Anyone who has been following the blog for a while knows we have a cabin. You may also remember a certain discovery that we made in September of 2014. For anyone interested you can read the first blog entry HERE and the second one by clicking HERE. I am quickly discovering it is beneficial to describe a huge portion of our everyday life on my blog as it seems one needs evidence when a situation becomes unfair or someone chooses to state blatant lies against you. This is one of those times.
The short version of what you are about to read is we have had an insurance claim denied based on a report that actually contains LIES. We are now in the situation of “having nothing to lose”. If we have nothing to lose we NEED to SHARE THE SITUATION WITH THE PUBLIC so that they can protect themselves.
We have a cabin full of water. A cabin where we can now not correct the problem for 6 months because we are on a seasonal water system. A cabin where we can now not correct the problem because the insurance industry took their own sweet time over dealing with it even though we CONSTANTLY stressed it was time sensitive due to both weather and water supply. A cabin deteriorating by the day because the insurance industry REFUSED to look at where the problem REALLY is.
Originally the below text was going to be a letter to the supervising adjuster of our claim with Wawanesa. After careful thought I came to two conclusions. First the public needed to know what the INSURANCE INDUSTRY was doing and how straight out LIES are being written in the reports that are causing claims to be denied. Secondly, I had no interest in months of butt-covering excuses and being passed off from person to person in a game of bureaucratic musical chairs….a game known to try to make people give up. The fact is the insurance industry is playing a game, but when they step into the forum of telling lies, accepting lies, not cross-referencing information, and denying claims on reports that claim ACTUAL LIES ABOUT THE INSURED it is time to make the situation public.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO GET ACCESS TO THE REPORTS THAT THEIR INSURANCE CLAIMS DEPEND ON……OR YOU WILL BE VICTIMIZED LIKE US.
So let’s proceed. Here is the letter that earlier today was going to be sent to our Wawanesa adjuster who was overseeing an independent adjuster from Townsend & Leedham out of Edmonton, Alberta. I have decided in turn to just forward her the blog post; it will be more explanatory.
The letter reads:
November 14, 2014
RE: Wawanesa Claim #969112
I am writing in response to a report that was provided in which Wawanesa decided to use as a base to decline our claim.
In short we have a completely concealed water situation that still remains concealed to this day even after Wawanesa and their independent adjuster from Townsend & Leedham had sent out construction professionals from Titan, a construction and restoration firm, to explore the source of the damage. In short the two individuals refused to look for the source, were looking for excuses even before they entered the cabin as to why it wasn’t sudden or accidental and took no notes whatsoever during their time in our property. NO NOTES at all, then wrote a report to deny our claim.
The “source” of the problem is within an area of 17.5 square feet. This is the area that our water supply lines run. The ground beneath our cabin is bone dry, the crawl space is vented, the ceilings and walls of our cabin have no leakage, discoloration or swelling. The wet spot is very localized in the area where our supply lines run. If we do not drain off our water lines completely in between usage more water appears in the very localized spot.
The water is coming from a very specific spot, as shown in a photograph I have shared with the independent adjuster, has been witnessed by the independent adjuster, has been in a picture evidently forwarded to the overseeing Wawanesa adjuster, and has been witnessed by Bxxxxx of Titan Construction while in the company of the independent adjuster from Townsend & Leedham. THEY PUT THEIR HANDS IN THE PUDDLE.
Amazingly this picture DID NOT APPEAR IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM IN THE REPORT THAT CAUSED OUR CLAIM TO BE DENIED.
Upon reading the report one can see the agenda has been to deny the claim right from the start. Let’s review the report, I shall copy and paste it below:
Regarding the Hunter cottage located at #8 Horn beach.
My lead carpenter, Rxxxxx, met with Mxxxx from Compass Plumbing yesterday to inspect and try to determine the cause of the water and rotting floor joists.
(1.) The plumber drained and removed the HWT to give access to my carpenter to open the adjacent wall containing the water supply lines. As you can see from the pictures the lines are good. And the wall cavity has no signs of water damage.
Rxxxxx had a look underneath at the floor Joists. His comments were that he was surprised at how rotten the wood was, and although the joists weren’t pressure treated it would still take years to get to that point. He also observed that in the bathroom just in front of the vanity, between the joist and the sheeting, there were some shims. Mr. Hunter confirmed that (2.) approximately two years ago he put in the shims to shore up the floor as it was staring to get soft in that area.
