We have been in our rental home for 3 days. It was a dramatic process with a lot of yelling but we finally got here and have beds to sleep in, a kitchen for meals, and almost as important, a washer and dryer for laundry. No saving quarters required! Our dogs are still nervous and follow me around wherever I go in the home. I am sure all of this is overwhelming for them too. Today, the phone company is coming to install internet service and help set up our office. We had to call the Electronics Restoration Company to have our office equipment rushed. Our copy machines, scanners, phones, and some of the computers were rushed as far as cleaning and restoration and will be delivered tomorrow. Some of the computers were damaged beyond repair and I am planning to head to a computer store later today to find replacement computers so we can be back on line. The insurance company has not released any money, so our options were to stay in the hotel for another week or take out a loan to collect the security deposit for the rental home and the furniture. The dollar amount was over $7,000 just to move into the rental home. Homeowner’s Insurance does not cover security deposits so we would have to come up with the money or wait for the insurance company to release an advance on our contents. Again, if we did not understand the options, my family and I would still be in a hotel.
The big delay came between the Independent Adjuster and the Insurance Adjuster. Although the Independent Adjuster sent in the lease and all the necessary paperwork, the Insurance Adjuster had not processes the paperwork further nor had he sent it to home office for approval. I finally stopped calling the Independent Adjuster and started calling the Inside Adjuster, as he was the one slowing down the process. He stopped taking my calls and would never return any messages. I finally demanded to speak to his manager and “surprise” my Inside Adjuster was suddenly available to speak to me. We were supposed to move in on the 1st, but since the paperwork did not go through, the Housing Headquarters, who coordinated the temporary housing for insureds, had to cancel the delivery of furniture. We were an hour away from a second day waiting and they were about to cancel the delivery again. I called and had to have an emotional breakdown on the phone before the adjuster finally rose to his responsibilities and got the authorization for the lease and the furniture. Call it Maternal Instinct, but I had to have my family in a HOME. I know the insurance company must think I am a screaming maniac but I don’t care. Again, I must wonder how anyone gets through these claims without assistance. Where would I be if I did not know my rights and privileges within my policy and did not have the confidence to stand firm on my demands.
It is crazy how slow everything is moving even though both Ed and I know and understand the claims process. How does anyone do this on their own? If they get through it, they either have the patience of a saint and can wait for weeks and months for anything to happen, or they are lucky to draw the unlikely card and be assigned a “good” insurance adjuster who actually knows what they are doing and is truly an advocate for the customer. I know there are “Good” adjusters because Ed was a “good” adjuster. He won awards in customer service year after year in the 90’s, but then things started to change. The companies didn’t want customer service anymore; they wanted a positive bottom line. It was more about how many claims you could deny or how much money you could save minimizing the loss. He started to argue with his Managers and started getting written up because he continued to stand up for the customer. Finally he had no choice but to leave his role as an Insurance Adjuster working for Insurance Companies. Luckily he found his niche in his service as a Public Adjuster where there is never a conflict of interest and the needs of the customer always come first. He never has to explain why his estimate is so high or why he is extending coverage rather than limiting it. He is so much happier as a public adjuster and we know we are making a difference. Even with a Public Adjuster on your side, the road is still bumpy and the ride is not always pleasant, but at least you know your rights are being protected and you are getting a fair settlement. You shouldn’t have to worry about a fair settlement, while your trying to put your life and home back together… And with a Public Adjuster… you never will.