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House Flooded on vacation... Long term temp housing, and anyone else gone through this?


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Went to Port Aransas with the wife for a lovely week.  Came back to a destroyed home with 1-1/2 inch of water most everywhere in the home.  All walls have been cut back two feet and the hardwoods will start getting ripped up tomorrow.  Apparently 24,000 gallons more than the 3900 we use in an average month.  We are going to grab anything and everything we think we might want to have for a couple months tonight and papers, and find a place to go tomorrow or tonight.  

There is a Residence Inn at the Domain pretty close to our house and activities, but for potentially months? Not so sure.  Luckily I have a buddy's house where I can store anything I want so we are going to box up all the clothes and sort it all out later.  Grab any paperwork not in the safe deposit box and plan for a few months of displacement.   I am thinking an AirBnB type situation with the dog, might be just as cheap ultimately.

Anyone insurance is USAA so they are pretty good on the claims side I just don't know what the norm is Happily never having been though this before.  Does USAA go of a per deim?  I just want to get the best quality within their guidelines but thus far it's been "get a reasonably priced hotel." 

THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!!

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Depends on your policy - neighbors down the street had pipes bust in the freeze and were out of town.  Whole downstairs wiped out and everything was stripped down to the slab and studs including all the custom cabinets.  They have been in an apartment (3 kids, 2 dogs) since then because they had issues with insurance getting settled.  Finally moved in to a larger home last month and hope to get all work completed and move back in by end of September.  He told me he's at least $30k out of pocket to date but I don't know if that's related to covering costs until insurance finally settled with or if he's SOL... It sucks but good luck!

 

(And for those of you who this hasn't happened to, check your policy - I purposely got a policy to cover for this (thanks C-man!) as I didn't want to come home from a long trip only to find a hot water heater busted on the day I left and was in the same situation...)

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Depends on the policy...

Some will allow whatever you can justify as "reasonable" under your loss of use.    As far as an AirBnb alternative to a hotel, call the carrier and give them the specifics like cost and the  estimated duration you might be staying there. 

Yea water bursts like that suck big time.   Whenever we go out of town for even an overnight and if one of my kids is not there, I shut the  water off on  master valve coming into the house.   I had an office space  I shared with an MD about 20 years ago, and their plumber forgot to put a 30 cent washer on some plumbing they were doing in an exam room and about 4AM or so, one our employees who lived in that town was calling us saying she got a call from the police saying water was going down a ramp from the entry door in the parking lot and the street.   Nothing like getting there and seeing three or so inches of standing water in some spots... Oh and it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.    LOL  Worked out ok due to the office was going to be closed anyway from that afternoon until the following Monday, but it didn't dry out completely until Tuesday despite all sorts of blowers and extractors being brought in.  It also timed with a pretty strong cold front which brought in a bunch of moisture and temps into the 40's for daytime highs during that four day span.  

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Posted (edited)

Dude wtf?  Water heater in the attic or a busted toilet hose?  Wow.  Sorry that happened.  Years ago, my sister and her husband went to bed Christmas Eve, they had a laundry room that was elevated above the rest of the living area.  One of the hoses to the washing machine burst, and their 2 kids woke up the next morning to the sunken living room having 8" of water in it, and all their Christmas presents either floating or sunk, depending on content.  I laugh about it now, but man what a bummer.

Edited by Judge Roybeanbag
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, horn4life said:

Went to Port Aransas with the wife for a lovely week.  Came back to a destroyed home with 1-1/2 inch of water most everywhere in the home.  All walls have been cut back two feet and the hardwoods will start getting ripped up tomorrow.  Apparently 24,000 gallons more than the 3900 we use in an average month.  We are going to grab anything and everything we think we might want to have for a couple months tonight and papers, and find a place to go tomorrow or tonight.  

