Estranged husband suspected in $70K in home damage so insurer will only cover half, woman says
Someone duct-taped the overflow drain of an upstairs bathtub in an Alberta woman’s home and then turned the water on full blast — and now she says her insurer will only cover half of the $70,000 in damage because her estranged husband is believed to be the culprit.
Dixie Dash returned to her home in Okotoks, just south of Calgary, on April 24 to find the tub running, part of the ceiling collapsed, the floors ruined and the basement trashed.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said of the damage.
Both Dash and her insurance company suspect her estranged husband — who has since gone missing — is to blame.
Dash said her husband no longer lived in the home but had stopped by earlier in the day on April 24 to visit her teenaged boys and give them Easter presents, after she had gone to work.
His vehicle was found abandoned the following day, parked on the side of a road just north of Banff.
Two days after that, RCMP declared 51-year-old Kevin Sadownyk missing and issued a press release asking the public for help in locating him. RCMP also confirmed a complaint had been received about the trashed home.
Sadownyk is described as five-foot-seven and 180 lbs. with shoulder-length blond hair and blue eyes.
Dash said her insurance company, Intact, will only cover half of the roughly $70,000 in damage.
The company defended its position in an email to CBC News.
“Generally, property insurance policies do not cover loss or damage resulting from intentional acts of anyone insured by the policy,” Intact spokesperson Hazel Tan wrote.
“This is in place to ensure that individuals do not intentionally cause damage to their own property for gain and to minimize fraud which will ultimately impact the premiums all policyholders pay.”
Dash said she had tried to have her husband removed from the insurance policy but was told that she couldn’t, because he was still named on the mortgage and title. She said she had been paying the premiums, herself.
“I don’t understand. I didn’t do anything wrong. My kids didn’t do anything wrong,” she said.
“So virtually, we’re being victimized twice.”
Provision to protect victims
Five provinces — including Alberta — have laws aimed at protecting victims in situations like this, but it doesn’t mean deliberate damages will be fully covered.
“The legislation requires that the insurer pay for the losses of an innocent co-insured’s property caused by the deliberate action of another person insured on the policy,” said Insurance Bureau of Canada spokesman Andrew McGrath.
“The amount paid out in these circumstances is determined by the innocent co-insured’s proportional interest in the damaged property.”
Intact said it is following the law while also “actively working” with Dash to “maximize the proceeds available in this difficult situation.”
Friends have also set up a GoFundMe page to help Dash cover the cost of damages.
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