Donald Trump’s Very Questionable $17 Million Insurance Claim in 2004

In 2004, Hurricane Wilma ripped through the southern part of Florida causing extensive damage. Donald Trump collected a whopping $17 million in insurance money to repair damage to his Mar-A-Lago resort.

Photo credit: The White House/Flickr

While repairs were made to the building, it was up and running just weeks after the storm. Few, including some of Trump’s most loyal friends, remember the damage to the building being that extensive.

When Trump was queried about the damages in 2006, he said that the building had a very good insurance policy. He also noted that he kept some of the insurance money, because, “you didn’t have to reinvest it.”

Anthony Senecal is best known as Trump’s longtime butler and for his frequent racially-tinged comments. While no one is more loyal to Trump, Senecal does not agree with Trump’s assessment of the damages.

In an interview about the resort’s history, the butler said, “That house has never been seriously damaged. I was there for all of them (the hurricanes).”

If Mar-A-Lago did require extensive repairs, the resort would likely have been shut down for a period of time. It was not. According to the AP, “Just over two weeks after Wilma, Trump hosted 370 guests at Mar-a-Lago for the wedding of his son Donald Jr. Wedding photographs by Getty Images showed the house, pools, cabanas and landscaping seemingly in good repair.”

There is also no record of this level of repair. Tim Frank, who acted as Palm Beach’s former planning administrator doubts the repairs happened. He says, “I would have known if there was anything in the magnitude of $100,000. If they changed the doorknobs I was supposed to review it.”

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