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S.I. Couple Locked In Post-Sandy Coverage Fight With Allstate Insurance

Adding Insult, Their Home Is Being Used In TV Ad Lauding Customer Care
Sheila and Dominic Traina are locked in a fight with their insurance company, Allstate. (credit: CBS 2)

Sheila and Dominic Traina are locked in a fight with their insurance company, Allstate. (credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A husband and wife on Staten Island said the insurance company they’ve paid diligently for years isn’t giving them the help they need or the respect they deserve.

Now, struggling to get back on their feet after Superstorm Sandy, the couple is stuck fighting for help from Allstate.

Their home of 43 years is just gone.

Sheila and Dominic Traina said Allstate sent only a $10,000 check for their home, which was left in ruins by the hurricane.

“We didn’t cash it. We don’t know if we should give it back to them, so we’re going to give it to our attorney,” Dominic Traina told CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois.

The Trainas are now at odds with Allstate over what brought their home down.

“Our neighbors saw our house fall down before the storm surge came in, so we’re kind of arguing with the insurance company,” Sheila Traina said.

“How can you determine what did what if the sanitation pushed the house back? That’s our argument,” Dominic Traina said.

Back in November, CBS 2 first showed what was left of the couple’s home. That day, they spoke with President Barack Obama when he visited their devastated neighborhood.

Sheila Traina gave the president letters from her granddaughters. She got a thank you in return.

But while the president is behind them, the Trainas feel that Allstate isn’t.

“We’ve been paying all these years. That’s insurance. Insurance is supposed to be there for when you need them,” Dominic Traina said.

While they wrangle with the insurance company, Allstate is featuring the couple’s home in an ad, talking about the company’s caring customer service.

By showing images of their ruined home, the ad is compounding their outrage.

“Allstate used our house as a commercial that they have caring agents. Well, how caring could they be?” asked Dominic Traina.

Allstate did not comment directly to CBS 2 on the Trainas’ claim or their anger over the commercial.

On Thursday night, the company released the following statement:

“All Allstate commercials are produced in accordance with all applicable advertising standards,” the statement read. “We continue to work with customers affected by Sandy and seek to settle claims promptly and fairly.”

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