ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA -- Background: I have been a policyholder of Erie Insurance since I bought my Virginia home in 2004. We left Virginia last year to move to Texas. The house is for sale, but empty (which means we have been carrying two mortgages for a year).
Rain Damage: In May, there were torrential downpours. Apparently, the gutter came loose from the downspout and water came into the basement stairway and entered under the basement door. We had inches of standing water throughout the basement that the realtor found when she was showing the home.
Problem: Erie is refusing the pay the claim calling it "groundwater" and saying that it is an exclusion the same as a flood (but even if we had flood insurance they say this wouldn't be covered). They say that as soon as water touches the ground it becomes groundwater. It was more like "roof water" that would have been diverted to the city sewer system. An ordinary person would consider groundwater some kind of standing water--the house sits on a hill so water is not standing anywhere nearby.
Anyway, they have tied up the claim with their review for 6 weeks so far and are now trying to deny the claim. One supervisor actually claimed that it is "company policy" to deny this type of claim and that several similar policyholders have had their claims denied. (Can you say class action??? Any hungry lawyers out there???)
No reasonable policyholder would read that this kind of damage would not be covered under the policy. This is why insurance companies get a bad name. Apparently the reason their fiscal index rating is so high is because they don't pay claims - they just collect premiums.
Current Status: We are fighting hard and it looks like another executive is going to "review the file." I think this is just terminology for making us wait longer. What they don't know yet is that we have a pending sale if the insurance goes through. If it doesn't I may be taking them to court not only for the damages they should cover, but try for loss of sale as well! BEWARE!
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I've been a customer of Erie Insurance for over 6 years. Never filed a claim ever until last week. Our neighborhood was hit by a hail storm last year and most of the houses in our area had hail damage to the roofs. Every house on my cul-de-sac including my next door neighbor had their roofs replaced. But, the Erie Insurance adjuster did not think there was sufficient hail damage. I got a third party roof inspector to look at the roof and he claims hail damage. To add to it, they closed the claim before we could get a second opinion. I am still continuing to pursue this claim.
My experience thus far has been that the Erie Insurance adjuster is always too busy since he is covering a wide area. Beyond that, their attitude from the start reeks of arrogance. They contend that other insurance companies are too easy with the claims. Erie being a very small company does not have the network to attend to the claims. They clearly under price everybody in the market, but people often miss the point that they are very difficult to deal with when the need arises. This was a good wake up call and I am definitely switching both my auto and home. To anybody considering Erie Insurance..."Caveat Emptor" - Let the buyer beware.
ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA -- It has been almost 3 years since the famous east coast Blizzard of 2010 damaged our metal roof. Erie is still in delay/deny mode and has refused to settle our claim. After sending a check for partial payment directly to a contractor instead of sending the payment to us, and then that contractor refusing to do the work and later being arrested for fraud (other cases, not even ours) we had to file a claim with the Insurance Commission, and only after the Insurance Commission ORDERED Erie to send us this amount (as they should have initially) did they send us this PARTIAL payment.
The damage to the roof was more extensive than they will admit despite 3 visits to our home, and now they are telling us that the damage to our house is our own fault for not "mitigating" and protecting our house from further damage, despite the fact that we had to spend $20K out of our own pocket to install a temporary shingle roof in order to keep our entire house from being destroyed.
We had paid premiums to Erie for 16 years for metal roof replacement coverage. Our best estimate to replace the metal roof was $30K. Ins. Comm. ordered them to pay $11K and they think they are done?!?! We've had many other out of pocket expenses due to damage that occurred as a direct result of their delay/deny tactics. WE WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF WITH NO INSURANCE AT ALL, but legally that is not an option. Whatever you do, DON'T PURCHASE INSURANCE FROM ERIE.
ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA -- My claim with Erie Insurance has gone on for 3 months; first denying that their client is responsible when they failed to contact my witness. I had to call them and remind them that there was a witness. Then once they spoke to my witness, only agreed to pay 1/2 of the damage because that witness knew who I was. Their client has had numerous vehicular accidents and has home/business through them, so they refuse to pay the whole claim and will only agree to 1/2. Their client has no witness to state it wasn't her fault and she is lying about not being at fault.
Unfortunately, since this was the mother of a fellow soccer player, I didn't call the police and without a police report I have no alternative but to end up paying 1/2 of this claim myself since their client refuses to tell the truth despite her own daughter admitting she has had numerous accidents in many vehicles.
Erie has been delinquent in handling and settling this claim and to date, I am still calling to get status on this claim. This is by far the worst experience I have ever had with an insurance company. If I could report them to the Better Business Bureau I would because they know their client is committing fraud and they claim that I can't prove it so they are not liable for that either.
Last year (2010) I was working in my yard and my dog was with me. Apparently she decided to take a hike a couple of doors down and got into a spat with my neighbors dog. This incident couldn't taken more than 5 min. because I didn't even know she was out of the yard. Next thing I know I've got a civil suit. I had two face to face meeting with local agent who said my policy would represent me in the civil action. What they didn't say was it is Erie's policy to make you get rid of your dog when you file a claim.
A month later I get a notice to dump the dog or get cancelled. OK I get the point they don't want to have to cover another incident. Hay the poor old dog is 12 yrs. old and doesn't have a mean bone in her body. But this time they got to fighting and her dog goes to the vet.
To relieve the problem short of giving the dog a one way ticket to the gas chamber I installed an underground fence. I offered to give Erie a letter holding them harmless for any future occurrences. No dice. My complaint is they should have told me about the dog policy before my claim so I could have taken another avenue. 4.7 million dog bite incidents a year - you would think they have sense enough to inform their insured of their "dog bite policy".
NORTH CAROLINA -- I have worked as an insurance agent for over 7 years and have seen a lot of shady dealings. I have never encountered such a horrible claims service as I have with Erie. I called their claims supervisor and spoke with ** regarding a claim that was filed over 3 MONTHS AGO for my insurance customer. ** told me that their insured was being uncooperative therefore they could not go further with the claim and would not be able to repair my customers vehicle. At which she then stated that my insured should file the claim under his insurance or if he doesn't have the coverage he could file a lawsuit!!!
I was appalled by her attitude and Erie's lack of cooperation. I will be filing a formal complaint with the BBB in our state. I will never ever recommend ERIE to anyone ever and I will do my best to ensure that everyone knows how bad their service is. The old saying "you get what you pay for" is so true their rates may be low but they are the worst company when it comes to paying out claims.
WARRENDALE, PENNSYLVANIA -- I had an accident on 10/19/2009 where their client hit me in my car in my driveway. They find me at fault so their client gets a new car and whatever other benefits she received. I have full tort so I should have an opportunity to sue the company for my losses. I went to court today and an arbitrator found in my favor. What do I get for not causing the accident? 3000. But their client keeps the new car. My car was paid off and valued at 8600 plus 656 rental car and 325 for towing.
One of the insurance companies should be responsible for my losses. I also have medical bills over the limit of 5000 from my policy but yet it would have been paid if she was at fault. Their client didn't have an insurance increase even though she was at fault. Can't get that back either. There is a problem with insurance companies. Then I get 3000 and they want to appeal which just delays everything more which is what they tried to do with continuances.
WOOSTER, OHIO -- I had hail damage to my home and I contacted my insurance company and a representative showed and walked around and said "I could not find any damage." I had holes in my siding and pits in roof and around windows. Said only wind damage. Do not TRUST them. Will not communicate with you at all.