Jan 14th, 2008

This is the Story of the Hurricane

So in all the years the RLA and I have owned the Casita des Zappatos, we have never filed an insurance claim. The no-name storm caused our living room to flood? We mopped and squeegeed and toweled and dried and threw out some papers. Katrina and Wilma decimated our trees? We sawed and cut and cleaned up. Lost tow truck forcibly removed about 80 feet of chain link fence? We found a fence guy, repaired and replanted and went on about our lives. Never a claim.

But the insurance industry is in the toilet. And we were lucky not to have our insurance canceled. No, we just had our rates adjusted. To about triple what it was last year, which means the escrow account at the mortgage holders now has a shortfall in the many, many thousands of dollars, which I either have to pay up front, or let my mortgage payment fucking DOUBLE! Double to pretty much exactly my monthly take-home pay. Which means that I couldn’t pay the other bills. Or, I can find about nine thousand dollars in the couch cushions, pay the escrow, and watch my mortgage go up only three hundred dollars a month. Or I can tell the mortgage holder thanks, but I’ll pay the insurance and taxes myself when due and hope that the change in the couch cushions builds up really fast, so that I actually have the money when the time comes to pay the piper.

Or, I can just pay off my mortgage, and only pay the taxes and insurance. That’s assuming I can bring myself to gut my brokerage account to do so. Or. Or what, exactly are my other options? Get a second job? Cut back on my other bills? That would mean turning off the air conditioner for the entire summer. Or selling my car. Or canceling the cable and the land line and only using a cell phone and NetFlix.

Time to tighten the belt another couple of notches.