State Farm insures my mother’s home. First, she suffered a heart attack. Upon returning home from the hospital, she discovered mold growth under her kitchen sink. She got down on her hands and knees, and cleaned up the mold. It came right back, and we called a plumber to come inspect. He did, and found a busted hot water line that was spraying a constant stream of HOT WATER directly to the underside of the main wall of her pier and beam home. This happened and was located on the 16th of March, when she contacted State Farm and filed a claim. Two days later, they had still not contacted her back, so I got involved. I am a licensed Public Adjuster in many states. Texas is my home, and where I prefer to spend the majority of my time. I perform claims adjustments on the behalf of insureds, just like my mother. In her case, I am handling as her son, not a Public Adjuster. I mentioned the date above, because today’s date is almost an entire month since the claim was filed. My mother, after having a major heart attack, suffering a huge water loss, which destroyed the home she has lived in for 40+ years, having to pack all of her belongings, 40 years’ worth, into boxes and every available storage place, then having to be readmitted to the hospital, in order to install two additional stints, then, being forced to recuperate in a travel trailer. This has all transpired in the last month. In that month, State farm has been made well aware of the claim, the extent of damages, and the amount necessary to return her to pre-loss condition. State Farm even came out, a week after the loss, and agreed they owed at minimum, 27k. She has still not received a single dime, even though we have spent in excess of $10,000.00 in getting to a point where the full damages could be verified, contents could be removed and stored, and temporary living accommodations. I helped file a complaint last Monday, April 6th, 2015 with the Texas Department of Insurance. State Farm, like all carriers licensed in Texas, is under the insurance codes rule book. There are very specific timelines governing how and when a claim must be paid. State Farm violated these rules when dealing with my mother’s claim. Since that time, a week has passed. Friday, I was contacted by their adjuster, who claimed that it was the claims handlers fault, and that the actual supervisor was out of the office all weekend…oh yeah, and Monday too… When State Farm received this complaint, which was Monday, because we sent a copy to them as well, they could never again possibly claim that they did not know….we sent them the actual statute. They still, even knowing full well they were breaking the law, did not contact us until Friday, only to blame another, who has refused to return calls for over three weeks, and was conveniently nowhere around. I sent their adjuster a text this morning, asking for an update. He figured out already that is was not a good idea to send me anything in writing, because that can get him in trouble, and asked me to contact him to discuss the details of her claim. I called…he gave me the exact same story from Friday, with one exception. He asked me, point-blank, after being full aware that over $10,000.00 has already been spent, and that they have not sent the first dime, HOW FAR ALONG IN THE REBUILD PROCESS SHE WAS? Understand, they have paid nothing, and are trying to get her in the middle of the process, only to withhold funds. Putting her and me in a bind, as they do all insureds…. As you can see from the photos, this is not a minor thing, nor is it a pick on State Farm thing. Quite the opposite… I believe they are picking on my mother because, well, she is the mother of the owner of InsuranceBusters.net… need I say more?
Anyway… How does this affect you? Good question, and easily answered. Senate Bill 1628, pushed by Larry Taylor, one of our elected Senators, seeks to remove penalties when State Farm and other insurers in Texas do not honor the simple contract they signed with the insured. My mother is one of those insureds, as am I. My mother’s claim is a text-book example of exactly what insurer’s do, even with the current laws, that prohibit them from doing so, they do it anyway. Without me, how in the world is my mom ever going to fight these monsters, which flip their nose and their wallets while directly, with full knowledge, break the law?
If they are successful in changing these laws…what is she, or you, or I going to do in the event we are put in her position?
Be helpless, just like they want us. That way they can offer substantially less than what they owe, while not having a single thing to stop them. Even David had a small weapon against Goliath. I am posting this for many reasons…the main one… I am furious. They have put my mother in the worse position known…that of the unknown. A very scary place when your home, your largest investment, is tore apart from floor to ceiling, and your insurer is playing games.
Share this article if you agree. Insurers do not follow the current rules to help consumers/insureds out. Removing the laws preventing insurance companies from doing that very thing, will never, ever make them pays claims fairly, nor on time. This is no way to #ProtectTheInsured…