AAA Auto Insurance Complaint - AAA Failure to Houston Flash Flood Claims from January 10, 2012
KATY, TEXAS -- AAA has been my insurance provider for two vehicles and our primary residence going on three years. Prior to switching to AAA, I was insured by Nationwide and had claims settled satisfactorily through real catastrophes including northeast ice storms, and hurricanes Rita and Ike over the years.
Last week in Houston we experienced heavy flash flooding which caused some minor water damage to one of our AAA insured vehicles. We took the vehicle into our dealership last Wednesday for what was to be a two hour service to the engine but was put on hold pending AAA inspection. What we experienced with the auto claim with AAA since that day has been nothing short of unbelievable.
AAA deemed the flash flooding a catastrophe and assigned all claims to a catastrophe team. From that moment on, I could no longer call the AAA main number I had on record because all claims were being handled by that team. The catastrophe team was either a third party or actual AAA staff, but that varied on who at AAA we talked to. Regardless of their affiliation, no matter when we called that "new" number, we either received a voice recording or was put on hold until we ended up hanging up. When we did finally get connected to someone later in the week, they had no idea what the status of our claim and had no system availability to tell us anything.
By close of business Friday, January 13th, the dealership reported to me that the AAA inspector had indeed come to look at our vehicle but had left without authorizing the repair. So I called the catastrophe number once again at 5:15pm Friday and received a recording stating they were closed outside of "normal" operating hours!
Then we waited, WAITED, AND WAITED without a work truck I desperately rely on. It turns out that the "catastrophe" team decided to take off not only the weekend but also Monday to observe the holiday. WOW!!! In the core turnaround time for all your customers impacted in the greater Houston area, you conveniently decided that the "catastrophe" didn't warrant staffing or response through a three day period? God forbid the next "catastrophe" doesn't strike right before a long holiday weekend or your customers will just have to wait even longer.
So I waited until Tuesday of this week (today) to go ahead and authorize the two hour repair and subsequently pay for it out of my pocket. Never did hear from AAA.
Our relationship is 99% me paying you on time every month for both auto and home insurance. The 1% time I need my insurance to come through for is during times of need. You miserably failed as an insurance company to act even remotely prepared or responsive in the time of need. I have already lined up alternative quotes and will never pay AAA another dime for auto insurance. By mid-year I plan to find an alternative for my home insurance as well. Of course at that point your bread-and-butter membership and roadside assistance will no longer be needed.
Maybe you have strayed too far from your core business of Auto Clubs when venturing into the insurance business? Not sure but to be so complacent and non-responsive to claims seems to indicate so.
I sent this note to the CEO in hopes he has some insight when he's reviewing quarterly insurance income results later this year and asks his executive team why AAA is losing customers in Texas. I'm sure I'm one of MANY customers that had the same experience with AAA during this event.
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