HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Off Topic- House Fires and Insurance (2 msgs / 74 lines)
1) From: Susan Wolfe
I have "lurked" on this list for several years and have enjoyed the 
dialog.  I smile and make a mental quip on the various topics and roast 
and drink my coffee.  I would now like to take the floor for a few 
moments.  Hearing of John's fire has brought back my experience of the 
total loss of my house due to fire Thanksgiving weekend 2002.  If you 
have had to deal with such an event then you have had your experience 
dealing with the loss and the insurance company.  If you have not I 
would like to offer some observations I have made through my experience.
1- Go check your insurance policy.  DO NOT assume the type of coverage 
you have; know.  Thank goodness I had replacement value.
2- Open your closets, cabinets, drawers and video your items.  You WILL 
NOT remember everything.  I am still remembering things that I lost. 
When you have to list how many pairs of socks, how many bowls, towels, 
how many sweaters, shirts, jeans, dress clothes, sheets, pots & pans, 
books, etc. it gets overwhelming.  At the time you are in shock and you 
don't realize what you have lost.  Inventory items with date of purchase 
and cost and put your inventory list and video OFF SITE.
3- If at all possible, when the insurance adjuster "walks" you through 
the smoldering rubble, it helps tremendously to have a friend there with 
you.  They can act as a buffer between you and the adjuster.  (My friend 
knew the insurance adjuster which helped the day I walked through with 
the adjuster.)
There is your insurance agent, the insurance adjuster and the insurance 
company.  Hopefully you have an agent who is concerned for your 
interest, but they are an agent and limited in what they can do.  I was 
fortunate to have an adjuster who was patient and not to pushy; but they 
are after all working for the insurance company and have a set guideline 
to follow.   The insurance company is a business and operates as such. 
I can't complain about the ultimate settlement, I was fortunate in the 
way things worked out.  However, the settlement was not enough to put 
things back as they were.
4- DO NOT allow yourself to be rushed, within reason, in submitting what 
you lost.  As each season comes around it is a fresh wave of loss.  You 
need to go through the seasons in your mind; it helps you recall things 
you may have lost.
I can't tell you how much it meant to have some friends to rally around 
me.  I salvaged a couple rings and my daughters baby books that were in 
the bottom of a cedar chest that didn't burn completely.  Digging 
through the rubble was a most heartbreaking task made easier by having 
friends help.  It was the personal things that I felt the loss of most. 
  The box of notes, cards, and letters that my daughters had written me 
since they were little.  The throw that my grandmother had crochet, the 
bible my granddad had given me.  My BOOKS!  The only picture I had of my 
dad.........  I am sorry if this is wordy.  I just can't stress enough 
how important it is to check your insurance policy and inventory your 
household.  Those two things will help tremendously should you every be 
faced with such a loss.

2) From: jeff
thnaks for the reminder, susan. tragedies like the ones that you and 
more recently john experienced should remind us to make sure that we 
have things in order.  but even more, to be ready to rally around 
friends and neighbors that are dealing w/ such a loss.
-jeff
Susan Wolfe wrote:
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