Kingston had some epic weather this past spring and summer. Flash floods, freak wind storms. It was all enough to make one wonder what the world was coming to. It was certainly enough to make our roof give up keeping the elements at bay. It started leaking around the beginning of May. There had been a wicked wind storm and we came home to the lawn littered with shingles like tossed party beads at Mardi Gras. It didn’t take us long to realize we needed to call the insurance company. Punky drywall inside and a patchy roof outside was a clear indication we were going to need some help.
It is true that good neighbours “are there.” They return toys over fences, add their snowblower to your shovelling on epic snowy mornings. They also keep their word and don’t screw you over. An insurance company with that as a tag line is either extremely confident or supremely cheeky. We were about to find out.
State Farm sent someone over to check things out. Our roof received a temporary patch and we were told an adjuster would be by to determine whether we had a claim or not. We thought that was curious… we had a leaking roof through no fault of our own, but we are insurance system rookies. So we waited. And periodically called. We heard from State Farm at two points – one when we were at the cottage with bad reception and no notes to refer to, and once when hubby was working, which meant he couldn’t talk. Fast forward to the long weekend in August. More epic weather.
The feeling of despair to stand inside your house and watch water stream down your dining room wall is rooted in primal urges to protect your young and be warm. As animals those are our primary instincts, and with the equivalent of a hose set on low running down the inside of my house I snapped and tweeted:
No joke about the rage. The water wasn’t pooling on my hardwood floor. It was working it’s way through that into the basement, over my stored fabric and craft supplies and running the length of the wiring to also christen our stored winter clothes and boxes of antiques we are storing for my mother-in-law. Crisis indeed.
Tweeps responded with concern right away. I love Twitter. It has kept me on the road more times than I can count. Sentiments like “tell them their cheque is wet when they come for their monthly payment” and shared stories of similar disasters and non-responsive insurance companies came pouring in. As did a tweet from State Farm:
That tweet was like Will Ferrell getting hit with the tranquilizer dart in Old School. It stopped me in my ranty tracks. I told the helpful lady I had gotten on the phone I had another avenue to pursue for help. She put things in motion that got another patch on the roof that day. In the meantime I sent a three page caselet of the saga of our leaky roof to the email provided me by State Farm over Twitter. Then I went and started mopping.
I don’t know if it was my tweet and ensuing email to State Farm head offices. I like to think it was the fact we had an honest claim and weren’t being jerks to people even when up a tree with stress. Either way we got a new roof. Our insurance company, adjuster Jeff in Aurora and the roofers, painters, and drywall guy were all pleasant, professional, and responsive. We were flexible, they were flexible. We didn’t take a cheque and run – we let the professionals do their jobs, which are the jobs we pay them to do, and we are once again cozy and dry in our house. The colour we chose for the walls? Puddle. Total coincidence but we like the irony of it all.