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Costa Mesa : Homeowners to Picket State Farm Insurance

About 100 homeowners from Orange and Los Angeles counties said they will picket the State Farm Insurance Co. regional office in Costa Mesa next week to protest the insurance firm’s refusal to pay claims of up to $100,000 for damages resulting from deteriorating foundation slabs.

“We hope that State Farm will quit giving all of us the runaround and reconsider their position not to pay claims, or even talk with policyholders,” said Fran Goodsell, a homeowner who is helping organize the Wednesday protest.

“State Farm has left literally thousands of homeowners in La Palma, Cypress, Lakewood, Long Beach and Cerritos out on a limb.”

Roger Tompkins, State Farm regional vice president, said: “Obviously customers can come and talk to us about their concerns. And obviously they can demonstrate if they want to because the streets are public property. We’re just sorry that they feel the way they do.”

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Foundations of the affected homes in north Orange and southeast Los Angeles counties are crumbling because the unusually high sulfate content of the soil is destroying the concrete slabs.

Other insurance companies have agreed to pay repair bills ranging from $50,000 to $100,000, Goodsell said, but State Farm has refused to do so.

State Farm’s Tomkins denied Goodsell’s allegation that his company is the only one to refuse to pay these claims. Tomkins said: “We and our principal competitors have the same concerns: The problem with these policies is that they exclude land movement and other kinds of losses that customers think should be covered, irrespective of the language of the policy.”

Goodsell and other homeowners disagree, saying the language of the policies does cover damage to foundations. “The biggest mistake we made was to buy a State Farm policy and faithfully pay our premium year after year,” Goodsell said.


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