May 10, 2012 started as any ordinary Thursday but I could tell by the look on my mom’s face in the carpool line at school that it was not just any ordinary day. That was the day the water line to our water heater became disconnected and dumped thousands of gallons of water throughout the place I called home. Did I mention that our water heater is in the attic? Unfortunately no one was home when the break happened and from the extensive damage it appeared that the broken pipe had been gushing water for at least several hours before my mom came home. I originally thought my mom’s description of my picturesque family home was just a joke, but I soon found out that I was wrong.
In the short ride from the school to our house my mom tried to prepare my younger brother and I for what we would see at home but some how words just couldn’t describe the magnitude of the change that we would find. Who knew water could do that much damage?
Through the soggy remains of what was the first floor of my house I made my way up the stairs to my room. Confusion quickly turned to shock as I saw the attic from the doorway of my room through what used to be the ceiling. The gaping hole in my ceiling revealed the twisted pipes and steely water heater that had caused all of this destruction. Through the piles of all the pink chunks of insulation and the pieces of the white ceiling I could see all my things just as I had left them; however now they were soaked in a pile of watered down mess. My eyes went straight to my books and for the first time the shock turned to tears. My rock collection could survive this travesty for they had survived millions of years on this planet but my books were history. I did not know how anything could ever be the same. I thought I had lost everything I had ever own.
Fortunately, this was not to be the case. The local fire department helped my parents drain all of the standing water out of the house. They pulled up toilets to help drain the water and removed piles of soggy clothes from our closets. Neighbors pitched in to help and soon the trucks from the drying company arrived and we were off to a hotel. This was only the beginning of what would later become a 3 month ordeal until we were able to move back in. We eventually were relocated to a larger place with more space and I know my parents spent a lot of time on the phone while their days seemed to be filled with meeting people to go over things about the house, but from my 14 year old perspective life went on. It was summer and days were filled with camps and activities with friends. We were staying close to our home and my parents tried to make this experience as normal as possible under the circumstances. Frequent visits to our house showed progress and slowly that horrid day in May was becoming a distant memory. Eventually we moved back in, my beloved books were all replaced and surprisingly our house was as it was before. I wasn’t apart of that process but I now know the means for how it all happened – insurance.
Sure, I have seen all of the many commercials, and I have heard how insurance companies are always there when you need them; however, I now know from experience how reliable insurance really is. I know how important it is to have that sense of security in case something happens. In one brief moment of time, everything can change, and all that one wants in those situations is to put everything back just the way it was before. As the origin of the word insurance – ensurance means everything that one wants to hear in these situations: ensuring, assurance, security, a guarantee. After such a tremendous loss of property I know the only way that this rebuilding can happen is through the coverage that insurance provides. My family’s finances could not have survived that unexpected disaster had it not been for the coverage that our policy provided and the security that it offered. I hope nothing like that ever happens again but I am glad to know that if it does we have the coverage to take care of it.
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