Friday, August 22, 2008

Post-fire progress report #3

So far, so good. My house (and my clothes, and myself!) still smell very strongly of smoke, but that won't change for a while. It permeates everything. I feel like a smoked sausage!

I'm getting quotes for every repair requirement mentioned by my insurance assessor. A very big thumbs-up to Louisiana Farm Bureau for their helpfulness. They're really great to work with, and the assessor's a straight-up guy. In fact, there were things I hadn't thought of as part of the clean-up, and he volunteered the information, saying I needed to get quotes for them and include them in my claim. Considering that most insurance companies (in my experience, anyway) try to minimize what they pay out, it's very refreshing to find an assessor who really tries to help policyholders get the most out of their benefits. Thanks, Mr. A. B., and thanks, Louisiana Farm Bureau! You've certainly earned my strongest possible endorsement.

It'll be Wednesday or Thursday next week before all the quotes are in, and the assessor can finalize the payout details. Total repair and renovation costs are expected to be somewhere between $15K and $25K. Thereafter he'll send a check to my bondholders, who are based in California. They have to inspect and approve all work done before releasing the money to me to pay the providers of the various services. This is a pain in the posterior, but apparently there have been many problems with people taking the insurance settlement and absconding, abandoning their damaged home to the bondholder. These bureaucratic obstacles are the result. I guess if I were the bondholder, I'd want to protect my interests too. Fortunately, the bondholder has three offices, all within about 100-200 miles of me, so their inspectors can get here reasonably easily to confirm that the work's been done and authorize release of the funds to pay for them.

The assessor also reminded me that the insurance policy will pay for alternative accommodation while the repairs and renovations are in progress. I'll be moving into a hotel room for a couple of weeks while everything gets done.

The Prednizone finally kicked in this afternoon, and the coughing and spluttering has begun to ease off. I had my first decent sleep (all afternoon long!), so I'll probably be up most of tonight. (Sigh . . . ) Not complaining - I'm just glad to feel rested again!

Thanks again to everyone for your helpfulness and concern. You're a great bunch of online friends!

God bless.



FlutePrayer said...

I'm on vacation so this is the first I've heard of the fire. I'm grateful that you are safe and have good insurance. Thanks for keeping up with the blogging. You rock.

Jim March said...

Ummm...even if the old computer was fried, there's a VERY good chance you can recover data off the hard drive. It's actually one of the toughest components in a situation like this.

First thing, figure out if the hard disk is "IDE" or "SATA". Then get an adapter kit to allow that drive to run as an external drive via another computer's USB port. That lets you plug it into something else and suck the data off, even if the "burnt" drive isn't long-term reliable any more (and it might not be).

A kit like this one allows ANY drive to be used externally on an emergency basis:

Most good "geek shops" will have something similar. This isn't a setup for long-term use, it's more like something a repair geek would have around "in case" but for $20, your data on just this one job might be worth it. It has adapters for IDE desktop type, IDE laptop type and SATA (desktop and laptop). It also comes with power cables if it's a type of hard disk that needs power too.

Then again, if you have complete backups this may be a non-issue...

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are getting better. Just be thankful you did not have State Farm. They are stinkers. I am being nice.