St Lazare family left homeless for months awaiting insurance decision

A St Lazare family say their insurance company La Personnelle is dragging their feet in paying a claim on a house fire, leaving them stranded for months.

Paul Spagnolo says rather than coming to his family's aid after their home was gutted by fire - which they are covered for - they're being eyed with suspician.

"The Fire department determined that the fire was electrical and it started in the garage and the insurance company has a problem with the timeline," says Spagnolo. "An hour after I had left the house the fire started, so they're using that basically against us."

He says police were called in to do an investigation but found no evidence of arson.

Angela Ianelli-Spagnolo says it's been hard on their three small children.

"They don't understand what we understand as adults, so it's just 'Mommy when are we going home, mommy when are we going home?'" she says. "If it was just my husband and I, ok you can deal, but when it's your kids there it's heartbreaking." 

The family has been stranded since January, staying with relatives across town from their former home and school, unable to renovate or clean up the house until the insurance company settles.

Frustrated with their experience, the Spagnolos are urging other Montrealers to consider a competitor.