And That’s How I (Maybe) Got a Puppy
Posted by awesomesauciness
Few things in the entire universe are more frustrating for me than shopping for insurance, any insurance.
This is part of the reason I haven’t changed car insurance companies in 12 years. That, and the fantastic discount I get because I’ve been with them for 12 years.
Every year, though, I have to go through the whole process of renewing or changing my homeowner’s insurance.
Last year, though, last year was different.
I was informed that my homeowner’s insurance, that I’d had for three years, was dumping me.
Just like that.
No explanations, no reasons, nothing.
I hadn’t made any claims. I hadn’t even looked at another company’s rates to compare.
I HADN’T CHEATED ON THEM IN ANY WAY.
And yet, here I was being dumped.
Then, it became evident why as I tried to secure new insurance.
Every conversation with an agent went like this:
ME: I need to get a quote on homeowner’s insurance.
ENTHUSIASTIC REP RESPONSE: SURE!! We can do that!
ME: Okay…blah, blah, blah…I give them the particulars.
STILL ENTHUSIASTIC REP: And how old is your roof?
ME: (confused as to why my roof was singled out) It’s original to the house, so 18 yrs.
TOTALLY DEFLATED REP: Ohhhhhhhh…I’m sorrywecan’thelpyouIhavetogonow…
This happened twenty-three times.
I’m not shitting you, twenty-fecking-three times.
On lucky number twenty-four, I found a rep for the insurance company from hell, a/k/a Farmer’s Insurance.
(I don’t care how cute their commercials are, they are the spawn of Satan and soon you’ll agree.)
ME: I need to get a quote on homeowner’s insurance, and beforewegoanyfarthermyroofis18yrsold.
ENTHUSIASTIC REP RESPONSE: NO PROBLEM! We can cover you!
ME: Oh, right…did you just say you’d cover an 18-yr. old roof, at replacement cost?
REP: ‘Scuse me?
ME: I mean why will Farmer’s cover it, and twenty-three other companies won’t?
REP: I can’t say ma’am.
ME: Fine. Whatever. I just wish I’d of called you first.
REP: Well, you found us now. So, you can relax.
ME: Good..and here’s the rest of the info…….
I got the coverage, and paid a stupid amount (“Well, we do cover the roof but it will cost a little more, because 18-yr. old roof…”)
Four months later the house was pummeled by hail. I’ve lived in Texas nearly 40 years, and I’ve seen hailstorms. Lots of hailstorms. But this one was different. The hail was golf-ball size and was hitting the house with such force the windows shuddered.
I was sure my roof was toast.
Thank the hail-gods I’d gotten replacement cost coverage for it, amiright?
We made the claim, and the little adjuster in the Farmer’s Insurance hybrid car came out to tsk, tsk the damage and tell us how sorry he was and did we want a puppy to make us feel better? (okay, I may have made that last part up, but he schmoooooooozed)
The next day he called me…
“Well, ma’am I have your estimate, and you’re going to need a new roof, but with the roof’s depreciation….”
“Wait, what??” I replied, “I have replacement cost coverage. I thought that meant you know REPLACEMENT COST COVERAGE.”
“Oh, yes ma’am it does..for everything except the roof. Can’t get that kind of coverage on any roof over 15 yrs. old.”
“Why wasn’t I told this?”
“You were, and it’s in your policy.”
“Who reads their policy??” I asked, knowing I should have, but distinctly remembering that with all the brou-ing and ha-ha-ing over my ‘old’ roof in the twenty-three rejections I made it clear I had to have replacement cost coverage. “The agent and I discussed this, and I made it quite clear I didn’t want to buy the insurance unless I got replacement cost coverage.”
“Umm…let me check with the agent.”
“Yeah, you do that”, I said, “I’m sure he’ll back me up.”
The next day, the little adjuster called to tell me that the agent had personally informed me at the time of purchase that I did not have replacement cost coverage on my roof, specifically calling that little line of fine print to my attention.
“Bullshit” I said, “I’ve never even spoken to the man. Everything was done by e-mail, except the very first call in which I told him I had to have replacement cost coverage on the entire house, roof and all.”
“Hello?” I asked.
“Well, ma’am I am only repeating what I was told.” He said, adding, “and we’ll have to take that puppy back, too”
(Again, I may have made up that last part..maybe)
So, for a nearly-$10K roof I got…wait for it….$1,500.
Since the roof did not leak (and it looked pretty good, actually) we used the money to repair the fencing and some other items also damaged in the hailstorm.
I cannot abide liars, and Farmer’s Insurance is represented by liars. I vowed to get rid of Farmer’s Insurance when renewal time came around, and I didn’t care if I had to make fifty calls to do it.
So, this year when it came time to renew I picked up the phone.
On the second try, I talked to an Allstate agent.
ME: I need a quote on homeowner’s insurance, and my current roof is 19 yrs. old and has minor hail damage from a July 2014 storm, and stop me now if you cannot quote me…
ALLSTATE AGENT: No, it’s fine. We just have to inspect the roof, and if it looks like it’s worn to say a 3-yr. old roof level we can cover it. If it looks more worn than a 3-yr. old roof, we cover it but not for replacement cost.
ME: Can I get that in writing beforehand?
AA: Yes, ma’am.
And I did.
And they inspected, and guess what?
I got FULL replacement cost coverage….and a puppy.