There is a Residence Inn at the Domain pretty close to our house and activities, but for potentially months? Not so sure.  Luckily I have a buddy's house where I can store anything I want so we are going to box up all the clothes and sort it all out later.  Grab any paperwork not in the safe deposit box and plan for a few months of displacement.   I am thinking an AirBnB type situation with the dog, might be just as cheap ultimately.

Anyone insurance is USAA so they are pretty good on the claims side I just don't know what the norm is Happily never having been though this before.  Does USAA go of a per deim?  I just want to get the best quality within their guidelines but thus far it's been "get a reasonably priced hotel." 

THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!!

Bummer. Taken. 
 

 

Edited by ChickenSandwich
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2 hours ago, Nueces River Rat said:

Depends on the policy...

Some will allow whatever you can justify as "reasonable" under your loss of use.    As far as an AirBnb alternative to a hotel, call the carrier and give them the specifics like cost and the  estimated duration you might be staying there. 

Yea water bursts like that suck big time.   Whenever we go out of town for even an overnight and if one of my kids is not there, I shut the  water off on  master valve coming into the house.   I had an office space  I shared with an MD about 20 years ago, and their plumber forgot to put a 30 cent washer on some plumbing they were doing in an exam room and about 4AM or so, one our employees who lived in that town was calling us saying she got a call from the police saying water was going down a ramp from the entry door in the parking lot and the street.   Nothing like getting there and seeing three or so inches of standing water in some spots... Oh and it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.    LOL  Worked out ok due to the office was going to be closed anyway from that afternoon until the following Monday, but it didn't dry out completely until Tuesday despite all sorts of blowers and extractors being brought in.  It also timed with a pretty strong cold front which brought in a bunch of moisture and temps into the 40's for daytime highs during that four day span.  

I was an REO guy for an S&L many years ago.  My name and number was on the for sale signs. 

I had this shit commercial space in Long Beach, in the fucking hood.

One day Long Beach PD calls me to tell me there's water running out from under the front door.  I drive up there...motherfuckers broke in and stole all the copper pipe, and didn't even turn the water off.  

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4 hours ago, Grimas said:

I didn't want to come home from a long trip only to find a hot water heater busted on the day I left and was in the same situation...)

It only takes like 10 seconds to close the shut off valve where water enters your house. I never close mine when I leave town, but it's certainly and option.

Bernard

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bernard said:

It only takes like 10 seconds to close the shut off valve where water enters your house. I never close mine when I leave town, but it's certainly and option.

Bernard

I do it now (and put the hot water heaters on "vacation" settings) whenever I am gone for more than a weekend... I also have alarms at each of my hot water heaters and sinks that will go off if any water leaks while I'm at home - just replaced my hardwoods downstairs and don't want to replace them even if I have insurance...

 

Edited by Grimas
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13 hours ago, Judge Roybeanbag said:

Dude wtf?  Water heater in the attic or a busted toilet hose?  Wow.  Sorry that happened.  Years ago, my sister and her husband went to bed Christmas Eve, they had a laundry room that was elevated above the rest of the living area.  One of the hoses to the washing machine burst, and their 2 kids woke up the next morning to the sunken living room having 8" of water in it, and all their Christmas presents either floating or sunk, depending on content.  I laugh about it now, but man what a bummer.

Obvioulsy they'd been pretty gott damned naughty little scamps over the the year.

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1 hour ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

Obvioulsy they'd been pretty gott damned naughty little scamps over the the year.

Yep.  The valuable lesson I learned at their expense was always replace the shitty rubber/plastic supply lines to washing machines sand toilets with good braided ones.  

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We had a minor flood last year.  The repairs left us without a kitchen for a month.  Our insurance company had a temp housing division that set us up with a nearby AirBNB.  The other option was to have all meals paid for during the time without a kitchen.  It was fairly painless all told.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Gil Bang said:

I was an REO guy for an S&L many years ago.  My name and number was on the for sale signs. 

I had this shit commercial space in Long Beach, in the fucking hood.

One day Long Beach PD calls me to tell me there's water running out from under the front door.  I drive up there...motherfuckers broke in and stole all the copper pipe, and didn't even turn the water off.  