Based on our inspection last Saturday and Rxxxx’s inspection and comments Wednesday, My theory is that this is a condensation issue. There could be three issues at play here.
(3.) 1) There is no subfloor under the tub. It’s just kind of hanging there. Condensation could run off the underside of the tub and water could be affecting the floor under the laminate.
2) This could be a condensation issue with the floor in general. Robert said that he removed some more laminate and the laminate was completely dry but (4.) the foam layer between the laminate and the OSB was quite wet on the underside between the foam underlayment and the OSB. Sorry if this sounds confusing. To be clear, the foam underlayment was dry on top but wet underneath against the OSB.
5. 3) There are no gutters on the cottage. When it rains, much of the water would run under the cottage. And then evaporate up into the subfloor and Joists.
One thing is clear Mxxxxx, there is nothing sudden or accidental about this claim In my opinion. Whatever is causing this issue has been happening for years. Furthermore it looks as though Mr. hunter knew about a problem some time ago when he put the shims under the floor to shore up a soft spot.
The Hunter family seem like very nice people so it’s difficult to write a unfavorable report. I’m not sure how this will affect their claim, positively or negatively But I also know you value my honest opinion.
Pictures attached for your review.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Bxxxxx Vxx Uxxx
Let’s examine the problems with this report:
1. The plumber drained the tank, but then the carpenter cut two holes in front of where the tank sat and called it good. The tank did not even need to be removed for this. When we asked them to cut further back and explore further along the line they REFUSED. The line from where they cut runs east approximately 3 feet, north at least another 5 feet and then runs further to the pump house. They refused to look at all. Period. It was at this point that we completely knew we were being set up. They refused to look even though a very specific area is all that is wet.
2. It was the weekend of SEPTEMBER 7, 2014 when we went to shim up the floor, not TWO YEARS ago. I have a blog post to prove it: https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/not-all-things-are-as-they-seem/
FRAUDULENT STATEMENT THAT IS COMPLETELY UNFAIR. Complete fabrication and a complete lie, and this is the report that is causing our claim to be denied.
Why did they say “approximately 2 years” , perhaps because you only have two years to make an insurance claim. The report was trying to question the credibility of the claim.
3. First of all the wet spot is only at the one end of the tub away from the taps. Once the floor was opened up and started to dry out the wet spot was strongly apparent. This picture was not even included in the report even though at the time I even had the area masked off with bright green masking tape and I pointed out the spot to them at least a hundred times that afternoon and they continued to ignore me. Condensation requires heat meeting cold. The building is unheated. The crawl space is vented. The tub has not been used for 4 years as we did not have a working hot water tank installed. The ground is dry, dusty dry; condensation would drip. Condensation would not happen at one end of a tub, the end of the tub where the tub is no longer touching the floor. Condensation would not still be occurring because the whole are is completely opened up. It CANNOT scientifically be condensation.
If it was condensation, why did Bxxxxx, writer of this report , send out a crew when he himself had seen the situation just days before. Milking the system or “not condensation”, you decide.
4. There is NO foam layer. NONE.
Here is the order: 1-laminate, 2-vapour barrier, 3- sheeting (possibly OSB), 4-joists
This is evident in the pictures provided to the insurance company on the report. It is poly, you can see through it. It is clear as day in the pictures supplied with the report.
More fabrication of the situation, they are even lying about the construction.
5. If the gutter theory held, first the ground under the cabin would be wet, not dusty and dry. Second there would be staining, and swelling on the ceiling and walls, but there is none. Third the bottom of the joists are bone dry, so it isn’t ground water. Fourth the wet area is localized.
Beyond all of this the report COMPLETELY OMITTED pictures of the actual wet spot. Complete omission. Complete misrepresentation of the situation. This was completely avoided.
REFUSING TO SHOW THE TRUTH. WE HAVE HAD OUR CLAIM DENIED ON LIES.
The independent adjuster forwarded all of our emails to the overseeing Wawanesa adjuster of our claim. Our insurance broker confirmed this as we sat in his office listening to the phone call he had with the adjuster this afternoon, November 14, 2014. If she had been bothered to cross reference any of the information she would have realized the report was filled with lies right down to when we discovered the problem. There is a vast difference between September 7, 2014 and “approximately 2 years ago”.
The independent adjuster also assured our broker that it was “100%” not a supply issue, “100%”, yet they refused to look any further than the stud located directly in front of the hot water tank. Another lie, how can anyone claim to be sure 100% when they refuse to open up the walls and ceiling.
