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The Villages
Saturday, December 9, 2023

Insurer accuses Villagers of waiting too long to file Hurricane Ian claim

In response to a lawsuit, an insurance provider says a Villages couple is not entitled to reimbursement for “alleged damages” caused by Hurricane Ian because the couple “failed to promptly notify” the company.

The lawsuit was filed in the fifth judicial circuit court of Sumter County on Sept. 7 by Lynn and Paula Gilgen against Castle Key Indemnity Company.

According to the complaint, the Gilgens say that their home, which is located at 1168 Burton Lane in the Stillwater Villas in the Village of Virginia Trace, experienced “direct physical damage as a result of the storm event.”

The complaint did not name the hurricane and did not provide a date when the alleged damage took place.

The Gilgens say that they notified Castle Key Indemnity Company, which provides the couple with “homeowner’s insurance,” according to the complaint.

The couple says they were assigned a “claim number” for their case, and that they gave access to Castle Key to “inspect the insured property,” according to the complaint. 

In a multipage answer to the complaint, the insurance company confirmed that it inspected the Gilgen’s property and says that after the inspection, it found that the home “sustained no damages from a peril insured against” it.

The insurance company argues that the “reported loss” is “excluded from coverage” in the Gilgen’s policy.

“Any damages alleged are not covered under the subject policy,” reads the insurance company’s response, which was filed on Oct. 23.

The company also alleges that the Gilgens reported the incident “on or about May 24, 2023,” and says that the delay disqualifies the claim.

“[The Gilgens] are not entitled to recovery for those damages which he failed to promptly notify [Castle Key Indemnity Company],” reads the company’s affirmative defense filing.

According to Sumter County court records, attorneys representing the insurance company served interrogatories to the Gilgens on Oct. 23.

This year, Castle Key Indemnity Company, which is a subsidiary of Allstate Insurance, has been sued at least 16 times by local residents, including 6 lawsuits filed in August.

Multiple Villagers have filed lawsuits this year alleging hurricane damage to their homes.

A Village of Hadley couple sued the insurance arm of AAA for not paying for “physical damage” that their home allegedly sustained during Hurricane Ian.

A Village of Ponderosa resident made similar claims about Hurricane Nicole in lawsuit filed against the Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida.

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