Home insurance played a vital role after our house fire. The night after Christmas, I watched as fire fighters attempted to save my home. We lost everything. Fortunately, no one was home at the time but thinking that the fire was the worst of this tragedy taught me the real truth. Thankfully we were on a holiday break, so this gave me a chance to absorb what this fire had actually destroyed.
We are a combined family. My stepfather has 3 children and my mom has 3 children; this was the first hurdle to overcome, we could not find temporary living conditions to suit our large family. First we were placed in a motel to live. My friends thought this was fun and eating out for every meal was the best advantage. Living in a motel is not fun and I was missing my mom’s home-cooked meals. Then we were moved to a rental home that could accommodate my family. The down side? We were now living 45 miles away from school, friends and other family members. I wasn’t living my life, I was piecing it back together. Each day I would realize what else the fire had taken from me. Pictures, keepsakes and everyday items that didn’t seem important…now are. Every day of school, my siblings and I would drive one hour to school and then one hour home. Weekends weren’t as fun as they used to be; the toys and games we enjoyed, the fire had stolen those moments also. When my friends would say “you’re so lucky to go get all new stuff”; they didn’t realize that this wasn’t fun at all, it was a bad dream. All of the gifts from Santa..gone. Our presents from the family..gone.
Our temporary living situation did not allow pets. This forced my family to place our cat and dog with the humane society; another example of what the fire was still doing to our family, another loss. We were living in another town, during the coldest part of the year. My parents did not feel comfortable having someone look in on our pets once a day, our pets deserved better.
My parents had the proper insurance to cover our loss due to the fire. Honestly, no amount of money could replace everything that was destroyed. Memories are irreplaceable. The insurance company decided to gut our house and begin repairing the structure. With my parents, we were allowed to assist in re-designing our new home. I picked out the paint, carpet and a bedroom set. My very own girl club! We watched as our house was transformed from a burnt building into a beautiful home. Finally, it seemed that better days were happening more than remembering what was lost. The fire may have destroyed our house, but the insurance company gave us back our home.
The humane society knew why we had to release our pets to their custody. What we didn’t know is that they decided to board our pets for us, free of charge, while caring for them and providing the needed veterinary services. The insurance adjuster in conjunction with the construction company, began designing floor plans for a kennel to provide a new home for our cat and dog. Our family would be complete with our pets and our new home.
I admit that I didn’t understand the entire concept of our situation, I only knew that my family was going through hell to put our home back together one piece at a time. Asking my parents to tell me the story so I could understand the facts, actually shed new light on subjects that I didn’t comprehend as a ten year old girl. I now understand why having homeowner’s insurance was so very necessary AND why everyone should purchase (even if you rent an apartment).
Without the proper insurance, our hardship would have gone from a terrible experience to our worst nightmare. Fortunately, my parents decided to purchase enough coverage just in case. I now understand the importance of researching the types of insurance available, what items are covered and steps that should be taken to document all of your personal belongings. Purchasing insurance won’t stop a fire from happening to your family, but it will lessen your burden. It won’t replace all that you’ve lost, but you will have the security knowing that you’re not at the end of your rope. Technically, the insurance adjuster was allowed to work his magic due to the insurance coverage. He assisted in bringing our family together in our new home, pets and all. The insurance adjuster, you could say, was Santa Claus in the year 2008…and he helped a 10 year old girl understand two very important points in life; what Christmas really means, and what “insurance” means.
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