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Home Insurance with a Capital F

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posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 03:34 AM
It can be hard to know where to start sometimes. Maybe November 28, 2011 would be good. Seems the nights of company Christmas parties always stir the pot. That particular night, about 1/3 of the shingles on our roof came off in a big wind storm, leaving big holes in our roof, and in the siding of the house next door. We called insurance the next day, and called a couple of companies to come by and give a repair quote. On day 2, we had some folks come by and give a temporary fix (firmly attached blue tarps) so we could keep out the snow and sleet that were forecast for the next day. (winter storm warning!)

We got a call back from insurance the next week, saying they wouldn't book any inspections while there was ice and snow and such, due to the dangers of being on a roof, etc. Seems reasonable. Then she said because of that, it could be spring. But if you could check the attic for leaks every two weeks, and let us know if anything changes, that would be great. Meanwhile, some contractors came by, took pictures, gave estimates, and so on.

A month further into an unseasonably dry and warm winter, with no further snow and very few cold days, we called back and suggested that maybe they could send a guy to look. The next day, we received a fairly curt message that "as explained before, you'll hear from us in spring". Since it was a big storm in November that started it all, they were busy, and prioritizing based on need. Different excuse, but still reasonable, if there were people were more severely damaged houses.

Months went by with occasional calls to make sure we were still on a list somewhere, and occasional calls from one contracting company which had given a quote. They were fairly baffled that the insurance folks would take so long, considering that pictures were already taken, and most of their work was done for them. But no leaks, so... Carry on.

April. I calls the insurance lady and I says "Look. We haven't had any leaks yet in this half year, but we do live in a tornado zone, and very heavy rain zone, and are heading into the active season... So you might want to send someone soon, before the damage gets much worse." Two days later, another email saying that inspections were now being scheduled, and they would get in contact by the end of April with a date.

Mid-May. Guy comes by, looks, takes pictures, calls us later the same day with the insurance quote, 2000 less than the cheapest option, and not including the temp fix which cost $900 to begin with. "No. You'll have to review that, and call us back." Call the next day bumped up the estimate by 3000. We waited for a cheque to arrive (fully expecting they'd drag their feet on that too) then booked a full-on re-roof with the contractors from before.

The next day (about three weeks ago now) the rain started. I immediately noticed a seam in the drywall behind the tv which became wet in the heavy rain. So I called the insurance folks to let them know the cost would be changing due to water getting in the walls. They were spectacularly uninterested in talking about it. "We've already paid you for this claim, so I don't know what you expect us to do." So I called the contractors again and got them to send an emergency repair guy. He marvelled at the stupidity of the insurance company for leaving a temporary fix in place for 7 months. I agreed. Patch, patch, patch...$300. That should hold until the re-roof.

Two days ago, the re-roofening starts. The rain kicks it up a notch, slowing down roofing with lightning.

Tonight, my daughter is to bed, I sit down to watch a show on Netflix, and hear a nice drip drip drip starting. Water coming through the wall from above the front window. Capital F. Calls to insurance (surprisingly helpful) and their emergency contact (surprisingly sympathetic) and basically at around 12:30, I end up in our attic, looking for entry points.

All of our electronics are unplugged in the living room, furniture pushed away, rug rolled up, etc. Water is coming from one electrical outlet so I shut down power to that part of the house. In the garage, two spots where water is coming through the ceiling, and a growing wet patch -- where else? -- around the electrical outlet. Power shut off to garage.

Now... 2:30 AM. Up since 4:30. What's to do? What fun will tomorrow bring?

posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 03:46 AM
What a crap insurance company you must have!

I can't say much more than that. I am loving my homeowners insurance agency.
I had a major roof leak after a storm, had a roof repair I paid for, and had an agent arrive a week later.

They paid my expenses to repair the leak, and with my $1000 deductible, still got enough from them to do all the repairs and then some. My house is older than America practically and they were awesome to me. Maybe shop around for a new insurance agency.

posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 03:52 AM
reply to post by JibbyJedi

That's the plan. As soon as this whole thing is finally over.

Update: Now there are some booming noises coming from the roof. I'm not going to look, but am guessing some of the supplies are no longer on the roof. I repeat: Capital F.

posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 04:20 AM
reply to post by CrikeyMagnet

Talk about screwing people, these big organsiations dont seem to give s about little people do they. My heart goes out to you.

posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 12:15 PM
Insurance companies always screw the consumer when it comes to claims. Let me tell you of an experience I had a few years ago. I had built a fine Hot Rod, a 1967 Chevelle Malibu 2 dr, HT with a Mark 4 396 Engine and 4 speed. The entire chassis was SS, 12 both posi rear end, two extra cross members, Moog steering components....basically the best of everything. Bright red paint job, professionally installed interior, the works. I proudly took it to my insurance agent, with a parts list and build sheet. He came out and took many photos, perhaps 15 in all, of the car from all angles, the engine compartment, interior. He asked me the value. I told him I wished to insure the car for $15,000, which was just a little less than I had invested.The agent wrote me up.

A few months later my ex wife wrecked the car into a bridge abutment. I called my agent, who came out and again took many pictures, and told me the car was totalled. (Really?) He said I would receive a check in a week or so. After a few days, it came in the mail.
I was shocked when I saw that the check was for $1,585. I called the agent, who explained to me about the clause that stated they only had to pay what the car cost new. I went off, asking then why was I paying for an insured value of $15,000?

I learned my lesson that day, and now insure for the State minimum. Why pay extra when you are going to get ripped off in the event of a catastrophe?

posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 08:14 AM
reply to post by autowrench

Holy (Place expletive here)! Wouldn't you be able to argue that the car never existed "New", as it was rebuilt? That's insane.

As an update to my own thingy here, there have been a total of three emergency fixes to our roof now, for a combined total of about $2200. Two of those fixes have been since Monday. An insurance rep should be coming by this week to meet with our contractor about the interior damage, and then, presumably, they'll try to screw us over by making it a new claim (hence new deductible) so they don't have to go the trouble of reopening the previous case. Knowing software development and design, I think if it is difficult to reopen a case like that, then they're using paper.

However, good news: I've heard from several contractors that the best approach will be to keep at it. They will deny all they want, and eventually pay for it.

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