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About Hellbent

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  1. Hi there,
    I live with my dad and his super-geriatric parents (also referred to as post-post geriatric). I help care for them since they are a little bit like zombiemen wandering in a post-life twilight world: my grandfather has advanced alzheimer's and my grandmother is very feeble and needs help with just about everything and is also mentally on the slide. It's a pretty thankless job and the pay is basically room and board and meals (not as much as it should be for what I do).

    This spring my dad's lit cigarette caught my grandparents' shed on fire, which is located below the large deck that is attached to the front of the house. The shed was damaged along with some hardware in the shed, some of it belonging to my dad, some of it to my uncle who lives up the hill from me and one item belonging to me, which was a carbon fiber bike valued at more than all the other damage combined. The bike, apparently, was actually made out of marshmallows: my bike was completely burnt to a crisp.

    My dad put into motion the insurance claim. My uncle did not communicate with my dad about it at all, so apparently he was not too concerned? Who knows. My brother owns a bike shop in town where I financed the used bike. It was used, but new, the bike was worth $6000. We needed an original receipt for the bike but since it was an "inside deal" there was no original receipt. We determined the bike was worth $3800 and he printed up a receipt for that amount, back dated to when I purchased the bike. I faxed this to the insurance guy. Now all we were waiting on was the fire report from the local fire chief. After about 10 phone calls, 6 of which I left voice messages or spoke with his wife and 4 where I actually talked to the chief, he finally finished the fire report and I went to his house and collected it from him.

    About two weeks later the check finally arrives. It goes to my aunt, my dad's sister. Now the check is less than any of us thought it would be, because there is a 20% depreciation on all the items and a $1000 deductible. So instead of a nice fat check for $5,500 we only got $3,600. My aunt informed my dad that I would not be getting the $3230 as itemized on the insurance claim, but an amount that would be fair to everyone involved. My aunt and uncle both want to know what I paid for the bike, which my dad (who is on my side of this fight over the pile of cash) thinks is irrelevant, and I feel the same way.

    My argument is that I should at least get near the amount for my bike on the insurance claim, given that if my bike was not in the fire at all my aunt and uncle would not be able to try to take from my portion and would have to argue with my dad about getting enough money to fix the shed to be nicer than it was before and would have to use my grandparents' funds to fix some boards on the deck that need fixing anyway (unrelated to the fire). My aunt and uncle's argument is basically I don't need all that money from the bike and it should be used to fixing the shed as well as the deck.

    My proposal would be that I would pay $330 of the $1000 deductible (about 1/3) and my dad and uncle could cover the rest of it. As far as not having enough money for the repairs, they should have been more proactive in the whole process and not just assume they can dip into my amount. My uncle told me to forget about offering to pay a portion of the deductible, we'll work it out in a way that is equitable and fair to everyone and said I don't need a $3000 bike, a $1200 one would do just fine (which of course irked me since I think that is completely beyond the point). He also said the house gets priority and the other items like his bee spinner thingamabob and my bike are secondary since it's called "home insurance". What do you guys think? Am I entitled to my amount, or should I look at this whole thing "equitably" give enough of my portion so the shed can be fixed better than it was before (so the roof no longer leaks) and the rotted boards on the deck can be replaced?

    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. Megalyth


      Hellbent said:

      Still, it only takes one to light the shed on fire a second time.

      He could always smoke somewhere else.

      Also, I agree with you, and even (especially) from an insurance standpoint, it doesn't matter what you paid for something, it matters what it's worth. The reimbursement check wouldn't have been anywhere near what it was if your bike wasn't valued at $3800, so why are the others trying to take a bigger cut than they contributed to?

      an amount that would be fair to everyone involved

      Fair how, exactly? Boo-hoo, I lost my shed built out of $3 two-by-fours and my $34 weed-whacker.

      If it comes to it, lie about how much you paid for it and get your fair share.

    3. GreyGhost


      Purist's solution makes sense to me, proportional division of the cheque and deductible. Though if I was processing the claim I'd have applied depreciation before the deductible, leaving you $200 less to distribute.

    4. Hellbent


      Well, I ended up offering to pay the full $1000 deductible since my dad said he'd pay it back over time (he doesn't have it now). They agreed since they can fix the shed, show the receipts for the work they did and however much more it cost them to fix the shed than the insurance check covered they will be paid the difference. So they be the winners and I da loser. $3800 bike gets me $2200. :( Oh well, at least I was only partially raped and got a good deal on the bike in the first place. But I think they wanted to give me like $1200 or $1500, such nice relatives.