Oh dang.... How in the heck did they cut it?   Wow!

Edited by Nueces River Rat
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March 1998, wife and I are ensconced in our 2 BR apartment in Alexandria, VA.  Hear a loud POW and then water starts jetting out of every opening in the ceiling.  WTF, we're running around like chickens with their heads cut off with water continuing to jet down.  Call the property management office, goes to voicemail, leave a panicked message.  At this point, we've got about 3 inches of water and more keeps coming down.  Open the patio door, front door, garage door (had an attached 1 car garage), still coming down.  Dial 911 and ask for fire department to come out.  Fire trucks show up and the water is about knee deep in our apartment even with the doors open.  Finally remember the wife's cat and go searching for it.  She's under the bed and the carpet has floated up so much she is pinned between the carpet and the box springs.  Drag the cat out by her tail, throw her in the cat carrier and put in the bathtub, which ironically enough was the driest spot in the whole fucking apartment.

Firemen finally turn the water off and we learn that the sprinkler system for this 400 plus unit apartment complex broke directly over our apartment.  I ponder whether I should be more diligent in my church attendance.  Water is turned off, we've moved our clothes over to the neighbor across the breezeway; neighbors two floors up took the cat in for the night.  

Long story short, had to threaten legal action to get apartment to let us out of lease.  Every piece of furniture and electronics we had were totally fucked.  Allstate dragged their feet and put us off on resolving renters insurance claim until I finally filed a complaint with the VA insurance commissioner and copied every executive at Allstate I could find on the internet, and then, 10 months after the event, we got a very healthy check from Allstate.  

So, in summary, prepare thy anus and fight the good fight.

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On 7/27/2021 at 2:53 PM, horn4life said:

Went to Port Aransas with the wife for a lovely week.  Came back to a destroyed home with 1-1/2 inch of water most everywhere in the home.  All walls have been cut back two feet and the hardwoods will start getting ripped up tomorrow.  Apparently 24,000 gallons more than the 3900 we use in an average month.  We are going to grab anything and everything we think we might want to have for a couple months tonight and papers, and find a place to go tomorrow or tonight.  

There is a Residence Inn at the Domain pretty close to our house and activities, but for potentially months? Not so sure.  Luckily I have a buddy's house where I can store anything I want so we are going to box up all the clothes and sort it all out later.  Grab any paperwork not in the safe deposit box and plan for a few months of displacement.   I am thinking an AirBnB type situation with the dog, might be just as cheap ultimately.

Anyone insurance is USAA so they are pretty good on the claims side I just don't know what the norm is Happily never having been though this before.  Does USAA go of a per deim?  I just want to get the best quality within their guidelines but thus far it's been "get a reasonably priced hotel." 

THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!!

I'll be interested to hear how USAA does on your claim. Dave Lieber, The Watchdog columnist for the DMN, just wrote an article that didn't paint a flattering picture of USAA's recent claims handling practices. I grew up in SA and know all about USAA. I think it's slipped in quality over the years -- of course I've got skin in the game as an independent broker -- but it's still better than most middle-market companies and direct writers such as Farmers, Allstate or State Farm to name a few.

Regarding your temporary living accommodations, it depends on what your policy says. You might have an actual monetary limit on Additional Living Expenses/Loss of Use. It will be a percentage of the Dwelling limit. Or it might say "Reasonable Expenses." There won't be a per-day limit like you might find for rental reimbursement on your auto policy but the understanding is that it will pay the reasonable expenses or rate for you to have similar living situation to your primary residence. You are going to be out for months so I'd push really fucking hard on finding a rental that fits the basic parameters of your house (bedrooms, vicinity, etc).

I've said it a bunch of times here -- if you qualify for the high net worth carriers such as Chubb, AIG, PURE, etc they're worth their weight in gold when the proverbial shit hits the fan.

