aftermath

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In Amputated Hands

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After the storm, our Allstate insurance agent’s phone just flips over to voice mail during business hours. Leave a message, and we get no call back. All week long after the hurricane has passed, it’s been so far. Any good Houston insurance agent would not have even waited to get that first call from his customers. He would know that it is almost certain they would need him, and before the storm had left the northside of town he would have been on the phone himself, personally making arrangements for his clientele. Allstate? Their agent shows no signs of caring, none whatsoever.

So, two days after the storm has passed, they have an emegency claim center set up nearby. Not that one would know this from any of those so-called “good hands” commercials they plaster all over the local television’s hurricane coverage (nor are such claims center locations given in that do-nothing voice mail on the agent’s phone): one has to find a claim center such as this completely on one’s own. Had we gone out this parking lot by any other exit, we would have missed even this random site. But don’t bother wasting that precious fuel so scarce in Houston these days trying to figure out where this pic was taken: coming to this van does you no good, beyond getting yourself a claim number, which could just as easily have been done by calling their national emergency hotline (which at least had a person on the other end of the line, as contrasted with the local agent).

Either way, having that claim number doesn’t seem to get you anywhere either. We had that in hand within 12 hours after Ike had made landfall and left his mark on our house sufficiently for us to know we’d need our homeowners’ insurer around. All that claim number got us was an assignment to a claims adjuster . . . who, once finally reached (only after repeated followup calls from us), seemed quite confused about why a clearly communicated, detailed home claim from a Houston hurricane had been assigned to an auto (?!?) claims adjuster all the way over in Louisiana.

Ah, but so now we’re on the right track, yes? Not so. We’re in Allstate‘s hands, which means – as we’ve already been told by yet another Allstate rep (still not our own local agent) – that we have absolutely no more clue than they do as to when we might expect to hear anything whatsoever from our insurer on our claim. Don’t they need to look at the water damage in our attic? Big shrug from Allstate. How about all the work we’ve already had done on those fallen trees in our backyard? Maybe Allstate would like to have a pet insurance adjuster check that one out. Aha, rain expected to be back in the area this weekend, that together with all the damaged Houston roofs should give them a sense of urgency, wouldn’t you think? Not – they’re too busy updating their TV commercials.

And all of those Allstate TV commercials? More hot air than anything Ike threw at Houston.

[Additional Ike-related aftermath content: Hurricane Ike Aftermath]

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Written by macheide

18 September 2008 at 9:37 pm

Posted in homeowner

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