MENDON, VERMONT -- Everyone who experienced last year hail should read this story. Today, for the fourth time since the hail storms last July, a State Farm insurance adjuster visited my house. By now all surrounding roofs have been replaced except mine. The first time I put in a claim State Farm sent an adjuster that never physically got on the roof. He inspected the roof from the driveway. I thought he must have some kind of secret device to see hail damage from a distance. After complaining about the adjuster to my State Farm insurance agent they sent the same gentleman back to my house - Eric. This time he met with my contractor. As we know by now, Eric is not a fan of roofs.
After 5 minutes on the roof and a little sprinkle of rain he decided to call it quits. Eric, visibly irritated stated, “I'm out of here I'm not going to risk my life.” So our “friendly” adjuster who had a bad day, and was clearly not as friendly as the State Farm insurance commercials depicts, left without rescheduling. Later in the week I received a letter stating that my claim was denied. This spring I contacted State Farm insurance with a request to reopen my claim. They agreed to send an adjuster to look at my roof. Our “friendly” insurance adjuster (who was not so friendly) showed up again with a woman.
I assumed the woman was another adjuster from the insurance company. At least the woman was willing to climb on my roof. When they showed up the roof was very wet and not safe to climb - I wonder what their liability insurance would say if they saw them climbing a steep wet roof. My roofer insisted on rescheduling the inspection of my roof. During this visit I told the woman that Eric the “friendly” adjuster is no longer welcome at my house. Fourth and final visit to date. The woman showed up alone - without Eric the “friendly” adjuster who is not so friendly. She met with my roofer.
Now she contends that hail never hit my house and all of the people who were on my roof and took pictures of my damaged roof are lying. I think I know what happened. A magical umbrella opened up over my house - and only over my house - to protect my house from hail. Unfortunately, the magical umbrella in the sky was not big enough to cover our cars and save them from hail damage. In the alternative, maybe it was not hail after all but a meteoroid hit them. Does State Farm insurance think we are stupid? Are you kidding me? Tuesday, I'm contacting an attorney.
Two different roofers and one independent source (with nothing to gain) told me I have roof damage caused by hail. At this time I'm thinking about all the people who did not proceed with their claims - especially elderly people who still think that insurance companies are working for them. Did I mention that they dropped all my policies by now?
READING, PENNSYLVANIA -- I'm a retired insurance law instructor in Pennsylvania who now consults for local general contractors on insurance related matters. I attempted to contact several people here directly but emails bounce back, so I'm posting this for everyone to use... Even though State Farm is licensed to sell insurance in all states, there is no Federal regulatory agency to oversee insurance companies. Individual State Insurance Commissions have done a very good job overall, however whenever the government is involved there always exists the possibility of a laissez-faire attitude.
Contact your state insurance commission about the claim and use some phrases that only an "insider" would know. The only way to stop the consumer abuse by State Farm, Allstate, Travelers and others is a massive number of consumers complaining to the right people. Individual complaints are investigated, massive complaints cause the insurance company to be investigated. "Insurance is designed to restore the insured to the position he held prior to the loss". "There are 12 mandatory provisions in an insurance contract" (according to listed complaints, SF consistently violates at least 2). "Unfair Claim Settlement Practices" is what SF is guilty of. (This is a SERIOUS violation of state insurance regulations).
If you believe that your state insurance commission is "less than effective" I strongly recommend you file your complaint by Certified mail Return Receipt and copy the governor as he usually appoints the commissioner. Send a copy to the largest newspapers and local TV news stations for coverage, usually they have a consumer watchdog. SF hides behind anonymity, it's almost impossible to get a mailing address or the real name of anyone who works in their claims department or a supervisor. Everyone apparently only has first names, and they disconnect your call when the questioning becomes too hot for them.
Last time I asked for a supervisor, I was put on hold for 15 minutes only to be told that "he's going into a meeting, but will call you back." That was 2 weeks ago, still no return call, must be one hell of a meeting. **, the CEO promised shareholders 2 years ago that SF would never lose money [on claims] again. He's also the 3rd member of his family to hold that position. His family has controlled State Farm since 1954. Is it any wonder they don't give a damn about the consumer? This sounds more like a Monarchy than Corporate America.
