Posted in Ramblings

Know Thy Insurance

This is the spring of crap happening. Twin #1 has issues with her hips and knees, so she’s in physical therapy and her swim season is shot. Twin #2 has anxiety issues that, among other things, nearly made her quit dive–a sport she loves. Work is over and summer vacation is here, so I was looking forward to some time to focus on writing

You can see some of the water damage on the subfloor. We scraped the mold and bleached the wood.
You can see some of the water damage on the subfloor. We scraped the mold and bleached the wood.

and running Lost Goddess Publishing. Except last weekend, while preparing for our subdivision’s annual garage sale, I found that part of the basement ceiling had come down. It’s a finished basement, with a walkout in the back of the house that leads directly to the beach. When the mountains of snow melted and the water level rose, I worried we might have to sandbag the valley to prevent water from getting into the basement. But that didn’t happen–thank goodness.

Two cabinets removed. Subfloor removed. Hardwood pulled back to find damage. Fan for drying.
Two cabinets removed. Subfloor removed. Hardwood pulled back to find damage. Fan for drying.

As I investigated why the ceiling would fall, I poked at the place where it had come down. It was wet. We tore down the ceiling to find the leak,  narrowing it to the kitchen. Pulling out the dishwasher revealed soaked plywood. The people who had the house before us had put down hardwood, but they hadn’t continued it under the cabinets. We called service on the dishwasher. The hose has holes in it. The thing is only 4 years old. I’ve gone off on LG products before on Facebook. (My mother gifted me with a TV and Blu-ray player. The TV sporadically cannot find the Blu-ray player even though it’s hard wired into it, and we’d been watching the movie for 20 minutes.) This dishwasher never cleaned dishes all that well, and so I’m definitely never buying another LG product again.

Anyway, the dishwasher repair person is going to fix the hose. Meanwhile, Allstate has denied our claim. We found damage to

We used to have beautiful hardwood floors...
We used to have beautiful hardwood floors…

the flooring under the wood, the subfloor under that, black mold, damage to three cabinets around where the dishwasher was, damage to the wall behind it, damage to the drywall ceiling in the basement, and damage to the wood floor on the other side of the cabinets (technically the dining room). When we went to make a claim, we found out that Allstate doesn’t cover slow leaks, though my aunt has informed me that they did similar repairs for her. Her claim involved a potted plant with a crack. They replaced her carpet, padding, and matched the hardwood underneath. I’m not happy at all with my experience. We’ve been with Allstate for auto and home for 15 years. In that time, we’ve made no claims, and now when we need help (I’ve taken a 20% pay cut in my day job and book sales aren’t making up the difference), we get nothing.

Beware of the details. My policy said they covered water damage from appliances. They mean sudden problems, not slow ones that sneak up on you and cause tons of damage in places you don’t see. We pull out the appliances every summer to clean behind them, so the leak might be up to a year old. Don’t believe the commercials, ask lots of “what if” questions, and know your policy! Your agent might get sick of you, but at least you won’t find yourself alone in dealing with this.

I have more pictures from before we’d pulled out so much of the damage–including pix of the basement–that I’ll post later.


I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. During the day, I teach English, and in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

2 thoughts on “Know Thy Insurance

  1. That’s ridiculous to have such a big payout on a cracked planter and your insurance not covering something extremely serious. Not that I’d deny your aunt her good fortune. 😉 Between deductibles and loopholes, insurance can be useless in some cases.

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