Monday, May 2, 2011

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there (NOT)

Yeah, we're rethinking our business with State Farm Insurance. I've been with them for almost 10 years now, and DH has been with them even longer. We insure 2 cars, a truck, a minivan, and our house with them, to the tune of almost $3,000 a year. I had one claim with my mobile home, about 8 years ago, and one claim with one of my minivans about 7 years ago (and they fucked me over with that one). DH and I have had several auto glass claims with them (he drives to work on a state highway and in the spring/summer/fall ends up following tractors/combines that kick up mud/rocks, you get cracked windshields). We've had one claim with them on the house insurance when wind blew away one of those metal pole/tarp sheds and a power surge that same weekend took out DH's computer. No problems with those claims (other than the one with my minivan 7 years ago).
This time, DH was driving to work early in the morning on the state highway and a semi crossed the centerline. DH saw him swerve and he swerved to keep from getting hit. Well, the semi took off the driver's side mirror on the 2002 Buick LeSabre Limited we just bought (it gets better gas mileage than his truck). Luckily, that's all it did, didn't put him in the ditch, or anything else. Truckdriver probably didn't even know he hit anyone, so of course he didn't stop. It was 4:30 a.m. when this happened, so it was dark, both vehicles were doing at least 55 mph, there were 8 or 9 cars behind the semi, and another semi behind them. DH couldn't see what the trucking company was that owned the semi was because of the darkness and oncoming headlights from the cars.
When we report this to the insurance company, what's their first question? Why didn't you follow the semi so you could at least get the name of the trucking company and a license plate number? DH was supposed to turn around after being hit by a semi (that would shake me up, let me tell you), catch up to that line of traffic, pass a semi, a line of 8 or 9 cars, get a license plate number, and then pass the semi so he could see what the trucking company was that owned the semi? And how many laws would he have had to break in order to do this? Well, let's see now. He'd have had to have driven over the speed limit to catch them all, he'd have had to broken the speed limit to pass everyone so he could get up to the semi that hit him, and then he would have had to be able to write down a license plate number and trucking company name while driving, so that's distracted driving, at the least. Perfectly reasonable request on the part of the insurance company, don't you think? Yeah, right. To top it all off, if he had done all that, he'd have been late to work, which he's only been once in the 4 years he's worked there (and that was when he put the truck in the ditch when he hit a patch of ice, he was late, but still made it to work when he got pulled out of the ditch).
So we took the car in to get an estimate to have it fixed. Have to have the mirror replaced, the chrome weather strip by the window has to be replaced, and both doors on the driver's side have to be painted where the mirror bounced off them and scratched the paint. Body shop gave us an estimate of $1,686 and some odd cents. But because it was a hit and run and our insurance can't collect off the semi's insurance, they have to send an adjuster out to look at the car and give us his estimate (and now comes the part where State Farm screws over the insured customer). The mirror is adjustable from the inside (aren't they all nowadays) and it's heated. They don't make after-market mirrors for this car. So the new one costs $680. The adjuster says he found a used one for $135. So he's cut $545 off the body shop's estimate. But he added in $50 for replacing the driver's side window that's chipped (I can't see the chip, but the adjuster says it's there), replace that with a used window. I asked him if they were going to give me a guarantee on the used mirror that's as good as the guarantee I'd get on the new mirror. He said "What do you mean?" I said "A new mirror has a life-time guarantee, if anything goes wrong with it, they replace it at no cost to us. When you buy used parts, you don't know how long they're going to last. If this used mirror quits working in 6 months, are you going to replace it at no cost to us? Since you're the ones refusing to pay for a new mirror? Are you going to give us, in writing, a life-time guarantee on this used mirror?" He handed me the estimate and left without giving me an answer.
So those commercials that say "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there", I'm sorry, if I had neighbors like State Farm, I'd be moving. And when DH gets home from work and finds out what the adjuster had to say and what State Farm is willing to pay, I'm betting that I'll be online looking for another insurance company and State Farm will be losing our business. Hope they're happy that saving $545 may cost them $3,000 worth of business every year. Not to mention the bad publicity they're going to get from me blogging about their less-than-stellar attitude (chase down the semi that hit you, indeed).


  1. So so glad to hear your DH is okay. I'm sorry you're having a terrible time with the insurance company though. :(


  2. Thanks, when he called, that was the first thing I asked him "Are you okay?" When he said he was okay, just shook up a little bit, and that he was going on into work, then I knew I didn't have to worry about him too much (I still did, though, until he got home from work and I could see for myself that he was fine). His guardian angel was riding with him, that's all I can say.
    I think insurance companies exist to give us trouble when we need

  3. We recently had a very similar experience with State Farm - only it took them five and a half months to go through it with us. Both parties in the accident were State Farm and they denied BOTH claims, each telling the other that the other party was at fault. I had always been a USAA customer (before I got married) and my husband convinced me to switch to State Farm. We're back with USAA now. Sorry to hear you're having a hard time.

  4. The kicker to all of this? We've not even dealt with our agent. We've talked to the secretary in his office, and to the claims office in some other state, and the claims adjuster who came out today, but our insurance agent only called us to tell us a claim number had been assigned, but we'd have to deal with the claims adjuster when he called. So, State Farm, tell me again why I have an insurance agent?


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