I purchased a home in June of 2006. Several years later, as I was doing some yard work in my front yard, a neighbor – who identified himself as ** - ran from across the street to offer some assistance. During his short visit he said to me, "I work for State Farm Insurance. When you moved in I wanted to see who you had insurance with so I scanned your name & saw that you were already with State Farm."
I thought this was unusual, as I did not authorize him to ‘scan' anything and this was my first encounter with this man. I did, however, tell him that I was not satisfied with my current State Farm agent. ** then told me that he worked for an agent in (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) and he then suggested I switch everything over to his office. Although I agreed to the transfer of agents, I still felt uneasy about the fact that he looked something up without my authority or knowledge. I felt this was an invasion of my privacy.
On June 10, 2011, I viewed my credit report with Experian online. I noticed that my credit report was viewed by ‘LexisNexis / State Farm' in March of 2011. I thought this was unusual, as I did not authorize such an inquiry. So I contacted my State Farm Agent to question this. I received the company voice mail and I specifically stated that I wanted THE AGENT to call me back. Although I specified this, within 5 minutes ** called me back. ** said, "What can I do for you?" Since I did not expect ** to call me back and my issue was pertaining to **, I simply said “I just wanted to know how much I am paying in house insurance per year because I am shopping around”. ** then said to me “you are paying $512 a year”. I thanked him and we hung up.
I then called the agent's mobile number and spoke to him directly. I went into detail about the first incident that I had with ** in my front yard. I told him that I was concerned because I saw that State Farm has viewed my credit report in March of 2011 without my authority. The agent explained that there was ‘absolutely no way' that State Farm can view my credit report. I then asked him if his office had access to Lexis Nexis and he stated ‘absolutely not'. He again told me that State Farm ‘never' looks at existing customers' credit reports. He asked for me to send him a copy of my report to prove to him that State Farm looked at my report. I agreed and then we hung up.
Nearly 15 minutes later, I received a call from the agent. He was now in defense-mode, as his tone was now that of anger and he was now acting as if he were an attorney. The agent said to me, “State Farm reviews your credit every 3 years”, which is now a contradiction to his initial statement that State Farm ‘never' looks at existing customers' credit reports. The agent insisted ** ‘wouldn't do such a thing'. I then reminded the agent, once again, that ** admitted to looking up my personal information after moving in to my house. He said to me “look, what you think of ** as a neighbor is none of my business”.
I then reminded the agent that my first encounter with ** was unusual, as he ** was discussing my personal information (that he had already looked up) for the sole purpose of selling insurance to me as a benefit to State Farm. The agent then said to me, in a sneaky little voice, “ohhhhh, but that's not what you said the first time! You said that ** said that he ran across the street and told you that he ran your credit report! Now you're giving me 2 different stories!” I said to the agent “I didn't say he ran my credit report the first time he came to me, I said he ‘scanned' my name, without authority” – however he did this, I do not know.
But, in March of 2011 State Farm reviewed my credit report and I wanted to know why. The agent then said to me, “No, you said that ** ran across the street and told you that he scanned your credit report, now you're telling me something else. And see, here I called ** and told him what you said & now you're saying something else!'' (as if to ‘trick' me). The agent certainly is not a good listener, as I never stated this to him (and it doesn't matter anyway, my privacy rights were STILL violated!). I felt like I was arguing with a 10 year old child.
The agent is clearly unprofessional. He also made me feel as if I were on trial and I told him this. The agent then said to me, “let me ask you this, why did you ever come to my agency?” (as if he were suggesting I was a problem client simply because I was not satisfied with the service I received from my first agent – of nearly 20 years). I responded “because I was not satisfied with the way my last agent handled my claim”. ** then said to me, “look, you are certainly free to take your business elsewhere”. So I am.
I have been a State Farm customer for about 23 years. State Farm has very poor customer service. I am now going to file a formal complaint with the Attorney General of Ohio due to my privacy rights being violated. I am now in the process of transferring my auto insurance to Progressive. I have already had a much better experience with them. I am currently looking into transferring my home to another company, as well. Once I have transferred all of my possessions to another company, I will never go back to State Farm again.
