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'Like a good neighbor State Farm is where?' asks farmer denied barn damage claim over cows

Cullman County Farmer Fred Gipson stands in his cow pasture with the same barn in the distance State Farm denied a claim for storm damage because of cattle.

A farmer in Cullman County says it chaps his hide his insurance claim has been denied because of cows.

Fred Gipson says it was unfathomable to hear a claims adjuster tell him why the coverage could not be provided.

Life is feeling a bit ironic right now for the Cullman County man.

Gipson says for the three years he's lived on his farm, right outside Hanceville, he thought the barn at the front of his 85 acres of land was included in his home insurance policy.

He says when March storms blew in large hail that did damage to the barn roof, he learned it wasn't.

Gipson says, ”Like a good neighbor State Farm is there. Where? They were half-here.”

After his claim was denied it moved him to investigate. He repeated a phone conversation with the claims adjuster. He says, “She told me 'we’re not gonna cover your barn or your equipment shed'. I asked, 'Why are you not gonna cover my barn or my equipment shed? She said 'well because you have cows'. A caveat I had no clue about until this was filed (in the) 29 years now I’ve been with them.”

He pointed to spots in both roofs where damage could be found as he walked around his property.

Then he told ABC 33/40 despite the insurance company covering damage to his home and garage he recalls asking why not everything.

"What do cows have to do with it? Then she says, 'you run a business'.”

Even though he says any damage to the chicken coop wasn't considered a business.

Now, Gipson explains he is left with a $15-20,000 bill.

“This is hail damage…not a single cow has walked on one of my roofs," he says.

He says for years the relationship with his agent has been great.

ABC 33/40 did call State Farm to see if this is typical.

An e-mailed statement says, "While we cannot comment on the specifics of a customer’s claim, State Farm does not currently offer Farm/Ranch business insurance coverage in the state of Alabama. We encourage all customers to review their policies with their agent to ensure that the proper coverage is in place.”

Gipson says he has another thought the company can use for a saying. "Maybe their slogan should be, 'State Farm is half-here'. That’s the way I see it," he says.


Gipson says he has been receiving an outpouring of support on Facebook after he posted a video of himself explaining the details of his claim.

He told ABC 33/40 everyone from insurance companies to lawyers are telling him he should be able to receive money to cover the cost of damage to the roofs.

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