American Family Mutual Insurance Co.

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Blatantly Unfair
Posted by on
MADISON, WISCONSIN -- I was in an auto accident where the other party was speeding past a red light at an intersection, and hit my car as I started to drive forward on a green light. The other driver was ticketed. She ran a red light and also left the scene of the accident. I did nothing wrong. I simply moved forward when the light turned green. An eyewitness behind me corroborated my story.
It turns out that the other driver's insurance company, American Family Mutual, decided to pay only 90% of the cost to repair the damage to my car. The cost was less than my deductible, so I had to pay. They claim that the eyewitness saw the car coming, but I did not. Therefore, according to American Family, I'm also negligent. My response: I could not see to my left because of intense sun glare. I had to move forward because the light turned green. How ridiculous!!

I did nothing wrong, while the other driver was speeding, ran a red light and left the scene of the accident. Yet, according to American Family I'm negligent??? Why should have to pay? American Family Mutual has made a blatantly unfair and unjustified decision!!
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Venice09 on 02/23/2011:
The driver is supposed to be in control of their vehicle at all times, but in this case, I don't think it should cost you anything to repair your car.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
"I had to move forward because the light turned green." No, you don't.

Yet, you couldn't see to your left because of intense sun glare. I think I know why they wouldn't pay 100%.
momsey on 02/23/2011:
I think the problem is that the witness saw the other car coming and you did not. That probably indicates to them that you were negligent.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Only on my3cents can an OP be wrong for not stopping at a green light. WOW.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
LR, wrong. The OP admitted they could not see in one direction before moving forward. Do you just blindly GO when the light turns green?
MRM on 02/23/2011:
90% coverage is reasonably great.
MRM on 02/23/2011:
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
MRM +++
MRM on 02/23/2011:
I have thoughts of intentionally, having red light runner T-bone me.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Seriously Andrea13 you're going to fault this OP for getting smashed by a hit and run driver running a red light. Sorry man but in my book somebody runs a red light they are 100% at fault.

I'm so sick of good people having to pay the price for the actions of morons.
Venice09 on 02/23/2011:
If the OP couldn't see due to sun glare, at what point should he/she have moved forward? I'm not saying that just because a light is green, you are not obligated to avoid an accident, but I'm not sure what else the OP could have done.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Yes, LR. It's called defensive driving.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Great point Venice09.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
No, Andrea13 it's called failure to stop at a stop light.

If it were me I'd sue. In this state not only would I recover 100% of my losses I'd also get my legal fees paid by the losing party. And trust me they'd lose BIG TIME>
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Do you just blindly GO when the light turns green?

Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I never read where this was decided by a court of law. It only sounds as though it was mediated by the insurance companies, and the OP accepted that decision. If they truly wanted the opposing insurance to pay 100%, they could've easily proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt in a court of law, and been handsomely compensated as Lord Rothschild alludes to.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Andrea, I don't wait for every car coming in every direction to come to a complete stop. The only people who do that watch Matlock. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
LR, I've actually served on a jury in a similar case. Both parties were negligent and were found at fault.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
A jury found OJ innocent. What's your point Andrea13?
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
LR, it seems that our driver training differs. Yes, we have to agree to disagree.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Andrea13, It has nothing to do with driver training. I don't fault the OP for the illegal actions of another driver. You do. It's just that simple.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Andrea> However, I can see you point of view, since I was involved in an accident of negligent nature. The oncoming vehicle had their turn signal on, so I pulled out in front of them...but they NEVER turned. I was found partially at fault because it wasn't a law for them to turn...but in this case, it IS a law to stop at a red light!
Venice09 on 02/23/2011:
Andrea, I never move immediately when the light turns green. I always look both ways before proceeding. But in this case sun glare prevented the OP from seeing the car that was about to run the red light. The witness in the other car was probably not affected by the glare. I don't think the OP contributed to the accident.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Man-o-man, do I hate agreeing with LR this early in the morning! What is the world coming to? That should be against the law in its own right...
MRM on 02/23/2011:
DIRM, I hate that when the other driver turns on their signal early, that I would think that would turn before my vehicle, but instead, they would turn after they pass my vehicle.
Venice09 on 02/23/2011:
I never trust turn signals. I wait until I am completely sure the other vehicle is actually turning.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Venice09 on 02/23/2011:
Based on the sun glare, which can be blinding, I don't think the OP was negligent. They had no choice but to rely on the green light. Factor out the glare, and I agree that the OP contributed to the accident.
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
I find it annoying when the driver in front of you has his turn signal on for 5 miles before making a turn.
PepperElf on 02/23/2011:
sounds like some of the drivers here. a lot of them won't slow down if the light turns red right before they reach the intersection.

Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
Sounds like you need to get yourself a lawyer. Not sure if its worth the aggravation or the expense to get one, unless you can sue them for your attourney's fees too.
azRider on 02/23/2011:
sort of depends on the cost of the missing 10% you did not get paid. first when you signed the check was there any writing on it saying something like 'Accepting this check the party agrees to full paid compensation' or words like that? if you did you may not have any recourse now but to just complain and let others know about the company. On the other hand if it was just a standard check with no contract on cashing, and the missing money you feel you should have gotten is less than $5000, then you could take the other driver to small claims. I'm betting if you let a judge decide on it, you may win the missing 10% you should have gotten. sun glare or not, you had full right of way, you only need to tip the scales of justice a little bit to win in small claims. you might consider that, if you have legs to sue on.
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I Got "Screwed" Big Time by American Family Insurance Group
Posted by on
I Got “SCREWED” Big Time by American Family Insurance Group

I was stopped and my car was rear ended and totaled with me in it. American Family Insurance Group won’t replace my car. Not only was I injured but I’m limping around without a car. I still have the obligation of 19 lease payments. American Family Insurance Group only offered me the wholesale market value of my car. My car only had 29,000 miles and was in perfect condition. The amount they offered doesn’t cover the balance due on lease. All I get is a lot of “double-talk”.

I just wanted my car repaired or replaced with a comparable car.

One minute I’m sitting in my car and the next thing I know; I’m injured and have no car.

I can’t begin to express the stress and how helpless I feel.
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Soaring Consumer on 05/02/2009:
You may have to hire an attorney and sue the at-fault driver for the damages that your insurance is refusing to cover.
Anonymous on 05/02/2009:
That could be the at fault drivers insurance company Soaring.
The OP isn't clear on that.
spiderman2 on 05/02/2009:
I have said it before and I will say it again, car insurance pays the value of the car. What you owe on the car and the value of the car may not be equal. If you are upside down on your loan, you will definitely owe more than the car is worth. this happens when you trade a car in and still owe money on it and roll it into another loan. I also would try talking to the leasing company and see if they will accept the insurance money as full payment for the car. It can't hurt to ask.
sept9th on 05/03/2009:
This type of behavior by insurance companies is wrong. They are taking advantage of people. They are so big, they think they are above the law. The internet is the perfect place to let "everyone" know about this injustice before it happens to them. Can anyone suggest other websites to post this to?
spiderman2 on 05/03/2009:
If your car is worth less than you owe you needed to have purchased gap insurance.
While I agree that insurance companies sometimes screw people, if you didn't pay for certain coverage, they are not screwing you by not providing it. You get what you pay for and most people don't understand what their insurance polices do and not cover.
sept9th on 05/03/2009:
I was "Screwed" by American Family Insurance Group. My car was totaled by the person insured by Family Insurance Group. I was not at fault. I was sitting still when hit from behind at between 30 and 40 mph. Victims should not need gap insurance when the at-fault drivers insurance is responsible.
I know I'm not the only one that this has happened to. I intend to make such a big deal out of this that I hope it is noticed by "60 Minutes", Dateline, or another similar news program. Companies need to realize that there are consequences for their actions or inaction.
spiderman2 on 05/03/2009:
So if I trade in a car I owe $20K on and buy a 10K car but finance 30K and someone totals my car I should get 30K for a car worth 10K? Do you know how much your insurance rates would be if that were the case? I have a paid off car so the value to me is $400 per month since I figure that is what a car payment would be. If my car gets totaled I am going to get about $10K for it, and that is all. It is worth more to me than the book value but that doesn't mean the insurance company will give more than that. I was a hit and run victim. I had to pay the deductible, does that sound fair...probably not, but it is how insurance works, always has and always will. If you have damages beyond your vehicle, you can sue the person who hit you and see if you can get more money out of them, but the court will award the value of the vehicle and medical bills, if any.
I understand that you are angry, frankly, I would be too. You are not getting treated any differently than anyone else who has an accident is treated.
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American Family Doesn't Pay Claims
Posted by on
Short version: We were insured by American Family when my wife was hit by another AmFam customer. The other driver was clearly at fault and the police on the scene acknowledged that.

