[m-w] Next Step - Would be Appreciative of any opinions/advice anyone has

  • From: Kathi Pieper <kathi.pieper@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Ron Pieper <r.pieper@xxxxxxx>, m-w@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Lucy Martin <lamartin@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 08:34:01 -0600

So, I got a call yesterday from John Niemeyer, insurance adjuster for
American Family.  He had been out of town all last week for a funeral
- his 2-year-old nephew wandered into a pool area and drowned.

He wanted to update me on several items.  One was that he had spoke
with Mike Blanchard, Aurora Fire investigator who has still not
determined the cause of the fire.  He has deemed it accidental with
undetermined origin.

John has a theory that the electrical meter may have been the cause.
He was very concerned at how charred and destroyed the meter was
inside and thinks that something malfunctioned in the meter, blew the
glass cover off and sparks from the inside of the meter caused the
fire.  I mentioned to him again that the power went out for a couple
of hours on Monday and that for the last month or so when the heater
kicked on, the TV had been making a popping noise.  I had no idea what
might have been causing the popping and had mentioned it to Chris that
I should probably have someone look at it but wasn't even certain who
to contact.

Anyway, I had to give John two recorded statements - one regarding the
fire and another regarding my level of insurance coverage.  Turns out
that I am approximately $125,000 underinsured on the value of the

John advised that he took a recorded statement from Steve on how he
determined the value of the house.  Steve used a software program and
came up with an exact value on the house of $123,100.  Best estimate
on replacement is $225,000. John was quick to say that Steve did
nothing wrong and that he will request reformation of the policy in
order to cover the loss.  He advised that what might be required is
for me to come up with the difference in premiums from inception of
the policy to date and the value of the policy would be changed to
what it will actually cost to replace.  He also told me off the
recording that he had done these before, the software was faulty and
that Steve had done nothing wrong.

So - here is my question.  When I bought the house, or was in the
process of buying, I sent Steve the appraisal that I received that
clearly stated that I was paying $129,000 and that the comps were
between $168 and $186,000.  Why would it be left up to me to pay the
premium difference if they screwed up? Should I even be concerned with
the amount of the difference in premium if they replace the house with
a new and better one?   I asked John how many deductibles they were
planning to hit me with and he confirmed that there is only one - for
the replacement of the house and not 3 for the three "buckets" of
stuff - possessions, temp living and replacement of the house.  John
is saying that the premium difference will be less than $1000 but I
guess I don't really agree with why I have to foot the bill for their
mistake.  He also told me that I have $92,400 on personal property and
that his initial assessment is that we will exceed 80% of that based
on the fire.  Apparently that is also where the asbestos abatement
money is supposed to come from - and the left over 20% is not near
enough.  Does that mean I will not get replacement of my

I was told not to worry about any of this and that it would take him
approximately two weeks to get the decision from management on whether
or not they would approve to reform the policy.  Donnelle with ICA is
supposed to have someone go over today and pull out the furniture
(deja vu - I was told this two weeks ago) Dad made to see if it can be

I am somewhat at my wits end and now second guessing how great I have
been treated so far.  It is almost like I have been wooed and the
really ugly stuff is about to begin.  John mentioned twice in the
unrecorded portions of the call that I just needed to trust him and
that he had dealt with these issues many times and would make certain
all was handled in a just manner.

Should I waiit and see or is it possibly time to find an attorney and
take the chance that he will become wealthy and I will have a suitcase
of charred shit to show for the last 58 years?

Thanks for your advice


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