“It could be so much worse,” he says and she says and everyone I tell says. “At least everyone is safe and none of your important possessions were damaged,” they say hoping to make me feel better. Everyone wants to do their part to show you how it’s not so bad.
And I get it. It’s not “soooooo bad,” it just kind of sucks.
When I woke up on Tuesday morning to the doorman asking if there was a leak, I didn’t envision that three days later my entire 1850 square foot of hardwood floors would need to come up, nor did I imagine the wall behind which the water flowed would have to be demolished along with the three kitchen upper cabinets and two lower cabinets.
“But you’ll get a new kitchen,” someone says in an effort to see the bright side. Sure, but I’ll also have to deal with insurance placing depreciation values on my four-year-old flawless floors.
The State Farm insurance adjuster took four days to get here, which I’m told is great, but I don’t agree. State Farm with their #heretohelp campaign, with their tear-jerking commercials. I had to keep following up. I just wanted to hear a “We’re sorry this happened to you and we are here to help” and I didn’t hear that. From the first representative, I called to the office adjuster to the callous woman who came to our apartment to inspect the damages.
As I sat amongst the 12 industrial size dryers shooting hot air from every corner of my apartment, it might have been 120 degrees in here and yet the adjustor, with the sweat beading on her upper lip would not call this uninhabitable. She walked, gingerly over the exposed tar floor, yet didn’t care there were people living here; humans behind a claim number. “You’ll need hotel money for when they install the floor,” she tells me as generously as she is giving me the money out of her pocket.
I have a $2 million policy and she is being careful with dispersants.
I just want what it was before – nothing better, nothing worse. I want the same floor and the same weathered cabinets which were 100% functional. I wasn’t in the market for a little insurance scam to get a new kitchen out of the deal. If so, I would have arranged to do it while my daughter was in school rather than the last two weeks of summer when she’s forced to exist in the over-heated apartment while they tear down the wet floors, walls, and cabinets.
What bothers me isn’t so much that this happened, although I want to feel free to say, “THIS FUCKING SUCKS EVEN THOUGH I’M STILL ALIVE AND HEALTHY AND THANK GOD FOR THAT” without someone judging me that I’m not being grateful enough. Yes, it could always be worse. But can’t I at least yell “OH FUCK, THIS SUCKS?!”
It bothers me that we’re not treated as well when we need the help as when they’re trying to get the business. It bothers me that I’m going to have to fight for what is fair and just and they’re not doing the right part to help us when we need it. I have to be the squeaky wheel, sending twitter messages to @StateFarm, playing bad cop to the insurance inspector to get what is fair. You cannot replace half my kitchen cabinets with new ones and leave the other ones because they are on an adjacent wall but not physically “touching” and you can’t tell me because I have continuous hardwood floors but have a one-inch threshold between rooms that those rooms don’t get a new matching floor.
“You can appeal,” my father tells me. “You can get an independent adjuster and an independent contractor to get you an estimate and then you give it to her to negotiate.”
I get it all; it will eventually all be OK. I will have floors and walls back. Never mind that I work from home; never mind the heat, the noise, the discomfort. I just wanted someone to hold my hand when this happened and reassure me that this is exactly why I have insurance; to catch me when I fall. To help me back on my feet. StateFarm, are you really #HeretoHelp? Because when it’s #TimetoPay, you’re making me shake the system until the money falls out.