After three years of fighting to get them to pay for the medical bills accrued through the permanent disability caused by their client we ended up settling just short of a jury trial.

Their attorney says this to us:
"I am sorry for your pain and I don't doubt it is real, but since your accident happened in Johnson County, Kansas we know a jury will not be likely to award much. In addition we are going to tell them that your pain is not real because you refuse to take the narcotics prescribed by the emergency room and our own doctor says there is nothing wrong with you. We will also tell them that you sought treatment that was not necessary"

Fact: My wife suffers from damage to her spine
Fact: Digital imaging x-rays show the damage
Fact: AmFam approved every treatment before we got it and then backed out of paying
Fact: I paid into AmFam for 15 years on two cars and homeowners and renters insurance
Fact: Our AmFam agent did NOTHING for us except give us an 800 number to call.
Fact: AmFam saw an opportunity to get one over on their customers and took advantage of them.

There is a reason that this company is advertising so hard to make people believe they pay their claims. If people knew how they really treated their customers, nobody would have them.

Don' think they will be there for you when you need them.
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Doc J on 05/27/2006:
"Insurance: An ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he's beating the man who keeps the table." Bierce
Anonymous on 05/28/2006:
Docj: You come up with some of the best, good one!
therobb: Keep fighting and In the end you will win, I think this is the latest way they do business now. I had the same problem with Blur Cross. It took four years going back and forth but in the end they paid the bill. Don’t give up.
Ponie on 05/28/2006:
Lidman, very apropos! LOL. Although a typo, because of run-arounds received, I'm sure many insureds refer to them as 'Blur' Cross. :)
Doc J on 05/28/2006:
My fellow docs and sometimes refer to them as "Blue Cheat/Blue Steal" and "Blue Double-cross". Some BC/BS carriers are not bad though. But, some have the healing touch of Joseph Mengele. Yes, keep fighting! Never give up with an insurance company!
Anonymous on 05/30/2006:
Ponie: I meant Blur Cross, the typo was “toke” I meant took. I didn’t take a took of anything…..LOL
ColoradoGirl on 12/01/2010:
Don't give up! AmFam did not pay for my claim in 2005 and I had to gut my house and rebuild it because they referred a company that (was not insured) to clean up a septic back up that ended up being black mold and their response "we know we cover water damage BUT because it is black mold and almost killed your family we will only pay $5000" if you need a good lawyer feel free to contact me. I am still in a litigation but I will never give up. They are awful
I.Yates on 11/28/2011:
Reading these stories aboout American Family is a duplicate of my case. Had a wreck, liability established, A.M. does deny, delay, stonewall. Company policy, their culture.One sleazy insurance company, probably leaving money on regulators desk.They know how to hustle you,lack the character to be responsible.
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Cannot settle a claim
Posted by on
On September 10, 2009 an insured of American Family left a stop sign and hit our vehicle, totaling it. Police were called, and following the investigation, the other driver was cited for careless driving. It was two weeks before we were contacted by American Family and finally after several calls they determined that we were 25% responsible. Their driver did not look left and admitted so to myself and the police officer. Yet American Family will not accept responsibility. After two months and still no settlement, they are still unwilling to pay the claim. I have contacted the State Department of Insurance and have filed a complaint with them. I have heard disparaging terms in the past in regard to American Family and now I fully understand as they are truly as bad as I have heard. They make their money by not paying claims fairly and as they are due.
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clutzycook on 11/06/2009:
You shouldn't have to be dealing with this. You should be going through your insurance company. They should be the ones handling American Family.
tim cook on 08/15/2013:
I would sue American family.I had similar incident when I was driving on business trip for apple and I basically had a lawsuit against American family.They had to pay close to 2 million for harassment and not taking care of the full incident in the first place.Hire a attorney and sue them.It is worth every penny

