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NH Family Fighting Florida Resort After Time Share Swallowed By Sinkhole

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV New Hampshire Bureau Chief
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CAMPTON, NH (CBS) – Debbi Ward and her sister Faith Clark are back home in New Hampshire after the timeshare the two were staying in, along with Faith’s two sons, got swallowed up by the gigantic sinkhole in Florida that made headlines earlier this month.

“I was in the bathtub,” said Ward. “The water started jumping, the tub moved, because at that point the building was starting to twist.”

As their building at the Summer Bay Resorts was crumbling, the family ran out.

“We’re telling people, screaming at the top of our lungs, to get out,” said Ward.

The family lost phones, laptops, cameras, cash, clothes and jewelry.

And now they say the company that owns the property is sending out a letter alerting victims that the resort will not cover the cost of all that is gone, writing that homeowner insurance should pay for it.

But the sisters say their insurance is denying their claim.

“I’m very upset,” says Ward of the run-around. “I’m disappointed.”

Insurance officials in New Hampshire say in general, sinkhole coverage must be purchased separately from homeowners insurance, and most people in New Hampshire do not have it.

“It’s similar to an earthquake or a flood policy in that you actually have to add it to your homeowner’s policy in order for coverage to apply,” said Deborah Stone, a casualty actuary with the State of New Hampshire Insurance Department.

The sisters say they will fight the resort over all they lost.

“I’m grateful we all got out safe and no one was hurt,” said Clark. “It’s just the frustration on the other end.”

Calls and an email to Summer Bay Resorts have not been returned.

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