My daughter has already transferred her new auto to another company due to ** unprofessional behavior (a separate incident). I am going to encourage as many people as possible to switch their insurance to Progressive – all due to the lack of concern, privacy violations and unprofessionalism. ‘Like a good neighbor State Farm is there'? What a JOKE.
BUDD LAKE, NEW JERSEY -- Been dealing with State Farm for 40 years, first with car insurance, then both homeowners and car, then just homeowners. My wife and I are moving to an older home within the next few weeks. Considering State Farm has my present homeowners insurance (15 years) as well as having insurance for several other family members, I thought it would be best to get a quote from them. I should not have wasted my time.
First, they wanted pictures of the outside of the house and any outbuildings, then also of the electric panel as it has recently been upgraded... no problem. After they were furnished with these, I waited over two weeks, and then had to call twice for them to quote me. When they did, they told me they turned it down because the house was below average condition, which it is not. Granted, the house is old, 1840, but has aluminum siding, and has been upgraded, electrical, heating, kitchen, etc. To add insult to injury, they were trying to sell me car insurance at the same time on top of it.
Just as a note, I have never had a claim for homeowners, or car insurance in all these forty years. Granted, my credit history has not been good the last couple of years like a lot of Americans, if this has anything to do with it; which it should not. They don't care about customers that have been long standing... They just go for the easy money. The original agent that myself and my family dealt with retired a long time ago. Too bad, he was great to deal with. The present one that I use, you cannot even talk to him directly. I therefore am seeking out another insurance company and will advise all my family members and friends to do the same.
WINTER HAVEN, FLORIDA -- I received a certified letter from State Farm 7/13 stating they did not renew my policy 4/13! No notice. No insurance for 3 months without my knowledge. I called to ask why. I've never had a claim in 15 years and always paid my premiums on time and in full. I was told a letter was sent to me 4/12 with suggestions for things they wanted done to the property. I did receive that letter and I complied with each "recommendation." Never did the letter state it was required that I had my property manager do these things, yet I faxed them to her. She had them done and charged me for them in my May statement.
State Farm's letter was dated 4/16 and the items were completed on 5/4. When I asked why they failed to renew me, I was told that I had not provided invoices, photos, etc. on the items they wanted done. Huh?! Apparently I needed to fly 1500 miles to act as their secretary. Nowhere in their letter did it state these main items are mandatory and documentation must be submitted to State Farm. I guess the customer is supposed to be a psychic secretary!
OK, now that I know you need me to do your paperwork for State Farm, I will ask the property mgr to submit everything on my behalf. State Farm then told me it was too late. They would not renew the policy! Perfect payment history. Perfect lack of claim history. Perfect compliance history yet they refuse to allow me to continue as a customer. So sad to see companies who feel customers are not necessary to their business. With an attitude like State Farm has down me, I would love to see them go down the tubes ASAP! I am a small business owner and treat my customers like GOLD, because that's what they are. They are the reason my business exists and grows!
FLORIDA -- I recently received a bill from State Farm Insurance indicating that my home owner's policy had increased by more than 50 percent. At first I thought it was a mistake since I have had State Farm Insurance for many years and never made any claims. State Farm increased their premiums to a astronomical rate. I am just a middle class worker and this certainly has put a burden on my budget.
I contacted state Farm and the excuses range from inflation to disasters. I asked the State Farm agent to review my policy to see if there was any possibility in reducing my rates. The agent advised me that there was not much she could do since my coverage was already at its minimum. Upon advising that I would look at other insurance companies, she immediately advised me that she found a reduction and that my insurance premium would be reduced by $200.
This agent reminded me of a desperate car salesman, you know the one that gives you five different deals while you are sitting in the office. I asked the agent why State Farm raised the prices and she stated it was the county I resided in. This did not make any sense since the county I reside received minimal damage from a hurricane and the crime rate is very low. The county just north of us has a higher crime rate and was hit severely by a hurricane, but their premiums are a lot lower.