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Not Really The Customer First For Them
Posted by on
KEOKUK, IOWA -- After many years (10+) of insurance with them with no claims, and 20 years plus our grandparents before us, we have had nothing but grief with the Keokuk Ia. They said we had to put on new roof, we did. They said we had to reside the garage. We did. A year goes by. Then they said we had to reside the house - in the middle of winter deep freeze. We said first thing come spring - the contractors protected it with plywood and plastic where it had blown off. They said nope had to be now . So we did. Then we received notice that we needed to replace the roof and garage siding. The local agent took pictures, never sent them to corporate in over a year. Local agent gave poor service. We tell them so. Then we receive notice that we are canceled because we didn't fix the front siding on the house, but we did, a month prior just like they asked. You know what, I'm just tired of having to fight to pay them my easy premiums every month - poor service, poor agent.

Don't bother with these guys. I can only imagine the run around with a claim would be. Now they have messed up switching the house insurance to a commercial one . I give, I'm finding better insurance elsewhere. Does it ever end with them ?
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GothicSmurf on 04/21/2008:
This is a little muddy and hard to understand. What happened and why was your home not repaired in a timely manner? In order for you to get payment for repairs, here is what normally happens:

1. You are given a check for X amount of repairs based on estimates.
2. You complete (or hire out to complete) the repairs.
3. A check is sent for the remainder of repairs.

So I'm not understanding why you weren't able to complete your home repairs?
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Thought they worked for ME!?!?!
Posted by on
INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI -- I was in a wreck that totaled my car and I am "insured" by AmFam (full coverage). They are trying to tell me that my car-even before the wreck-wasn't worth blue book value and that because all four of my tires don't match (the name brand) they have to deduct from my payoff.What a crock of malarkey! I want to see where in the policy it states that if all four tires aren't the same name brand, they can deduct money from my payoff!!!! It's not a brand new car but it was in great shape until this happened. I only owe a bit over $2,000 on my car and they want to give me $1800 and then take away my $500 deductible, leaving me owing about 3 or 4 payments. The first visit, the adjuster said he'd give me $1,900 but now he's lowering the amount after a week. Am I being punished for making it hard for the adjuster? Or is it because I'm a single woman and they see me as an easy target? Whatever the reasoning behind it is, I feel like I'm being scr*wed ROYALLY and plan on taking my business elsewhere when all is FINALLY said and done. What's an extra $200 or $300 to a multi billion dollar industry?!?!

I call the adjuster and he doesn't answer and when I finally get a hold of him, he changes my payoff then when I call him back to tell him NO WAY, he won't answer again. When he calls me back, it's 5 minutes till time for him to clock out at 4pm and I'm not at my desk at the time. I start the next day by repeating the same song and dance. I even said if they can come within 600 of my payoff AFTER the deductible, I'd accept it.

Wish I wouldn't have done that now. I'm rattled enough after the wreck, I'm scared to ride in a car and nervous about getting behind the wheel again. It's been over two weeks and I'm scared. Now I'm afraid to turn over my medical claims to them!!!!!!
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Anonymous on 09/25/2007:
You might want to contact the insurance commissioner in your state. I'd make sure that the adjuster knows you have filed with them, ittends to make them a little more responsive. In your complaint, I'd ask them to compel the insurance company to show where they require matching tires. Good luck.
GothicSmurf on 09/25/2007:
I have worked in the insurance industry for the last 6-7 years and here is what I can tell you about the claims process...READ CAREFULLY SO YOU CAN KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT AND "ARM" YOURSELF. And perhaps understand where the adjuster gets his pricing.

