Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Help Me Howard: Drive-thru Salon
One day you will need to file an insurance claim -- to repair your home, your car, or maybe your business. If you are like most people, you need that help immediately -- not a few months from now. But do insurance companies have to pay by a certain time? It's a question one desperate woman put to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser
WSVN -- Tammy has been, is and will always be a hairdresser.
Tammy Moore: "Love it -- everything I have ever done, the only job I have ever had."
Actually, I should say Tammy was lucky.
Tammy Moore: "Come to your shop right now -- a lady has ran her car into your shop."
"Ran into her shop" was an understatement.
Tammy Moore: "I was just stunned, shocked."
Not only had the driver smashed into Tammy's salon, she barreled all the way to the back.
Tammy Moore: "This is Tamara's station, her chair was literally imbedded into the wall."
It happened on Labor Day when the Lauderhill business was closed. It was an accident, but the driver could not have done a better job of destroying everything if she had tried.
Tammy Moore: "Everything, my dryers -- this was a double station nail station."
Tammy had insurance, but...
Tammy Moore: "It covers me, myself all my employees in case of an accident in the salon -- but it does not cover property damage done by somebody else."
Fortunately the driver had insurance, but...
Tammy Moore: "It would be another two or three months before I heard anything."
And now no if, ands, or butts -- a business can not stay closed for two or three months while an insurance company makes a decision.
Tammy Moore: "So why do I have to wait two to three months? The rest of the year to get my life back together, the holiday seasons are coming up, what do I do.'
Tammy spent 11 years building up her salon -- watching it disappear is breaking her heart.
Tammy Moore: "Everyday I want to cry, I want to cry. I am not used to not being busy. I am losing everything, everything, literally everything."
Everything -- and all she can do is wait and watch.
Tammy Moore: "I want my business back and I want it back now."
But what can Tammy do to speed up an insurance claim? To get help, she called Help Me Howard.
Howard Finkelstein: "It doesn't matter whether it's your insurance company or theirs, you cannot make them speed up or pay you immediately. The law may require them to pay a claim, but it does not set a deadline for when they have to pay."
When I spoke to the drivers insurance company they told me we do prioritize to get claims done as efficiently as possible.
But we need an inventory of the damaged property to make a decision.
Tammy went out and got bids -- a few days later the insurance company gave her a check for $20,000 to replace her equipment and to compensate her for lost wages.
In the meantime, a friend has loaned her a chair in her salon so Tammy can take care of her long time customers -- but Tammy is ready to reopen her own shop.
Tammy Moore: "Even though I love Mimi to death -- I love her so much, but there is no place like home. No place like home."
Patrick Fraser: "But Tammy can't head home yet. The permits were just pulled so it will be a few weeks. Also the landlord tried to make her pay rent even though the shop was destroyed. Fortunately there was a clause in her lease that made it clear she did not have to pay if the building could not be occupied. So many things you have to protect yourself against in case the unthinkable happens."
A hair-raising experience destroying your life? Want to ensure someone tries to help you out? Contact us -- we can't cut and paste the law, but we can groom you to find a solution.
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