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Thu Aug 25, 2016, 11:53 AM

Insurance company rant

There are millions of people who have things worse than I do, who are facing real hardships in their lives, and who are trapped by the system in horrendously unfair ways.

I have no real right to complain. I've been very lucky in many ways, but if you have a minute, I just want to vent about how f*ing evil insurance companies are.

We were having some routine house work done in February of this year. The long story short of it is that the contractor we hired caught our house on fire. We were able to get the fire department there quickly, but between the chemical smoke and the water pipes bursting and flooding the place we basically lost everything inside.

We have insurance. The contractors have insurance to cover things like this happening. We got three quotes for the cost to rebuild our house all very similar, but our insurance is only giving us 60% of that. No explanation. That's what they are offering.

While we are going through hiring a lawyer to try to figure out how we get the rest of the money for that, we decided to move on to a new house. One of our children has a physical disability and the temporary living quarters we are in isn't working well for them, so we wanted to be in a better place for the start of school. We found a new place, were able to buy it, and are moving in. We got new home insurance from another company.

The new insurance company insists they have to up our rate by $500 per year because of the claim we made for the house fire. Even though they have the fire report and a letter from our first insurance company that we were not the cause of the fire, because we had a claim, they are jacking our rate way up.

What a f*ing joke. Nothing like being victimized three times by three different companies (did I mention that the first insurance company is also jacking our rates up on the first policy while they drag their feet settling the claim?)

Anyway, rant over. In the great batter of injustice in the world, I realize this is just a little raisin. But it burns my toast in any case. Thanks for listening.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Insurance company rant (Original post)
ProfessorPlum Aug 2016 OP
sharp_stick Aug 2016 #1
ProfessorPlum Aug 2016 #3
Mosby Aug 2016 #8
ProfessorPlum Aug 2016 #10
Mosby Aug 2016 #13
ProfessorPlum Aug 2016 #14
raccoon Aug 2016 #2
unblock Aug 2016 #4
ProfessorPlum Aug 2016 #5
Gormy Cuss Aug 2016 #6
ProfessorPlum Aug 2016 #9
Jim Beard Aug 2016 #7
Wellstone ruled Aug 2016 #11
ProfessorPlum Aug 2016 #12
Xolodno Aug 2016 #15
ProfessorPlum Aug 2016 #16
Xolodno Aug 2016 #17
mnhtnbb Aug 2016 #18
ProfessorPlum Aug 2016 #19
GeorgeGist Aug 2016 #20
world wide wally Aug 2016 #21

Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 11:56 AM

1. Shouldn't the contractor insurance be on the hook?

If they're lowballing you, then call your insurance and a lawyer. If the fire was caused by a contractor it's not your fault and I'd be yelling about a rate increase as well.

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:02 PM

3. thanks

already talking to my lawyer about this. Initial calls to the (first) insurance company leads them to insist that they have to treat the claim as if it is our fault until the subrogation process finishes sometime in the misty future.

Also, the rate increases from both companies are justified (by them) in just the fact that we had a claim. Our fault is not at issue, apparently. So, if a tree fell on our house, they'd raise our rates. If we have ice damage, they raise our rates. If we make a claim.

What a business to be in.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:09 PM

8. did you have to disclose the claim?

Are you eligible to join USAA? They don't play these kinds of games.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #8)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:31 PM

10. I am not - never served.

but I'm glad to know that service members are saved some of that nonsense.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:49 PM

13. i never served either

My dad was a JAG officer in the army for a few years, that's how I qualify.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:52 PM

14. My father was a specialist in the army for a short time around 1972

I wonder if that does anything for me, lol.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 11:59 AM

2. That is really disgusting. nt

The new insurance company insists they have to up our rate by $500 per year because of the claim we made for the house fire. Even though they have the fire report and a letter from our first insurance company that we were not the cause of the fire, because we had a claim, they are jacking our rate way up.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:02 PM

4. well that certainly sucks on many levels.

once there's a claim, insurance companies make money by being difficult enough to encourage you to settle for less. from their point of view, good things happen when you delay and deny.

you could get impatient and settle for less.
you could get frustrated and settle for less.
you could die and the claim could go away entirely! good times!

the absolute worst thing that could happen is that they have to pay what they owed all along, but much later. meanwhile, they earned interest on the funds.



i had a similar experience after a car accident. i was a passenger in a cab that stalled out in the middle land of a highway at night and (naturally) we were rear-ended.

needed a lawyer for both insurance companies (the cab company's and the car behind.

my medical bills were nearly the combined insurance maximum, never mind legal expenses, lost income, pain & suffering.

they knew they would have to pay in full, but they held on to my money for nearly 3 years!


the laws have to change. at a minimum, they should owe interest from the date of the claim.


best of luck pursuing. hang in there, don't settle!

