Who? Us?

We are two disabled, oldish women who have been adventuring through life for years. We are talking about how disabilities, both visible and not, change the way we enjoy our retirement.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

More Katrina Stories, Insurance

Speaking of homeowners’ insurance and we were, weren’t we?

No one has you in Good Hands, nor are they a Good Neighbor.  Trust me on this.  Insurance companies are in business for one reason and one only: To make money and lots of it. They accomplish this by not paying claims.  They proved it after Katrina. The adjustors harassed, delayed, argued, with the insured until they often just wore them down. 

We had an adjustor, Alan.  He was not a Good Neighbor, nor was he there. One of my jobs was to deal with Alan. When he finally arrived about a week after we got home, we started off like this:  I said, “Alan, we will be friends if you realize one thing. I have paid you for 40 or so years. You will now pay me back.”  He did not reply, figuring two little old grey haired ladies were going to be a piece of cake to get over on. I think he did not know us well.  He started by putting his arm over my shoulders telling me that everything would be OK and he would speed our claim through, so we could get through this comfortably. Somehow I did not believe him. That arm over the shoulder patronizing bs he did didn't get us off to a good start. I told him that the easiest thing for him to do was just to pay us every dime we were insured for and his job would be done and we could get on with what we had to do.

He started toward the house ruins and I had to stop him. The house remains were not safe for anyone to be near, let alone a man in a suit and leather shoes. I suggested that my insurance company would not like another claim for injury to him. He said he was going to go there anyway.  

I have a good friend who is an engineer and specializes in structural damage and he consults all over the world. I mentioned his name and said I had him on speed dial, and did Alan want to speak with him.  Ummm, Alan recognized his name and demurred. He did not go near the house ruins.

Good old Alan dumped paperwork on us to fill out. We did. I had made a CD at the beginning of every hurricane season filled with photos of every room in the house, everything in every room. I didn’t miss the garage or mechanical room either.  I had serial  numbers, sales receipts, all that was needed.  He would not accept the CD. We had to transcribe all the information onto his forms. Took us at least 3 days, but we did it, turned it in and kept a copy.  Good thing, because he lost it, so we had to make another copy and send it again.

Then we waited. And waited. They made us an offer that was laughable.

It took two months of me being adamant that the house and contents were a total loss (and they were). We had several ‘come to Jesus meetings’ with him, his boss and his boss. After two months, we got a check for every dime that we were insured for.  Had he done as I told him at first we could have  avoided all that unpleasantness and been done in a week.

They got us back though, those insurance companies. They stopped writing insurance where Katrina and 3 weeks later, Hurricane Rita hit. If you own a house in those areas, you must pick out an assigned risk company based somewhere out of the country and pay them over $3000.00 yearly with a huge deductible and huge percentages of no coverage if it’s a named storm. 

Seems to me that with the naming of more kinds of storms these days, are insurance companies going to impose the same restrictions with those ‘named storms’?

Insurance companies make huge yearly profits and trust me, they are determined to keep it that way.

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