this is long, pretty boring stuff….like grown up stuff that no one wants to think about.
but hey, it’s important, especially in these situations.
I actually turned off my always playing music to focus on this post.
We will see how far that gets me.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have coverage…I will explain in a bit.
Our insurance agent, aka my husband (ahem…), went into action. He talked with Travelers, the company who had our policy. Hats off to these dudes. They have been compassionate, fast and friendly on every little detail.
Anywho, he made calls asap and they had their local rep meet us asap to tell us what exactly was about to take place.
He talked to us about what our plan covered, how much coverage, etc. and what to expect from our plan. I know everyone’s plan and company is different, so I won’t go into that, but again, I can’t stress enough about how important full coverage is, let alone basic coverage.
The example he used that he told a couple who were debating about what type of coverage:
Take an average family of four and they have a disaster strike,
what are the necessities they need for daily life?
He had them go and price towels, sheets, clothes, food, and basic staples for a month, just from Target, nothing crazy expensive.
They came back and immediately opted for full coverage, saying they didn’t have the extra cash just laying around, as most don’t, to purchase all that was needed in the event that it was all lost.
The rep also had a house fire 20 years ago, all very similar.
Lost it all, and said it’s amazing what he still remembers and what he will still search for, only to realize later that it was in that house, and it’s gone.
He had told us when it really hits, is months and years down the road, you think of something for your house, etc. and it will come to you that it was there. in that house.
And that has started to happen. Silly enough for me it was a pair of shoes and a shirt. I found the shirt I wanted to wear for the day, giddy it was one of the only items of mine that had made it out, only to realize it had a very large hole in the shoulder that had been burned through it.
Threw a mini temper tantrum, and went to look for some of my favorite shoes,
with no luck. after trashing the closet, I could’t find them ..
and I lost it.
Silly it was about shoes…and it has happened more than once, or twice.
And what kid isn’t worried about their possessions? Mine hoard little pieces of paper, much less barbies and stuffed animals.
The five year had started to lose teeth, and her biggest concern was finding those along with the money from the tooth fairy.
How in the hell can I replace that??
I wanted to scream, and I did…..I still do.
The local rep went on to say that what anyone should be doing, on a monthly basis, is either taking pictures of items, or (what he does) make a quick video once a month of your items. Take the tape/pictures and put them in a safe, preferably in another location.
How easy is this for us now that we all have smart phones?? Make a quick video, and talk about every item in the room (how much you paid for it, where you bought it, date, etc), then upload it to iCloud, or wherever you store stuff (not just on your computer). and viola. In the case something happens, you have your info.
I kicked myself for a while, some of our good friends had their house broken into three weeks before our fire, and had all computers, cameras and tv’s stolen. My heart broke for her, all of her pictures were gone. I totally should of backed ours up….we lost over 20,000 digital photos and all printed copies.
I dug out the frame of my mac and there was a tiny, charred hard drive there. Insurance doesn’t pay for software retrieval.
Still sick about this.
There is a company out of California, who takes what you have and will get off whatever info they can.
The costs can run anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000…..
The next day we had another rep fly in from Austin.
We had a one agent assigned to our claim since it was labeled a ‘catastrophic loss’. This is where I giggled uncontrollably during the meeting. You know when you are at a serious lack of sleep and you know it’s bad, but maybe you brain just hasn’t realized it yet? yup, I was there.
He worked specifically with fire claims and just on the structure of the building. His area was from Texas to California.
We had prayed and prayed for it to be a total loss, sounds pretty demented, but if it was not a total loss (even a 95% loss), they would want us to try and rebuild from what was there.
We sat with him, after he looked at it.
Said it was a hazard to even get close to it, and said to demo it quickly.
Finished with giving us the name of another rep from Dallas, that would be calling us for the items that were lost inside.
She called and told us we had to itemize everything.
And when I say everything, I mean it….down to the q-tips and boxes of crayons.
We questioned it, since the structure was a total loss. Evidently in 2011 they changed the laws, in Texas. Used to be that if you had a total loss, they would give you your coverage amount of what you had on your insurance policy. Thanks to some fabulous people who claimed they had very large items, but didn’t, we now write down even toilet paper that we had.
She sent over sheets that had sections for the item, model number, description, what room it was in, how old it was and how much you purchased it for. okie dokie.
I started out by going to local places we had bought stuff and was amazed by how far back their records went.
Little known fact: If you make a purchase, any purchase from Best Buy and scan your rewards card, it keeps track of all of your purchases, Bingo.
We send in our list, and they adjust it to the decreased value, depending on age.
They send us the adjusted price and we go out and purchase the items lost.
Then we submit our receipts for the items bought and they make an adjustment on those based on if we bought the exact same item, if available.
umm, I’m still working on this.
Itemizing has been a long, hard road.
Most items were antiques, handed down to us, or handmade….pretty hard
to put a value on stuff.
I am at a loss of words trying to describe what it’s like, pricing out your life on paper.
But we are almost finished with this chapter and ready to move on.
What we both have kept thinking:
What if we didn’t have insurance?
What if we had been at home, or worse, just the kids?
What if it had happened during the night?
What about the single mom who doesn’t have insurance or a place to go to?
Who doesn’t have a great community?
Who has to go to work the next day, just to pay for the stuff that was lost?
Our rep that flew in from Austin said he had never seen anything like this before.
And we both asked what he was talking about.
He said our sense of community. Most are cleaning out and rummaging through when he shows up and are still doing so for up to a month afterwards.
And with the help of everyone, we did it in a day.
He was amazed and we are beyond thankful.