Community Helps Clearwater Woman Cover Damage From Gator Break-In
CLEARWATER, FL — After learning that her homeowners’ insurance policy doesn’t cover damage by an 11-foot alligator, 77-year-old Mary Wischhusen’s neighbors and friends have come forward to help her put her condominium back in order.
Around 3:30 a.m. May 31, Wischhusen awoke to the sound of a crash coming from the kitchen of her home on Eagles Landing Circle West. When she investigated, she found herself face to face with a scaly intruder who had broken through the floor-to-ceiling glass window of her kitchen.
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The gator’s thrashing tale crashed through drywall and knocked over furniture.
While Clearwater Police were able to summon a trapper to remove the gator from Wischhusen’s home, there wasn’t much they could do about the destruction the reptile left in its wake.
So, Wischhusen filed a claim with her homeowners’ insurance and was surprised when she was notified that her claim was denied. While insurance companies frequently pay out claims for damage caused by Mother Nature, such as tornadoes and lightning, damage by Mother Nature’s creatures isn’t customarily covered in most homeowners’ policies.
When he learned she’d been denied coverage by her insurance company, Clearwater Police Officer Brad Allen, one of the police officers called to Wischhusen’s home for the gator break-in, decided to create a GoFundMe page to help cover the repairs.
“I just wanted to do something to help her out,” said Allen. “The gator broke two windows, a kitchen table, kitchen table chairs, a baker’s rack with a couple bottles of wine and put dents in her dry wall. I’m just hoping to raise enough money to help fix her damages.”
In a little over two weeks, 40 people have contributed more than $1,500 toward Wischhusen’s damages.
Additionally, several local contractors have offered to do repairs for Wischhusen at a discount.
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