 

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6 hours ago, C-Man said:

I'll be interested to hear how USAA does on your claim. Dave Lieber, The Watchdog columnist for the DMN, just wrote an article that didn't paint a flattering picture of USAA's recent claims handling practices. I grew up in SA and know all about USAA. I think it's slipped in quality over the years -- of course I've got skin in the game as an independent broker -- but it's still better than most middle-market companies and direct writers such as Farmers, Allstate or State Farm to name a few.

Regarding your temporary living accommodations, it depends on what your policy says. You might have an actual monetary limit on Additional Living Expenses/Loss of Use. It will be a percentage of the Dwelling limit. Or it might say "Reasonable Expenses." There won't be a per-day limit like you might find for rental reimbursement on your auto policy but the understanding is that it will pay the reasonable expenses or rate for you to have similar living situation to your primary residence. You are going to be out for months so I'd push really fucking hard on finding a rental that fits the basic parameters of your house (bedrooms, vicinity, etc).

I've said it a bunch of times here -- if you qualify for the high net worth carriers such as Chubb, AIG, PURE, etc they're worth their weight in gold when the proverbial shit hits the fan.

 

I have been a lifelong USAA customer and my parents were from the time I was in high school.

They had to make a roof claim once, I believe, and it was fine, but this would have been 20 or 25 years ago.

On the Auto side, they have gone pretty heavy into automation. and that has made the experience suffer some, although the actual claims resolution seems pretty trouble free.  I had to make a claim on a Sewell loaner when I got hit and run rear ended.  It was fine, but impersonal.

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8 hours ago, C-Man said:

I'll be interested to hear how USAA does on your claim. Dave Lieber, The Watchdog columnist for the DMN, just wrote an article that didn't paint a flattering picture of USAA's recent claims handling practices. I grew up in SA and know all about USAA. I think it's slipped in quality over the years -- of course I've got skin in the game as an independent broker -- but it's still better than most middle-market companies and direct writers such as Farmers, Allstate or State Farm to name a few.

Regarding your temporary living accommodations, it depends on what your policy says. You might have an actual monetary limit on Additional Living Expenses/Loss of Use. It will be a percentage of the Dwelling limit. Or it might say "Reasonable Expenses." There won't be a per-day limit like you might find for rental reimbursement on your auto policy but the understanding is that it will pay the reasonable expenses or rate for you to have similar living situation to your primary residence. You are going to be out for months so I'd push really fucking hard on finding a rental that fits the basic parameters of your house (bedrooms, vicinity, etc).

I've said it a bunch of times here -- if you qualify for the high net worth carriers such as Chubb, AIG, PURE, etc they're worth their weight in gold when the proverbial shit hits the fan.

 

I agree.  I'm still kind of new to the Insurance world and from the former USAA clients I've been able to acquire, I gather they have kind of slipped over the last few years or so     Most of them say they've been with USAA for years and never really shopped around until they started talking with friends/family about what kind of premiums they are paying and that prompts them  look around.     And of course down here on the coast, it's a different animal than most of the rest of the state because of windstorm and USAA may or may not cover that peril and you have to go TWIA which is a headache for a discussion for another time.   

I would bet their focus on quality started a decline when they started spending bucket loads of money on promoting the brand on Saturdays and Sundays, especially during football season.    They followed the GEICO, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, the captives and focus on volume vs quality of customer or risk.   

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

I have been a lifelong USAA customer and my parents were from the time I was in high school.

They had to make a roof claim once, I believe, and it was fine, but this would have been 20 or 25 years ago.

On the Auto side, they have gone pretty heavy into automation. and that has made the experience suffer some, although the actual claims resolution seems pretty trouble free.  I had to make a claim on a Sewell loaner when I got hit and run rear ended.  It was fine, but impersonal.

