American Home Shield Complaint - Get your claim paid - File in Small Claims Court - it works!
This is my nightmare with American Home Shield
TAKE THEM TO COURT!!!!
YOU CAN DO ALL THE PAPERWORK ONLINE!!!!!
I filed a claim with AHS in Oct. 2008 for a 20 year old spa heater that was worn out and finally broke. The first person they sent out said that the spa was not to code and AHS denied the claim. I called the manufacturer, who inspected the unit and they confirmed that the spa was properly built to code. They also provided a replacement cost for the unit.
I called AHS back and requested that they send someone else out to inspect the spa heater. This person stated that the spa broke due to age and wear & tear. AHS denied the claim because they said the damage was caused by chemicals. There was no bases for this determination except that their policy does not cover damage caused by chemicals. I informed them that the spa cannot work without chemicals. How can they cover a system that requires chemicals to work properly and then deny the claim for using the chemicals? DUH!!! The heater gave out due to wear and tear (which is what they do cover). This was also the diagnosis from the manufacturer. AHS denied the claim again.
I informed them that they can only deny the claim once. They don't get multiple shots at me until they find something that suits them. If they deny it improperly on the first round, and are found to be wrong, then they must cover the claim. If they do not, just mention BAD FAITH!!
I did not contact the California Department of Insurance because they cannot make AHS pay anything, they only look for infractions in the claims handling and do not care about the consumer.
The cost to replace the system was approx. $3,000 and I sent them a demand to pay. They denied the demand. I then filed a claim in small claims court against AHS and they played the "name game". Just FYI, they are not actually "America Home Shield" each state is governed under a separate entity. I had to contact the president's office (phone # is available on Better Business Bureau website - Dave Peterson) of AHS to determine the proper entity of AHS that my contract was written under. America Home Shield of California. I had to make the necessary corrections to the small claims court because America Home Shield is not a company in California without the "California" behind it.
All of this took time, which I don't have much of, but this was an injustice. Read the NUMEROUS complaints on the interest. I refused to be jerked around and am very aware of how to read a policy. I am a Claims Adjuster! My company would never think to act so irresponsibly. We try to cover claims, not look for excuses to deny.
I filed the complaint and was looking forward to taking my turn in the court. Four days prior to the court date, AHS of California, contacted me and wanted to settle the claim with a Policyholder's Release. They asked me how much I wanted. I included the cost for each time I was charged for their service call, my postage, copying costs, court costs, and provided them with the actual cost of the spa heater and labor to install it. I signed that Release and THEY PAID EVERY PENNY.
They also sent me a letter that they refused to cover the spa until the new one was replaced. I sent them a letter and said that I no longer needed coverage on the spa now and would like a refund of my premium. They refused and said I needed to pay for the coverage until the end of the policy period. I may still pursue that portion even though it is minimal.
Then last week, I received a letter from AHS that they are going to cancel my policy at the end of the policy period. Wow, what a surprise!!
I am writing this for all those individuals who just give up. Read the AHS policy. They hire contractors who do not like dealing with them because they know what they do to their policyholders. Sometimes, it is not the contractor who is at fault. The second contractor said that he recommended that they replace the spa heater. Then the claims adjuster said that he told them it was the chemicals. I got them both on a conference call and they both hemmed and hawed. Finally, the claims adjuster said that it had to be reviewed by a higher power. I then got a letter saying that the damage was caused by chemicals. So it is not always the contractor.
BTW, I recorded every conversation and transcribed everything they told me. The recording is not admissible in court, but what they told me, is.
I no longer have AHS and am saving $50. per month I want you to know that if you want something covered by their policy, find your own contractor to assess the problem and fight them. TAKE THEM TO COURT. YOU CAN DO ALL THE PAPERWORK ONLINE!!!!! It is more cost effective for them to settle with you than to go to court and get ANOTHER judgment against them.
Don\'t just take no..........
Best of luck
PS. Just looked at the Better Business Bureau website. AHS has an A + rating!!! They must be kidding or paying them off.