Home owner's insurance tip of the day

About seven years ago, shortly after my wife and I moved into our house, it started raining, and the roof began leaking. We hadn't been in the house a year, and so naturally we wondered if the previous owners of our home knew anything about this. But I hardly had time to dwell on the dampness of our new dwelling. About two months after filing a claim to have some roofers make some repairs, a lightning strike took out our sump pump in the basement in the middle of the night, and when I came downstairs in the morning, I was stepping onto a wet, mushy carpet underneath about two inches of water.

Before the water even receded, we filed another claim, foolishly thinking that that's what a home owner should do. What can I say? We were young and stupid. Almost needless to say, we were told that our policy wouldn't replace the soon-to-be-molding carpet and received a check for a few hundred dollars to replace my damaged fax machine and other random items in my home office. Then, as anyone experienced in this sort of thing can predict -- our insurance dropped us. Our crime? Filing too many claims. Two in about six months, in fact. I still sometimes lie awake at night, feverish and guilt-ridden for having the temerity to use my home owner's insurance.