Insurance Assessment after Ike damage, tips? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-27-2008, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm panicked about money. A tree fell on my house during Ike. It took out my fence, totalled our new very expensive swing set, hit the chimney (twisting it slightly as well as banging it up), and left a gash in the roof. Fortunately, there is not internal water damage in the house.

Our home owners association owns the property the tree was on. They had the tree removed. As the tree is gone and I have no receipt for the work (they aren't charging me for it), I assume I won't get any funds from insurance to cover it, even though it was technically my responsibility. It sounds like neighbors are generally sharing costs of fences down, damage from their trees to others properties, etc, though legally they aren't required to. I will not be receiving any help from the association for the fence, or any repairs to the house.

I had a contractor come out to look at the damage. He did lots of work for me earlier this year. I feel pretty good about him, though I'll get another quote after the assessment. He's guessing we're looking at 25-35 thousand in total damage (he's writing up a line by line quote for me this weekend). He says that several rafters are broken, so the roof needs to be taken apart to replace them. The twisted chimney will need to be reconstructed. There are cracks in the ceiling in my bedroom. He says that there will be some damage done to do some of the repairs (ie sheet rock damage inside to get into the chimney to fix it, etc.

My deductible is $1500. I'm worried about coming up with that, but I'm sure I can manage if I really tighten up our budget. We just spent $400 on car maintenance this month. We put in new AC coils ($2000) last month and a new AC unit ($4000) last year at this time. We had a dead tree cut down for $1500 about a year ago. We did about $10000 in home repairs/remodel in March (new section of roof - different section from current damage, full exterior paint, new back door and fixed water damage from old one, painted several rooms, new tile in 2 bathrooms, etc). Most of that was overdue and necessary, though some of it was cosmetic while we were at it stuff. I have no idea how we'll come up with 3000-4000 if insurance doesn't cover all of the repair cost. I'm fearing deterioration calculations on the fence, roof, etc.

What should I do to prep for the insurance assessment to get the most? I don't want to be dishonest, but I'm really panicking here. Help.

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Old 09-27-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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I feel for you. I'm on the North side of town in TW and there were SO MANY trees on houses in our neighborhood and the surrounding ones.

I can't really help much with this, I have heard some pretty not good stories regarding insurance, FEMA and damage from RITA.

Is there anyone in your neighborhood who has already gone through the insurance process? They might be able to help you with this.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there anyone in your neighborhood who has already gone through the insurance process? They might be able to help you with this.
Hi Rachel, I'm in TW too. Fortunately most of my friends and close neighbors have no serious damage and those that do are as new to this and confused as me. There's definitely worse damage in the neighborhood, but I'd feel pretty silly knocking on some random door saying "gee, I see a tree fell through your house, any tips on dealing with insurance"

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Old 09-27-2008, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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we live in ohio and had the ike windstorm, tons of damage here as well. we are still waiting for an adjuster to come out and assess roof damage, siding damage, etc. but luckly we only have a five hundred deductible.

Kristin- Wife to J, Mommy to B (11), M-S (8), and little J (4) and J&J (7 months)
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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I had a house fire last year and so went through a very similar process. First, the insurance adjuster will write up their plan of the damages. I believe ours was about 40 pages. Then you kind of shop around for bids for whether they think they can do the work for that amount. Insurance companies use a program to tell them what the going rates are in your community. If you go with a company that you know and they go over what the insurance has set the cost at you will need to absorb the diferrence, if they are under you get to keep it. Very few items are line item bids or billable expences. The dumpster was the only one for us. They paid up front for three loads and then the restoration company had to bill the insurance company by the load for any overage. We went with a restoration company because they do this all the time and are used to dealing with/ working with insurance companies. I still watched them closely but we actually still came out ahead so that's how we paid our deductable but ours was only $500.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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There is something about the insurance process that we did not understand: you don't have to "come up with" your deductible.

The insurance company comes, assesses the damage, and decides on an amount, item by item (it's very specific) to pay you. If your damages are NOT more than your deductible, then there is no claim.

If your damages ARE more, then the deductible is deducted. You can have your contractor meet with the insurance adjuster and sometimes adjusters will take costs from what the contractor says it will cost.

Then, they send you a check. If you have a mortgage, the check will go to the mortgage company IF it is over a certain amount. Then, the mortgage company gen'lly sends you half back immediately. And the rest is sent to you after you have completed 95-100% of the work.

My only other suggestion is use a contractor you already know and trust and not a restoration company.

it is very stressful.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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Have you registered with FEMA? I know their reputation for timeliness, etc. is not the greatest, but if you have that kind of damage you should definitely apply. www.fema.gov. The application is pretty easy, all yes or no questions. They might be able to help with the deductible part of the expenses.

Do you know your insurance agent personally, or someone in his/her office? You might call and ask them questions about what they need to process your claim quickly and efficiently.

At least the HOA took care of the tree. I don't have any personal experience dealing with that kind of damage, but the only other tip I've gleaned is to take lots of pictures.

and GL! Glad the tree only got the house, not you!
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Then, they send you a check. If you have a mortgage, the check will go to the mortgage company IF it is over a certain amount. Then, the mortgage company gen'lly sends you half back immediately. And the rest is sent to you after you have completed 95-100% of the work.
Thanks for the warning. I knew that they would come out and decide how much it should cost to do the repairs, subtract our deductible, and then send us a check for that total so we could get the work done. I had no idea that some of it might go to our mortgage company. I wonder what the amount would need to be for them to send it to the mortgage company.

Thanks for the FEMA tip I went and checked it out. Unless we run into insurance issues, we don't qualify for FEMA help. Our home is livable and we have insurance. Really, we are so very fortunate.

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Old 09-29-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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"They had the tree removed. As the tree is gone and I have no receipt for the work (they aren't charging me for it), I assume I won't get any funds from insurance to cover it, even though it was technically my responsibility. "

You didn't pay to have the tree removed, so what do you need the insurance to "cover" for the removal?
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