Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-20-2015, 01:10 PM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,268
Every time Ive switched from Company A to Company B for a lower rate, within a few months I get calls and letters from Company A offering a lower rate than they were charging me when I left. You can always go back to Company A next year if you are unhappy with Company B for any reason.
__________________

__________________
utrecht is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-21-2015, 10:01 AM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,677
I wouldn't shift to a company with much lower ratings.

Check rates at the top rated companies. I moved from Amica to Liberty Mutual for home and saved a bunch. Amica to Geico for auto & umbrella also with big savings. Of these, I think Liberty Mutual is the lowest rated at "A" by AM best. But, we had a wonderful experience with then with our hail damaged roof replacement
__________________

__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 11:01 AM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
I wouldn't shift to a company with much lower ratings.

Check rates at the top rated companies. I moved from Amica to Liberty Mutual for home and saved a bunch. Amica to Geico for auto & umbrella also with big savings. Of these, I think Liberty Mutual is the lowest rated at "A" by AM best. But, we had a wonderful experience with then with our hail damaged roof replacement
A Liberty subsidiary (Safeco) is the cheaper quote in this case.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 03:33 PM   #24
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,268
I have Safeco homeowners insurance. Ive had no problem with them whatsoever. I did have to file one claim with them and they took care of everything very professionally. The process could not have been smoother.
__________________
utrecht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 03:48 PM   #25
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
I have Safeco homeowners insurance. Ive had no problem with them whatsoever. I did have to file one claim with them and they took care of everything very professionally. The process could not have been smoother.
I too have SAFECO. I lost everything; home, cars, boat, motorcycles, everything but the clothes on my back. There was literally nothing left but scorched earth. They were great! If my own father owned the company, it couldn't have gone better. They covered everything and since I had a total loss and everything was insured with them, they bumped the coverage by 10% more.
They encouraged me to rebuild and that I could apply all the payments into bigger house if I wanted to. So, I put everything I was paid for into the house and built my dream home; a log house.
I can't say enough good things about these folks. That was 8 years ago. I designed and engineered the house, then contracted out the work. Basically I was 'general contractor' and sub contracted out the various skills to build it. SAFECO paid me in $50,000 increments and all they wanted was me to e-mail them photos to show there was progress. They maxed out every bit of my policy and never raised my rates more than the new house was actually worth. SAFECO was my advocate, not my adversary. Since then, I've now furnished it and landscaped.
















__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 04:00 PM   #26
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ST LOUIS
Posts: 995
I am guessing that SAFECO is cheaper than Amica??
__________________
Proverbs 15:22 Designs are brought to nothing where there is no counsel: but where there are many counsellors, they are established.
rec7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 04:29 PM   #27
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 300
I have no idea if it's cheaper than any other plan. I purchase it though an insurance broker.

Here's my coverage and what I pay;
Dwelling $615,400
Other structures $61,540
Personal Property $430,780
Loss of Use 24 months
Liability $500,000 (I have another $500,000 umbrella)
Extended Dwelling Coverage $307,700

Premium is $1,966 a year. ( $164 a month)

I own the house outright, no mortgage.

I'm sure someone on here will let us know if that's a good price or not, but here's the thing; which is better; a cheaper premium but you have to fight for your collection, or what I experienced; an adjuster who showed up the next day with a check for $50,000 and told me to send him photos of progress and he'd keep sending me checks for $50,000 and let me know when the next-to-last check was sent.

BTW, I built this house for about $380,000 finished in 2007. The land it's on is 5 acres that appraised at $250,000 in 2006 when the fire happened by SAFECO's appraiser. It's probably not worth the full insured amount, but it's better to be over insured than under. The difference in premium isn't all that much.

Here's BIG advise;
Insure for the cost to replace the house. Not what the house is worth. I spent over $100,000 to clear the land, grade the property, dig the footings, etc. all before the first nail hit the first 2x4. Rebuilding is much more expensive than just a new construction. The good news on rebuilding on the same property was that my property taxes stayed the same under California's Prop 13 laws. Also, I didn't have to pay for permits again as this was a replacement house, not a new purchase and the permit fees had been paid with the original construction.


BTW, a 'BEFORE' photo


House done, before landscaping;




After the house and here I am working on the landscaping;
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 06:04 PM   #28
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,457
Skip, your house is simply stunning!!!
Thanks very much for sharing the photos.
I have Safeco for auto, but they don't offer homeowners here. Good to hear you had such a great experience with them.
Again, beautiful home and landscaping!!
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 06:21 PM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Awesome log cabin, Skip. Killing me. A log cabin in the woods is my ideal. DW and the kids are more wedded to suburbia and of course proximity to family is a big deal.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 08:53 PM   #30
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 300
SAFECO really came through on my lost autos too, Sarah. For example; I had a 1994 Mazda Navajo. (Same as the Ford Explorer Sport). When we had the fire, 2006, I had 2 sons in college and kept this around with full coverage for them when they came home to visit. SAFECO gave me over $4,000 for it. I looked up KBB and it was MAYBE $2500 tops. So I called them to find out why they gave me so much. (NOTE: be totally honest with your insurance company when filing claims or you will regret it. They can make things tough if you lie or cheat.) They replied by asking me questions;
1. Did you upgrade the radio or speakers
2. Add a trailer reciever?
3. Running boards?
4. Aftermarket wheels?
5. Driving lights?
Well, you get the idea. I told them yes, I had up graded those things. The agent told me that the car was covered and so were all the upgrades and any personal property I might have had in there. Stuff I had in the car was not taken out of the pot of money I had for the personal property in the house. See... they were doing everything they could to find ways to max out the limits of my policy including automatically adding any upgrades I had done to that 12 year old SUV.
Over and over SAFECO would find ways to max out my policies. Things I sure never would have thought of.

