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Brian Mifsud
Hi All,

Sad day.. my barn when up in flames Tuesday night and burnt with the ferocity of an erupting volcano. The two structural steel I-beams holding up the roof collapsed and looked like wet noodles (16" tall by 6" wide by 25' long....)

I haven't gotten closer than 20' from the car as the Claims guy wants an untouched scene before he shows up. My dad's Bridgeport Mill had the Aluminum Motor covers melted off. The newly rebuilt transaxle that I hadn't even filled with oil yet is somewhere under a smoldering pile of plywood and who knows the engine's fate which I had out on a dolly. The engine cart I had a small block chevy on folded in half. My son's Olympic weight set is still on the power rack with the two 45lb plates sagging at 45 degrees from horizontal looking like some deranged strongman went crazy...

Then the bomb dropped.. I had never thought that my registered as non-operational car still needed insurance.... not covered...... yep I'm a dummy...

Sorry 4762902521 I let you down..... you had a pretty good life. Born in Germany, shipped to Carlsen Porsche Audi in S.F. Bay Area's "South Bay". spent your whole life nearby in decent weather.. only a couple rust spots under the battery and base of windshield.... so much for my "retirement project" of restoring her...

RIP "Sunflower".

Click to view attachment
poorsche914
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SirAndy
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7TPorsh
Sorry to hear....not sure if I want to see pics.
Big Len
So the barn and it's contents were not insured under your homeowner's policy?
Brian Mifsud
QUOTE(Big Len @ May 18 2017, 02:06 PM) *

So the barn and it's contents were not insured under your homeowner's policy?

Everything but CARS.... They specifically stated that all cars must be insured whether operation or non operational.. same for RVs etc..

But tractors would be covered.... crap!
Brian Mifsud
I haven't snapped any "after" pics.. but here's what the fireman photographed...

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/7003712-...re-destroys-two

Edward Blume
sad.gif


Don't give up on your dreams. When you get back on your feet look for another car and move forward.
Krieger
Oh no...
Brian Mifsud
QUOTE(Edward Blume @ May 18 2017, 02:22 PM) *

sad.gif


Don't give up on your dreams. When you get back on your feet look for another car and move forward.



Yea but now a days.. these cars cost REAL money.. not the monopoly money you used be able to pick them up for (in good shape)...
76-914
Aww man, sorry for your loss. sad.gif
Dion
Brian that's terrible. Sorry to hear of your troubles. They'll be good news somewhere
in that mess. Perseverance. Good luck.
7TPorsh
QUOTE(Brian Mifsud @ May 18 2017, 02:17 PM) *

QUOTE(Big Len @ May 18 2017, 02:06 PM) *

So the barn and it's contents were not insured under your homeowner's policy?

Everything but CARS.... They specifically stated that all cars must be insured whether operation or non operational.. same for RVs etc..

But tractors would be covered.... crap!


Put a Porsche emblem on the tractor and say that was a Porsche too! Sorry again... sad.gif
Cairo94507
OMG! I am so sorry to hear that. I hope you come out of that mess OK.
burton73
So sorry you had a terrible fire and lost both cars.

I had a fire in my factory back in 1978 and burned every thing up. It is very sad to see what happens in a fire to metal. My friend made a suggestion to me back then and you may want to ck into this to see what you think but a fire adjuster working for you getting paid a small part of the clam after you get paid can get you the maximum amount for your loss.

Some items that I thought where worth nothing ended up being very valuable and the amount that we paid the adjuster was much less that he got back for us. On top of that you are not in a great place emotionally and it is hard to do all the paperwork you may need to do. I remember going through the scene with this guy and picking up each piece and he would enter it in his book and come up with a value. He had a piece of wire and it was all that was left of a wall clock and I never would have remembered it and he got me back what a new unit would cost. That multiplied by lots of items can add up to a great deal of money for you and hopefully make you whole.
In my fire I lost an Alfa Romeo Duetto with racing engine and lots of memories that cannot be replaced.

