23 Sep Life Lessons: Renters Insurance
Flood Damage In Military Housing
On January 16, 2021 our washing machine flooded the first floor of our house at Camp Pendleton. Lincoln Military Housing, LMH, owns the home. We had USAA renters insurance, but our flood damage was not initially covered. Then, on May 27, LMH gave us two payment options.
1.) We could pay the total bill of over $14,000 within 30 days of turning the house over to them on Friday, May 28, 2021. If we didn’t pay the full amount they would send our bill to collections.
2.) We could start a payment plan, interest free, with 25% due on Friday, May 28. If we didn’t pay 25% on May 28, the payment plan option would be taken off the table and the full amount due within 30 days of May 28. Again, we would be sent to collections if the bill was not paid. We didn’t know how long the payment plan would go for or what our final bill would be until we checked out on Friday, May 28, 2021. We chose to start a payment plan, and then we started looking into hiring an attorney to mediate a deal. However, if the price of an attorney was more than paying Lincoln we’re going to be forced to pay this bill in full.
Military Families and Collections
Having any bill sent to collections is scary. Not only would our credit score be negatively impacted if a bill was sent to collections, but the military member’s security clearance would be negatively impacted. That would have been detrimental to my husband Richard’s career.
Lessons Learned From Living on Base
1.) Asking questions has empowered us to make the best decision for our family.
2.) Knowing where our money is and exhausting all options from reaching out to Richard’s command, working with family advocacy and sharing our story has put a spotlight on our case. More people are aware of what their renter’s insurance covers because of our situation.
3.) This is a life lesson we learned the hard way. Always ask landlords what their insurance deductible is.
4.) Have an emergency fund that has at least three to six months of expenses in it. I have never been more grateful for our budgeting habits we have learned from our family and financial classes .