Many of your carriers are going heavy into automation on the auto side to the point if they are shopping for a new car ,  you the policyholder can put the VIN in the app on your  phone and get instant coverage for their new vehicle  and show proof to the dealer instead of having to call in or wait for Monday if they are shopping over the weekend to make the change.   For me as newbie (going into my third year in the industry), I can see the benefits now with my book growing to where this is a plus on the agent side, but there some downsides as well.   When a person needs a copy of their insurance card or Dec Page, it's there at their finger tips and likewise some will allow you facilitate the claims process via their apps with sending pics of the damage which might be sufficient enough to avoid having to meet with an adjuster.    The downside is some of the carriers will allow your client to bypass you as the agent and make changes and you don't about them until after the fact and if the crap hits the fan , you as the agent feel the fallout.  

Truth is as I grow, I hope my auto part of the book is less of revenue stream.   People don't shop homeowners and other property exposures as much as they do auto because most will pay on a monthly whereas home premiums are escrowed.  Your auto customer will shop and then leave you high and dry potentially for a charge back if that's the only policy you have on your books, even if you bent over and through hoops to help them out.  Getting them on a bundle type deal is ideal or at least having all of their polices if scattered among companies works too.  

 

Edited by Nueces River Rat
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I think USAA's decline began when it started loosening up the eligibility rules. The agents answering the phone at USAA are order takers, not consultants. That is a recipe for disaster for high net worth families/individuals IMO. Trust me when I say if you can get insurance with one of the HNW carriers do it and do not look back.

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On 7/27/2021 at 8:40 PM, Grimas said:

I do it now (and put the hot water heaters on "vacation" settings) whenever I am gone for more than a weekend... I also have alarms at each of my hot water heaters and sinks that will go off if any water leaks while I'm at home - just replaced my hardwoods downstairs and don't want to replace them even if I have insurance...

 

Tell me more about the alarms. Make/model, etc. 

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1 hour ago, Gil Bang said:

alarms are great, if somebody's there to hear them. 

They make wireless ones that send an alert to your phone... It would suck to be out for the night and get the alert...

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What’s the best next step Dow from Chubb etc. not including usaa

Safeco and Travelers’ best HO policies are really good (Safeco’s being as close to HNW light as you can get), Central is good and Cincinnati has a solid middle market policy that is not as comprehensive as their Capstone HNW product.
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Recognize that SafeCo is owned by Liberty Bibberty & as such, the desk adjuster may very well be just as much a fool or an expert as any other Liberty desk hack / adjuster.

 

One thing that I find from probably 80% or more of customers is they rely too much on the insurance agent.  They are a salesperson for the insurance co.  Nothing more.  There is not a lot they can do if your claim isn't worked out the way you want it to go or if their is an outright denial.  Nothing against C-Man; I have referred him to many people across Texas & he is up front about whether he can get you a better policy or if the numbers aren't going to change, etc.  ...However he will also admit that is his role in the process.

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1 hour ago, ROFL BOX said:

Recognize that SafeCo is owned by Liberty Bibberty & as such, the desk adjuster may very well be just as much a fool or an expert as any other Liberty desk hack / adjuster.

 

One thing that I find from probably 80% or more of customers is they rely too much on the insurance agent.  They are a salesperson for the insurance co.  Nothing more.  There is not a lot they can do if your claim isn't worked out the way you want it to go or if their is an outright denial.  Nothing against C-Man; I have referred him to many people across Texas & he is up front about whether he can get you a better policy or if the numbers aren't going to change, etc.  ...However he will also admit that is his role in the process.

This is absolutely true. The advantage of an independent agent, though, is that we do not work for the carriers. We can -- and do -- advocate for clients in sticky claim situations. I work for one of the largest brokers in the US and we can absolutely get special treatment from time to time due to the sheer volume of business that we do with the carriers. It doesn't always work out that way but it can. This is another reason why -- and I know ROFL will back this up -- it's best to be in the HNW market if you qualify. We've talked about the ease of him doing business when it comes to Chubb claims (and others). The HNW companies look for reasons to pay claims, not outright fuck strangers (clients) in the ass. Allstate and Farmers and others will 100% find the absolute cheapest way to get a claim wrapped/closed.

