Author Topic: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.  (Read 3684 times)

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Offline fflintstone

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03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« on: June 17, 2011, 10:34:15 PM »
  I bought a homeowners policy and specified that I wanted 100% replacement cost. I ASSuMEd that meant if I lost a Mig welder that cost $1,000 and a new one cost $1,100 I would get a check for $1,100 minus my deductible. What I was sold was the industry standard 100% policy that pays a cash value (50%) and will potentially reimburse you up to 100% of the cost if you buy a comparable item. (There own language states that they MAY pay you back the difference after you have provided receipts. It does not say they WILL reimburse you.) I will be looking for a policy that will pay out 100% no questions asked. I do not know if such a policy exists but I will at least look for one.
  Many people have said to be sure you photograph all your stuff. I do recommend this but not for the reasons you may think. For the most part, the adjuster never questioned what I had, they never said “prove you had it” and you don’t have to. If you have a list of what you lost, you can take that down to your county office and have a “sworn statement” made out to show you possessed all these items. This is basically an affidavit that you had the items. if an insurance co wants to deny you then it becomes a legal matter and they have to prove you didn’t have the stuff. the reason I say to photograph everything, is that you will not remember everything. To this day I am still remembering stuff. Anything that was not steel VAPORIZED! I found a chunk of melted stuff that I was not sure what it was. after I pealed something off I saw an indentation of what was an explosion proof droplight. I paid $5 at a yard sale for it, they retail for $420 on Amazon. I will be wondering where something is for the next year. there was nothing left of cheap plastic stuff like an antifreeze tester, and I forgot to add that. all that little stuff ads up.
  I wanted to sue for 100% value. I told my attorney that I felt I was lied to and cheated. He said ”get over how you FEEL, you have to deal with the way the policy is written.”
He effectively told me that I need to “have a greater loss” in order to get what was fair. I did not really like this but he used to be an adjuster for the company I have my policy thru. What he did say that was key is the 50% depreciation is NOT engraved in stone, tools retain far more of their value than say clothing. If you have ever had a garage sale you will know that your stuff in your house is not worth crap. 50% of everything is very generous.  We were very firm and persistent that we would not accept less than 75% cash value. Eventually we had to deal with the adjuster’s supervisor to get that. you have to be professional, you do not have to be nice, but you cannot “tell them how you really feel”.
  In order to receive the remaining funds on my claim I would have to submit receipts for everything and I would only be reimbursed for the amount over 75%. (and I have to do it within 180 days of March 4th) Since I have no intention of replacing everything, and there are certain things I need to upgrade, that is not an option. Personally I feel the money is mine and if I want to blow it on booze and hookers it is none of there dam business. My lawyer can sue for the balance and has said it will go like this “if they owe you $10,000, I can get you $7,500 and the you would net $5000” this is how I will have to proceed.
Since I am most likely litigating the balance, I still wont be able to talk about the fire or reveal the insurance co.

  I recommend this.

Photograph everything you own. Put the photos on 3 flash drives. Keep one in your fire safe in the basement. Keep another at a relative’s house. Put the 3rd in a safety deposit box or somewhere else safe.
Review you policy, if you do not understand it, take it to an independent agent and tell him or her the kind of coverage you want. Make sure you have it. Take it to another independent in a different suburb and make sure you get the same answer.
Ask your agent point blank “does my policy pay out a depreciated “cash value”?” know what you have and if you don’t like it change it!
3 fire extinguishers burned in the fire. drill with you extinguishers, know where they are. The only thing that would have helped me would have been to have a MUCH larger extinguisher.
Consider a fire safe for all the owners’ manuals and receipts for all you tools. This will keep them organized too.
If you don’t have a fire safe and cant afford to buy one, find an old wood box and cover it with 2 layers of drywall, gypsum is the lining in gun safes that gives its fire rating.
Remember in the end it is just stuff, if nobody is hurt, that is what is important.
And now I can buy new stuff!
Good luck.

 :usflag:


03SE11 edit

I had no intention of sticking with my current insurance provider given the way my loss was handled. Well unfortunately I still am supporting them. I live in Michigan. Every state has different laws. Everything I post is about what is available to me in Michigan. Your state is hopefully different. There were some changes to insurance laws in Michigan in the last 5 years.
In Michigan you cannot get “real replacement cost” insurance. When you pay the extra for “100% replacement cost” all you are doing is bumping up the percentage of your homeowners that they allow for contents.
They all will offer you actual cash value (typically 50%) and you have to replace your lost items on your dime and submit receipts and they MAY reimburse you. Some insurance co’s will want to buy items for you as they can buy at wholesale prices.
While 50% may actually be overly generous for most home contents it is woefully inadequate for guns or tools.
As great as your agent may be he or she has NOTHING to do with your claim. The claims department is I whole different part of the company. The companies the settle claims quickly fairly and with customer satisfaction as a priority have to by the nature of business charge more for coverage. The companies that charge the lowest rates have to consequently try there best to screw you on a payout.
To ad insult to injury to me, now that I have a claim, I can’t get a preferred rate. Although a homeowner has far less personal liability in causing a claim, you are treated just like being involved in a car accident; your rates will go up.
The rate quoted me from an independent agent was almost 4 times what I am currently paying.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 01:18:39 PM by fflintstone »
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03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« on: June 17, 2011, 10:34:15 PM »

Offline rusty

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Re: This is what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2011, 02:58:08 PM »
Excellent points there. We all need to have current up to date inventories and photo or video images of all of our tools.
Tool do job=Good tool

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Offline Thefalconman

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Re: This is what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2011, 06:15:13 PM »
Good advice for sure. I have talked about making a list with photos for years so I need to do it now. Its what they dont tell you  when you buy insurance that can hurt. I have comp on my car,  Had windshield broken "NOPE thats not covered"  Had it broken into at another time and several hundred in valuables LOCKED in the trunk stolen.."NOPE thats not covered either"  My question is just what IS covered?

