Oh, man. Is it Monday?? It’s not?
Oh. Ok. Cool.
Today, I have a story to tell that outlines the very reason this blog has its title. Nothing can ever just be simple. Even when you hire people to make the tedious things easier for you. You still have to rely on those people to do their jobs. And when they don’t, that just creates more problems for you to fix than if you had just done it yourself the first time.
I’ve never been good at relying on other people. I dreaded group projects when I was in school. I have always liked doing things myself because I know they will get done right (or at least my version of right). But, thankfully, I’m no longer in school, and I work at a company small enough that allows me to do many things by myself because no one really has the time (or the skill) to “help” me with my job. I’m good at what I do, and my direct boss and I work well together because, not only are we on the same page with a lot of things when it comes to marketing our company, but he recognizes and respects my opinion.
But this story is not about work. This story is about one of the many joys that comes along with homeownership.
When I had my car wreck back in September, I was put on hold the day of for what seemed like hours (it wasn’t). I did finally get through to someone who was super helpful, but it seemed to take forever and a day to get there. So, I thought, maybe I should get an actual agent that is local, so I won’t have to go through this again. I did a Google search and found a place to call. The first guy that picked up the phone seemed nice and very helpful and somewhat knowledgeable, so I asked him to be my official agent. This place was not an actual Travelers agency (do those even exist??)—which is the one I was using for renter’s and auto—but he said that they worked with Travelers and he could help be the liaison for me. He switched over my renters and auto policy to their agency address (though I’m not really sure why he needed to do that when I pay all my bills online, but whatever). He also sent me a couple of quotes from other companies, because, since my accident was my fault, I knew my policy was going to increase when it renewed. However, I ended up sticking with Travelers because it was still the best one.
So, we got off to a good start.
When I was in the early stages of negotiations on my house, I contacted my “agent” (in quotes from now on because the jury’s still out) about a homeowner’s policy. We talked on the phone about the specs of the house, and he sent me a couple of quotes in the $500-600 range (none from Travelers, which should have been my first red flag). I didn’t know how much these policies were supposed to cost, but I’d always heard that homeowners insurance was more expensive than renters policies so I was fine with it. I picked one and he set it up for me. And since it was going to come out of my escrow account, he set it up through my loan officer, and I never thought anything else of it.
And, since I needed to cancel my renter’s policy at my old apartment, he sent me a cancellation form to sign electronically. After a couple of emails to him asking (more than once because he clearly was not actually reading what my emails said) to send me the password so that I could actually log in to sign said form, we finally got it taken care of. I signed it on February 5 to cancel on the 14th. And, once again, I didn’t think anything else of it.
Until a couple of days ago when I got a bill in the mail for my Homeowners policy.
At my old apartment.
Ok, first of all, shouldn’t this be going to my mortgage company?! And shouldn’t it be more than $61?! And why does it say “Homeowners”?!
I emailed my “agent” because the only time he’s ever actually answered the phone when I’ve called was the first time I called his agency’s general number looking for one to represent me. He didn’t even really call me back when I’d left voicemails for him about the password debacle, so I didn’t even bother with a phone call this time.
My email wasn’t super nice, but I was pissed. I thought we had this taken care of, and I have other things to worry about. I really didn’t need yet another thing added to my list of things to keep me up at night. Especially when THIS WAS HIS ONLY JOB. I mean, why did it say “Homeowners” and not “Renters”? Has my house even been covered for the past month and a half?!
Anyway, the next day, I still hadn’t heard back from him, so I decided to take care of it myself. I called the agency, and a very nice lady answered. She gave me an 800 number to call Travelers directly. I asked her, I hope in the politest way possible, why I have an agent if I am just having to do this myself, and she very sweetly responded that the way the agency was set up with Travelers was a little “finicky.”
Whatever, I was done with this “agent” anyway.
I called Travelers and they were very helpful, just like I expected them to be. They actually had no records of a cancelation request, so clearly, my “agent” had never sent the form that I’d signed to them. Travelers canceled my renters policy without even needing to see the form that I still had record of. They backdated it, canceled it, I owed them $2, and I was done with it.
Then they offered to quote me on a homeowner’s policy, and since I wasn’t even 100% sure I had a homeowners policy for the correct address (I did—wouldn’t have been able to close on my house without it), I went ahead with it. They quoted me at about $400 cheaper than what my “agent” had set up. I told them to go ahead and activate that baby and I would cancel the old one.
And, of course, that would require me calling the old “agent.” But for $400, I absolutely would. And I did. Well, I sent in the cancellation form. We’ll see if it actually gets canceled. *eyeroll*
I spoke to the lady from before, and she informed me that the original policy hadn’t been written correctly in the first place because, although my house is technically a townhome, outside insurance is covered by my HOA. Wonderful, keep digging that hole, lady.
Anyway, hopefully everything is taken care of now, and hopefully my mortgage company is able to do their jobs. I know paying my property taxes, insurance and interest to three different institutions might be a difficult task, and now I am asking them to change one of those institutions. I trust that Travelers will do their part, but it may be harder to find out if the agency did as well. Adulting is hard, y’all.