Fact is the report is filled with lies. Titan, the construction company provided by the adjuster, refused to look any further.
Come and look at the cabin and see for yourself. Localized completely concealed water and a construction firm hired by the insurance industry that completely refused to find the source.
We brought ALL of these items to our independent adjuster’s attention over a week ago, Mxxxx Bxxxx of Townsend & Leedham, who has actually witnessed personally the fact that we HAVE NO FOAM LAYER, and that we discovered the problem in September 2014, yet he used the report to deny our claim.
Here is the thing, the insurance industry keeps saying you MUST FIND THE SOURCE. The insurance industry sends out a construction and restoration firm that REFUSES TO LOOK FOR THE SOURCE and the LIES in their report. Fact of the matter is, the way this has gone, even if we personally open up the walls ourselves, walls filled with electrical and water, the INSURANCE INDUSTRY WILL SAY WE DAMAGED THE LINE DURING OUR DISCOVERY.
This feels like reverse insurance fraud, something the public needs to know about.
Debra & Mark Hunter
Just for good measure I will also include scans of the email of the report that I received. Please click on the email to view full size. I am all about transparency:
Why I am blanking out names I have no idea. It doesn’t seem very fair to protect those who write lies in a report about you personally (My husband worked on the floor September 2014 as indicated in the blog post , not approximately 2 years ago!) or lies about the property’s construction (we have no foam underlay).
Let’s carry on with the topic of “foam ” underlay. Lets play a game. I am going to show you six pictures, pictures that accompanied the report to Wawanesa. Pictures taken by Titan Construction. Pictures used to create a case against the claim. Here, take a peak:
Did you catch it?
Hint: no foam underlay, the vapor barrier is poly. The pictures contradict the report. The report Wawanesa is using to deny our claim.
Ps. did I mention those doing the report took NO NOTES the whole time they were in the property and that they were looking for excuses BEFORE they even entered the cabin….looking for things like ground water….they were trying to discredit the claim before walking in the door (more about that later!).
Let’s carry on with the “picture game” as it is pretty fun.
Did anyone notice the picture that is missing? The picture missing from the report? The picture sent over and over to the independent adjuster who in turn forwarded the emails to the over seeing adjuster? The picture that tells the story…………..
wait for it………..
wait for it……………….
May I present to you “localized water”………….kind of blows a hole in the whole “condensation theory”, doesn’t it?
And for good measure one more…………..
…..how it was when the construction professionals came to do their “exploration of a source”. The green tape I had put down as I had been taking phone pictures and I wasn’t sure what the resolution would be (resolution was pretty good!)
But amazingly a soaking wet isolated area, green tape and me pointing out the area at least one hundred times over the course of the afternoon was not enough for the picture to be included in the report, the report that caused our claim to be denied.
Soaking wet fresh water was insignificant in a water claim.
Let us carry on on the topic of “exploration” or finding the “SOURCE” as the insurance industry likes to use that term.
Let me show you the extent of the exploration…………………..
Now let me give you a giggle. See the bottom hole? It looks a lot like this picture below doesn’t it?
Probably because it is the same hole. The bottom picture is one of the pictures supplied with the report. Now for the “funny” part, I stuck my hand inside that hole, through the insulation and it was SOAKING WET. SOAKING. By the way the independent adjuster knew all this…..I’ll share that letter in a moment…..but the floor and insulation were soaking wet but they REFUSED to look further.
Now if that wasn’t enough our insurance broker chatted on our behalf to the independent adjuster. Sometimes it is good to get someone else’s take on a situation. The independent adjuster from Townsend & Leedham assured our broker that it was “100% not a supply line issue”………”100%”.
Let’s look at a diagram….I like diagrams.
Anyone spot anything curious? The orange area is the area of “exploration”. I invite anyone who wants to to come out to the cabin and witness that NOTHING else has been opened up. Nothing. Based on two tiny cuts, cut in-line our adjuster is “100%” certain it isn’t a supply line issue.
You see a ruptured supply line would mean a valid claim. They don’t want a “valid” claim. They want out of it and don’t want to risk finding “the source”.
They refused to look. They lied in their report.
Anyone seeing a pattern?
This is all fact.
This is why EVERYONE needs to review the reports submitted to their insurance company. You need to verify that everything is true.
Protect yourself and get the paperwork. If it happening to us there is a chance that this procedure is epidemic.
I invite anyone or any organization to ask for the paperwork on our claim, you will see everything that is published here is identical to what Wawanesa will have. Check it out. Please.
