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TheStreet Open House

Florida Resident Gets Unlikely Reminder of the Value of Flood Insurance

NEW YORK (MainStreet) - Did you know that the average homeowner's policy may not cover violent corpse explosion? It's true, as Florida resident Judy Rodrigo recently discovered when a court ruled against her claim under a State Farm insurance policy.

Six years ago Rodrigo's upstairs neighbor died of old age. The elderly woman had no remaining family or friends, just a puppy; so for two weeks her body remained undiscovered. Then, all of a sudden, it wasn't.

You see, after a person dies all sorts of natural processes kick in. Hair and fingernails stop growing (seriously, death does not cure baldness), skin recedes and percolating bacteria start to produce gases in most major organs. If the body sits for too long those gases build up like a jug of milk forgotten on the counter, and eventually nature takes its toll.

The corpse explodes and releases a small flood of blood, bile and fermented fluids.

This is very bad news for anyone who lives below. When the body eventually and inevitably blew, those fluids seeped down and soaked into the ceiling and walls of Rodrigo's apartment. The problem is, it appears that no one thought to add protection from decomposing neighbors to the condominium's property insurance. From the Broward/Palm Beach New Times:

 "Fluid from the ruptured corpse began to seep through the floor and into he apartment below, which led the owner of that unit to sue her insurance company, claiming that it needed to pay for the damages.

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