And thanks for the compliments on the house. We were contemplating not building anything, just taking the insurance money retiring right then and head to Hawaii for a year or two before deciding what to do. It's another story for another time as to why we chose to build and why it was a log-style home.
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 09:18 PM   #31
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,201
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Awesome log cabin, Skip. Killing me. A log cabin in the woods is my ideal. DW and the kids are more wedded to suburbia and of course proximity to family is a big deal.
The burning to a pile of cinders possibility doesn't give you second thoughts? It sounds like a terrifying experience.
__________________
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 09:41 PM   #32
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 300
And since folks seem to like the photos of the cabin, here are a few more;

I bought a tractor to do all my own landscaping including installing the driveway. It was much cheaper than hiring it out.






My son and I stringing Christmas lights even though the house wasn't ready to move into yet:


Dining room. I built the hutch out of 125 year-old barn wood. The light fixtures were designed by me and constructed by a welder-artist in Montana I found on Etsy.


Master bedroom. I built this hearth because the little electric heater just didn't look right sitting on the carpet.


The mantle is a chunk of redwood driftwood I found up on the Lost Coast of California out of Shelter Cove.


Laundry room door. This is on the far side of the house where the guest bedrooms are. When the kids come to visit, they can use this as their own entrance and not wake us up if it's late. The bench is made of redwood that used to be a log flume during the gold rush days. I found this out in the woods while fishing a creek.


Small shelves in the master bedroom made from salvaged wood from our property;


Master bath has a shower of marble and a door instead of a window. Someday there will be a hot tub out there and I can just come and go between the tub and the bathroom.


The loft. It's where we watch TV. It is inspired by the Grand Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite.


That's the TV and my laptop I'm typing all this on;


More of the loft with a bear skin rug a co-worker gave me and a few of my guitars. I played a little before retiring, but now I get to play much more. Isn't retirement grand?!
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 09:41 PM   #33
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 300
Kitchen with the back splash made of slate tiles from an old farmstead's roof and the cabinets from salvaged lumber on our property.


The light fixtures are punched tin, rusted for patina I had made from scrap materials from the fire. I think it was the old chicken coop roof, but I don't really recall any more.


Guest bedroom 1. The snowshoes were my old ones from work I had and a co-worker refinished for a retirement gift.






Guest bedroom 2. It shares a wall with the laundry room, so I added a little more plumbing and stuck this sink in there I got from Home Depot.




The indoor laundry room. My wife is thrilled to not have to go into the cold garage to do laundry any more. The cabinets are from Home Depot, the tiles from a local Habitat For Humanity thrift store. The washer/drier were used from craigslist. They were natural gas and we are on propane so the seller sold them cheap. Cost maybe $20 to convert over to propane.








Since we lost everything, family came together and gave us stuff. This is DW's grandmother's china in the hutch I built from old barnwood.



I built this canoe bookcase from scraps of the house. I made it 9' tall because the first one I made at 8' tall looked too small next to the fireplace.


Fireplace. It's propane. The mantle is a piece of cypress I found down in Louisiana when my Guard Unit sent me down there after Katrina. It was at my dad's house so didn't burn up. The gun is a movie prop from the movie The Patriot with Mel Gibson.


And they lived happily ever after.
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 09:58 PM   #34
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
The burning to a pile of cinders possibility doesn't give you second thoughts? It sounds like a terrifying experience.
The fire was arson. The BIG lesson we learned is that everything is temporary. Not one day goes by that we have a clue of what's about to take place. Any of us could get a phone call, smell smoke, a diagnosis from the doc, a distracted driver, and it's all gone. We are so grateful it was only stuff. That is a lesson; everything is only stuff. It's all replaceable. (Although at some expense of labor)

Since all the trees around the house are now gone, I was able to work with the local fire department, native plant society to set up a defensible zone around the house.

My wife had lots of apprehension to rebuild. We almost decided to just consider this a 'cash-out' and move to Hawaii. We kind of viewed it like this; what would you do if someone came up to you and said here's a bunch of cash if you would just walk out the door and never look back, never take a thing, just go.

When SAFECO explained that they would kick in an additional 20% of the house's covered value to pay for the labor to rebuild, along with the property taxes remaining the same due to Prop 13 (California), we figured we would build and then sell to maximize the insurance coverage.

