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After storm, it was time to deal with the adjuster

By John Toth

The Bulletin

A brief but destructive storm cut through Angleton a few weeks ago and left a lot of fences and trees down, rooftops damaged and power out in many areas, including at The Bulletin headquarters.

Power was out for about 30 hours. Much of the frozen and refrigerated food was ruined. The Bulletin had already been delivered to the printer when the storm hit.

That was the good part. The bad part was that roof and fence damage required that I start an insurance claim and find contractors - not my favorite activities.

The people at the insurance company I deal with are very nice, and the service I get is excellent, but I dislike dealing with a claim. I have to jump through a lot of hoops to get at least part of the repairs paid for.

The adjuster was on time and was very friendly. He is based in Dallas and was sent here to handle storm-damage claims in the area. The last time I had to do this was after Hurricane Ike in 2008, and that adjuster was less than friendly (to put it mildly).

This one didn’t say much at first. We both knew what his job was - to balance himself between the people who pay him and the people who own the house. That’s a hard job. The insurance company wants to pay as little as possible, while the house owner wants everything paid in full.

Neither of those is likely to happen.

The adjuster walked around the property and climbed on the roof. I was surprised how easily he moved around on the steep roof.

“You must have done this before,” I yelled up to him.

“Yes, a few times,” he yelled back.

The last time I climbed on the roof, I held on to dear life as I started sliding down on the steep pitch.

That’s when I decided that roof climbing was not what I should be doing at my age. It didn’t help that Sharon was on the ground yelling at me not to fall down. I wasn’t falling yet. I was sliding. Everything turned out well, though. I got the problem fixed and managed to get back down safely.

The adjuster finished his work and said the magic words. “You’ll need a new roof.”

That’s what I was hoping to hear. He also threw in extra for the fences that fell down and the food we lost. Overall, not a bad experience, but the fun was just starting.

Then he uttered the bad word - deductible.

When I pay my very high house insurance premium, I pay the whole amount without taking a little off the top as a “deductible.” But when I want some of the money back, there is a certain amount of deductible that is taken from the check the insurance company cuts me.

In our case, since we filed a claim after the big freeze in January 2021, the deductible had almost doubled. That was a big surprise. After the freeze, I filed a claim, and after the deductible, I got $126 from the insurance company. It wasn’t worth filing the claim. We did better this time.

After the adjuster left, all of the information was mailed to us, and we had to go to the insurance company website to see the exact amount we were receiving, which was totally different from what the adjuster quoted us.

Then we played the phone message game. We finally connected, and everything got straightened out.

Yes, I hate dealing with storm aftermath. But I am very grateful that we only suffered property damage, and Sharon and I made it through without a scratch.

I know that many people suffered much worse damage, and I wish them luck dealing with their insurance company. I hope their adjuster was as nice as ours.

I always keep in mind that property is replaceable; we’re not.


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