It was a bad dream That quickly became a reality for Jeff Waters.
I woke up to a loud pounding on my door. It was a police officer telling me to get out of the house, recalled Waters. The house next door was fully engulfed in flames.
As the fire grew, Waters watched his own house start to melt.
My house started to smoke. It was coming off the top of the roof. The side of the house was starting to blister, said Waters.
Firefighters were able to save Water's home, but he was left with some hefty repairs.
A couple of windows were broken, the roof was damaged, our fence was damaged, siding was damaged, damaged my car a little bit, explained Waters.
The fire started next door, so Waters thought the neighbor's insurance, Farmers, would take care of him. Waters is even a Farmer's customer too. But it didn't matter. He was still frozen out.
We had to prove that whatever was wrong with the electrical that the homeowner knew it would cause a fire, said Waters.
In a letter, the company said:
Our investigation has determined that your damages were caused by an undetermined and accidental fire.
But the report from the fire department lists the cause as electrical. It didn't matter because Farmers wouldn't work with Waters. He was forced to pay his $1,000 deductible out-of-pocket and was facing another $500 for his car.
In a couple of months we're expecting our second child. $1,500 goes a long way towards diapers, food, clothes, etc., said Waters.
Waters contacted me and I reached out to Farmers, which sparked a whole different response. This time the company re-opened the claim. Farmers told me it denied the initial claim because it didn't have enough information.
But it got what it needed the second time around and sent Waters a refund check. Now this family can refocus their energy on their new baby and not chasing an insurance company.