Nova Casualty Insurance Complaint - Fraudulent way to boost premiums.

Review by rskorpeo on 2005-12-28
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I've been with NOVA CASUALTY for over 6 years & I've NEVER PAID LATE. A $20 late fee was imposed after hurricane Wilma even though I never got a premium due notice in the billing cycle after the storm. I paid my October premium when Nova sent a premium due notice but I got absolutely no notice for November. I normally would remember that I had not been billed. Perhaps it was the daily scramble for weeks after the storm to find electricity, gas, water, mail, food & trash pickup that made me overlook the lack of billing by Nova. I did not use the storm as an excuse to not pay & even though mortgage company & credit cards offered a month of grace I paid every bill I got. In December I got a notice from Nova with a late fee hidden in the amount due. (Nowhere did it state the amount or even if there actually was a late fee. The amount due had a tiny * which was footnoted at the bottom part of the page with even tinier print that said, "amount due may include a late fee"). The day I got the notice I called to make my payment & Gene Wahlstrom identified himself on the phone as the branch manager in the Miami office. I told him I had not gotten a bill for the month after the hurricane and he said that everyone says that. I assured him that I was not billed and that I had a 6 year record of on time payments and that this was nothing more than a fraudulent means to boost profits. He spent over a minute researching my account before he had to admit that I had never been late. When he couldn't find any history of ever missing a payment the best he could come up with to justify the fee was to say, "Well, I was going to refund the $20 but, since you said my company is fraudulent now I'm not going to." I couldn't believbe it but he repeated his justification for the $20 fee and when I asked for a supervisor he said, "I'm in charge. If you have a problem go to the insurance commissioner." I did! I have an active case file and this review is to warn others about NOVA CASUALTY which sells insurance in Florida, Utah, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvannia, Virginia, Maryland, DC, Tennessee and South Carolina and they have a home office address in New York. The state of New York levied fines which were paid by NOVA for failure to comply with IIES regulations. The supreme court in New York also ruled against NOVA in "Charles Pascal et al v. Nova Casualty Company".
Comments:2 Replies - Latest reply on 2005-12-29
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-12-28:
"Well I was going to refund the $20 but, since you said my company was fraudulent now I am not going to." Consider that $20 a life's education on how NOT to talk to people when you want something done
Posted by S. on 2005-12-29:
I know the closing date on a credit card which I pay in full each month is the 12th. Don't pay that much attention to the due date. On the 19th of Dec., I still hadn't received my statement. Called the CC company asking if they sent it. They did--on the 13th. I asked the total amount due and sent my check on the 20th. Statement was held up due to heavy holiday mail. Three days later, I received the statement they mailed on the 13th. How about taking some responsibility for yourself? You know the bill is due each month, why didn't you call the insurance company to ask whether they sent it? Suppose the next month's statement got lost also? Would you assume you just didn't have to pay your regular bills? Some people just have to be led around by the hand. I don't blame the insurance comany for giving you the answer they did. I hope you get nothing but agravation in trying to put this on them.

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