SYRACUSE, NEW YORK -- Last summer, 2009 we had a house fire & filed a claim with our farm insurance carrier, Countryway Insurance, Syracuse, NY. The claim process started out normally when they hired a Philadelphia insurance adjustment company to come out & take a look at the damage. He took lots of pictures & a few days later we received a letter from him however, in the meantime we had gotten several quotes on repairs. We submitted the quotes to the adjuster who modified his repair estimates with the exception of a large window that had gotten burned which he said "the insurance company wouldn't pay for". The first odd thing when it was clearly burned & melted beyond repair. This adjuster was replaced by another adjuster about 8 weeks out from the fire & we had to start all over again. Two days after the new adjuster came out he had apparently submitted his repair estimate report to Countryway Insurance & the firm was promptly fired! This created a very interesting situation because the claim is in Pennsylvania & Countryway Insurance is in New York & now we had no one to talk with that could look at the damages. At the end of September, 2009 after repeated letters to Countryway Insurance asking what the status of the claim was another company that works with insurance companies is assigned by Countryway Insurance. He comes out & tells me he will be preparing two estimates - one with what Countryway Insurance has decided to repair & the other what his visual review of the house damage shows. We again provided cost estimates obtained from several contractors. Over 1 month later & after several calls & letters we get a letter from Countryway Insurance with an offer that doesn't include repair of many of the fire damaged building materials & what money they do offer doesn't even come close to the repair costs that all of the contractors provided. And Countryway Insurance sends a letter without explanation that if signed would end the claim without us even knowing it. In legalize "take it or leave it". With Countryway Insurance, if its in your policy that they are responsible to repair or replace it, it actually means not if it costs them money.
After having invoked the appraisal clause of the farm policy & hiring an appraiser, we are no closer to resolving this claim. First, Countryway Insurance wouldn't send us an appraisal form to fill out & we had to search the internet for one. Countryway Insurance claimed that because we asked for the appraisal that we had to supply the form. Second, after Countryway Insurance supplied the name of their appraiser, they sent a list of umpires to our appraiser so that he could pick one. Two days after our appraiser sent back his pick of umpire from Countryway Insurance's list, Countryway Insurance's appraiser calls our appraiser & says he can't pick that one. How can an umpire on Countryway Insurance's list all of a sudden become unacceptable to the same people that made up the list to begin with?????
Without an umpire, the two appraisers met & they seemed to be able to negotiate what the claim was about. That was apparently before Countryway Insurance's appraiser submitted his report to them because now, 11 months after the fire we have gotten a "LAWYER" letter saying that the appraisal process is completed & there won't be further discussions. We hadn't even finished the appraisal process!
How can Countryway Insurance not comply with their own policy? How can we resolve this claim & get our house back? What hope do we have when Countryway Insurance has demonstrated time after time unfair insurance practices?