When a fire destroyed Darrell Miller’s hobby shop in Montana – just hours after it was completed – he was left more than a little rattled. Miller found peace of mind, according to his agent Renzy Kelly, through the claims service he received from Safeco Insurance.
“Darrell could not be happier with how his claim was handled,” says Kelly, vice president at Payne West Insurance, Butte, Montana. “Safeco was not willing to cut any corners and really understood what he had and how to replace it properly.”
Miller’s newly rebuilt shop
The Safeco® Agent News team talked with Darrel Miller to learn more about his claims experience. Here’s how he answered our questions.
What happened to your shop earlier this year?
I had the misfortune of an extensive fire in my two-story hobby shop. I had built this shop over a period of nine years with the intention of keeping myself busy with woodworking and auto mechanics hobbies in retirement. During the second week of my retirement, I woke up to smoke pouring out of the shop. The fire had started in the wall next to my wood stove chimney. I had literally completed the last finishing touch the night before. The interior of the building and all of the contents were a complete loss.
What was going through your mind at the time?
I had never experienced a loss like this before and did not know what to expect with an insurance claim. I had heard the horror stories from other people about their experiences with insurance companies.
After the fire was contained, what was your next step?
I called my insurance agent, and within hours of the fire I was contacted by Safeco representatives. Initially each person just wanted to assure me that the process had begun and that they would help me, if necessary, obtain the maximum benefit that my policy allowed. They were very personable and sensitive to how upsetting a loss this was, and their goal was to put me at ease with respect to the insurance side of the situation.
Is there anyone in particular that made the process easier?
Throughout the claims process and rebuilding I dealt with five or more people that worked for Safeco or contracted to work for Safeco, and each and every one of them was professional, sensitive and easy to work with. The building adjuster was very experienced and guided me toward the rebuild that I would be happy with. I especially want to thank Inside Property Loss Specialist Barbara Abendschein. Ms. Abendschein was great at explaining how the claims process worked and how I could maximize my coverage according to what my policy allowed. Because of her efficiency, the claims payments were always timely.
Now that the fire and claims process is behind you, how would you describe your experience?
I am now in my rebuilt shop and am very happy with the results. Although a loss like mine is not a fun experience, I have to say that Safeco did a great job of minimizing the pain. Safeco will always be my company and my recommendation to others.