I need your help. Jeremy lost his house…

Update: Greg’s initial goal was $1,000. It is 3:54pm EST and $1,385 has been raised. Thanks to everyone who is and has been sharing this and helping Jeremy.

Update 2: Nationwide has contacted Jeremy and added lots of details in the comments (please read).

Nationwide and Jeremy Smith

Most of you know Jeremy Smith or @jeremysaid on Twitter. I’ve known Jeremy for a while, but we currently serve on the Triangle AMA Board together.

While most were lucky enough to be out of the recent NC tornado’s path… Jeremy’s house was not.

Jeremy's house

Jeremy’s house was condemned and is being demolished.

To add to that, his Nationwide Insurance (@nationwide) had recently expired. Full details in the comments, but this was not a malicious act by Nationwide.

Please help Jeremy

Greg de Lima started a ChipIn widget that I’ve embedded below (his original post, but not so original blog theme :). Any penny will help. Please keep Jeremy in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks for reading this post.

Follow me on the rest of the webs.

Still not sure who wrote this post? I'm Chris Moody.


  1. I’m not sure if Jeremy sees comments here, but if his insurance company dropped his coverage because he can’t live in it … and he can’t live in it because of the damage; I STRONGLY suggest he file a complaint with his state insurance commissioner. In most places insurance companies can’t legally do that.

      • Chris is right. The debate is not tied to the tornado nor is of malicious intent on Nationwide’s part. Bad timing, poor communication and just bad luck all play a big role here.

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  20. Hi Chris,

    I lead our social media team at Nationwide and I’ve been able to gather more information about Jeremy’s situation. First, I want to say that I hate to hear of anyone losing their home and applaud the efforts of those doing outreach via social media to help.

    I also want to share the facts with everyone who has been following the conversation so that they have more context:

    1. Nationwide has hundreds of claims associates deployed in North Carolina to assist our customers and expect to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in covered losses.
    2. Unfortunately, Mr. Smith and his wife’s homeowner policy was non-renewed in February when they informed us that there was no one living in their Serendipity residence.
    3. Unoccupied dwellings do not meet the underwriting requirements for a standard Nationwide homeowners policy. It is generally recommended that, if a homeowner moves out of their home, they contact their agent about available coverages.
    4. Nationwide offered Mrs. Smith to purchase a dwelling fire policy in February to cover the residence at that time, but the coverage was refused.
    5. It is unfortunate the Smith’s did not have proper coverage in place, but it’s important to note Nationwide did its part in offering appropriate coverage several months ago.

    Please feel free to contact me directly via email (mortons7@nationwide.com), Twitter (sMoRTy71) or phone (614-249-6452) if you have questions.

    Shawn Morton

    • Shawn,

      Thanks for adding those details. I’m glad to see that Nationwide is helping out so many folks and say a lot of that on your Facebook page as well. While the situation is unfortunate, it is nice to see that folks came together to help Jeremy.

      Thanks for taking the time to share those facts to add more context as I wasn’t able to do all the detective work myself. :)


    • I certainly understand Nationwide’s position and it appears that Jeremy unfortunately elected to not have coverage on the vacated dwelling, Shawn. If that’s the case, we can’t fault you guys. Thanks for clarifying.

      But I’d like to make a suggestion. Seeing that Jeremy was a customer (and may still be with other insurable items), what a nice gesture it would be for Nationwide to contribute a bit to his cause. Certainly I, and everyone else here, would understand that some random dude online suggesting it doesn’t make it a good idea, the right idea or even feasible (we know big companies can’t just drop $200 or whatever on random causes or set precedents with lapsed coverage customers), but it came to mind.

  21. Shawn,

    Thanks so much for commenting. I really appreciate you digging into this issue. Nationwide has been more than helpful in researching this information and was/are very quick to respond to any online discussions going on around the situation, despite all of the tremendous families in need at this point. A couple comments of my own.

    What I was informed of on the phone was, the policy was actually not renewed in March, not February. March 25th was when it was cancelled. According to records, February 16th we called in to make an adjustment to a car policy. Supposedly that’s when we were informed. Unfortunately that did not happen, nor did we receive correspondence about being dropped, or we would have acted immediately. It’s a he said she said situation at this point, so I think that’s a mute point and an unfortunate circumstance.

    I was contacted directly yesterday and told that we were offered a quote when we called in, which also did not happen. It’s possible that this quote was based on a dwelling fire policy and not an unoccupied dwelling policy. Regardless of that, there were conflicting references to an unoccupied dwelling policy vs a dwelling fire policy. On one occasion (after the incident) we were told that there are no policies regarding unoccupied dwellings, and on another occasion we were told there are policies available for that. Even to the extent one was offered to me yesterday when I was called back and explained the situation. We were also given a different number to call for the dwelling fire policy yesterday, which doesn’t make sense if we supposedly refused a quote.

    I understand unfortunate events happen, and that’s why there are rules and guidelines in place. I also understand that our situation falls under this criteria and nothing can be done at this point. Overall, my frustration lies in the communication process, the notification process and the front line (customer service) information we received when we called in. Unfortunately we did everything online and through customer service and did not have a local agent that we went through. Lesson learned there.

    There is possible good news however. From what I understand the banks are required to also carry a lenders insurance against any policy that does not have a home owners policy associated with that. So, it’s very possible this could all come out good for everyone in the end. The learning experience on both sides I am sure will be positive. Thanks again for sharing everything you found. Everything always works out in the end.

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