1. The adjusters don't necessarly just look at the blue book value of the car. They look at what's called fair market value of the car. Meaning they search online ads as well as in print ad for the going price of your car from both the dealer and private party. They do NOT use the Blue Book value as their ONLY source. Although to you, it might not seem "fair" in the long run, it really is. It just happens that the going rate for some vehicles is higher on the KBB than in reality.

2. When you did your blue book value on your car did you do private party or dealer trade in? The costs on those are vastly different. You can log onto and use the value on there. Do the option to rate it yourself (or something along those lines) BE HONEST when imputing your information. The adjuster won't miss things.

3. Do you own shopping around for your car. Get the Sunday paper and see if you can find "your" car for sale in both dealer and private party. If you can't find your exact year, find one for +/- 2 years the make of your car. Take at least 3 of them and find the average. SAVE THE SEARCHES so when you talk to your adjuster you can show him where you found those cars. Also, adjuster generally look within a 25-50 (sometimes more) mileage range as being in "your area". If you find one that is a year older, find one that is a year newer as well to balance it out. Cars depreciate FAST. Using only newer vehicles will NOT help you when negotiate with the adjuster. Actually if possible find 3 newer and 3 older and then average those to find your year. (ONLY if you cannot find your year vehicle, if then only use your year car and average those.) Be honest and find a solid average price.

4. You didn't give enough information on the accident, but seeing that the deductible was applied, I have a feeling that "you" were at fault. (I used "you" in quotes as I don't know who the driver was.) That is applied to the full value of your car. JayD was right that sometimes you do owe more than the car was/is worth. I one time worked on a claim where the guy owed so much on his car and then the ded was applied and he only got $55 for his car. Sucks, but that's the way life is.

5. As far as the tires go, YES, anything that doesn't "match" on a car can bring the value down. Check on KBB as "proof". It's the same as if the quarter panel on your car was green and the rest of your car was white. If you have 4 tires all different brand names, it does bring the value of the car down as it is now "piece mealed" together. It might not state specifically the tires have to match, but it will state something about the condition of your car in your policy/ in the claims procedure. Think of it this way... Would you buy a car from a dealer who had 2 good year tires, one firestone and one other brand name tire on a car? I think not.

6. Dealing with claims isn't fun at all, but if you are irrational, the adjuster is most likely going to be less likely to work with you. Take a deep breath, step back and follow some of the advise I gave you. It will really help you in the long run. You ARE allowed to tell the adjuster that you have to think about their offer. Then do the leg work that I suggested above and come back with your counter offer. They might not take it, but they might be willing to at least work with you if you have all the legwork you've done documented.

You might be thinking, "Well that's not my job to research my car like that. That's the adjusters job." Well yes, you are correct. But being able to research on your own makes you much better armed to deal with the situation at hand and to be able to see where the adjuster is coming from. you can always ask the adjuster where they came up with the price and if their final offer includes medical, towing, leave of work, deductible applied, etc.

It seems that you are stressed over your accident and rightly so. When you call the adjuster leave them a message stating that you were rattled before and are ready and willing to discuss an offer. (AFTER READING MY COMMENT). You can always tell the adjuster you have to think about what ever he is offering and then call him back. THEN again calmly leave a message or discuss options.

Sorry I can't help you on the medical portion of the claim. I don't know the laws regarding medical and auto accidents in your state.

And please, drop the single woman thing. Nothing irritates me more than that whole sob story. (Check my profile before you think "you must be a man.)