And just to leave you with some real entertainment, I am going to publish below the letter I sent to our independent adjuster after witnessing the construction workers refusing to look for the source. Remember our independent insurance adjuster….the one that was 100% sure it wasn’t supply line related even though only two tiny cuts were made in the wall……………well have a read………….the whole situation resembled Monty Python’s Flying Circus so feel free to get some popcorn and have a laugh.
The letter from October 29, 2014 reads:
The almost three hour drive home allowed us a lot of time to think about the situation at the cabin. This is a written account of our thoughts.
Everyone is telling us a little bit of water can’t do that sort of damage, and the plumber is saying the pump should come on all the time, so I decided to run some numbers to approach the situation from a science and mathematical view rather than a personal one.
I thought about water drops I have seen in the past, it is usually a slow accumulation of water until the droplet forms and then gravity sends the drop down to the ground. I decided to take a conservative approach and assume one water droplet fell per minute which would be a very small pipe leak. I then had to come up with a tangible measurement for a water drop, so I took a 2.5 mL measuring spoon and counted the drops it took to fill the spoon. In three tries the results were 15 drops, 17 drops, and 20 drops. For the rest of the calculations I assumed 20 drops = 2.5 mL (the most conservative situation).
The following calculation shows how the water, at a rate of one droplet per minute, accumulates:
1 drop per minute = 60 drops per hour
60 drops per hour = 7.5 mL of water leaked per hour
1 day at 1 drop per minute = 180 mL of water leaked per day
1 week at 1 drop per minute = 1.26 L of water leaked per week
1 month (based on 4.33 weeks per month ) = 5.455 L of water leaked per month
5 months of cabin season water usage (May- Sept) with a calculation of 5.455L x 5 = 27. 279 Litres of water leaked in a cabin season.
As the floor started to “bounce’ beginning of this season we can assume the water damage started at least the previous year which leads us to the calculation of 2 years x 27.279 litres = 54.558 Litres of water dripping unseen on to the floor.
To give a visual, over the span of 10 months that is like pouring the equivalent amount of liquid on to the floor as 13.6395 large 4L containers of milk.
The plumber wouldn’t listen to the concept of hidden, trapped, accumulating water that is flowing down the inside of one of the walls and situating itself hidden under the tub. The plumber kept arguing the pump should be coming on all the time.
This brought me to my next calculation. I know the pump doesn’t kick in for the first few seconds when the water is running, it must be set up so that a certain amount of demand is needed before pumping. I also know that I can rinse my toothbrush in a length of time that does not require the pump to kick in; I’ve been doing it for years. When I got home I decided to measure how much water is used when I rinse my toothbrush. I tested it twice, both times it was bang on 250 mL of water (which both gives a tangible quantity and proves I am OCD!).
Then I decided I wanted to figure out the bare minimum of how much of the waterline had to be emptied of water to engage the pump into action. So I went to Home Depot and measured the internal measurement of the 1/2 inch water supply line used in the cabin. The internal measurement is 11 mm. From here I figured out if I have a minimum of 250 mL of water to trigger the pump and the pipe has a diameter of 11mm, that I would need an pipe length of 657.665 mm (or .66 meters) empty of water to trigger the pump.
At the cabin the plumber waited 5 to 10 minutes waiting for the pump to come on, of course it didn’t, and pretty much decided his job was done. The fact of the matter is it would take 33.33 hours for the pipe to empty to the pump trigger amount of 250 mL. This is why we would never see the pump spontaneously trigger due to a leak, water is used more than once every 33 hours.
I just wanted to share the math with you as we keep seeing fresh water coming from some concealed source and the construction professionals today just would not listen to us. The numbers show the quantities of water that could be accumulating without any detection at all. I think numbers give a nice objective perspective.
I just have a couple more thoughts from today’s experience and supposed exploration to find the source of the problem.
The water causing the problem has to be accumulating in small quantities as it is a case of absorption rather than flow. Flow would have allowed us to hear the water and see the seepage.
The water is absorbing, as under the laminate there is no light or heat to aid in evaporation. This is also evident as mold is minimal. There is not enough heat to grow mold. This also rules out condensation, as condensation needs the hot and cold temperature contrast to occur.
The ground water argument by the plumber also is not logical. First the ground in the crawl space is dry and powdery. Secondly if it had been wet the damp smell would have manifested itself long ago. Thirdly, the wood is wet from the top down not the bottom up when you look at the joists supporting the subfloor. Fourth, the subfloor is a minimum of 9.5 inches above grade. Converting that to metric, it is 0.24 meters. The difference between high and low tide on the west coast (Port Browning, Pender Island – I watch them daily) can be 0.1 meters. We would have to have waves lapping in for this theory to work.
