Always talk to insurance people anonymously!
I was setting up my apartment out here. The very kind young lady helping me (not surprisingly every place I went had very kind young ladies…) said “You need renters insurance here.” Now my thought is “Crap… why do I need renters insurance when I already own a damn house! Plus… there are going to be three things of value in the place. And of those three things there is only one that I will probably cry over is something happened to it!” (Of course that one thing is the TV.)
So I call up my insurance company. I innocently ask if my existing homeowners policy will cover a place I am also renting. There is some abstract differential algebra equation that they use to figure out how much stuff they will insure in a second rented property. Great! Then the guy say “Will your spouse be visiting you often?” It was at this moment that PA not recognizing common law marriage, or gay marriage for that matter, really worked against me. Because if they did Brian would have saved me a lot of hassle.
Me: “No, I am not married.”
Insurance: “Oh… so the house will be unoccupied!!! Your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover you if you are not living there.”
Me: “But I do live there. All my stuff is there. All my mail is sent there. My big TV is there. Here is temporary and I have no stuff. Literally. None!”
Insurance: “But you won’t be there if something happens.”
Me: “Buddy, I work. I am home maybe 8 hours day. I am not there most of my time!”
Insurance: “But that is your dwelling. If it completely unoccupied there is a lot more risk for the insurers. You need different insurance.”
Me: “Ah! But it isn’t unoccupied!!!”
Insurance: “You said the place was unoccupied.”
Me: “No, I said I wasn’t married. I have a renter!” - I really thought I had him with this one.
Insurance: “Oh… that is a completely different type of insurance”
Me: “CRAAAAAAAPPPPP!!!!!! Why!?!?!?”
Insurance: “Well the good news is that it is cheaper for insurance to have a renter. But it is just a fact that no renter will treat a home as good as its owner.”
Me: “Can I just hang up now and send you a case of beer and we can pretend this conversation never happened.”
Insurance: “Are there be any exotic animals or pets on the property or are there any trampolines on the property?”
Me: “I fail to see how the two are related other then being entertaining when put together.”
At this point I stopped arguing. I thought to argue that the guy that is my renter is way more qualified to take care of my house then I am, but I didn’t because I realized two things. I was talking with an insurance guy and reason and logic don’t actually mean a lot them, and I was talking to an insurance guy... they have no sense of humor.
So the result of all this… my home owners insurance… which is insanely low for the amount of coverage I get… and I just paid last month… is going to be canceled. I get to now have a new type of insurance in case one of my best friends decides to burn down my house which contains all of my stuff AND all his stuff… and in nine months cancel that so that I can hopefully get my old insurance back!