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-   -   screwed by your insurance? Give us names! (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/hurricane-sandy/790335-screwed-your-insurance-give-us-names.html)

KRStudio 3rd December 2012 11:45 PM

screwed by your insurance? Give us names!
 
Who is getting screwed/shorted by their insurance company. Give us the names of those companies. Insurance companies have a long history of highway robbery. Whenever a large group of homes (or studios) gets devastated it seems like the rules change. If some group of muther ****urs took your money for years as insurance coverage, but now do not want to pay up---we need to know.
I want to know my money is going to a company who will do the right thing in the event I need it. I also urge everyone here to cancel with any company NOT PAYING out on legitimate claims. If you do cancel your current insurance to get a more honest company, tell them so.

Who do we need to stay away from!

Ernest Buckley 17th December 2012 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KRStudio (Post 8504860)
Who is getting screwed/shorted by their insurance company. Give us the names of those companies. Insurance companies have a long history of highway robbery. Whenever a large group of homes (or studios) gets devastated it seems like the rules change. If some group of muther ****urs took your money for years as insurance coverage, but now do not want to pay up---we need to know.
I want to know my money is going to a company who will do the right thing in the event I need it. I also urge everyone here to cancel with any company NOT PAYING out on legitimate claims. If you do cancel your current insurance to get a more honest company, tell them so.

Who do we need to stay away from!

Listen, I understand your intentions but even if you have flood insurance, there are so many loopholes in these 20 page policies, they will get out of paying you. I put home insurers in the same lot with car dealers and bankers, they`re all crooks.

IHateMyUsername 17th December 2012 07:19 PM

It's maybe a naive suggestion, but this forum could make a perfect database over which insurance companies work for people like us, and which don't. Poll, maybe?

ddageek 17th December 2012 08:24 PM

Here's the thing first of all it could be a Agent, claims person or the company.

Most of the time people who think they were screwed never read their policy or asked any questions about said policy. The fact is you want your company to not be paying out that much, so they have cash to pay you!
Yes I have delt with insurance companies I have had multi- million dollar claims including my home in Galveston after Ike (you guys think its rough out east We Had a flood, Claim, Texas Windstorm Claim and a Home owners claim plus close to $100k in uninsured losses)

kakumei47 17th December 2012 10:22 PM

I am currently in the final stages of negotiation with my company (with close to a $100k claim). I will post some thoughts once that is "resolved."

My neighbor studio and I are going to post a "tips" thread on valuing gear and dealing with this at least with our company. There are a handful of things I really wish I knew before....

kakumei47 17th December 2012 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ddageek (Post 8549486)
Here's the thing first of all it could be a Agent, claims person or the company.

This is also very true.
My neighbors have the same insurance. Different adjuster. Very different reading of the policy, and very different valuation for the same items (re201 for $530 for me, $960 for my neighbors, etc). A lot of possible variables.

Jules 18th December 2012 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kakumei47 (Post 8549830)
I am currently in the final stages of negotiation with my company (with close to a $100k claim). I will post some thoughts once that is "resolved."

My neighbor studio and I are going to post a "tips" thread on valuing gear and dealing with this at least with our company. There are a handful of things I really wish I knew before....


kfhkh

And sincere good luck with it all!

Sqye 18th December 2012 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jules (Post 8551893)
kfhkh

And sincere good luck with it all!

.

Indeed!

.

KRStudio 18th December 2012 05:36 PM

The way I look at it, a list of "stay away from" names is helpful. If you get a call from an insurance group and you tell them they are on the "stay away" list seen on all the large forums that we all read, they might change their practices. Public knowledge helps us all!

ddageek 18th December 2012 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KRStudio (Post 8552575)
The way I look at it, a list of "stay away from" names is helpful. If you get a call from an insurance group and you tell them they are on the "stay away" list seen on all the large forums that we all read, they might change their practices. Public knowledge helps us all!

Your conceptis good the problem is

1 to many companies involved Agent, underwriter, Claim prossesor

2 way to many people are under insured, lack proper riders and documentation

3 The insurance underwriters are so big and we are such a tiny dot it wont do anything! Remember AIG? The company thats failure pretty much started the finacial colapse!

I will say this Loyds as an underwriter and Assurant as a claims Ajuster were excellent. Im betting people find their banks and The Lawyers who promise a better payout to be the bigger pain!

JSt0rm 19th December 2012 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kakumei47 (Post 8549830)
I am currently in the final stages of negotiation with my company (with close to a $100k claim). I will post some thoughts once that is "resolved."