Bob B
dakotaewing
Brian,

The car not being covered is typical for all policies, however,
some polices will cover parts to the car as personal property under the terms
of the policy, depending on the carrier.
Some carriers have set a limit as to how much in car parts they will cover.
Do not expect anything attached the car to be covered.
Your policy will have a limit for the building, and a separate limit for the contents in the building.
The Contents are referred to as schedule C,
and the building as schedule B.
Find out what your policy limits are, and get a good idea of what the carrier
is going to offer you prior to hiring a public adjuster (PA),
as suggested in the comment above.
If you are going to max out the policy limits,
there is no point in giving some of it to a PA.

Let me or Rick know if you have any questions, as we work in the biz -

Good Luck -
sixaddict
I know this is a horse is out of the barn resolution but...
I have a couple of 6s that are in progress of restoration. Hagerty will cover them very reasonably at a stated value .....Just paid the premium for two which was $235 for the year. It can grow as progress occurs.
Like I said ...the horse is gone but for those with bones in the garage it gives you protection at least for your investment !
Sorry. sad.gif
Edward Blume
QUOTE(Brian Mifsud @ May 18 2017, 02:30 PM) *

QUOTE(Edward Blume @ May 18 2017, 02:22 PM) *

sad.gif


Don't give up on your dreams. When you get back on your feet look for another car and move forward.



Yea but now a days.. these cars cost REAL money.. not the monopoly money you used be able to pick them up for (in good shape)...

agree.gif
but miracles can happen if you let people help you.

Besides, it may be a blessing in disguise. How were you planning to get a SBC 914 to pass smog in CA?
Coondog
I was assigned to our departments Fire investigation unit for many years. The one thing I learned is you need to set down and make a list of everything that was in the garage to include 914 items that were not in the car. Go ahead and embellish the condition and value, when things are destroyed in a fire it's pretty hard for a insurance adjuster to argue its condition. Remember there job is to play you the lowest amount while your job is to get the highest return.

It's to bad that Raby motor on the cart got melted in the fire.......... happy11.gif
Mueller
Holy crap, so sorry to hear about this Brian.

dakotaewing
Brian, my apologizes in advance.
The best piece of unsolicited advice I can give you is to expect this loss to take several months to resolve. It won't happen in 2 weeks, or a month.
More like 4-12 months, depending on how complete of an inventory you can provide the insurance adjuster, and if you can provide photos of the barn, and any of its contents prior to the fire.
The more documentation you provide, including inventory lists with age, and price, as well as photos will immensely help the adjusters involved.

QUOTE(Coondog @ May 18 2017, 06:00 PM) *

Remember there job is to play you the lowest amount while your job is to get the highest return.

It's to bad that Raby motor on the cart got melted in the fire.......... happy11.gif


Coon,
I, and others in the insurance biz take personal offense to such statements.
I have been an adjuster 7 years, worked for over a dozen different carriers, and NEVER have been told or instructed to pay the least amount possible.
It has always been pay what is owed, not less. If there is a question regarding what is owed on the adjusters side, and a reasonable investigation cannot make a determination,
usually more is paid than what appears to be reasonable.
Most adjusters, and most carriers seek a way to pay an insured all they are owed under the coverages on the policy.
There are a few bad apples, and that has to do with the carrier, more than the people who have the unfortunate luck of working for them.
The problem typically lies when a party expects to be put in a much better position than prior to the loss, or the insured / claimant overstates the obvious for financial gain.
Want to be reimbursed for the new $23K motor on the stand?
No problem, just provide proof of payment.
Paid cash? Really? No bank statements. Really?
That would not be considered reasonable... in other words - bs.gif

I digress.
rgalla9146
Brian
Sorry for your loss....
Rory
whitetwinturbo
sad.gif sad.gif sad.gif
914-300Hemi
Sorry for your loss Brian.

What was the cause of the fire?
Shadowfax
Man, that stinks.
N_Jay
Sorry for your loss.
The only advice I have for the claim is to be NICE and to be FIRM, and to be NICE AND FIRM.

