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The True Value of Your Insurance
Insurance is one of the few things you buy that you hope you never have to use. But when you do use it, when you have a loss, you find out exactly how much your coverage is worth.
That’s what happened to Bensman client Russ Strobel. When he woke up on a Sunday morning in September 2008 and opened the door to the basement of his home on Chicago’s North Shore, he was stunned at what he saw. “There was a chair floating upside down in the stairwell,” he said. The 130-year rain that had pummeled the area finally had overwhelmed his sump pump system. Although the pumps were still running, there simply was nowhere for the water to go except back into his basement.
The Strobels called me on the Bensman after-hours emergency number, 847-772-9897, and I called Chubb, the Strobels' insurer, to alert them to the claim and get the process of cleanup and restoration started. And it was a big process.
Virtually everything in the basement was lost. The Strobels had a large family room, with entertainment equipment and seating. They also had a workout room, with ellipticals, treadmills, bicycles – and more TVs. There was a storage area for off-season clothes, including several of Mrs. Strobel’s ball gowns. There was a large wine collection. And of course, there was the electrical and mechanical control center for the house. All of it was under several feet of water.
Almost as soon as the last drop of water was pumped out of the basement, a Chubb adjuster arrived at the home. He spent several days painstakingly going through the basement, recording every damaged item and assigning it a value.
“He was incredibly fair,” Strobel said. There was no need to argue over valuations or hassle over payments, he said, adding that made the whole process much less stressful for him and his family. “You could not have had a faster, more ethical claims adjuster.”
Chubb started writing checks immediately to pay the restoration company, and they continued to write checks until the Strobel house was back to normal – a process that required taking everything out, tearing the basement down to bare walls and rebuilding and replacing everything.
Strobel was extremely pleased with the treatment he received from Chubb and The Bensman Group. “It was like dealing with a family member – a very efficient family member,” he said.
Strobel said the experience reinforced for him the importance of insurance planning. “You never think you’re going to have a claim, you just keep writing the checks, and then something like this happens,” he said.