Embracing Mayhem

Being an adult is filled with wonderful things such as making your own decisions, staying up as late as you want, and eating ice cream for breakfast. Of course, adulting also has its downside: bills, income tax, colonoscopies… you get the idea. One of the things that we have avoided is reviewing our insurance (home and car) annually. We have been with the same insurance company for decades in spite of growing dissatisfaction. This year, we reached the breaking point.

We purchased our current home, The Cabin, in 2017. We filed a claim against our homeowner’s insurance when Hurricane Michael moved through the area in October 2018 and ripped off part of the ridge vent on our roof. We’ve had several severe hailstorms move through the area since December resulting in damage to our roof (based on the pieces of shingles we’ve found). Kenn filed a claim with our insurance company. Following their procedures, we had our roof checked by several roofers who all agreed that yes, there was hail damage. The insurance adjuster came out where he met with our primary roofer. The adjuster apparently told the roofer that yes, there was hail damage but he told the insurance company that there wasn’t, so: claim denied.

A couple of months later another hailstorm moved through so Kenn contacted the insurance company again. If he had talked to me first, I would have asked him not to. I figured they would just deny a second claim and probably raise our rates to boot. Ah, if only it had been that simple. Yes, they denied our claim. Then, they added insult to injury by sending us a letter that basically said “Your roof is old, therefore it’s a liability. If you don’t replace it by July 28th, we’re going to cancel your policy.” To summarize, they won’t pay out on the policy that we’ve been paying on for years but they will threaten to cancel our policy because our house has an old roof. We have now submitted a letter from our roofer stating that yes, the roof is old and will need to be replaced in the next 2-3 years. We were notified this morning (finally) that the underwriter accepted our letter and our policy will be renewed for another year. We already have a plan in place to replace the roof next year.

Image from Depositphotos.com

However, this was the straw that broke that poor, much maligned camel’s back. We began the process of requesting quotes from several other insurance companies. Full disclosure: Kenn did lion’s share of the work; he spent hours on the phone with various individuals. Why? He is far more patient than I am. My skills came into play in reviewing the quotes, comparing them to our current coverage, and making recommendations. We selected a new company and began the process to transition all of our policies. But, that extra call to our current insurance company came back to bite us in the butt yet again. The underwriter for the new company won’t cover The Cabin because we’ve had three claims in five years. The fact that two of the claims were denied is immaterial.

We decided to go ahead and transition all of our policies except our homeowner’s. We’ll work toward moving our homeowner’s policy when the 2018 claim drops off in October 2023. In the meantime, it’s probably going to cost us a little more to have policies split this way (since we won’t be able to “bundle”) but we decided it’s worth it for us.

We got good, comparable rates from the new company but you want to know one of the things that made the biggest difference to us? Most of Kenn’s conversations during this process were with the actual owner of the agency. She was shocked to learn that in all of the decades we’ve been with our current agent, we’ve only spoken to him two or three times. Now, I get it. When dealing with an insurance company, or large medical practice, etc., you don’t always get to deal with the primary agent or physician (or whatever), but it shouldn’t be a choice that is actively discouraged at all times. So, our new agent’s personal touch meant a great deal to both of us.

So long Jake, your khakis are no longer enough – it’s time for us to embrace a little Mayhem.

Image courtesy of Allstate

So, how long has it been since you reviewed or updated your insurance?

6 thoughts on “Embracing Mayhem

  1. Good for you for switching! And kudos for all the research done! As I’ve mentioned many times, I am a fan of Clark Howard. He says loyalty to an insurance company is NOT rewarded. He also says to carry the highest deductible on homeowner’s as you can afford and to not make claims unless it is catastrophic. Otherwise, they can cancel you. He says we all have a rating on a “CLUE” report. Any claim, even a small one or one denied, can hurt your rating. As per his recommendation, all our coverage is through Amica. And btw, Clark is unbought and unbossed. I cannot begin to tell you how much money his advice has saved us through the years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loyalty is definitely not rewarded; we should have changed years ago. I’ve already had a chat with Kenn. He has learned his lesson and will not be contacting the insurance company unless the situation is dire. I’ve heard of Clark Howard; I need to get more familiar with him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have heard so many awful stories concerning insurance companies. The most resent was our neighbor. He received one of those letters saying he had to replace his “old roof”. After spending $15,000 on a new roof, his insurance company dropped his coverage anyway.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes! That’s horrible! I was really afraid they were going to drop us and I wasn’t sure what we were going to do. The new insurance company’s underwriter wouldn’t cover us and we have to have insurance. I hope your neighbor was able to get another policy.


  3. The fact that two of the claims were denied is immaterial. That’s extraordinary to me. I dislike insurance companies on principle, they pretend to be useful, charge me for the scam, then find ways to not be useful. I mean, it’s one heck of a business model.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right? We have to have insurance, we pay them thousands of dollars, and heaven forbid they pay any of it back out to their customers. Our last house had a tall pine tree in the front yard. It was a hazard because the city had trimmed the limbs on one side to keep them off the power lines; all of the limbs were on the side toward the house meaning that if (when) this tree comes down it *will* land on the house. My husband contacted the insurance company to see if they would pay to have the tree removed as a preventative measure. Big surprise, they said “No”. He said, “So, to clarify, you don’t want to pay less than one grand to remove the tree, you’d rather wait and pay several grand to repair the house.” Their reply? “Exactly.”🙄

      Liked by 1 person

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