The adjuster is not getting a bonus for paying you less. He is human and deals with lots of AH clients, so if you are the NICE one you are making his job of helping you easier.

That said, be firm on your values. You have paid insurance for years, and there is no reason not to get a fair settlement.
Brian Mifsud
QUOTE(dakotaewing @ May 18 2017, 03:31 PM) *

Brian,

The car not being covered is typical for all policies, however,
some polices will cover parts to the car as personal property under the terms
of the policy, depending on the carrier.
Some carriers have set a limit as to how much in car parts they will cover.
Do not expect anything attached the car to be covered.
Your policy will have a limit for the building, and a separate limit for the contents in the building.
The Contents are referred to as schedule C,
and the building as schedule B.
Find out what your policy limits are, and get a good idea of what the carrier
is going to offer you prior to hiring a public adjuster (PA),
as suggested in the comment above.
If you are going to max out the policy limits,
there is no point in giving some of it to a PA.

Let me or Rick know if you have any questions, as we work in the biz -

Good Luck -


I was thinking about that since I had the engine and trans-axle pulled.. I can't the trans at this point, but here is the engine:
Click to view attachment


Brian Mifsud
Thanks to everyone for the sentiments and advice. Clearly nobody should become an expert on dealing with a situation like this.

I feel badly that there are measures I could have taken more seriously to prevent this fire but it was an accident.

Most of our "family stuff" is in the house and is fine.

I'm oddly feeling liberated. 20 years ago I dreamed of having a shop and space and time to take the 914 completely apart and restore it.

Having all my tools wiped out and the car itself is sort of like hitting a giant reset button on your life... I don't feel "obligated" anymore.. I don't HAVE to follow through.

Same deal with my love of wooden boats. Almost went to wooden boat building school
in New England right out of high school but Dad read me the riot act about having no income in a non-existent market and I'd better marry somebody with great income/benefits....... Anyhow, I had all the space, tools, and had been ferreting away choice lumber and bronze hardware (dumpster diving at boatyard) and was eventually going to start teaching the skills I've been developing since I was 15.

I CAN still follow through, but I don't HAVE to.. if you know what I mean.. it is an interesting time in my life.

Here is some more carnage...

Click to view attachment

Click to view attachment

The heat was unbelievable..... These I-beams were 3/8" thick by 6" wide and 16" tall in the web x 25' long... noodles...

Click to view attachment

Brian Mifsud
Dad's mill "before"....

Click to view attachment



Lathe...

Click to view attachment

Barn...



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But it's all just STUFF that can be replaced.... .....NEXT!


Brian Mifsud
QUOTE(N_Jay @ May 19 2017, 07:33 AM) *

Sorry for your loss.
The only advice I have for the claim is to be NICE and to be FIRM, and to be NICE AND FIRM.

The adjuster is not getting a bonus for paying you less. He is human and deals with lots of AH clients, so if you are the NICE one you are making his job of helping you easier.

That said, be firm on your values. You have paid insurance for years, and there is no reason not to get a fair settlement.


Thanks for that reminder.. so far they've been very pleasant. I'm betting that State Farm bases their customer service centers in Georgia for a very clever reason.. no one can resist a pleasant polite southern accent....

My wife is also a GENIUS! She insured us not only for the standard depreciated value of items lost.. but we were also paying for the "Replacement Cost Coverage".. they explained that they will pay in two checks (State Farm). The first is the depreciated value of the item, the second will be the difference it takes to buy a new version so we are made 'whole'. The main obstacle I see is gathering evidence that I HAD all these items. My manuals for all my power tools are in the same binder, but likely consumed in the fire.. however I have tons of photos of stuff I've made/built, etc. which might work to convince an adjuster that I had to own the tool to do this....


