Have you ever spoken to an insurance call centre person at 5:30 AM? Think monotone, monosyllabic and monochrome. A whole lot of mono and I don’t mean the virus. But who could really blame anyone for sounding like they need a caffeine injection or a bowel evacuation at such a preposterous hour?! I sounded like a woman with a husky voice offering rumpy pumpy support services and I felt like crap on toast myself. I can’t imagine working that early and having to deal with people. The chap on the phone entered my claim and organised for an emergency man to secure our house. He did it as cheerfully as one would expect.

A dripping noise jolted me wide awake at 4:30 AM, the rhythmic tapping noise jarring to my senses to the point of distraction. Naturally, I shook my husband awake and temporarily blinded us by turning on the bedroom light in search of the disruptive noise. Luckily (or not so luckily), the dripping noise was located inside of the room and was not a figment of my imagination. Strong winds and heavy rain caused a leak in the corner of our bedroom ceiling.

An emergency man came inspecting the roof at 8:00 AM and informed us that we had a broken roof tile, clogged gutters and damaged insulation batts due to nesting roof rats. The man secured the area with the broken tile to prevent any further damage and left.

Bloody rats. Did you know that one female roof rat can produce up to 40 new rats a year? And that it only takes about 2 months for a rat to reach sexual maturity? Do the maths. It’s frightening the number of unwanted squatters we could possible house. We decided to add a few more boxes of rat poison to the existing lot in the roof cavity for good measure. Let’s hope they don’t drop between the wall cavities. The lingering smell of death is disgusting.

A few days later, the insurance assessor came to inspect and photograph the damage and recorded my statement. He recommended we cleaned our roof tiles and have our gutters cleaned, an expense that the insurer wouldn’t cover as it was unrelated to the storm damage. He said the insurer may compensate for the roof tile, insulation batts and any cosmetic damage but the cost of repair would likely be less than the excess we’d have to pay.

With our insurance excess being excessive and future premium likely to skyrocket, it made financial sense to fix the problems ourselves instead of through our insurer. As my husband works full-time and hates bargaining, it made sense to hand the job over to someone who loves to haggle and has the time to ring around for quotes.

The first roofer I rang came yesterday and quoted me $1,320 for the job. I wonder how many quotes I’ll need before making a decision? And whether cheaper is better? I’ve been burnt a few times being a cheap ass. Remember the cortisone injections?

There is rain predicted for the upcoming week. It might be prudent to just get the job done and not waste time trying to save a couple of hundred. What do you think?

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