I recently found an insurance company who has a lower premium so I will be dropping State Farm. It appears that insurance companies are doing what ever the hell they want ripping off the consumer. They claim that they are cutting back and increasing their rates to compensate for the money they have paid out recently. What about the money we have paid all of these years. I think you guys are fat rats! Who has the biggest sky scrapers in the big cities? Insurance companies, so don't tell us you are in need of money. Shame on you. If I could get every person in the world to leave State Farm I would lead the project!
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- State Farm has been my parents Home Owners Insurance Company for 32 years. They never made a claim on the policy until Ike. It has now been two weeks and no one has come to look at the house and I keep getting new numbers and people I need to talk to about the problem. Their house had a tree fall on it and water got in the attic. Now there is mold and rotting wood plus no water because the tree made a leak they can't find. Then the house was broken into because they can't be there and the house settling after the tree left a gap in the front door big enough for a crowbar to fit into! Mom called to make a claim for that and no one has even bothered to call her back.
I was informed it was just added to the other claim number so they will have to talk to the adjuster about that when he/she calls. When I asked for an approximate time they may get someone out I was told others had worse damage and they had to wait their turn to get help. And I was given a new number that we will have to wait to call during normal business hours tomorrow. They are having to pay to live in their travel trailer in a trailer park because NO ONE has come to help them. State Farm just lost me as a customer as soon as I can get a hold of ANYBODY else. Good Neighbor - yeah right!
To update this for those thinking the wait was not long enough to be upset the first time. They are still in the trailer. An adjuster has come by but no decision has been made as to what they will pay for. They have not been given an estimated time that they will be able to return to their house and their adjuster hasn't spoken to them in two weeks. So now it has been six weeks and it was estimated that the work will take six to eight weeks once it is started and that hasn't been determined.
How long is the right amount of time for insurance to take to help people? Should we look at it as to what other insurance companies did in the area? There are trailers from other companies set up for people to go talk to adjusters and State Farm puts you on a list to get to when they can. I understand this was a lot but so many people we know that had other insurance companies have had there work at least started. Some of their damage was worse and some less. The main difference is insurance companies, not damage.
PIPESTONE, MINNESOTA -- After reading some previous remarks it is clear to me I will simply be uninsured after next month. My parents put "30 year shingles" on their home in 2003, and then they failed within 10 years, and all indications have been that the class action settlement against the shingle company would likely net them $800 or so. Unable to afford the cost of re-shingling, they just did nothing. Then Dad died.
Mom signed the house over to me, as she was unable to maintain the cost of insurance, taxes etc. Mom continues to live in the house, at age 91. I pay the bills. I was required to write a new insurance policy by State Farm, which I did readily. I have been a State Farm customer since 1984, every house, car, camper. Today my thank you and goodbye letter came from State Farm Insurance. They Cancelled my Homeowners policy due to the curled, but functional, shingles. Save your rhetoric. I give up.
BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS -- We were 1 block away from the touchdown of a tornado on April 3, 2012. We sustained wind and hail damage to our roof. State Farm only wants to replace the West and North side of the roof and repair and patch the South and East side. They are doing over 1/2 the roof, but refuse to do any more. This roof will not match the existing roof. I don't want a patch job. This will look terrible and I will never have a nice or consistent looking roof again unless I pay for it. I thought replacement value insurance would put us back in the same position before the damage.
They told me they don't have to match the existing roof and basically it just has to be functional. Don't trust State Farm to do the right thing and go over every detail of your policy. I thought we were covered for this type of loss. 12 years and never a claim, first time trying to get them to pay and it is a tough luck. By the way every other home that has a roof replaced in our neighborhood has had the insurance replace the roof.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- I had roof damage from a wind storm in late April. The adjuster came out the following week and lifted up the damaged shingles and then called me the next day and said that they would just replace the damaged areas. I thought then that there is no way they will ever match. The roofer that I contacted said the same thing. State Farm then said that the roofer needed to submit an estimate stating that the shingles would never match and they would re-evaluate.
Today I get a call from claims saying to have the patchwork done and if there is a gross mismatch then they would look at it again. I have been a State Farm customer for over 20 years and when I bought my house last year everyone I talked to said not to go with State Farm. I wish I had listened to them.