Unfortunately, I had a client whose house was completely burned up while she was at work. She lost everything. I write this story for a few reasons. One reason is so that you understand why you should pay attention to your insurance coverage, Pick an insurance agency that will educate you on your options, and also pick a home insurance company that will be there for you.
Another reason that I write this blog is to help you prepare in case, GOD FORBID, this ever happens to you. You may have an idea on what you and your family could do to make this situation a little bit easier.
One morning about 10 am, I got a message from a team member that Susan’s (not really her name) house is burning down right now. Susan has been a client of ours for 25 years, and I ran out the door to be at the scene to help her. When I got there, there were 2 fire trucks, 20 firefighters, a few neighbors, and a house that was about 75% burned. This house was a very nice home in a gated neighborhood in Gainesville, Florida. I found Susan standing with her neighbors, which she has a very close relationship with. She was visibly upset as you can imagine, but, she was very glad to see me at the scene.
Her son and a couple of friends were in the house sleeping and they literally crawled out in their underwear and ran to the neighbors to call 911. The fire department was there in minutes and did a GREAT job of trying to put out the fire as soon as possible, but, anything the fire didn’t burn, the water that the fire department pumped into the house ruined. EVERYTHING. Susan didn’t have anything except for the clothes on her back. She lost all of her family photos, because she never put them in some sort of digital format and saved them to the cloud. Her son lost his car keys because they burned up in the fire and remember, he didn’t even have clothes on his back when he ran out of the house. How is he supposed to get clothes from the store when he doesn’t have ANY to wear into the store?
The insurance company has an emergency claims adjuster that I spoke to at the scene and he brought a check for $5000 to the scene that day. Does your home insurance company do that? Susan needed a hotel room until we could get her a furnished apartment because remember, she had NOTHING left. Now she has to go through and create a list of everything she had in the house of value because the insurance company needs an inventory. Sound fun? Use software like the free one located at http://www.iii.org/apps-and-software to stay up to date with everything.
Susan has the right coverage and is very happy that Darr Schackow Insurance agency is her agent. She is glad that we are there to guide her through the situation because she is a widow and almost 70 years old. This situation would be hard for anyone, but, what if you had an insurance agency that just had an 800 number to call. What if she had an insurance carrier that didn’t have emergency claims adjusters that brought her a check while still at the scene? What if….