Brian Mifsud
QUOTE(dakotaewing @ May 18 2017, 05:26 PM) *

Brian, my apologizes in advance.
The best piece of unsolicited advice I can give you is to expect this loss to take several months to resolve. It won't happen in 2 weeks, or a month.
More like 4-12 months, depending on how complete of an inventory you can provide the insurance adjuster, and if you can provide photos of the barn, and any of its contents prior to the fire.
The more documentation you provide, including inventory lists with age, and price, as well as photos will immensely help the adjusters involved.



I believed from the beginning this would take at least a year to figure out. I'd like to bulldoze the wreckage ASAP to a clean slab and am getting quotes so we are ready to go when its appropriate.

I've taken lots of photos of projects built with the tools, and there may be the odd chance it's in the background. I've already found my routers.. (well, its the motor rotors that remain.. all the aluminum/magnesium must have burnt)

There's is no mistaking the Milling Machine and Lathe, etc.

I'll check in if I start encountering too much friction if you don't mind.

Thanks for the advice!
Brian Mifsud
QUOTE(Edward Blume @ May 18 2017, 03:31 PM) *


but miracles can happen if you let people help you.

Besides, it may be a blessing in disguise. How were you planning to get a SBC 914 to pass smog in CA?


That small block was out of the 96 Z28 that was roasted also. My brother in law drove it for 90K miles and flattened a cam, then stored it for 12 years. He gave it to my 17 year old and that block is freshly back from the machine shop. Of course, he/we did not have the non-op car insured.


I think if I ever pick up the 914 habit again, I'd go with a high winding Subie.. I love the light weight feel of low powered cars and wringing their necks to make them handle....
dakotaewing
QUOTE(Brian Mifsud @ May 19 2017, 11:18 AM) *

QUOTE(dakotaewing @ May 18 2017, 05:26 PM) *

Brian, my apologizes in advance.
The best piece of unsolicited advice I can give you is to expect this loss to take several months to resolve. It won't happen in 2 weeks, or a month.
More like 4-12 months, depending on how complete of an inventory you can provide the insurance adjuster, and if you can provide photos of the barn, and any of its contents prior to the fire.
The more documentation you provide, including inventory lists with age, and price, as well as photos will immensely help the adjusters involved.



I believed from the beginning this would take at least a year to figure out. I'd like to bulldoze the wreckage ASAP to a clean slab and am getting quotes so we are ready to go when its appropriate.

I've taken lots of photos of projects built with the tools, and there may be the odd chance it's in the background. I've already found my routers.. (well, its the motor rotors that remain.. all the aluminum/magnesium must have burnt)

There's is no mistaking the Milling Machine and Lathe, etc.

I'll check in if I start encountering too much friction if you don't mind.

Thanks for the advice!


Brian,

Don't do anything regarding the site until the adjuster has inspected the site physically,
And you have it in writing (usually email) that you can start the clean up. To do so prior will jeopardize your claim. Your policy clearly states the carrier reserves the right to inspect the loss, and there is no stated timeframe in the policy language when that has to occur. Try to have as much documentation regarding the contents at the time of that inspection, showing the damaged remnants of those objects if possible. This will expedite handling.
Mueller
Brian,

I know I am a few hours away, but if you need to borrow a mill or lathe or welding equipment you are free to come down and spend the day making chips or whatever you need to do.

So glad you are insured!
Brian Mifsud
Well I found the Trans-axle yesterday.. or rather the clutch yoke and the ring-gear assembly. Entire housing either melted away, or burnt. The trans-axle was on a bench near stack of lumber (more fuel). It had just been rebuilt after my son and I attended the last Dr Evil Clinic in Sonoma.

Any chance the guts of the Trans-axle are re-useable? Aluminum melts at 1200F. A fire hose may have doused this or it just cooled slowly.. no way of knowing.

Also, engine may be salvageable. Alternator burnt, but the sheet-metal may have protected the cylinder heads (engine was on the floor on a cart). Oil still in crankcase and is still clean so it didn't cook.
JmuRiz
Ouch, this thread is tough to read isn't it?

