Contact 2 resolves claim dispute for St. Peters man

ST. PETERS, Mo. – The spring storm season is upon us, but a St. Peters man says mother nature had nothing to do with an electrical surge that caused thousands of dollars of damage inside his home.

“Before they ever came out, all this equipment here was buried up inside this tree,” said Dan Hall.

Hall says he was out of town when Ameren Missouri crews came without prior notice to work on the utility boxes outside his St. Peters home.

“Ok so when I can home, I realized that my air conditioning wasn’t running. I noticed my ceiling fan in there wasn’t running. Then I came into here and my stove was blinking, but my microwave was blacked out, there was nothing on the screen and this fan was not working,” he said.

Hall knew the issues weren’t caused by weather, so he called Ameren’s emergency number and spoke with a representative.

“She said you can get it fixed or repaired or replaced, whatever you need to do or estimates and supply that paperwork or receipts, mail that in with your form and that will only expedite the process,” Hall said.

He got bids, priced replacement electronics, and filed his claim—worth about $2,700—with the necessary estimates and receipts. About three weeks later, a response arrived from Ameren’s corporate claims division.

“Ameren cannot be held responsible for fluctuations in their current, continuity, or any kind of surges or power losses or phase changes. I don’t understand that,” said Hall.

Hall’s electrician said it appeared a power surge likely caused the damage at this home, but he couldn’t get an official diagnosis from Ameren. Hall appealed the decision. Two weeks later, he got the same frustrating answer.

“I’m not trying to get a 70-inch TV. I had a 36-inch TV and that’s what I sent them was a receipt or estimate for a 36-inch TV,” he said.

Fox 2 contacted Ameren. The company responded, saying, "Each claim is evaluated based on the individual circumstances surrounding that particular claim. In an electrical distribution system subjected to the environment and forces of nature, irregularities can occur.”

“I don’t see how in any way, shape or form how they can deny liability for what has been destroyed in my home,” Hall said.

Ameren issued a statement over the weekend:

"We are confident that our crews did everything correct. But given the time and investment required to further validate this position, which extends well beyond the damage to customer's equipment, it was in the best interest of all of its customers to expedite resolution of this claim."

Kudos to Ameren for making things right. We’re certainly happy we could help resolve the situation for Dan Hall.