Then, just as we finished the house at the end of 2007, the bottom fell out of the housing market. My new log home was now worth less than the original 25-year-old spec house we lost. We figured we would stay and see where the housing market went. It's still not fully recovered, but now we sort of bonded with the place.
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 10:21 PM   #35
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,457
Thanks so much for the additional photos, and especially the backstory on so many of your items--I especially like the "found" wood pieces you featured throughout the house. Really, really cool.

And because we are nosy like that, was the arsonist prosecuted? I cannot imagine the feelings you must have overcome to rebuild there. We had a small ($10k) theft at our home while we were building, and it shook is pretty hard. What you went through was unimaginable, but I for one am glad you decided to rebuild, as your home is simply amazing!
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 10:36 PM   #36
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 300
The arson happened like this;
A woman was under the influence and driving a truck. She hit a motorcycle rider coming the other way, killing him. She fled the scene. In fleeing she was setting fires, 18 total fires over 6 miles, with her damaged truck. Her idea was that people would stop to fight the fires and quit trying to chase and stop her. One of the fires raced up the canyon to my place which was built on a ridge line. The fire 'crowned' into the tree canopy and was raining fire from all the embers. When the fire crowned, it raced through fast! Due to all the fires, there was confusion. With a medical emergency, fighting fires was secondary. By the time a fire truck got to my place, it was all over. Helicopters dropping water saved my neighbors, but mine was a total loss. Cal Fire set a ground crew at my place for 3 days and let it continue to burn out. This was to allow the debris to minimize so I wouldn't have a big clean-up bill. It was still big, just not as big as it would have been if they had put out the house fire. It was a total loss anyway.

She had lots of assets; 4 homes for example. Her lawyer dragged out the case, spending all her money on his fees before he had her plea guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter with special circumstances(DUI), arson of an occupied dwelling, arson of public and federal lands, along with a few charges of arson for outbuildings, fences and stuff other folks lost. She was sentenced to 11 years in prison. However, this took over 1 1/2 years before getting to this point. She spent that time in the local jail at the sheriff department. So now it's 9 1/2 years in federal prison. However, none of these crimes are considered 'violent offenses'. Meaning; up to 50% off for good behavior. 11 years is now 5 1/2 years. Of that time, she spent 1 1/2 years in jail, not prison. She spent 4 years in prison for killing a man out for a motorcycle ride and burning my house down with me and DW in it at the time. This was in July of 2006. She was released from prison in February of 2012. Over 3 years now she's been free. The criminal restitution order awarded me and DW over $680,000. We haven't seen but a few hundred dollars of that and probably never will. She's smart and knows how to hide her money. (Think O.J. Simpson and how he got away without paying restitution)

Here's the kicker; she was a sheriff.
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 10:38 PM   #37
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 138
I'm sorry about the fire. But what an awesome cabin you have built! Thanks for sharing the pics.
__________________
Live Free is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 10:59 PM   #38
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 300
I should add; the man on the motorcycle was Greg Shannon. He deserves to be remembered. He was 3 years older than me and had just retired from the same type of work I did; for the electric company. He was going to be told the next day that he was going to be a grandfather. When my sons came home to help us, our oldest brought along a sonogram. My first grandson. I rode motorcycles much like Greg did.

Greg's widow, Mary, made us the quilt at the foot of the bed in bedroom two.

As much as the fire was devastating to us, it absolutely breaks my heart to know that a good man, soon to be a grandpa, died because of a drunk and a drunk sheriff at that. And that his widow, ready to begin their lives as retired couple has been stolen from her.

Knowing of Mary's loss, how could I even begin to feel sorry for only suffering what amounted to just property damage?
__________________
skipro33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2015, 01:17 AM   #39
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,753
Incredible story and a wonderful house, with so many personal touches.

I notice you have what seems to be a large bench at the front, made from a log perhaps. How did you cut the bench pieces ?
__________________
Sunset is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2015, 07:02 AM   #40
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,201
Wow, what incredible, sad, terrifying story. We have taken many road trips out to the desert Southwest and the isolation and location of some people's homes wouldn't be for me. Your house could just as easily been taken down by a lightening strike.The Utah/ New Mexico area seems to be really hard hit by some type of pine beetle.. killing pine trees and during a visit to to Cedar Breaks Nat Monument the guide told us,it's just a matter of time before this site goes down in a big ball of fire because of all these dead pine trees.

We drove a back road between the Nevada/Utah border that was hit by storms, mile after mile of blackened, burnt trees and nothing else left.

Your house is wonderful and I hope you enjoy for many years to come.
__________________

__________________
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Health Insurers have already won walkinwood FIRE Related Public Policy 321 10-27-2009 01:51 PM
Insurers offer to stop charging sick people more REWahoo Health and Early Retirement 15 04-02-2009 07:44 PM
PMI and other insurers twaddle Stock Picking and Market Strategy 9 11-09-2007 02:49 PM
Healthy? Insurers don't buy it Khan Health and Early Retirement 125 01-06-2007 01:51 PM
Mortgage holder orders homeowners to change insurers Nords FIRE and Money 6 07-06-2006 12:37 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:15 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.