Limited transportation for Waverly families adds to an already costly recovery

Insurance expires for some rental car coverage
Posted at 7:11 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 20:11:38-04

WAVERLY, Tenn. (WTVF) — It’s one thing to pay for a home you can’t live in, but now people in Waverly say they have to pay for the rental cars once covered by insurance.

Dawn Schwarz commutes more in a month than I’m willing to bet most people drive in a year. Sadly her car, like many others, was totaled after the August flood.

“Yeah, $1,287.65, and that thing would’ve been mine,” Schwarz said.

Now at $30 a day, Schwarz has to rely on a rental car to commute to and from work. Schwarz works for a company to provide caregiver services to veterans. She enjoys what she does and makes enough money to pay her bills.

The rental car was already part of her Allstate insurance policy, so early on she paid nothing. What she didn’t realize is that Allstate only agreed to pay for a week worth of service.

With bills and rent due in the coming weeks, Schwarz says she’s asked multiple times for an extension. According to her Allstate agent, the fine print offered no room for an extension.

“They said that’s the way it’s written and they can’t do nothing,” Schwarz said.

Thankfully Enterprise gave her the same discounted price they offered the insurance company, but it still means paying for something she needs to have.

From where she stands at her Briarwood Apartments home in Waverly, her commute takes her one hour away toward Lyles and another hour toward Big Sandy. She visits her home twice a day to check for any repairs, before driving to the hotel where she and her family have stayed for weeks.

“Since I’ve had this car, I’ve logged well over 4,000 miles on it,” Schwarz said.

Without traditional public transportation, we tried Uber and Lyft to see what other options there may be. We found no available cars, which Schwarz said wasn’t a surprise since few drivers are willing to make trips to Waverly, only to turn around and drive an hour elsewhere.

We could still see the price which amounted to $45 one way. We then turned to taxis, but the closest service was 30 miles away. The rest were at least 40 miles.

That’s when we found MidCumberland Transit. Their website lists several phone numbers where you can call and schedule a pickup. Vans can take you to any number of Middle Tennessee counties. Prices vary depending on where you need to go, so an hour-long commute twice a day may put you right back where you started.

It’s money she can’t afford to not spend on a chance that one day she’ll be back in the home she remembers.

When we arrived at Briarwood Apartments on Friday, we noticed construction crews going door-to-door and making repairs. Schwarz says this is the first time she’s seen them since the last time we met back on Sept. 7.

Calls to Greer Management, which owns the property, have gone unanswered. Schwarz says she hasn’t been told when to expect repairs to be complete. For now, The Red Cross has agreed to pay for their hotel while they continue to look for temporary housing.