Offline rusty

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Re: This is what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2011, 07:30:29 PM »
As little as they can. And they'll lie on that.
Tool do job=Good tool

A 'Veteran'is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made
payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to, and
including his life.'

Offline fflintstone

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Re: This is what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 08:37:33 PM »
If anyone has a specific questions or concerns other than the cause of my fire, let me know and I will gladly add it to the OP.
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Offline fflintstone

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Re: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 01:19:40 PM »
as added to the OP


I had no intention of sticking with my current insurance provider given the way my loss was handled. Well unfortunately I still am supporting them. I live in Michigan. Every state has different laws. Everything I post is about what is available to me in Michigan. Your state is hopefully different. There were some changes to insurance laws in Michigan in the last 5 years.
In Michigan you cannot get “real replacement cost” insurance. When you pay the extra for “100% replacement cost” all you are doing is bumping up the percentage of your homeowners that they allow for contents.
They all will offer you actual cash value (typically 50%) and you have to replace your lost items on your dime and submit receipts and they MAY reimburse you. Some insurance co’s will want to buy items for you as they can buy at wholesale prices.
While 50% may actually be overly generous for most home contents it is woefully inadequate for guns or tools.
As great as your agent may be he or she has NOTHING to do with your claim. The claims department is I whole different part of the company. The companies the settle claims quickly fairly and with customer satisfaction as a priority have to by the nature of business charge more for coverage. The companies that charge the lowest rates have to consequently try there best to screw you on a payout.
To ad insult to injury to me, now that I have a claim, I can’t get a preferred rate. Although a homeowner has far less personal liability in causing a claim, you are treated just like being involved in a car accident; your rates will go up.
The rate quoted me from an independent agent was almost 4 times what I am currently paying.
THE KING OF PARSIMONY WHEN BUYING TOOLS

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Offline Thefalconman

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Re: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2011, 02:09:56 PM »
I plan to switch my insurance at the end of the year. I will require the selling agent to answer ALL of my questions in writing and have his answers notarized and attached to my policy..Then if I ever have a claim the insurance company attorneys  will have a tuff time trying to get out of paying up. I have learned that unless it is in clear cut writing it dont mean a thing..

Offline fflintstone

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Re: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2011, 10:01:29 PM »
Dont have a second fire.
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Offline fflintstone

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Re: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2012, 09:14:21 AM »
All I can say is they are still trying to screw me. They are tring to depreciate comodity items! For example the 96 sheet bunk of 7/16 OSB siting at the lumber yard is worth what ever it is going for TODAY, if there is a huricane the price goes up. They want to know age of a brand new never used piece of plywood so the can offer me half of it!
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Offline Thefalconman

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Re: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 09:55:44 PM »
Whats the name of the insurance company thats trying to screw you. I will be sure to avoid ever doing business with them and let them know why if I get the chance...

Offline fflintstone

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Re: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 07:42:05 PM »
well they finally got me! we just got the home owners renewal and they jacked the rate over 400%!
My guess is we will end up paying at least double with another carrier.
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Offline 70redbee

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Re: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2013, 08:47:08 PM »
Good luck buddy, hope you can find something that fits the wallet but they don't care about that...just give me the money.
So how is the new job going? Good I hope.

Offline fflintstone

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Re: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2013, 10:09:17 PM »
Good luck buddy, hope you can find something that fits the wallet but they don't care about that...just give me the money.
So how is the new job going? Good I hope.

Thank you!

The insurance is what it is, and I was shocked they didn’t jack me up last year. IMO they do not want to insure me but don’t want to cancel me.

The new job is “no longer new” I’ve been there almost 10 months now. The big bosses up front love me. It’s a family business with Christian values and bringing my family to the Christmas party was the best thing ever to endear me to them.

My direct boss however has worked there for 20 years and does a lot of what I call “quick and dirty” work. I unfortunately have to things the way I think is correct. He puts out 3 times as much work as I. they end up altering everything in the wood tool prototype stage. I spend almost as much time “fixing” his work for final submission, as I do creating something right from the get go. If we had a CNC router, you could take my work, put it in the router and have a complete tool right from the start.
I just can’t whip out “crap”. I hope to find a balance between my need to do it right, and my bosses desire to get stuff done.

All that being said, I am very happy to be employed and have great insurance. I enjoy the work, but it is really easy compared to what I used to do. Zero stress but almost zero mental stimuli.
I hope all is well with you. and you are getting your tool fix.

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Offline fflintstone

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Re: 03SE11 what you can learn from my mistake in the fire.
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2013, 04:07:21 PM »
It has now trickled over to the auto insurance. they are raping us again.

 :cartangrys:
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