Note: Harold was a beloved contributor to SCP who was targeted by some youths who threw a fire bomb at his home, which burned, and he and his wife barely escaped with their lives. This wasn’t the first incident in that town, but hopefully it will be the last. Harold is sharing with us an update and some of what he has learned about the insurance business through this whole ordeal.
Well I persevered and wore both the insurance company and the contractor down and we moved into Bright Acres on Saturday. What a relief without the herd of elephants thundering overhead in that apartment.
Our beautiful curving concrete driveway that we drive up and into the garage to unload the groceries etc., with just an 1-1/2″ step up into the house into the access area next to the kitchen, is pure delight as it has been raining here pretty often the past couple of weeks. So much, in fact, that the property can not be finished until late spring for everything due to the settling of the basement fill and the natural weathering of the treated wood on front and back porches. Still very much liveable though.
Everyone who comes up at night, either front or back, are floodlit by the motion sensing flood lights on front and back when they get close enough to the house that their intentions are evident, they are here to either visit or otherwise access the house, are amazed and readily understand the “Bright Acres” name.
Have not gotten the security cameras in as of yet and will likely not get them mounted until it cools off again in the fall of the year. Likewise will not have a lawn until next year after some more fill is added.
While the insurance paid for the house they really took us to the cleaners on our personal property. Turned the loss list over to a third party who ignored the brand names and picked out the cheapest alternative like replacing an antique four drawer knee hole maple office desk of mine with a tubing and particle board contraption labeled as a computer desk and then depreciating it by seventy percent and virtually everything on the list was done the same way.
I will be very busy building and acquiring replacements for a lot of the items and some will never be replaced. Have to finish off the garage and restock my emergency supplies too over the next year to get back to where I was.
Since the salvage that went on in our house by in-laws and neighbors, with us too sick just out of the hospital to even contend with it, the knowledge that I was prepared to withstand about a year’s worth of upset and turmoil is no longer a secret – much to my chagrin as in the three days we have been home I have already had a visit from the welfarite no goods on the street looking to mooch something off me.
I am going to security fence the entire property as soon as the grant comes through and the security cameras which I had to order will be motion sensing pan and tilt with IR which automatically programs on the TVs when activated. If no TV is on when the driveway sensor alerts, it chimes and turns on a bedroom monitor.
As the intruder nears the house and the floods come on the camera switches from IR to normal light. Sure surprised a grandson last night with the lights.
I will be awhile getting settled in, but intend to go back to writing next week as soon as some semblance of order is achieved in my man cave which is presently being invaded by a grand niece while her mother visits Arizona. Then it will become my den again.
What a tragic story with a shining ending…to be. Yes, when people “think” you have something they are entitled to, they’re not bashful of asking for a hand out. Unfortunately now you’re strapped with “how and I going to renew, replace & keep out of sight” the things me and my spouse need to survive in a crisis. BUT…I’m guessing you’ll get it figured out! Hugs…
If you dint mind, can you share who your insurance company is? I wonder if they’re all that way, or if you have re-thought your coverage since this happened? Good luck to you!
I think I can speak to that a little Carol as my home burned several years back. If I remember right, you have the option on your policy of replacement cost versus actual cash value – rummage sale prices. Most insurance companies have an exclusion in the small print for antiques, collectibles and art – they simply won’t look at them as having value, so they list it as a desk, a horse figurine, or a picture of such and such size.
In Minnesota you can choose your contractor/personal property replacement companies. That said, you are usually so shook up and distressed you just pick someone or ask the insurance company for a list of contractors. And can that make all the difference! They will either do a thorough job and count how many nails were in your tool box or just gloss over things and say like “cleaning supplies” $60 – not even looking at the $19 silver tarnish remover, etc. etc. I had both happen in the same company.
My policy was replacement value, so I came out pretty well on personal property. But I got a crooked contractor who changed my floor plan all around to make it easier on him and then just left the job when I came back (I left for a couple of weeks to reduce the stress) and didn’t like it. He slapped a ridiculously high mechanics lien on my home, and after spending all of the money from the insurance company on lawyers, I lost my home that I had built with my own hands anyway.
I had enough in personal property money that I was able to buy a place 65 miles away from my family, much smaller, but after 2 strokes who cares anymore… I found Travelers to be a very fair insurance company and I understand that they have the highest consumer satisfaction rating in the business. And they paid dearly for recommending that contractor, but it all went for lawyers anyways.
So, I hope I answered your question somewhat from my own experience.
Thanks Bev! We switched to Liberty Mutual when we moved one year ago and something about them just doesn’t feel right. I have been wanting to look my policy info. up and take a hard look at it. One thing I thought was strange was when I called them and asked how much coverage we had on our detached garage, they said $7,000 including contents. It is a brick garage, has AC and a bathroom, separate office. She tried to talk me out of increasing the coverage. When I asked about the coverage on our metal roof, she said it is prorated if their is damage. Nothing is sounding right to me. Time to make a change!
I hear you Carol! I need to look at my current coverage closer too. But it is also affordability! My house insurance is costing me $120 a month! Real estate taxes are $150 a month! Car insurance is $60 a month with just liability and comp – I hit deer. Then medicare (yes you have to pay for it) and the required supplement. And minimal life insurance… Over half of what little money I get a year from SS is put out in required insurances! Without a renter, I couldn’t afford to eat or pay for heat – which is important in Minnesota… :)
It was explained to me that detached garages are valued as one tenth of the house value since I had one full of garden gtractors, tools and other equipment. They could write a separate policy but value of contents would have to be verified or you can simply raise the insured value of your house which for us was the cheaper way to go.
IMT and Wadena who replaced Nationwide who definitely was not on our side. They won the arbitration when the lady hit us in the walmart parking lot and then said sorry about fixing our car. IMT has already agreed to change the portion of our policy concerning personal property to replacement value as supplied by us and keep the home portion as replacement cost. I will still recommedn them because of that and my only gripe left with them is “the check is in the mail” bullcrap for twoto three weeks but I understand they all do that. Other than that, they did a superb job getting us housed and picking up the tab including rental furniture etc.
Just glad to hear an update on Harold. I’ve been afraid to ask…
I feel Harold should be looked at as example for all us! He has been through many trails and tribulations in life, and still stays on top, or at least damn close to it!
Well done Harold!
Bev, Harold and all- Harold-you will continue to be in my prayers-you deserve to be cared for…but you are wise enough not to let anyone take advantage of you !! Bev, may I ask how much property you have? We have a farm in NYS and our taxes are outrageous-school and land come to $12,000
a year. We have 196 acres. We are trying to sell land to stay here.
After the floods in this county an elderly friend stayed with us (and her 3 dogs and 3 cats-yes it was
quite a trying time for all) Her house insurance was good and she received the full amount BUT she had an extensive book collection and other collectibles -quite valuable-and they just would replace
with current cheaper amounts-very sad and unfair.
Fema was a terrible help for folks who were flooded out. Fire and floods are horrible. Arlene
PS I have heard awful things about Allstate Insurance
I only have 3 acres and a very modest house Arlene. Only valued at $125,000. Our real estate taxes are outrageous in MN! IMHO :)