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Watertown police, officials get town's insurance company to cover residents' property damage from Apr. 19 shootout

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  September 19, 2013 12:22 PM

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Handout photo

Watertown Police Captain Raymond Dupuis, who helped locals get their homeowner insurance deductibles covered for damage caused by the April 19 shootout, poses with New England Revolution and DC United soccer players during a "Salute to Heroes" this week.

Residents of Laurel Street in Watertown are getting help repairing bullet holes and shrapnel damage left in their homes and cars after a police shootout with alleged Boston Marathon bombers on April 19.

The Watertown Police Department has teamed up with elected officials and the town's insurance company to help cover any property damage costs residents had as a result of the gunfight with suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

MIIA, the nonprofit insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, has paid nearly $13,000 to about eight different Laurel Street residents to help cover homeowner insurance deductibles, said Watertown Police Captain Raymond Dupuis. The agency has also helped pay for bullet-hole damage to two cars.

"We just didn’t want the residents to have to pay -- it wasn’t their fault," Dupuis said. "They were very good to us, so we wanted to help them."

Most homeowner deductibles were between $500 and $1,000, Dupuis said, but the cars were the most costly to fix: nearly half of the $13,000 from MIIA went towards replacing shattered glass and fixing gaping bullet-holes.

"The town insurance company stepped up and volunteered," Dupuis said. "You don’t hear of insurance companies doing that very often.

MIIA also helped pay for small home contracting jobs that may not have required a formal insurance claim, Dupuis said.

"One guy had a bullet hole in just one window of his house, and it cost $60 for him to fix it, so we just gave him a check for $60," he said. "It's unbelievable the insurance guys stepped up -- you know, because usually insurance companies don't pay anything," he joked.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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