Friday, November 14, 2008

Ever have a day when you want to set everyone on fire and watch them scream?

After a week of arguing with my lender over flood insurance --- wait. Here's an example:

Me: "OK. So I got your notice that you've bought me flood insurance for the oh-so-reasonable cost of TWELVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Can you tell me where you got your information that I'm in a Special Flood Hazard Area?"

Third Useless Chase CSR: "From FEMA."

Me: "OK, but I'm right now on the FEMA website, looking at a FEMA map dated August 19 of this year, and according to this map, I'm not in a Special Flood Hazard Area."

TUCC: "You will need a Letter of Map Amendment from FEMA if you want to dispute this."

Me: "Yeah, I read about the LOMA petition, and I'd have to pay a surveyor to get the information I need, and I don't understand why I have to do all this when all that your insurance people have to do is go to the FEMA website as I am doing right at this moment, and look at this FEMA FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAP for my address, and see that my property, of which I am looking at an aerial photo right now, does not lie in a Special Flood Hazard Area. Because the map shows that the Special Flood Hazard Area lies next to my property and ends at my property's boundary line."

TUCC: "You need to have FEMA write a letter - "

Me: "But do you see why I'm frustrated here, and feel like I'm chasing my tail? You are telling me that rather than just LOOKING AT THIS MAP, which is an official map published by the agency from whom you claim to have determined my flood-zone status, and which is called a Flood Insurance Rate Map because it is designed to be used to determine insurance, you want me to go to ridiculous lengths to petition FEMA to write a letter that basically repudiates the information you claim it gave you, all of which can also be accomplished by you just LOOKING AT THE FEMA MAP."

TUCC (slowly, snottily): "You. Have. To. Get. A. Letter."

At this point I took a breath, lost it anyway, and slammed my phone down three times before hanging up on her so hard that I had to retrieve a piece of the phone that came loose and flew across my cubicle, and re-attach it.

I'll omit the emails with the surveyor, calls with the management company and board members, and cut to the returned phone call from the local insurance agent I found through the FEMA site. I explained my situation, he looked into it, called me back a few hours later:

"Our people are looking at this, but we don't think you're even in a Special Flood Zone. I'm online right now looking at the FEMA map, and you aren't in the special zone. It looks like you're in X --"

"I KNOW! I"m in X! I'm NOT IN AE!"

"Yeah, I mean, that's pretty clear. The AE boundary ends at your property, in fact, it's in the lake where it passes by your building."

" I know! I know! You see it, right?!? The little dotted Special Flood Hazard overlay is not on my property! The boundary line stops right at our property line!"

"It would seem that way. If our people agree, we can give you a policy for $248.00. It's a preferred premium and the lowest you can get, but it does include a mandatory contents coverage of $8000.00."

I had spent three weeks with my lender and regular agent trying to make headway. My lender, unwilling to look at a map, was charging me $1200.00 for a coverage that included no contents. This guy came up with an additional $8K of coverage for $248.00. It was all I could do not to ask this man to marry me. I told him that when my other policies came up for renewal, I was bringing my business to him.

I don't want to count my chickens before they're hatched, but I may actually be close to putting this behind me. First step is getting a policy I can afford, faxing proof of it to my fraudulent lender, getting their ridiculous policy canceled, and then we get the LOMA and I tell Chase to kiss my ass, which resides well above the Base Flood Elevation.


SP said...

You know who you're dealing with? TV licensing. Don't give up. They want you to.

JC said...

Oh, I know. I wake up rehearsing the speech I'm going to have with a manager at Chase. I'm going to ask questions that will lead them right into my trap. I'm going to use phrases like "fiduciary responsibility" and "due care." They don't know that *I* know a little bit about the rules and the law.

On Tuesday a conference call will be held with board members, our property manager, our surveyor, and me. Because I bring the thunder.