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Apache Resident Gives Insurance Advice

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APACHE Okla_ Most homeowners have insurance, but not everyone knows all the details. That lack of knowledge has hit a family in Apache hard.

They lost their home to a fire over two months ago. Now, they're left with nothing, including precious little from their insurance company. They're speaking out about what they've been through, so others won't find themselves in the same predicament.

Jamie Hood has definitely found out the hard way just how important having good coverage is. She said if she could do it all over, she would've asked more questions about her policy and known more about exactly what it covered.

Just one day before her home caught fire, Jamie was watching people pick up the pieces after the deadly tornado in Moore. Now, she's left doing just the same.

"We had never even looked at our policy until that day of the fire," Jamie said.

Two months later, they're living in a small camper still waiting for assistance. Their misfortune didn't stop with the fire. She said their lack of knowledge about their coverage was a huge blow to the process.

"We had to ask them to send us money," Jamie said. "They said, ‘Well, we can't do that.' We said, ‘Well do we have any living expenses, because other people are telling us ask for your living expense check?' They said, ‘We don't do anything like that.'"

Just walking around, it's easy to see the house is severely damaged. In fact, Jamie and her family were able to take a look around and find damage missed by one of the insurance adjustors. They say it's probably due in part to his lack of experience. This is all something she could've prevented if she knew more about her insurance company's adjustment policy.

"Do they contract somebody else out do to that?" Jamie asked. "Are you allowed to choose your own adjustor? How does that work for you? I found out that they use a public adjustor, but they choose who it is, not us."

Local Insurance Agent Kaci Biggs said the best way to avoid any of these issues is to get involved.

"It's crucial for people especially where we live to be in touch with their coverage on their home owner policy, to be informed about what they have, what they carry, what coverage is important," Biggs said. "Replacement cost is a big deal: replacement cost on your home, replacement cost on your contents."

Jamie Hood said she is living with the mistakes they made now. She wants to make sure others don't have to. She urges everyone to take a second look at your policies and don't be afraid to ask questions.

"Make sure that you have enough insurance," Jamie said. "Make sure that you know what their policy is on sending out an adjustor. Make sure you know if they're going to pay your mortgage or if they're going to put you up in a home. Make sure you know those things, because they are so important."

Jamie and her family have received $18,000 from their personal property insurance. She said it's not enough to cover everything, but it's a start.

Local Agent Kaci Biggs also urges people to never be afraid to ask for a second or even third adjustment on their homes. Jamie said that's what they've done. Now, they're waiting for the reporter from their third adjustment to see if the can get more assistance in rebuilding.

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