Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Uninsured Homeowner Alert

Please don't vandalize, burn, burgle or otherwise disrupt the multifamily property I have been writing about. I am not allowed to have insurance on it. Seriously. No one will insure the house, since there is an open claim on it. I spent the week last week trying to find some company that would help out. No one will. This is terrible news. I need this claim closed soon.

Speaking of that, Richard Who Hands Me Money is still trying to squeeze a few thousand dollars more out of Travelers and says he should have things wrapped up this week. Once that is finished, I will immediately try to get insurance again.

In other news, Al Medina, as mentioned before, is back in the US. He has resumed working in the house. He also gave me his estimate for the repairs. It is GREAT. I won't write it here until Travelers has sent the check, but I am literally giddy about it. I cannot wait to settle with Travelers, get the check and finish the work at this house. You really aren't going to believe how well Amanda and I will be making out on this whole fire thing. It's incredible.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Oscar Moved Out and He Took His Door With Him.

Not much going on. I’m still waiting for an update from Richard Who Gives Me Money. No word yet from him or Travelers. Hooray.

There is some progress though: today, I met with Al Medina, General Contractor, who is back from Portugal. We went through the house and he took notes on what needs to be done. He will give me his estimate probably tonight and I can send that to the jerks at Travelers. Once that is done, they will cash that dumb check and give me a pittance from it, keeping the rest until the work is completed.

Also? During my visit today, I noticed something was missing. It was there the previous day when I picked up some mail. I know for a fact that it was there yesterday because I used it. Can you spot what’s missing?


Stupid neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You're Getting Warmer

I received another good looking email from Richard Who Hands Me Money yesterday evening. In it, he said that the adjuster has raised the estimate to just over 68 thousand bucks. That's pretty good. He also said that the next step might be going to appraisal. I called him to discuss this morning.

My main questions for Richard during the conversation centered around the appraisal process. Here's the process, in a nice four (or six) step process:

1. Travelers hires an appraiser
2. I hire an appraiser ( and pay him)
3. The two appraisers compare notes
4a. If the two appraisers can agree on a figure, I get that figure.


4b. If the two appraisers cannot agree on a figure, the process goes further
5. A third appraiser, nicknamed the "umpire" (awesome) is hired, with the fee split between Travelers and me
6. The "umpire" looks things over and gives a final figure. That final figure is it. No more fighting. I get a check for that number.

Basically, this is a two or three week process (at least) that I really don't want to go through. Especially since it could end up being worse than what has been negotiated so far. After the thorough explanation from Richard, I vetoed the appraisal option. Plus, he said that he can probably squeeze a few thousand more dollars out of it (as the allotments for the siding and the floors are insufficient) and we would settle thereafter.

Al Medina, General Contractor is in Portugal, returning tomorrow, so when he's back, I will get his estimate and get to work.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Everyone Gather Round and Chant Fight Repeatedly

I received another email this morning from Richard Who Gives Me Money. In it, he included his big list of reasonable things that Travelers decided they didn't need to pay for. Here it is:

To contrast, Richard sent along this email from the representative at Travelers. it is a response to the doc that Richard sent to them:

As you can see, hiring PuroClean (Christopher Cleanup) to do anything at my house is going to cost me a lot more than the $4,400 they charged to dry things out. PuroClean has told Travelers that things are fine and that is going to lessen the final check that Travelers sends along. Crap.

To counteract this, I am going to go to the house after work today to take some pictures of the ruined floors and fun stuff like that. It will not sway Travelers, I'm sure.

Unrelated to my house, but related to the title of this post: Did kids gathering around a scuffle and yelling "fight" do anything but attract the attention of authority figures intent on stopping the fight? If kids actually want to see a fight, rather than see a teacher break it up, they would shut their mouths.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Phone Fun. Or Phone Phun. Or Fone Fun. Whatever.


I gave the awesome folks at Traveler's a call to sort out the whole "we'd like to cancel your coverage on the 20th of this month" thing. I spoke to an overly friendly, soft spoken woman about my situation. I laid out exactly what happened and what as happening, and asked if it would be possible to have my policy not canceled. She put me on hold to talk to the underwriters of said policy. Underwriters are the worst, so I was not hopeful.

She got back on the phone after about five minutes and informed me that the underwriters told me to go pound sand. They didn't actually say that (as far as I know), but said something to that effect, as they are still planning on canceling my insurance coverage, because the house is still vacant. I vented a little frustration to the woman on the phone by asking her if she could kindly, and as sarcastically as possible, thank the underwriters for me. She probably won't. She definitely won't.

