A couple of years ago, my husband was dropped from State Farm (long story, but basically it came down to a typo with State Farm). When we called them to see if he could be reinstated, they told us no and we would have a hard time getting him insured anywhere (or it would cost a lot) because there was a lapse in coverage (State Farm notified us a few weeks AFTER they dropped him). Bull. I called my company, USAA, and they had no issues putting him on my policy that minute. Strike 1, State Farm.
In 2010, we filed a $23k claim. The neighborhood sewage line backed into our house leaving 4" of raw sewage. State Farm cut us a check for about $16k a few days after we called them and filed the claim. We thought that was great. However, that's where 'greatness' stopped. For the next 6-9 months, we got the run around. First we were assigned to the disaster team. We were instructed about how to file for additional money to rebuild our downstairs, which had basically been gutted. I did everything I was supposed to. I spent at least 40 hours on the phone with this team (and I work full-time).
About two months later, we were transferred to another team. They gave me contradictory instructions. So, again, I did everything I was supposed to. Eventually, towards the end of the claim (which was actually 9 months from the filing date), we were transferred to our local rep, who we never even spoke with about the claim.
We lost everything downstairs from the waist down- walls, floors, kitchen cabinets, everything in the bathroom, etc. We lived on slab for about 5 months. We lived without a kitchen for about 6 months. Why did this take so long? Because apparently no two groups- ***, no two people- are trained the same way at State Farm and real answers that get you the money you need to put your house back together are few and far between..
It's been over a year. We're almost done, just a couple things left. But we're 100% jaded.
So, here comes another claim...While I was traveling, I lost my engagement ring and wedding band. The police considered them stolen. So, I filed a report. I discussed the claim with State Farm. Again, there was misinformation and there was a lot of 'I don't know's on their part. I spoke with another agent that works for our real agent. According to her, insurance is a mystery to everyone. However, in this case, she said that the claim would be worth $2500 (about $2500 shy of what we expected based on what we were told when we got the policy). I said 'Ok, so our deductible is $1000, so that's $1500 left, right?' She asked a couple of times why I thought the deductible was $1k. I said, 'That's what it was when we filed the claim two years ago.' She agreed. As she kept talking, a few minutes later she interrupted herself and said 'Wait! Your husband's auto policy was dropped and your renewal was earlier this month. Your deductible increased to 1% of your dwelling coverage.' I wanted to ask what the auto has to do with the home owner deductible and why it increased, but she kept going on. She that since the deductible change didn't happen until Feb 25 2012 (26 days after the rings were gone), we could probably still get the $1k deductible. She had to call her 'liaison' to ask about it.
She called back and her story changed. Now the story was that the deductible changed on Feb 25 2011, not 2012. And this had nothing to do with the auto insurance being dropped. This had to do with filing a claim within the first year we had the house. She said there was a letter. We never saw it and believe me back then we looked at everything State Farm sent us (we were still in the middle of the sewage claim at that point). So, now we're looking at a deductible of $2013 and we'd get about $480 on the rings. I still wanted to pursue it because I was annoyed.
When we got the policy, we had been told that my rings would be covered under the home owner's, but only up to $5k with a deductible ($1k at the time). The rings are worth $5k. It didn't seem worth it to us at the time to get extra insurance. She denied this. She was the one who wrote our policy (that's news to me since I'd never heard of her before a few weeks ago), and she said she knew what she was talking about (though she certainly said 'I don't know' a lot).
She was suprised I wanted to continue with the claim. To me, any help recovering the value of these rings is better than nothing. I asked her what would be a reason not to file and she said it was a lot of effort for so little payout. Honestly, she's right, but why would I let State Farm get away with not paying, even if it is small? After all the *** I've been through with them? I did tell her I was frustrated and she asked 'with what?' and I said we really haven't had a good experience with State Farm so far. I told her how long the last claim took and the run around I got. She was surprised and said 'I've never heard of that! Usually they're processed quickly!' Bull. Our claim was transferred to their office. Of course, they know how long it's been since we first filed.
When I complained about the deductible change, she should told me that we were lucky that State Farm didn't revoke our coverage because the first claim was on a house we'd had for 6 months. She said most insurance carriers wouldn't have kept the coverage. Does that sound like a threat? Or am I supposed to be grateful that they didn't drop us, but continue to take our money? As I had her write the new claim, something dawned on me. I asked her what were the chances that we'd be dropped if we filed this new claim. She had no idea. I asked if there was anyone that might give us odds. She said no one knows. As I mentioned, insurance is a big mystery. Finally, the main agent came on the phone. He said that between us, he thinks they'd drop the coverage next February (one year). I couldn't believe this. I said that I'd had USAA in my last house, filed claims, and they never threatened to drop me, and they never raised my deductible. He said he knows USAA well because- get this- he uses USAA for his car. He even said he would have used them for his house except his house is too close to water. Wait- this man owns the State Farm office and he doesn't use his own insurance??? Then he said USAA cost twice as much as State Farm. First, this was his only response to my concern that we'd be dropped after a single claim? Second, um, not they don't. We got a quote from them shortly after the problems started on the first claim and they were about $20 cheaper/month. And his car insurance is cheaper with USAA. Anyway, I'd had enough and I asked that he tell the girl to hold off on the claim until I made a few calls.
We're going to call USAA again. We would have switched to them last year, but they suggested waiting until our claim was finished with State Farm to avoid making things more complicated with the claim. We just didn't know how long it would take (we still haven't closed the claim- it was a year ago in September). So far, they seem completely disorganized, slow to respond, don't notify you of changes, threaten when you get frustrated, and don't seem to have a handle on what's covered and what isn't. No, I understand they have underwriters that determine a lot of these things, but what exactly do the agents do if they can't answer your questions and don't like to help you? Oh, I guess they take the money?