DEAR BOB: For more than 35 years, we paid fire insurance premiums on our home to the same insurance company. Last year, due to no fault of ours, our home was virtually destroyed by a fire that started at a neighbor's home and quickly spread to our nearby house due to very high winds. Thankfully, we were not at home. Our house was a total loss. But when we tried to settle with our insurance company, they wanted to pay us only for the depreciated value of our home, not what it would cost to rebuild. We have a so-called "replacement cost" homeowner's insurance policy. Finally, we hired a public adjuster and an attorney who, just last month, reached a settlement for about $65,000 higher than the insurance company originally offered. It won't be enough to rebuild our home the way it was before the fire. But your readers should know what a rip-off homeowner's insurance can be – Hugo R. DEAR HUGO: Thank you for sharing your experience from which we can all learn. In the last few years,...
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