It's been a weird few days. I'll recap them for you:
Tuesday - On Tuesday morning, I opened up my gmail account to this email from Richard Who Gives Me Money:
I just saw the news about the fire. I've been a HUD consultant for 13 years but I've been an adjuster for 31 years.
Don't trust the insurance company. If you need help, call me in the morning.
*phone number omitted*
Intrigued, I emailed him back with some questions, which he answered. I had further questions, so I called him and we spoke about what the hell that email meant.
In short, he is licensed by the state to represent insured people when their house catches fire. Apparently, these folks, who I didn't know existed, are called 'Loss Consultants'. You sign a contract with them, and they represent you in the process of extracting money from the insurance company (for 10% of the final insurance check, Richard cut his fee in half, since we work together. What a sweetheart).
I asked some more questions about the process, and he explained it to me as best he could. I am new at this insurance stuff, but here's the gist of it: The insurance company shows up and takes pictures/measurements. With this info, they will come up with a number to repair the damage very low number). While they are doing this, the homeowner (and/or his representative) will assess the damage and come up with an estimate to repair things (very high number). These two estimates will fight each other (using the adjuster/consultant to fight through) and eventually a compromise should be made. Once that compromise is agreed to by everyone, the insurance company cuts a check for that amount and hands it over to the homeowner. The homeowner then uses the check to take a long vacation. Or he fixes the house. I will decide when the time comes...
Also, on Tuesday, I gave a Fire Remediation/Restoration company a call, as everything was pretty wet. They began to sell me all kinds of crap immediately and tried to get in there that morning, without even a meeting, but I talked them down to a meeting yesterday, as that's when I was meeting Richard and the Traveler's Insurance adjuster.
Lastly, a sad duty on Tuesday: Calling all kinds of people to cancel services. I put in phone calls to Plumber Joe Merritt, National Grid (who planned on turning things on, ugh), Venture Windows (who were installing windows that morning and were already at the house wondering where I was), and probably some other people who I've forgotten about. It was a busy day.
Wednesday - Not much in the morning, just some phone calls with the insurance company, Richard Who Gives Me Money, the Fire clean-up guys and Al Medina, General Contractor.
At 12:00, I met with Richard at the house so he could go through it before the insurance agent got there (fun fact, I still don;t know what the insurance agent's name is. I have a terrible memory for such things, but in my defense, he sounds like he is gargling marbles with the voice of an 87 year old smoker on the phone. in his defense, he said it clearly when we met more than once, but I just forgot). Richard and I walked through and he jotted some notes down. During the walk through, the clean-up fellow, I'll call him Chris Cleanup, showed up and took the tour as well.
On the tour, Chris Cleanup had this sweet little meter that he jammed into the floor boards to test for moisture. Basically, it measures how much water is in the sub-flooring. In the first floor, with the exception of a corner of a bedroom, the meter was going crazy. That entire floor was saturated. Poop.
He did the same thing on the second floor, and while not throughout every room, most of the floor boards were soaked. Crap.
This means that almost every board, all original to the building, will likely be torn out and replaced. That will be costly for sure.
Also, a funny note, while Chris Cleanup was testing and trying to sell me things, Richard would jot things like, 'Don't sign anything' and 'Trying to take all of your money' on his notebook and flash it my way. Richard is an OK guy.
A little late, but no big deal, the insurance adjuster showed up. I will call him Nameless (as Hero is my favorite movie). He looked hilarious. Pre-torn fashionista jeans, black, square toed dress shoes, Ed Hardy sunglasses resting on his brow (above his eyes), and a boring red Traveller's Insurance polo shirt. Oh, and his hair: super close cropped on the sides (the same length as his Miami Vice stubble), with longer hair on the top, greased into, and I'm not kidding, an S-shaped faux-hawk. I've never seen anything like it. It was, and probably remains, hilarious. I didn't spot any tattoos, but he likely has something tribal somewhere, as he works out too much and definitely smokes.
That said, I hope he doesn't read this blog, because he will likely take offense to this and try to bone me later on. Oh well.
After the tour, Nameless and his haircut did some diagraming of the layout and took measurements for an hour. I stood around and answered questions as sweat poured down my body. It was about 100 degrees yesterday here in Providence, and it was probably 110 inside the house. I was a disgusting mess.
After we parted ways, I went back to work. It is air conditioned at work.
Thursday Morning - I gave Chris Cleanup a call this morning to get him started on DRYING ONLY. He tried to get me to let his crew do all kinds of demo and spraying and etc. I don't want to pay them to do that. I told him that. He basically begged me to let him do some stuff other than drying floors/walls, and I told him that if he didn't want to do just drying (and remove the vinyl tile from the first floor bathroom floor) I would look elsewhere. He reluctantly agreed and will meet me at the house tomorrow morning.
In other news, my laptop was delivered this morning. I am pumped.
Thursday Afternoon - I have to call the Police and the Fire Department and track down the reports of the fire and send them along to Nameless.
Also, I have to watch the crap out of this video:
Oh goodnight. Crank that car up girl.