Last night, as Hurricane Sandy passed DC and we went to bed, I gave a sigh of relief that nothing had happened to our old house and that we were all safe. I had heard a rip and a crash around 10 pm, but I thought it had been part of an old piece of insulation around a window that blew away…
This morning when we woke up, I felt like we had survived; it was still raining a bit, but the trees were no longer shaking and I even managed to get my dogs to take a relatively long walk (they HATE the rain). I was getting on with my day when my husband came into my office and told me not to get alarmed. I of course got alarmed. Then he said, “It looks worse than it is.” Now my blood pressure was through the roof.
When we made it to the top floor of the house, I finally saw what he meant. About 20% of the ceiling in the guest room came down last night during the storm.
The rest of the day was taken up by waiting on the phone with State Farm, our insurance company, and cleaning up. State Farm never answered my call and I ended up filing a claim online. Granted, my home is livable and there is no immediate need to fix the hole. However, I was surprised that when my call was routed to the “Hurricane Sandy call center,” they did not offer an option to fast-track your call if you were facing an emergency. I understand that a day after an unprecedented storm like this, all resources, public and private, are going to those who really need help (which we don’t), but it seemed like State Farm was just making you wait in line to answer your call, regardless of the severity or urgency of your claim…
I completely understand and am willing to wait until those who need the most help get taken care of first- but there is a hole in my roof and nobody from State Farm has called me back or even sent me an email acknowledging my claim. I’ve never filed an insurance claim in my life, and finally understand how it feels to be facing thousands of dollars worth of repairs and loss with no assurance that my insurance will pay for it or when the repair process is even going to begin. I’ve been paying home insurance for over 10 years…
I’m facing this problem on a small scale, writing this post from the safety of my warm couch. My heart goes out to all of those who lost a lot more than we did and who today face the uncertainty we face, but on a much larger scale. We lost very little compared to others.
I’ll post updates as we hear from our insurance company and the repairs begin…
- Hurricane Sandy Unlikely to Trigger Payouts from Catastrophe Bonds (insurancejournal.com)
- A Minimum $10 Billion in Damages Is Estimated (nytimes.com)
- As The Hurricane Damage Tally Begins, Here Is Who Pays (zerohedge.com)
- The hidden costs of a hurricane (bbc.co.uk)
- In Sandy Aftermath, How To File An Insurance Claim For Damage (forbes.com)