Good luck and take a deep breath.
GothicSmurf on 09/25/2007:
One last thing, since I can't edit my post anymore:

If you do happen to find "your" exact car within your location- but it has more miles on it than yours did, you can also use that to negotiate with pricing.
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Insurance company washes hands of their dirty work to consumer
Posted by on
COLUMBIA, MISSOURI -- For the first time in my life a bill was sent to a collection agency. It is a long story, but suffice it to say that 12 months went by from the time treatment was complete to the time a bill was sent to me by the medical clinic. I asked for details about this unexpected charge, twice on the phone and once in writing, and had response from them. Bottom line is that they refused to provide the paper to prove the disputed charges.

When it was sent to collection, a full year+ after the treatment, the American Family Insurance Company immediately sent me a letter saying they were no longer offering me a rate reduction because of this "disputed" bill.

Little do they know, and even littler did they care, that the bill was paid in full once the documents I requested were provided to me. Who in this world would just pay someone without a explanation of what the charges were? Particularly when there was a full year lapse between end of treatment and the medical clinic "transferring charges to patient"....and without the patient "ME" knowledge!

I have been a paying customer to American Family Insurance for years, both home and auto. That they choose to treat me, their long-standing customer in such a disrespectful manner is worth my time to convey their unsavory action to you. Whatever happened to a courtesy phone call to ask before jumping to conculsion and sending a valued customer such a letter?
In this mad world of ours, consumers take it everyday with little to no recourse as big banking, insurance and credit companies steam roller over our rights and good standing as working, contributing citizens in this country.

I'm fed up.
Seek Justice
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Refusing to pay claim
Posted by on
AmerFam cust ran into the right rear tire and quarterpanel-she ran a stop sign, called my agent that night and left a message-didn't hear from them. Called the following day & was told to call 800 #, before I could hang up the phone to do so, she tried to sell me more insurance?? Stated that if I hit a Lexus valued at 60k I would owe, stated I didn't care-I need to file a claim that was not my fault.After all said and done they will only pay me 1/2? Have paid them for 15 yrs on home and 4 cars-never made a claim -but the other AmerFam member lied so 50/50
Please drop them-they take your money and provide nothing. I will go to court --this is wrong, even the estimaters for AMerican fam could tell it was not my fault when they looked at my car which by the way I had to take off work to go to as they do not come to you. I think this is because my car is paid for--they would not do this if the bank had the title--they would fix it.
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Skye on 08/01/2006:
Your post is hard to follow. Do you still have collision on your vehicle???
funforfaye on 08/01/2006:
I have full coverage--they will pay if it goes against my insurance minus the deductible and then my rates will increase.
Skye on 08/02/2006:
Did you call the police?? I don't see if it wasn't your fault, why you would be held liable. Just trying to figure out something for you.
rhondam718732 on 08/02/2006:
You got hit with the "50/50" ruling. That means that they determined you were half at fault and the other person was half at fault. I was involved in an accident where they ruled "80/20" believe me - they can do it and it's hard to fight it. Once they rule - it means they will pay half and you pay half. They base it off what both accident reports say but let's face it... there are always politics. A nice clean split for both their customers...sounds prefect for them.
Ivon on 12/27/2011:
Had a claim against Amerian Family, auto accident. Their insured was determined to be at fault. Was a month before they answered me. Over a year now. Company policy of deny, delay, ignore. No Christians employed by that company. Think their claims department is loaded up with ex-cons. Do not expect a fair Offer in a timely maaner, they are trained in the art of cheating you.They are working their way up to Wall Street. I am a 70 year old man, do not like people that cheat others for a living. The same class as sex criminals. Watch out for them.
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Ignored for mini tort
Posted by on
On 11/23/09 a cell phone impaired driver turned left from the right lane of a one way street into my vehicle.
As of 2/8/10 American Family Mutual Insurance Co. in Arizona has ignored several calls by me to satisfy a $500.00 Michigan mini tort obligation. Leaving few recourses but to sue their client in Small Claims Court for the full damages of $1700.00
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American Insurance is very very slow!
Posted by on
WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA -- I have never seen or heard this much slow insurance company. State Farm, All State, Progressive, 21st and so on... All of them have reasonable process speed.
A nightmare with AmFam!
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