I finally got back in! The negative side of tech...too many accounts, too many email addresses and I was locked out of my blog. Of course, after the fire, I didn't much feel like keeping it up. It has been a year since my last post, and I am ready now to begin anew. Besides, I am procrastinating about cleaning house.
We have settled completely with the insurance company, and while it wasn't an easy process, or a painless one, it is finally over. We ended up with a brand new rebuilt house, brand new furniture, brand new everything. And we are getting back to normal now. We moved back home in July of 2007, and we are truly home.
I have two suggestions for anyone who is worried about a fire happening to them. First of all, make sure to have an item by item inventory done and available for your home. Keep receipts of all big purchases, and store off-site. Back up all data and again, store off site. Keep birth certs and other important things stored...you guessed it, off-site. This is to prevent insurance messes, when they say you didn't have a $1000 bed, and how do they know it was truly what you said it was??
My other suggestion? Hire a public adjuster. Yes, I know, you think they are worse than those ambulance-chasing lawyers that advertise on late night tv, but they have some advantages you do not. First of all, they know the system, you do not. Insurance is complicated, and confusing; they design it that way. Secondly, adjusters work for a portion of the settlement. So, they don't get paid if you don't. And it is to their best interest to get the most for you they can, so they get paid more. Throughout the process, they probably won't do things as quickly as you want them to, or call you back as often, but in the end, it works out. As I said, we have our house rebuilt, with many upgrades. Some we paid for on our own, some were paid for by insurance. We have all brand new furniture, clothing, toys, belongings, everything. It is a heck of a way to purge, though. Not what I would suggest.
Beyond all of this, we are fine. We emerged stronger, wiser and believe it or not, better off for the tragedy. I will always miss my cats. But we worked so hard to make decisions for a home we could be comfortable with, and it really paid off.
I hope you never go through this, Internet. But if you do, know that I understand, and would love to help with what I have learned. In the next weeks, I may post more about what I learned, and pictures, if I am ever able to upload them!
T, who learned a lot through "trial by Fire"