Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fire Update - Subhed Red Tape

Not exactly.

At 9 am, six hours after the fire -- when I had been awake for 27 hours and
still in shock from the loss of my house -- I signed a contract with an
adjustment company. Adjustment companies are middlemen who "handle" all
the paperwork and negotiations between you and the insurance company, for a
4% fee.

I did this on the advice on my aunt (whose house fire a few years before
was handled in stellar fashion by her adjustment company), and my brother's
lawyer, who said he advises all his clients to use adjustment companies in
these cases.

(When I went to sign my name on the contract, the pen ran out of ink. If
you're the kind who believes in omens, that should have been a warning
right there.)

Well, it turns out that the adjustment company is "partnered with" (they
say partnered, I say "a front for") a construction company that as luck
would have it specializes in rebuilding houses damaged by fire. A month
after the blaze, I was handed a building contract. I said I preffered to
find my own contractor. From that moment I was emptor non grata with the
adjustment company.

A second email from them today claims that I never returned their phone
calls. Little do they know I'm a geek lunatic who downloads his phone
records every month, and can show that they haven't called me since

But that's beside the point. The real question is, am I better off without
them? they claimed they would negotiate with the insurance company on my
behalf, but I have no evidence that they ever did. We know how useless
they were at finding me a place to live after the fire.

All this really means is that I'm going to have to start negotiating with
the insurance company on my own.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fire Update - Subhed Red Tape

After a year of jerking me around, I just got word
that the adjustment company has closed my case file. No explanation, no
reason, just a curt email saying they've closed my case file.

It's probably for the best, I think -- their incompetence (deliberate or
actual) has essentially kept my life on hold for a year, and with them gone
perhaps something will actually get done.

It appears that their entire goal was to get me to use their construction
company to rebuild my house -- the minute I shied away from that, my calls
became low priority, and activity on my claim slowed to a crawl.

I'm betting that they're going to claim that I owe them for the demolition
work they did, gutting the interior of my house. We'll see.