Seven years ago, after we woke up to our house on fire and I was able to get my wife and 2 sons out and she had been medivacted to the Johns Hopkins Burn Unit, all kinds of people were around me.
There were contractors looking for work, fire investigators, fire fighters, media, neighbors and others, all firing rapid questions.
"How do you think it started?"
Where did it start?"
"How badly is your wife burned?"
"Where will you live?
Until in the middle of the circle a guy walks up and says, "Mr. Curley. I'm from USAA. I will write you a check for $17,000 now and we will need to talk about what else you will need when you are done here."
I was stunned. That seemed like a very large amount of money, at least until a few days later when I rented an apartment in the next town with 3 months rent down, bought new beds, clothes, food and some of the things we use to live until a fire takes it all.
For the 5 months it took to rebuild our house the USAA representative was always courteous, professional, and quick to reimburse us for our rebuilding costs.
I remember what one firefighter said the day of the fire: "At least you have insurance. You would be surprise how many people don't. They're the ones I feel sorry for." Fortunately, we had USAA homeowner's insurance and we were able to restart our lives.
My wife's wounds have mostly healed, my oldest son is now an engineer, and my younger is accomplished on the violin and getting his black belt, a discipline I started him in after the fire to help him forget it.
Our lives recovered over time because the first step with that USAA representative handing us that check so quickly after the fire.
I include some photos of the rebuilt house because that is my current reality. A neighbor took photos of the house burning down and I have others of the pasty mess that was left after the fire, but they only remind me of the acrid smell and pain of that day.
So I would rather present the lovely home we now enjoy, thanks, in part, to our having purchased USAA homeowner's insurance, and to the professionalism of the USAA front line and back office staff.