Insurance 101 – Life’s Lessons Continue

FireInvestigation

Life is but a dream; truly.  I’ve been very happy as I’ve made my new home a home.  I’ve met and made some incredible friends along the way and find that there is still hope for love in the future – I know, I know… I said that I’m in a relationship with myself and I still am; just saying, that’s all.  But there seems to be a race going on that I was not aware and that is the race with my insurance company (and my insurance company seems to be losing – and taking me along with them).

Sorry folks, but it has been over 4 months (FOUR!) since that fateful morning where I was awoken by the smoke alarm.  And as a result I virtually lost all I had… roughly 95% (give or take)… now I am grateful that I had insurance; however, for it to have taken this long to settle and still not to be done?  I’m in quite a quandary.

Now to be fair, there were some delays on my part in the beginning… but, once I got everything inventoried (and, to be fair, the company that actually clears the lost items, refurbishes what can be refurbished, they then list what was lost and submitted a list right away… my part was everything else… and I was going on total memory.  I was also waiting on the company’s report…)  But, still delays are delays and I cannot take full responsibility.  So, in an effort to pass on what little knowledge I’ve obtained; I thought I’d pass on a few do’s and don’ts on Insurance 101…

1)      DO – take pictures and log everything you own.  Be sure to keep this in a fire-safe safe… (best to do this as soon as you move… as you pack even.  Remember my fire was only 5 short days after my move; so make sure your insurance is in place with a minimum of 25,000 contents and make sure you have business insurance (if you work from home) and Fine Arts, Jewelry, etc… Don’t delay on this…

a)      Not sure how much you all know – but basically everything I owned was in my spare bedroom in boxes.  These boxes had been in storage since 2010 – reason?  I had moved back in with my sister Kimball to care for her until my move in 2013.  So, pictures, pictures, pictures.

2)      DO – have someone help you with the inventory of all your items.  You’ve gone through and incredible loss; it’s important that you realize this and that you obtain the help you need and deserve.  You are going to need to know:

a)      The item

b)      The cost of that item

c)       When you purchased that item

d)      The condition – Replacement Cost of that item

3)      DO – Have a journal handy for all receipts and numbers.  Be sure you have logged all expenses and keep all receipts.  This is also helpful for all people who you speak with, that you keep a record of their phone numbers and their addresses (email and snail mail).

4)      DO – Stay on top of your adjuster/carrier.  Make sure they access your property from the get go.  It is imperative that they see the loss as soon as possible and that this property is not (I repeat) NOT cleared or altered in any way.  (this happened to me and my adjuster’s investigation was compromised, in that they were not able to see the actual cause of loss and could only make assumptions.  Now they are unable to obtain actual reports for Subrogation.)

a)      Now, subrogation is something VERY important for you the policy holder, in that, should it be found that the cause of loss is due to the fault of a third-party, your insurance carrier can take action and possibly be reimbursed for losses paid, thereby, making you completely whole – or nearly whole – depending on the percentage of negligence.  Your limits could be back to normal (or to whatever was decided as to the percentage of negligence on the part of the third-party).

5)      DON’T – Delay.  As hard as it may be for you to face this situation.  This is an overwhelming situation (it is…).  Don’t delay.  Stay focused and on top of all involved.  Do not assume they know what they are doing.  Stay on top of them (Squeaky wheel gets the grease…).

6)      DON’T – Be afraid to speak up and go for your rights.  You have a right to be made whole.  But be sure that you are being fair.  You are entitled to being brought back to “like”, “kind”, and “quality” that’s it… nothing more and NOTHING less.

Needless to say, I’m very disillusioned and very close to filing complaints at this point.  I’m an extremely patient woman.  However, I’m not ashamed or afraid to say, my patience have run very thin.  But, it all works out in the end.  There is always a reason for our tests, perhaps this is my test.

I’m being tested to stand tall and to stand up for myself (something I’ve had trouble with in the past).  And to be as compassionate and diplomatic as I possibly can in this situation.  So, those are my thoughts… I’d love to hear yours…

Or leave a comment so that other’s can join into the conversation:

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