About a year ago I was looking for an insurance quote. I thought myself internet-savvy for shopping so I got a couple of quotes online. Unitrin Direct (UD) quoted a great price for the same coverage as the others listed, so I went with them. The company offered a discount for instant payment for a full year so I went with that option.
About a month later, I got a notice from the company stating that they were increasing my bill. Increasing my bill? How can they do that? I had already paid them the full amount, I thought. Little did I know, auto insurance companies have what is called a "binding period" on all policies. In effect, the binding policy means that the contract between you and the company is not effective (binding) until 60 days have passed since the beginning of the policy. The company stated as a reason that they were increasing my bill that my previous insurance coverage was a "no fault" insurance. But didn't they know what coverage I previously had when I initiated the contract with them? Of course they did! So, I was stuck with paying the company another more money that I never agreed to originally, because it had been less than sixty days since I established coverage.
That is not the end of my story. Naturally, I had chosen to use a different insurance company the following year. The new policy rate was cheaper and with a more established company. When the new policy went into effect, however, Unitrin decided it was going to withdraw money from my bank account, even though I had told them previously that I was not continuing coverage. They said they had no choice, because the payment had already been posted. When I checked with my bank, however, they said no such post was made, and that the funds were instantly debited. Unitrin then stated that they would issue me a full refund within 10 days by mailing me a check. Why they couldn't simply credit my account I have no idea, but after three weeks of waiting for a check, they still had not sent one. I contacted Unitirin again, and they stated they had not sent the check to make sure the last payment cleared. But no check in three weeks after they told me 10 days?
My advice to you--do not get car insurance with this company.
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New Malicious Billing Practices...
Posted by Madbob on 03/19/2008
My wife and I have used Unitrin for our automobile insurance for several years with no issues. Within the last 6 months however it seems that the billing practices have changed.
We have always mailed our bill at the same time, over a week before it is due and again, for the last several years we have had no problems. But recently we have been receiving late notices in the form of a "notice of cancellation."
Upon calling customer service I am told that the check posted and that the cancellation of our policy has been suspended but the company is tacking on a $10 late fee.
When I explained to the customer service rep that we mailed the bill over a week before it was due the rep informed me that "we don't go by the post-mark on the bill."
I scratched my head wondering what they do go by but I cannot help but feel that the company seems to have adopted a policy of sitting on incoming bills, taking their time processing them, and then tacking on late fees.
In addition when I told the customer service rep that the bill had been mailed on time and that I would like the $10 late fee refunded to my account he basically told me there was nothing he could do but that he would forward the request to accounting. He seemed also to be very puzzled by my frustration at being charged an extra $10 for nothing. Very un-empathetic response for someone working in customer service - but maybe they're used to taking this kind of phone call. Needless to say I have seen no $10 credit to my account and I can't see spending the time navigating the customer service system to get it - which I am sure they are counting on.
I can't help feeling that we are being nickel and dimed. If you have had similar experiences with Unitrin recently I would like to hear about it. Maybe its just bad luck but it seems to have changed within the last several months.
In addition the company is now sending e-mails to us whenever our bill is close to being due again threatening cancellation of the policy if the bill is not paid on time. Then we receive follow-ups saying essentially "never mind, we got your money." It makes me wonder how far in advance I will have to mail my bill in order for Unitrin to get off my back - a month in advance?
All in all this makes for an unpleasant experience and we are going to switch to another company as soon as this insurance term is up.
Just FYI we are about the best customer an auto insurance carrier can have. We have no accidents or traffic offenses (knock on wood) and we only drive a few thousand miles annually. Money for nothing - yet Unitrin still seems ungrateful for our business.
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Posted by Birdiesstory on 10/11/2009
Unitrim's client hit me while I was at a stop, hitting me at an estimated 45 -50 mph. I was hurt, (neck, and back sprang). Within three days they had return their clients call and arranged to see their client’s car within four business days. Client gave me the information, and I had a claim number within the third day of the accident. The nightmare begins. I left more than 12 messages to the claims adjustor. She never called me back. I finally called a supervisor on the fifth day. His lack of professionalism quickly made me think that he was probably the janitor, playing supervisor. This person named Neil, made up every excused for why the adjustor hadn't called me. One of the many excuses was that she had not been able to contact her client yet. I then called the client (girl that hit me), oh did I mention she hit me because, as she said, "Sorry, I was fixing my contacts." I think she was texting and is so stupid and scare that she thought she had to make up an excuse / reason to why she rear ended me, and that's why she said she was fixing her contacts. lol.
Anyways, I called this girl to ask her if she had spoke to her claims adjustor and she said yes, in fact two days after the accident. I called back this jerk Neil and told him that he was a liar. I aslo told him that because I have left more than a dozen voice messages to the claims adjustor and that it was now going fourteenth day since the accident, and I have still not receive one call from their office. I told him that they didn't need to contact me after all and that they would be contacted my attorney. I then hired an attorney to handle this company. Bottom line, ok they took care of their client, other clients I have spoke to have the opposite treatment and canceled them as soon as they could. However by not respecting the reason you have insurance with them, which in case you have or cause an accident, that they will take care of the expenses so that you will not end up being sued, made to loose your home, or cause to go to jail. People like me who only wanted their new car repaired, and doctor bills paid, was force to hire an attorney to help. At the end and due to their lack of responsibility, not returning calls, or because they didn't even call to see if my injuries were serious or life threatening, they added to the injuries, by causing more stress and suffering. I really want to go to trial now. I will make sure that I tell everyone I know to never use this company. All what I have said can be proved. This company won't last long and will end up costing any of their clients a lot more money that if they were to pay well known companies like farmers or state farm, $50 - $ 100 more for insurance would be my guess and well worth it. Unlike Unitrin, those companies are very professional and probably don’t double as the janitor.