Mark said no matter what, insurance will say “find the source”. This is what we hoped to accomplish today, it is in our best interest to solve the problem once and for all, solving it protects our investment. This has been the fourth trip to the cabin specifically for this insurance claim, two of which both Mark and I gave up work days for. Today, with the assistance of construction professionals supplied by the insurance industry, we hoped to get to the source of the problem.
The problem area, which is visually apparent due to its soaking wet nature , is a 2.5 ft by 7 ft area for a total of 17 .5 square feet.
We had a construction professional and a plumbing professional in attendance. When the pump did not come on spontaneously the plumber lost all interest. I would ask questions like “where do the supply lines lead?” to encourage further exploration and his response was “Straight up.” Both construction professionals were more interested in throwing out wild ideas than helping us locate the source of the issue. When neither will get their hands dirty, but I am crawling and digging around in hopes of finding the source of the issue there is a big problem. At one point in the afternoon, the gentleman from Titan cut off a piece of the 4×8 sheeting and plopped it on over the hole to “seal it up”. It doesn’t fit, a raccoon could fit through the gap at the north end of the tub, but seriously, what was the point in saying anything.
From here the afternoon really improved. The construction professionals started packing up their things to leave, they just decided. They didn’t say anything to us, they hadn’t looked for or found the problem, they just packed up. In a last ditch attempt to find the problem, the reason we had driven for almost three hours and given up work time, I tried to encourage that we continue to look further. No one looked at the back of the hot water tank closet, no one looked in the ceiling where the pipes go “straight up” according to the plumber, no one bothered to wiggle under the tub, no one could even reach into the wall that they had cut open and feel that it was soaking wet. It was an utter disappointment and waste of our time. The cherry on top was when I asked the gentleman from Titan if we could look further into the walls, and he said ” I don’t get paid enough to make decisions like that.”
How can we possibly find the source when the professionals recommended by the insurance industry refuse to look?
It was the equivalent of Mark standing at the curb to look for hail damage.
I will be honest MXXXX, I am still shaking my head from the events of the day. I feel frustrated from the time we wasted. I feel frustrated that no one even wanted to look for the problem. I feel insulted by the suggestions of condensation, especially when they said the condensation was in “high traffic areas” . I alluded to this in one of the previous emails however now that I can write properly I must tell you the rest. One of the “high traffic areas” would have been under the air hockey table, the other is near our toaster….no one eats that much toast (just saying!). We also have the “groundwater” suggestion which would involve waves of biblical proportions lapping across the prairies.
I fear these two construction professionals have now compromised our position. As I have indicated on many occasions, due to the seasonal water system we were forced to drain off the system and remove the pump. This was our very last chance to find the source of the issue . No one wanted to look. No one tried. We put our trust in them and we are now left with nothing.
I hope you received the multiple emails and all the pictures. I imagine as I continued to send them, you could sense the frustration we experienced today. We hoped to find the problem, but the construction professionals had no interest.
Thank you for reading this email.
(By the way there are a lot more emails running up to this point if anyone is interested. I like sharing!)
So here we sit. We have a cabin full of water. A cabin where we can now not correct the problem for 6 months because we are on a seasonal water system. A cabin where we can now not correct the problem because the insurance industry took their own sweet time over dealing with it even though we CONSTANTLY stressed it was time sensitive due to both weather and water supply. A cabin DETERIORATING by the day because the INSURANCE INDUSTRY REFUSED to look at where the problem REALLY is.
We’ve been told we can do our own “exploration”, but we know insurance will just say we damaged the pipe when we, the amateurs, opened the wall. We also know that once we find the issue insurance will then argue that the break isn’t “big enough” or there isn’t enough “water flow” and they will deem it “seepage” not an event that is “sudden and accidental”. The report was very careful to use the popular insurance terminology of “sudden and accidental”…a report that couldn’t even use proper capitalization…..yet the report was planned enough to use the specific insurance term. The report was planned to deny the claim from the beginning.
The moral of the story is everyone MUST GET ACCESS TO THE REPORTS BEING PRESENTED TO INSURANCE. Don’t suffer libelous statements like the ones we are facing. Don’t suffer the corruption.
…..AND PASS ON THIS POST TO EVERYONE!