Monday, March 5, 2012

The roof vultures come in after the hail and another company makes my deceptive mail shame list

We had quite the weekend around here. A storm that eventually spawned an F3 tornado went directly over our house and dropped hail that was sized right between a golf ball and a baseball.
hail_6

Unfortunately, thousands of these little ice balls fell from the sky and, with the help of the 60 mph wind, punched little holes and cracks in all of the siding on the back of the house.
hail_1

hail_3

It wasn’t a pleasant way to start the weekend but it could have been far worse. It didn’t take long for the roofing companies to smell blood. The vultures were walking the neighborhood the next day and it hasn’t stopped since. Four more of these guys came by today. I didn’t answer the door for any of them since I am waiting on the insurance adjustor to get here on Wednesday. I did watch one guy walk up to the house, look up at the roof for about 3 seconds, and then place this card in my mailbox:
vulture card

I’m not convinced that I have roof damage and I’m certainly not going to let some guy from ‘who knows where’ climb up on the roof to convince me that I do just so he can cheat my insurance company out of money so my rates can skyrocket.

I can live with my holes until I get a good estimate from someone who is local and recommended. The good news is that cleaning the siding was on my spring to do list. I guess I can put that off for now!
hail_4

In other vulture news, I know someone who has a CD with SunTrust and they keep getting these things in the mail:
envelope
PLEASE SIGN AND RETURN THE ENCLOSED DOCUMENT! Of course, that document is selling you accidental death insurance. I think an older person might be mislead thinking that they must sign and return this as part of their investment. Also, the letter inside starts off with this text: “Important customer information. Please complete and return the enclosed Activation Form before April 5 2012.”

There is also a yellow slip in the envelope warning you: “IMPORTANT NOTICE – If you have not returned your Activation Form, you are not covered under this plan.”

They’ll “give” you the first month free. Notice what they put in BOLD in their letter: “We recently sent a letter to tell you that SunTrust Bank will pay for you to receive up to $125,000 of Accidental Death insurance for a full 30 days at no cost to you.” Wow! A full 30 days! I think they hope that most people will focus on $125,000 and no cost to you.

If they do confuse you into signing the form, they won’t make it easy for you to cancel. “This authority is to remain in effect until I cancel it by written notification to the Company at least 30 days in advance of the intended termination date of my coverage.”

There is also a list of things that will disqualify you from a payout, such as death during surgery, participating in a riot, and any act of war (declared or undeclared). I’m not sure what an undeclared act of war is but I guess it is something that would help them get out of paying out. Also, there is nothing you can do if the insurance company goes under : “This insurance product is not a deposit; not FDIC insured; not insured by any federal government agency; and not guaranteed by the financial institution/affiliate”. That’s right – this is not even a SunTrust product even though their name is all over the letter! They just make money off of it.

Last but not least, I got a new laptop Friday about two hours before the house got beat up by ice rocks! It’s an HP and it replaces my 6 year old Gateway that was running hot all of the time. The screen is incredible, the hard drive is gigantic, and I ended up only paying $300.96 after shopping around all over for a week and getting $75 trade in credit on my old XP laptop that the sound had died on!
hp

Now I can waste time in style.

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