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Flood repair, insurance experience, advice?
on June 15, 2012 @12:43
I was asked to relate my experience as we go through having our rental basement repaired after the hot water heater failure and flood.
The actual construction work on the walls and carpet will actually take place next week, finally. I will be on site personally to oversee the work. Thank goodness for good friends to keep my kids during this!
I will definitely be keeping leftover paint and carpet for future repairs/touchups as well as all mfr/product info. Any other ideas or advice as we go through the carpet installation and sheetrock repair?
Here's what I've learned from this so far:
1. State Farm rocks. Our local agent was useless, but the national office where the adjusters are have been great. They are paying for everything less the $1000 deductible. They have been prompt, reasonable, and clear in their handling of this.
2. Our landlord policy with State Farm (for which we pay about $70/month) covers replacement carpet at $2.87/sf, which is what their lab estimates our 15 year old carpet was worth, all water cleanup, replacement of soaked sheetrock and baseboards, and repainting the entire basement.
We are very happy with that. The new carpet will be at least as nice as the old carpet was. We told them honestly the carpet was 15 years old, although in good condition as it was our personal residence for 13 of those years. I half expected them to write off the old carpet as worthless, much like old cars in a wreck.
3.. The local repair company our local state farm agent referred us to has been somewhat good, somewhat bad.
Good: they were out there first thing the morning after we got the after hours notification of the flood. They did a good, quick job getting all the wet stuff out and properly documenting everything for the insurance company. I give them credit for helping us get full coverage from our insurance policy.
Bad: It took them three tries to get a correct estimate to the adjuster so work could begin. Several stupid mistakes were made. This wasted a week, which my tenant is not thrilled about, nor am I.
Repair company did not get all measurements needed for repair work in the first visit, and neglected to apply for full coverage. Fortunately, I caught their mistake.
Our basement has a large rec room with an open stairwell up to the first floor. Only the carpet to the bottom of the stairs was removed. The initial estimate from the repair company showed them replacing only the carpet and paint up to the bottom of the stairwell.
So, we would have to try to match the color of the new carpet to the color of the old carpet on the stairs, plus have the paint end effectively in the middle of a wall at the point where the stairs begin. I envisioned an ugly dividing line as I know from experience how hard it is to match new paint to old.
When I questioned the repair contractor about this, he said that the insurance companies "almost never" cover matching, they only replace what was actually damaged by the flood. He "kindly offered" to add on carpet and paint at an extra expense to me and my husband of "a few hundred bucks" so it would all match.
I asked State Farm directly. They told me they would replace the stair carpet and paint the walls all the way to the door at the top of the stairwell. He said their company policy is to replace materials through all open areas until a divider you can't see through, such as a doorway.
The repair company was surprised to hear this. So, we had to wait for him to revise his estimate and resubmit it. He also had not bothered to measure the stairs and wanted to make an extra trip to the house to do this. This is a half day excursion for me as I do not live on that side of the metropolis anymore.
Fortunately I "found" the measurements in my files and gave them to him myself. I lived there for 13 years, so it wasn't hard to deduce what the measurements should be, and they're adding 15% extra to the paint and carpet anyway in their estimate for waste in case I'm a few inches off in my guess-timate.
The tenants are fine. No meth lab in the basement, just personal storage from them combining two households into one to save money (grandmother coming to live with couple and children). It's all good.
Pls warn of any gotcha's I might still face, and thank you for the encouragement I've received.
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