Maybe I need to up my coverage, even though my car is still in parts to-be put together in my garage.
tygaboy
QUOTE(Mueller @ May 19 2017, 01:28 PM) *

Brian,

I know I am a few hours away, but if you need to borrow a mill or lathe or welding equipment you are free to come down and spend the day making chips or whatever you need to do.

So glad you are insured!


And I'm right here in Petaluma, if I can help w/anything.
Chris
tygaboy
Sorry double post... apparently I really wanted you to know we're here for you!
Brian Mifsud
QUOTE(tygaboy @ May 24 2017, 10:06 AM) *

Sorry double post... apparently I really wanted you to know we're here for you!



Thank Chris.

Based on what the demolition contractors quote, I may be taking up Kevin O.s offer to rent a couple of 40 yard dumpsters and loaders and scrape the barn ourselves.

I'll let you know (thanks for offer).. comfortable driving a Bobcat?

We'll not remove anything until the personal property question is settled so I can at least point to a pile of ooze and say "yes, that was my brand spanking new hammer drill.. used once...".. etc.....

I just found my cache of '76 914 and 912e specific smog gear I'd been collecting from people who had no use for it. Might be salvageable.
Brian Mifsud
QUOTE(JmuRiz @ May 24 2017, 09:40 AM) *

Ouch, this thread is tough to read isn't it?

Maybe I need to up my coverage, even though my car is still in parts to-be put together in my garage.



Make sure the car is fully insured, even though it is not-operational
BuddyV
Brian - your post and your experience will help a lot of members. Thank you for being so honest about your experience.

I am considering placing my car on non-op for a year, and this is a good reminder to INSURE THE NON-OP VEHICLE..... especially since the prices have been rising.

Good luck to you...... I am in Santa Rosa.

Cheers.
green914
OUCH!
flmont
Man that blow's,..I hope it works out quickly for you,..!!
Mark Henry
Sorry to see this. sad.gif

I'm paranoid of fire unsure.gif , why my shop is steel sided both inside and out, direct vent gas heat (no open flame) over kill on all my circuits (20amp outlets), separate fuel shed, fully insured, etc.
76-914
Insurance! When I placed m 73 on non-op I kept the insurance in force. Hagerty rep pointed out I was only saving about $130 a year. Luckily I didn't need it but had I not.......it would have bit me in the arse. PS, use wooden beams next time. Insurance is less $$$. Found that out when I rented a warehouse in Austin years ago. I was told that wood actually holds up longer than steel in a fire. confused24.gif
dcheek
Sorry for you loss, and all the hassle involved in getting back to normal.

Everybody hates to pay for insurance until something like this happens then, you are patting yourself on the back that you have it. Bummer about the 914. There's still a chance to jump back in though, before prices really get out of hand.

Good luck. Time will heal all.

Dave
Perry Kiehl
Man o man, you have my condolences Brian. That's tough to look at, I can only imagine how difficult this must be. Cliche' I know, but at least no one died or got physically hurt. Not to diminish the emotional trauma in anyway, which will take some time to get over. So sorry.
Edward Blume
Custom boat building! How cool is that?

I used to build kayaks up in the PNW. I'm thinking seriously about building a couple extra using my existing kayak as a shape.

Just all those other darn projects!

Bury the ashes, dump the junk, collect your check and get on with it. No life and no song can be left unfinished.
Brian Mifsud
The BEST people I've EVER known via the web have been right here... I gotta say (starting back with Rennlist, then 914club-morphing-to-world).

Of all the other forums I've puttered around with for so many years: (Woodenboat.com, practicalmachinist.com, yesterdaystractors.com, forums.corral.net/forums, boatdesign.net)

You guys speak the truth. Kindness abounds, the generosity I've seen so many times in helping each other is un-rivaled.

I guess I really first noticed it when all the scandal-stuff died down and a soldier needed help getting his car moved, and tons of people pitched in and payed for his 914 to go cross country. You guys have soul.

For that reason ALONE.. I'm (Eventually) gonna go find me another flexi flyer so I can keep participating!

Thanks for the boost guys!
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