What's next? I need to get insurance from somewhere else by the 20th. Hooray.


Saw Salt. I won't tell you whether or not Angelina Jolie is on the side of the Russians, but I will tell you this: she needs to eat a cheeseburger or seventeen. She looks like my grandmother looks right now. My grandmother died in 2005. I don't understand her appeal (Jolie's, not my grandmother's). Blech.


I woke up and checked my email account, and found an interesting correspondence from Richard Who Hands Me Money. The gist of it? He wanted to hand me money. I gave him a call and we made arrangements to meet up at my home (the Courtyard Marriott) at 2pm. Waboom:

After he handed that sweet check over, I asked him how it was going. He said that the Traveler's is trying to copulate with me against my will. Obviously. I knew going in that the insurance company would look out for their best interest. It's, um, in, uh, their, er, best, ah, interest to do so. Here is a fun tidbit that Richard passed along:

They wanted to only pay for one week of living expenses. One single week. In other words, they want me to foot the bill for the rest of the time I can't live in the house. Considering that the estimate from them took two and a half weeks, at least, to be delivered, one week of additional living expenses comes up a few yards shots of rational. These people are the worst.

Richard assured me that it's (again borrowing from golf) par for the course and to not worry too much.

After that nice revelation, he pointed out that I would have to get in touch with M&T Bank, the mortgage holder on the property, in order to get that check cashed. It's apparently state law here in RI to make the check out to everyone, including the mortgage holder. This is terrible news:

I gave M&T a call this morning to find out how to get some money, and, ur dur, there's a huge process involved. Basically, I have to wait for them to send me a bunch of stuff to fill out, then send it back, along with the check. They will then cash the check and put the money into escrow. Once in escrow, they will send me a meager 25% of the check amount to get started with. In other words, the above check, which is a fraction of the total check that I will get from Traveler's, is going to be held away from me until the work is completed. Ugh.

This house may never be inhabitable. Please don't tell that to my next insurer.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Incompetent Ben Cormier

Earlier this week, I received another fun email from Richard Who Hands Me Money. It asked me if I could get some sort of documentation from National Grid explaining the oft written about in this space delay in electrical current at 66 Candace St. He wants that information to make sure that I get as much time on Traveler's dime as possible. Basically, if the delay was National Grid's fault, and I can prove it, the insurance company is on the hook for a longer hotel stay and meals.

After receiving this, I gave Incompetent Ben Cormier a call and left a message.

A day passed.

I called him up again yesterday morning to talk to him and he picked up his phone. I explained the situation and asked him if he could email me the details of the delay; basically, just send me an email saying that the property was approved by the City, it was on the list for activation Thursday, which slipped to Friday, which then slipped to Monday. No big deal. He lets me know that it's kind of unorthodox, and he will have to ask his manager. I chuckled and told him to call me back with details.

Since I didn't receive a call for the remainder of the day, I gave him another call this morning. I asked about what his manager had said, and he let me know that he had just finished speaking with her (which was a lie, I'm sure he spoke with her, but definitely not right before I called). He then, shockingly, let me know that he won't be able to send me an email with details of the delay.

I cracked up.

He repeated that he couldn't send an email, but he was looking for a number for the Claims Department. I told him that it wasn't a claim, as I don't have an issue with his or anyone else's work, I just need the info so I can live for free (or reimbursed for living later) for longer. I then laughed again and called the decision absurd. In fact, I said absurd in various forms many times in the following sentences to Ben.

After I had let Ben know that his unhelpfulness was kind of hilarious, and the "rule" he was following wasn't applicable to my situation, and that it was, again, ridiculous and absurd, I asked for his manager's number. He, of course, couldn't give it to me and instead said that "she wasn't in yet" (which proves that he was lying about just speaking with her) and would pass my number along to her. She is supposed to call me. I doubt that she will. I am looking forward to tomorrow morning's conversation with Ben. No I'm not.

Tomorrow? Hopefully and update on this story, and definitely an update on my soon to be canceled insurance. Awesome.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Before They Cancel, A Check.

I heard from Richard Who Gives Me Money this morning, via email. He sent along a fun little update that included the estimate from Traveler's. Here it is:


That price includes mitigation, which is already spent, as it goes directly to Christopher Cleanup.

Richard will be working with (or against) Traveler's to get me as much money as possible. I have no idea how long this will take.

The end.