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Response to unblock (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:04 PM

5. that's so horrible. I'm sorry you had to go through that

We are going to hang in there as long as we can afford to Owning two properties simultaneously is a bit of a stretch for us, but I'm very reluctant to lose a huge chunk of our investment just because the insurance company thinks it can slow-walk us.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:06 PM

6. Insurance companies are in the business of mitigating their risk. That is all.

If you sold your house the next owner's premium would also be higher because of the fire claim even though it happened before they owned it and the house was rebuilt.

Getting any payout from an insurance company comes with this risk. It's a stacked deck and they hold all of the cards - unless and until regulations make them behave differently.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:27 PM

9. tell me about it

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:06 PM

7. One company can screw you over bad

 

and try going to another one. They can black ball you bad.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:40 PM

11. Understand your grief.

Depending on whom is your Insurance Carrier and the State you live in,the claims process gets tricky. And the Red States seem to be the worst for settlements. Check to see if their is a Attorney in your area that has expertise in these types of claims. Also,check your Policy for replacement value clause. And good luck,been down that road and got lucky. When the Carrier found out we had contacted a attorney,gee whiz,out calls got returned with in minutes instead of days. Do call their Corporate office. Calls are recorded and are of record.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 12:41 PM

12. Thanks, that's good advice

and Wellstone did indeed rule.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 02:21 PM

15. Read your policy carefully.....

There are numerous factors that could come into play, Replacement Cost, Actual Cash Value, Coinsurance, etc.

If its a large carrier, Allstate, State Farm, Farmers, etc. they usually like to settle these things as fast as they can (as once you settle, you have very little recourse). Plus they do not like receiving negative press for bilking customers as they are known nationally.

If its a small carrier, then the opposite is true. They operate a few states and make their money by delaying and sitting on your claim. Until the point you just take whatever they give you. Plus they usually have fewer claims in comparison to the larger carriers, so having their staff of a couple of claim litigation lawyers actually doing something doesn't cost them much (whereas the large carriers would go bankrupt if they litigated every case that they came across).

And if the Lawyer says the insurance company is abiding by their end of the contract, he may say its time to sue the Agent for misrepresentation.

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Response to Xolodno (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 02:45 PM

16. It's a large company that is sitting on our claim

changing their tactics, maybe.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #16)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 03:01 PM

17. All the more reason to read it....

If they are dragging their feet it could mean there is an issue.

Such as...

Clause stating they will fully indemnify you once they subrogated against the contractor.

Contractor, in an effort not to get canceled by his company, is trying to put some negligence on your part.

Contractor told the insurance company he was in business A, but is actually B.

Agent "adjusted" the value of your home.

etc.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 03:13 PM

18. Been there. Sorry for your loss and all the aggravation.

We lost our house to a fire in 2007. Fought with the insurance company (big one). They didn't give us trouble on our contents claim, but tried
to buy us off for about 2/3 of the replacement cost --yes, we had replacement cost insurance--and made us fight for the rest of it. We hired
what's called a public adjuster here in NC and they managed to negotiate with the insurance company to get us the rest of what we needed to
pay off the mortgage. Fighting with the mortgage company was a whole other story and after 6 months of their refusal to reduce our
variable rate loan balance (after giving them the 2/3 check the insurance company had written) I wrote a letter to the NC Commissioner of Banks (when
we had a Democratic state administration) and whammo, I had a phone call from the mortgage company within a week exclaiming how they just couldn't figure
out what had gone wrong. The mortgage company had been ignoring me--and our attorney--for months until the NC Commissioner of Banks (which licenses banks
in the state) got involved.

I don't know if they have public adjusters in your state, but you may want to look into it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_adjuster
He charged us 15% of what they recovered, so we did end up having to pay some costs out of pocket (removal of the house remains), but at least
we didn't end up owing well over $100,000. to the mortgage company for a burned down house. And, to add insult to injury, we also had to pay the full calendar year property taxes
even though the house burned down in August.

Believe me, you're entitled to your rant. It's awful having to deal with insurance companies.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #18)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 03:40 PM

19. thanks for that information

Your story sounds remarkably similar to ours. We are actually in MA, where I would expect government to keep the insurance companies a bit more in line. Like you, the insurance co was great to us on the contents, but only coming through with 60% for the structure. We also have/had a public adjuster, but at some point he stopped fighting for us, so we have had to move on to a lawyer.

I'm sorry you had to go through all of that. I know it is really awful, and stressful, and a huge amount of work fighting to re-establish your household and recover your investment.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 03:50 PM

20. you forgot to add ...

we the people aren't being protected.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Aug 25, 2016, 07:47 PM

21. We have owned our home se for over 20 years and always had insurance

The first time our roof suffered hail damage, we were denied. The second time in me, along with 3 other houses on our street, they actually can't veered it. Then immediately dropped us.

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