The assurances of insurers
December 7, 2012 6:03 AM Subscribe
Are we deluded to hope for any help from insurance for a two year-old theft just discovered?
posted by Mertonian to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Two years ago our mover, licensed and bonded, took something from us of little subjective value but, we later learned, of great personal value to him and/or to the relatives who were helping on the job. Soon after our move he went to prison for several offenses. Our state's criminal sexual offender's database says that he won't be released until sometime between 2047 and 2071. While he was moving us he himself told us of being accused of theft by a customer. He made it sound ridiculous at the time (ketchup and china wear) so we dismissed it until we couldn't find our bathroom organizer or any of its contents. We told him we wanted to file a claim on our insurance policy for those items so we could replace them. He said the amount was below his deductible so he paid it from his own pocket and no insurance claim was filed. I've been ill, which is why we hired him, was preparing for serious surgery and didn't have the time or physical ability to go through the items we triaged to the basement. We located any valuable items then assumed the bathroom thing was just something he'd needed and we were safe.
Then Hurricane Sandy happened and we remembered our meager efforts at preparedness in the big backpack we'd carefully put together before our move. It contained all our camping gear and some clothing along with copies of important documents and a USB backup drive. We've now confirmed that it, along with the rain jacket and umbrella that lived in the closet with it, are not here. We've contacted our insurance agent and he thinks that, because the release for the check the mover paid us contained a clause that said, essentially, "this is the extent of our claim," we have no recourse with his insurance company. He's a great agent and he knows his business better than we do, but it seems to us that since no claim with insurance was filed we might still have a chance? There may be a statute of limitations, but what about the fact that they were insuring a convicted felon? Does mover's waiver have anything to do with his insurance company? There was no mention of insurance on it.
Our agent has kindly offered to take a look at the release and, if we have no other option, to see what he can do through our own policy. We've not filed a single claim in the nearly thirty years we've had both renter's and auto policies with his office, but how much does the two-year delay hurt us? We have contacted the police so any other complaints of theft can be corroborated and corroborating. The core gear is from the late eighties but little-used and still hard to replace. I live for the outdoors, DH has even promised to take me camping when I get better. With our present means we wouldn't be able to replace it without insurance's help.