which has stood more than a century.
After sending a third-party engineer to inspect the damage, Pannell says the company determined that the ceiling fell in because it was old - not because of the storm, but Pannell reached out to the National Weather Service to confirm wind speeds up to 70 miles per hour.
"We have documented proof that the winds were particularly high that night, " Hubert said.
Pannell also got his own third-party inspector to look at the damage and counter Nationwide's claims.
Some local agents say situations like this can be avoided with regular maintenance.
"If your building is in bad condition, chances are that it's already in a bad state of repair, whether it be the roof is worn out or you have rotten wood, things like that, " said agent Ginger Sellers.
Pannell says Nationwide never questioned the church's state of repair before the storm.
"If Nationwide felt that this old and didn't want to insure it, they should have stop taking the premiums a long time ago," Hubert said.
The church's local Nationwide agency says they passed the claim off to their corporate office and have no knowledge of the current status.
Pannell says he has gotten a lawyer and plans to take his case to court.