Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Day Everything Changed - Part 2


So there we were...the two of us, two cats and a dog...with no car and no home. And no idea for how long we would be without a car or a home. The car and the RV were being handled as two separate insurance claims and as  such we were given a different claims adjuster for each. And they were towed to two different locations per the instructions of our insurance company. We were told to expect it to take approximately 48 hours to hear anything back. Until then our main concern was where we were going to stay. Insurance gave us a $100 a day stipend for food and lodging for up to five days. Our roadside assistance gave us a stipend of $150 a day for up to eight days. Sounded good to us and somehow I think we actually thought that would be all we needed. Oh little did we know!


We had trouble finding hotels that would both allow pets and be affordable. Out of desperation we spent the first night at a Motel 6. That was a rough night! The amount of noise there completely freaked the animals out. One of the cats found her way underneath the bed's box spring and stayed there the whole time. In the morning we had to take the mattress off the bed and lift up the box spring to fish her out of there. None of us slept. We were in a weird place both literally and figuratively. We knew we couldn't spend another night like that. We had offers from several places to stay with them. The issue was where we could go and it not be a problem (as much as possible) for all five of us to be. We knew  in some situations it just wasn't going to work. Our dog does not do well with other dogs or with little kids. And some people just don't really do well with cats. And we kind of needed a way to have a little space of our own after going through such a traumatic experience. We decided to give things a try with our good friend's, Mike & Amy. We've stayed with them in the past, though not with our animals. They also have a dog who has issues with other dogs. But they seemed to think we could make it work. And we had no better ideas so we gave it a go.

The Amazing Mike & Amy
It worked out amazingly well. Our hosts went way beyond anything we could have asked for. These are seriously good people! We love them to pieces. We have our own mini-apartment set up in their downstairs level (it's a split-level house). The two levels are gated off from each other to keep the dogs apart. The cats (our two and their four!) intermingle as they choose. Life has been as normal as possible under the circumstances. We've been here almost six weeks now. And what a six weeks it has been! So back to our banged up vehicles.....


Within a week and a half we knew that our car had indeed been totaled and we bought another car with the insurance money. But at a week and a half out we had heard absolutely nothing on the RV. Nada. Zip. We called. Repeatedly. At some point we were told that because the RV was so old they had to go to the manufacturer (Fleetwood) for estimates on having parts custom made for it and that's what they were waiting on (this from Camping World, where the RV had been taken for estimates). We were patient (to a fault I think). But we were increasingly frustrated. The whole not knowing of things. The inability to make any plans for the future. The desire to move forward that we could do nothing with. The helplessness we felt at not being able to fend for ourselves. All while also reliving the nightmare of the accident. It was hard. Yet still, we were being taken such good care of. It was overwhelming.


While waiting for word on the RV we attempted to do what we came to Indy to do. Spend time with friends and family. The first few weeks we saw some family and of course Mike & Amy. But honestly, we weren't up to a lot of socializing with other friends. Too hard to always be "up". Gradually we have come around and are doing better in that respect. I feel bad because we haven't seen everyone we intended to see. But we've been dealing with it all the only way we know how. I'm an introvert by nature so I always need quite a bit of alone time to balance out social time. And that has been even more intense in the aftermath of the accident. And Karin has one of those minds that is constantly racing which is a stresser in itself. So she also has needed a lot of down time. 

Geraniums? Hmmmm....forgot to ask

We were at the three and a half week mark when we reached our limit of patience with the insurance company. Early on our claims adjuster had kind of disappeared. We would call her and get a message that she was out of the office for a couple of days. Then it was that she was out of the office for a week. Then the message was that she had had an emergency and was out indefinitely. Not a problem....except that no one ever called us to tell us that and to assign us a replacement. We also called Camper's World frequently. We left messages that were never returned. Enough was enough. Karin called our insurance and was put through to the replacement adjuster. She in turn got the Camper's World service manager on the line for a three way call. At first all we heard was "we're sorry this is taking so long", "we're just really behind here at Camper's World....there is a two month wait just for getting an oil change", yes we know the RV is your home but HEY you've got that stipend to live with!!!", yada yada yada. Nope. That was NOT what we cared to hear anymore of. Karin countered with "who else do we need to talk to about this", "do we need to talk to an attorney" and then the big guns, "do we need to complain to the state insurance board???". Well. That seemed to do the trick. Insurance let the Camper's World Guy off the line and she and Karin had a nice chat in which it was determined that the Camper's World guy was full of BS and that the insurance companies RV specialist would be brought in to handle things. They then set up for an independent guy to come see the RV and get an estimate done pronto. Our case was expedited. About time.

Candy Corn Plant

Just a week later we had a check in hand for the RV. It totally got totaled. Totaled so bad that not only was the check enough to cover our original purchase price but also enough to cover for what we subsequently put into it! In other words it was seriously jacked up. Interesting thing though. The insurance guy told us that when he showed up to look over the RV, the service manager went through it with him. And told him he didn't even remember seeing it before. Yup. And he was the same guy who told them over the phone that he was talking with the RV maker about getting new parts made for it. Like I said. Full of BS. Not a place I would ever recommend doing business with! And from what we've now heard, this is business as usual for them. Disgusting.

Not sure what these are....pretty, that's what they are!

Our original intent was to spend about six weeks in Indiana, then head up to Michigan and wander around there for however long we felt like and beyond that we had no plans other than to make it back to Tucson by late October. Being that we no longer have an RV, our plans have changed. We'll be here in Indy till next Tuesday, pretty much as previously planned. But when we leave, we'll just be driving the car. And we'll be headed back down to Florida. Karin's parents house there is sitting empty till October, so we're going to hang out there until we are ready to take the next step. The next step will be the subject of my next post! 

The flower pictures on this post were taken at Karin's brother's house in northern IN. Along with taking comfort form family, friends and our animals, we've made every effort to enjoy nature's beauty whenever we can. It helps. A lot.    :)


  1. Oh my, many hugs for you all and thank you for posting this so we may learn from your experiences with the foolish insurance folks. My best wishes go with you all!

  2. What a mess.....glad you have a Plan B! Foolish is saying it mildly...everyone's nightmare!

  3. How fortunate that you have an empty house to use in FL while you regroup. Looking forward to reading about your next step.

    And the flowers - the last picture is Dianthus ("Pinks") and I think the one marked geraniums is commonly know as "Million Bells"(?).

  4. Oh, wow. You all have really been through it! As we say in the South ......well, bless your hearts.

    Eager to see what your next move is and will stay tuned for the next installment. I have a feeling it will be a happy ending.

  5. What a story! Excited to hear step 2 :-)

  6. At first Camping World was my friend. Then I had a long inexcusable delay at a Camping World in Missouri. Camping World is not by first choice of RV servicing unless there is no other choice.
    Glad things are looking up for you.

  7. I am sorry about your woes. I am glad you got things worked out with your insurance and that you have a plan b. I am looking forward to hearing about your future plans. Will you get another RV?

  8. Please change Camper's World to Camping World so that people can find your post when they search. They suck.

    So sorry about all this but looking forward to hearing about your plans!

  9. Camping World sucks sucks sucks. Worst ever.

    I'm so sorry about this. The inconvenience, of course. But, more importantly, the emotional toll this has taken.

    But, I LOVE Mike and Amy!