Edmunds Answers

Voted Best Answer

  • avatar ewilfong 01/22/08 3:28 pm PST

    I'm sure there are plenty of shoddy insurance companies around. You'll even got poor treatment from bigger names sometimes, so there's no guarantee. I've had very good experiences with State Farm and Geico, but they're not immune from complaints.

    I don't know California law, but you might look in to their Deceptive Trade Practices Act (or equivalent), as well as the California Insurance Code. Specifically, look up unfair insurance practices (or something similar) and see if any of your experiences, especially the denial, fit the code language at all. If so, consider calling an attorney specializing in insurance law. Or, if you don't feel comfortable reading statutes, just call an attorney anyway. Many will consult for free. I'm not a big fan of litigation, but really despicable business practices should be addressed.

    Source: I'm an attorney (not, of course, in CA).

Answers

  • ewilfong 01/22/08 3:28 pm PST

    I'm sure there are plenty of shoddy insurance companies around. You'll even got poor treatment from bigger names sometimes, so there's no guarantee. I've had very good experiences with State Farm and Geico, but they're not immune from complaints.

    I don't know California law, but you might look in to their Deceptive Trade Practices Act (or equivalent), as well as the California Insurance Code. Specifically, look up unfair insurance practices (or something similar) and see if any of your experiences, especially the denial, fit the code language at all. If so, consider calling an attorney specializing in insurance law. Or, if you don't feel comfortable reading statutes, just call an attorney anyway. Many will consult for free. I'm not a big fan of litigation, but really despicable business practices should be addressed.

    Source: I'm an attorney (not, of course, in CA).

  • MrShift@Edmunds 01/23/08 5:40 pm PST

    The automobile insurance industry is in a disgraceful state, for the most part. You can file a claim with the State Insurance Board, but don't hold your breath. I'd get an attorney and sue them for bad faith. The only way to hurt them is in the pocketbook. Appealing to fairness or justice is not going to work. Don't take it personally. Insurance companies don't cheer if they stiff you and they don't hang their heads if you win. It's all about the bottom line at the end of the year.

  • claims 06/28/08 2:31 pm PST

    Dear Andres3, Your experience is not unique at all. Infact I believe it is the norm with insurance companies. I personally was in a bad auto accident in 1998. I was not at fault. Not only was our vehicle totaled, my left arm was so mangled they nearly amputated it. The EMT's said it was the worst arm they had ever seen on "an alive person". The boy that caused the accident had State Farm Insurance. When State Farm adjusted the claim they were willing to pay us 80% of the wholesale price of our vehicle. The amount of money they offered would have bought us a vehicle that was 5 years older than the one we had. We got many vehicle estimates for State Farm to review but they did not care. We had to spend countless hours fighting this claim amount. Finally after 13 months they paid us. During the 13 months we experienced total indifference and the run around from all the employees we contacted at State Farm. Another experience we had was in relation to our own insurance company that insured our vehicle-Travelers Insurance. Since the boy that hit me only was insurred for $25,000 property damage and $25,000 bodily injury coverage we had to file a "under insured" claim for my medical bills with Travelers Insurance. Our auto policy with Travelers had $100,000 under insured coverage. My medical bills on my arm were in excess of $200,000.Travelers Insurance paid us the $100,000 and then promptly canceled us. I guess the fact that we had purchased insurance from them for many years with no claims did not matter to them. Insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums and paying out on claims as little as possible. There is a new term I heard which describes their tactics. It is called "slow walking". They delay and deny claims long enough knowing that some claimants will not purse their claims and others will get tired and accept what the insurance company is offering them even though the amount is not enough. The real joke is their advertising which tells all of us that they will treat us fairly and promptly pay us the amount it will take to make us "whole" again.

  • rearwheeldrive 06/28/08 3:40 pm PST

    Id turn them into the insurance commissioner of the state.

  • 00000 12/26/11 3:16 am PST

    I got really bad treatment from The Nationwide Insurance company when I got hit by an uninsured driver. I was in no way at fault. The claims adjuster for my own company talked down to me because I asked about depreciation on my car. These people are blood sucking leeches. They don't have any feelings for you as people. They don't care if you lose money on your car and certainly they don't care if you suffer physically when injured. It does not matter whether yu were at fault or not. They can even charge you more now for a less than perfect credit rating. I do agree that their advertising is misleading and should be declared unethical. I was injured and after I sought medical help, their treatment of me got even worse. The only way I can describe insurance company people is that they are professional liars. They operate more like organized crime units that insurance companies. As long as you don't file a claim, things are fine but if you have to file a claim, the circumstances dont matter. They will get out of paying if possible and they will treat you like dirt even if you were not at fault. The fact that state DMVs cooperate with insurance companies to me should be considered unconstitutional. I agree everyone should have insurance but since insurance companies aren't going to be fair and about claims, the government should not be involved with them. Their is a state insurance commisioner for each state that is supposed to over see the insurance industry. They don't seem to operate for the people's best interest so they are useless as government institutions all together. It appears they protect the insurance companies not the customers. Insurance is basically a crock of crap but it is forced on us by the government as far as cars are concerned and by the banks if you have a home mortgage. There's nothing fair about it and customers are at ther mercy. I believe policies are written deliberately in as complicated a manner as possible so that the average customer has no idea what their rights are. It makes it easier for the insurance company to get a way with short changing you when you file a claim. You won't break even on a claim and if it is a large claim, they will probably drop you as a customer too. All the options are in their favor including their unchecked right to false advertising.

ADVERTISEMENT

Top Buying Insurance Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. MrShift@Edmunds 285
2. morin2 275
3. Stever@Edmunds 240
4. la4mead 130
5. zaken1 125
6. karjunkie 115
7. ewilfong 75
ADVERTISEMENT