We just picked up a client who bought a house on Beverly in Highland Park in Dec. They moved in from California, were 20+ year State Farm clients and got a local agent to handle their stuff in Dallas (another limitation of SF but I digress). Burst pipes in Feb's winter storm led to entire first floor of $8M+ home flooding. SF adjustor said $195K or so for damage, family's contractor said it was more like $750K-$900K. SF sent a second adjuster out and he boosted the offer to $300K. Client is still pissed. SF pulled the second adjuster and rescinded the second offer and said the most it would pay is $195K. Client said fuck it and sold the house "as-is" and bought another house on Beverly -- through a new real estate agent, who referred them to us. They're now insured with Chubb for 25% more (give or take) than would've been with SF. But I can 100% promise Chubb would've covered the first house water loss up to the very last penny with no questions asked. There are a handful of carriers extremely similar to Chubb in this regard.

(And, yes, Safeco is owned by Liberty Mutual, which is kind of odd. I cringe every time I hear Liberty Mutual's commercials and "only pay for what you need" ads. Safeco is a different animal and a very good upper middle-market product. Their top-line home policy, which is relatively new, offers many of the bells-and-whistles that the HNW carriers do.)

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6 hours ago, Johnny Chimpo said:

How high of a net worth are we talking here to get into the next level of insurers? 1MM? 10MM? 

It's kind of a misnomer and has nothing to do (really) with your actual net worth. Chubb has pretty much dropped HNW from its lexicon and has started using "successful" families/individuals for the simple fact that most people don't consider themselves as high net worth, even though in the eyes of the luxury insurance carriers they are.

Whether you qualify or not is almost entirely based off the reconstruction value of your primary residence. In Texas, Chubb will offer policies for homes with Coverage A/Dwelling value of $500K or more. The other six generally do not get into the game until Coverage A is $1M. (Luxury condos are a different animal with different requirements. Cincinnati, for instance, is very aggressively targeting condo-owners and I think they're baseline starts at $200K; Chubb is combo $500K covering improvements and personal property.)

Chubb (and the others) will get more and more competitive on the price as the value of the home increases. For instance, Chubb isn't usually very competitive price-wise with say Farmers on a $500K home in the suburbs but will be on multi-million dollar homes in the Park Cities or River Oaks, etc. HNW auto is ALWAYS going to be higher than middle market but the coverage is also better across the board.

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On 7/28/2021 at 7:21 AM, Judge Roybeanbag said:

Yep.  The valuable lesson I learned at their expense was always replace the shitty rubber/plastic supply lines to washing machines sand toilets with good braided ones.  

Yeah.... I put the best braided supply lines on and... boom.  I am hoping the receipt

 

I was shitting that I fucked up and used a tool on the supply line and the entire claim would be voided.  I knew I put it on hand tight, but I may have over hand tightened and the plastic nut itself failed, the 90 psi was a contributing factor.  

 

On 7/28/2021 at 8:44 PM, Parliament said:

Buy a camper and park it in the driveway. 

Already have that... but Port A camping... is well... more fun!

 

Meant to post the above a while. back.  I agree with EVERYTHING being automated to some degree, but my guy calls back at least when I ask.  It's the wish washy aspect of the whole thing.  Look's like Ultimately I will get a place to live, and about $60 a day per diem for food.  Which is ok since we mostly go out early and will likley come out ahead when I get into something longer term.  But man.... the idea of this being contingent on contractors.... not optimistic.

I am tempted to do some research and just have USAA being an adjuster out and give me a raw number.  Then work backwards.  

With everything in the whole hose that touched the ground getting torn out, it's making us think.  Might bite off some major changes, but that would shift a lot of the housing onto us, if we went crazy.  In the end it's a bunch of sheet rock work, and shit ton of hand texturing, new cabinets and floors.  Not exactly rocket science.  I just see an eternal drift on the timeline...  

Thanks for the replies!

IF you know of somebody with a house in NW austin they would rent Month to month let me know.  

 

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