PENTICTON —; Rudi Krause, 79, is trying to move on from the despair of losing his dream home.
Last summer, the custom-made home he was building with his own two hands was destroyed in a fire.
READ MORE: “It was a part of me”: senior describes heartbreak after losing custom-made home
The cause of the fire was undetermined but Krause says he has reason to believe it was arson because he found large rocks in the living room area, suggesting someone had broken in.
“That’s constantly on my mind: who did it, who burned it down?”
Now, from one nightmare to the next, Krause says his insurance company employee let him down.
“I felt that all along it was sloppy workmanship on her part,” says Krause.
When he first started the project eight years ago, Krause was building a storage barn.
But then the project took a life of its own and he was slowly building his dream home.
Despite repeatedly telling the insurers of the progress that it was now a house and not a farm building, the policy was never changed.
“Every year when I went in, I told her, ‘It’s not a storage barn anymore.’”
Krause says he asked the insurance broker to visit and appraise the home, but she never did.
“She did not do her job right and my part is, I should’ve insisted more right away, but one day I thought she would come up.”
Krause was compensated $130,000, but argues that’s only a fraction of what would have received had that insurer changed his policy.
Now he’s cautioning others.
“Promises are no good, have it on paper.”
Krause says the insurance company is now ignoring him and all he wants is to sit down with them and find a new resolution.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada has these home insurance tips:
•Insure for rebuilding costs. – get an estimator to calculate the cost of rebuilding your house, so you aren’t undervaluing your home and thus underinsuring it.
•Confirm accurate replacement value. – getting Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage ensures the replacement value of your property will not be reduced, even if your property value depreciates.
•Review your home inventory each year when you renew your policy. – take photos/video of your belongings, keep receipts, bills, warranties, instruction manuals etc. all as proof of ownership. Keep them somewhere safe, other than your home.
•For high-value jewellery or fine art, consider a separate policy – coverage for these items under home insurance is typically limited.