Homeowners insurance. Lightning and how does it pay?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by CRyan, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,239
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have never filed a claim with my homeowners insurance and thus really don't know how they go about paying out. I was not anticipating going the insurance route this time either until I started adding up what it was going to cost me to replace the damaged items - Going to be at least double my deductible. I have Nationwide.

    I have replacement cost coverage.

    My house was recently hit by a power surge that I can only suspect was lightning due to a storm we were having. So I have several items that were either damaged and repairable or a complete loss.


    Here are the questions...

    Do they have determined values for items? Or do I go out and buy the replacement stuff and they pay based on receipts?

    I have no visible damage. Are they going to come and inspect?

    Do they guess how much a TV will cost to have fixed and pay more later if it is more?


    Anyone know how this is usually handled. Thought I would ask since I am going to have to wait 'till Monday to find out.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would do some significant research before filing the claim. Homeowners Insurance companies are notorious for canceling or really jacking up your premiums for any claim that you file. All claim information is also stored on a shared databased called CLUE so it could be very difficult to get coverage in the future.

    If your deductible is $500 and replacement value on the goods is $1000, I personally think you would be better off eating the cost and redoing your policy with a higher deductible (assuming your deductible is as low as $500).

    FYI: It is possible that even calling your insurance and asking the question you asked here could negatively affect your future premiums and/or coverage: http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs26-CLUE.htm
     
  3. Fredster

    Fredster Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    2
    We recently had a break in. Our home insurance High Point (was Prudential) handles it this way - they pay (minus deductible) based on a formula they use to assess the value. They handled the damaged and stolen items differently. If you actually replace any of the items, you can send them the receipts and they will pay any extra over their initial payment (or so they say) but we haven't really taken advantage of this since the payout seemed fair and some of the stuff we found we could live without.
     
  4. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    1,994
    Likes Received:
    1
    check your policy close - there may be a limit on electrical equipment. You may want to consider a whole house surge protector.
    If all is in order then total the amount of your loss. Then think carefully about it. Also - if you don't plan to replace an item it does not mean you don't deserve to be reimbursed for it's loss.
     
  5. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Dave
    We have replacement cost also. When our house was hit by lightening, we lost a TV, VCR, phones, answering machine, and a old Gateway 100 computer that my wife was using for college. If we had actual value insurance, we would have gotten about $50.00 for the computer we spent over $2,000.00 on about 7 years earlier. With replacement insurance, they find a comparable item and we were able to purchase that item. First they gave the $50.00 for the actual value, then they told us we could buy the current bottom of the line Gateway computer. About $500.00 at the time. Once we gave them a copy of the recept, they gave us the other $450.00.

    Currently we are not in favor with our insurance co.
    1. When our house was hit by lightening, we gave them a list of items, and they sent a check. they didn't even come out and didn't want any of the items. The payout amount was about $2,000.00 total. They checked some weather system they had to verify that there was a lightening storm at out house at the time I reported.
    2. When our house was hit by a hail storm, they sent someone out to appraise the damage & then wrote a check.
    3. We had a high wind storm take out 3 good size trees, and we had a few shingles blow off the roof. I called to inquire & decided that I would just fix the roof my self. Even though no money was paid out, it went on their records as a claim that came back to haunt us. [​IMG]
    4. Last year an under the sink water filter broke & flooded our house. We lost 80% of our carpet, and my newly renovated basement (including our 3 month old theater) needed to be gutted. They came out many times during the remodeling time. About $19,000.00 later, the house was fixed.
    Then they wanted to 4X our insurance payments and added our name to a type of "black list" (CLUE) so we couldn't go to other companies. [​IMG] We went to the KY insurance commission to arbertrate. To make a long story short, in KY, the insurance co. is not allowed to raise rates for weather related claims. The commission decided that the water filter breaking was not our fault, so they had to change our policy rating. I think it went up about 50%. But in the big picture, it will take us over 7 years of the extra payment to pay back the $19,000.00. It's amazing how they take your money throughout the years, but when you actually use your insurance, they want their money back in higher premiums.

    If this is your first claim, I wouldn't worry much about higher rates. I don't think they will pay to fix your TV, probably they will replace it.

    Dave
     
  6. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    0
    In 2000, we had a nasty storm here that wiped out all the utilities. An one point, I thought that there was damage to my electrical system in the house, so I called the Ins company to start a claim. Turns out there was no damage to the house and I cancelled the claim process.
    More than 4 years later, I called the insurance agent about something else. They still had records that a claim had been started [​IMG]. The agent told me to always call her before calling the 800 number to start a claim.
     
  7. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for your insight.

    I have been made very aware of homeowners insurance cancellation policies over the last few years through various forms of media. You can certainly get screwed if you get on the "list" since you can no longer get a home loan without insurance.

    Anyway, I figured it must work something like drobbins said for relatively low value claims for personal property loss. Our coverage for electronisc is fairly high.

    I have already replaced several items like my cable modem, router, etc.

    Thanks again.
     

Share This Page