To start things off let me apologize for our lack of blogs lately. We have been tremendously busy with juggling work, solar installs, and hurricane damage. With that being said, I want to take a few moments and update you all on how our hurricane journey has been coming along.
If you read the previous blog, you know that we had some damage to our roof (shingles ripped off) which caused water to seep into the home. The water ultimately caused damage to the drywall on the ceiling, but over all it wasn’t too bad.
We called our insurance company the night of the hurricane (09/10/17) in order to get a jump on the claims process. Within 24 hours we received an email with our claim number and confirmation our claim was received, however, no one bothered to call to give any insight into what we should expect. The email did say not to make any permanent repairs and to keep all receipts for any temporary fixes. The roof was tarped in an effort to mitigate damages, but we were not sure what else to do. By that Saturday (09/16/17), I received a voicemail from a gentleman that informed me an inspector would be calling to schedule a time to see the house. No callback number or name was given in the message. I called the customer service number on Monday and Thursday for a follow-up because I had not heard anything further. Both times I was given a reference number and told someone would reach out to me. On Friday (9/22/17), I downloaded the insurance app and found an Adjuster’s name that was allegedly handling my claim. I sent an email requesting an update and the adjuster replied to the email telling me to call customer service. Keep in mind, I haven’t spoken to anyone handling my claim period. The only thing customer service was able to do was take a message. They could not provide me with anymore information. Reluctantly, I called them a 3rd time (as instructed via email) only to be told they are still waiting on the inspection.
On Saturday (09/23/17), the inspector calls to schedule an appointment with us for Tuesday (09/26/17). He came out, said we pretty much needed a new roof, a little drywall in one room, and some paint. He took several photos of the damage, but did not move the tarp because he did not want to rip all the roofing nails out and have to replace them. Thomas told him that if he went into the attic he would be able to see the holes in the roof and the tarp showing through. Unfortunately, he got busy and forgot to get those pictures. He was a very polite gentleman and came all the way from Oklahoma to help with the mass amount of claims.
On Saturday (09/30/17), a really hard rain came through and we quickly realized the tarp was not effective. Water began pouring through a light fixture in the kitchen, and several new spots began to show through the drywall. It wasn’t long before the mold set in.
The next day (10/01/17), our inspector calls to tell us the insurance company would not accept the photos he had taken because none of them showed the damage under the tarp. He requested we send photos if we had them or he would have to come back out and redo the inspection. Luckily for him, we run a YouTube channel 😉 We sent him drone footage of the damage we had and a video I had taken in the attic with all the water pouring through the tarp. Since we were at work I sent them via email late that night.
On Tuesday (10/03/17), I called to make sure the photos and video were received, because after I sent them I never got a response that they got them or if they needed more. I actually texted our inspector on Monday to make sure he got them due to the late email and never got a response. I wasn’t given a reference number that time when I called but like previously, nobody ever called me back. The customer service representative did tell me that once the inspection estimate was received it would take 4 to 6 weeks for it to be approved.
So at this point our house has been inspected (by a third party vendor), but we are still in the dark. We knew we had mold setting in and weren’t allowed to fix anything or they might deny any supplements. Our stress level was an 11 on scale of 1 to 5, and our patience was wearing thin.
On Wednesday (10/04/17), I checked my app to email the adjuster the photos I sent the inspector just to ensure they were received. I also informed him of the new damages and mold setting in. I basically just asked for permission to start the roof repairs in order to prevent further damage. Within minutes of hitting send, I got a call from the new adjuster handling our claim. This phone call (24 days in) was the very first time we actually got any guidance or feedback from the actual insurance company. Mind you he was a subcontractor as well. We were just happy to get some answers and a live person who actually knew anything. He was very empathetic and assured me the check would be sent out that week.
A week later (10/11/17), I called for an update and the adjuster said he got 60 files in and needed to backtrack to our claim. He assured me he would call me back by the end of the day with an answer on when he could get the check out.
A week rolled by (I never got that callback, by the way). So on Wednesday (10/18/17), I called and left a voicemail for the adjuster. He called me back later that evening and basically said he was not sure what the delay was but was going to get some supervisors involved.
That Thursday (10/19/2017), the adjuster left a voicemail with the amounts approved by the insurance company, and informed me that the check would be in the mail. We already had a roof estimate which was over the amount the insurance company approved. None of this included the new damage caused by the additional rains. Thomas called the next day asking the adjuster to call him instead of me because I would be at work and Thomas wanted to go over the amounts approved. The adjuster never called Thomas, and instead called me and left a voicemail. Thomas was not happy about that. By Saturday (10/21/2017), we had the estimate in the email breaking down everything the insurance company was approving. Ultimately, it said they were sending us a check for 7k (which our 2 roof estimates we had were between 11-15k for the roof alone). My little good news would be that the estimate does have bold print assuring that once we go under contract supplements will be issued and we might be able to get more money if necessary.
Now we are 48 days from the day of the hurricane and we have just received our insurance check. We have a few contractors coming out this week to let us know what the overall repairs will cost and we are hoping one of them can go to bat for us. This has been a very stressful situation for us both, but I am finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.