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Hurricane on the CoastMARCO ISLAND, FL - More than eight years after Hurricane Wilma hit Southwest Florida, a Marco Island condominium complex is still fighting Citizens Property Insurance over a $4 million claim.

A court ordered all damages are covered in the claim, but the battle continues nearly a decade later. It has gone on for so long the governor's office is now getting involved.

Residents in Admiralty House wrote Governor Rick Scott asking him to launch an investigation into the legal politics they claim Citizens Property Insurances is playing.

Owners are still struggling with broken and bowed windows, leaks and wind damage. Some owners are paying thousands of dollars out of their own pocket to make repairs they say are covered under the policy.

"Sooner or later we're going to get hit probably with another storm. And we're still dealing with the storm that happened in 2005," said condo owner Greg Fogg.

Admiralty House attorney David Pettinato has won several rounds against Citizens Property Insurance in court. Pettinato says Citizens Property Insurance is legally sidestepping the $4 million claim.

"The more hurdles you put in front of a policy holder, the more likely they'll accept 40 cents on the dollar," said Pettinato.

Citizens Property Insurance has already spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to fight the claim. Each day another $600 is added to the tab.

"They want to deny, delay and appeal. Come clean, live up to your obligations [and] pay the debts you're supposed to pay," said property manager Lou Wolfenson.

Governor Scott asked the inspector general of Citizens Property Insurance to investigate. Admiralty House is ready to take the case to trial.

Citizens Property Insurance sent the following written statement:

"This case involves a number of legal issues, but it hopes to end this without further litigation."

However, owners say they will not negotiate.

"We're here for the long term. We've been here for nine years, so what's another couple?" said Fogg.

A trial could start later this year.


Don't let severe weather leave you high and dry. Call Prestige Insurance Group, Inc. at (305) 969-8776 for more information on Miami flood insurance.

(Article courtesy: Jim Spiewak of NBC 2 Fort Myers)
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