My neighbor studio and I are going to post a "tips" thread on valuing gear and dealing with this at least with our company. There are a handful of things I really wish I knew before....

That's great man. Really looking forward to learning from this.

dxavier 19th December 2012 06:35 PM

I really hate insurance companies. The loopholes are ridiculous. Still, I really hope your situation turns out well.

WKG 20th December 2012 01:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ddageek (Post 8553280)
Your conceptis good the problem is

2 way to many people are under insured, lack proper riders and documentation

This is the real issue. Virtually nobody actually reads their policy and they want to spend the least amount they can. The old adage you get what you pay for most certainly applies in regards to insurance. I have been in the insurance field for 20 years and an adjuster for 14, the last 9 years with an independent adjusting firm handling losses for about 250 different carriers. Out of thousands of losses handled I can count on one hand the times carriers purposefully avoided paying a legitimate claim.

I spent some time out on Long Island handling Sandy claims. It is amazing how many people did not have any sort of flood coverage despite living right on the coast. Very sad but there is nothing you can do as an adjuster, the coverage rules were all set prior to the storm and insurance fraud is a felony.

Best thing to do is be aware of what you have coverage for and don't leave anything exposed that you are not willing to pay for yourself in the event something happens to you. The great majority of insurance companies are not inherently evil, they want to pay for legitimate damages but it is has to be according to the policy coverage parameters.

ddageek 20th December 2012 01:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WKG (Post 8557197)
This is the real issue. Virtually nobody actually reads their policy and they want to spend the least amount they can. The old adage you get what you pay for most certainly applies in regards to insurance. I have been in the insurance field for 20 years and an adjuster for 14, the last 9 years with an independent adjusting firm handling losses for about 250 different carriers. Out of thousands of losses handled I can count on one hand the times carriers purposefully avoided paying a legitimate claim.

I spent some time out on Long Island handling Sandy claims. It is amazing how many people did not have any sort of flood coverage despite living right on the coast. Very sad but there is nothing you can do as an adjuster, the coverage rules were all set prior to the storm and insurance fraud is a felony.

Best thing to do is be aware of what you have coverage for and don't leave anything exposed that you are not willing to pay for yourself in the event something happens to you. The great majority of insurance companies are not inherently evil, they want to pay for legitimate damages but it is has to be according to the policy coverage parameters.

Yup, My current renters policy has flood water damage even though I'm on the 7th floor! (had a pie burst no damage that time) I Have a Jewelry rider, Musical instrument rider, Entertainment equipment rider, tool rider and a recording gear rider.
Inventories with pics, price docs ect.

One big problem is the guy who has found that $200 u87, and has nothing that shows it is a U87 and what its worth thinks his insurance co. owes him 2k!

LoFi_By_Choice 20th December 2012 03:34 AM

At risk of being banned, I have to chime in on this:

This is intended to be basic info, not a bash against anyone, especially disaster victims. This is all just from my personal experience:

I used to sell insurance. Mostly auto, but some homeowners and renters also. No life or health.

The number one mistake that most people make when buying insurance is going for the lowest possible premium. Some people seem to think that "It will never happen to me" so why pay a higher premium than absolutely necessary? A few people seem to think that insurance is like the lottery ($1 in for a $1Mil payout).

I cannot stress enough that when your agent/underwriter tries to explain the benefits of NOT going with the bottom tier plan, you as a paying customer should listen and request ALL information in writing.

Most policies cover items on a "replacement cost" basis. Depreciation is in the formula. It is generally irrelevant how much you paid for an item. This is why two items that are identical can be valued differently with two different policies. If the company can find records of being able to replace a Massive Passive for $1000, that is what they will pay you. If your gear is 6 months older than the neighbor's gear, it will be valued accordingly.

Always over-shoot your coverage when it comes to gear. If you think it will cost $30K to replace your stuff, insure it for $50k. The difference in premium will usually surprise you with how little it really is.

Most importantly, express your concerns when getting the policy issued. Think of all of the worst case scenarios. Ask direct questions. Get it in writing.

Good luck to everyone.

alexvdbroek 20th December 2012 06:30 AM

I sympathize with you all. I live in a city which had an earthquake 2 years ago. There are so many absolute horror stories with insurance you wouldn't believe. There are tonnes of variations on what happened to each persons homes and belongings but only one outcome for insurance............ they don't pay! INSURANCE IS A SCAM. My thoughts are with you all.


Alex

Spiritworks 20th December 2012 12:36 PM

It would be good if Mr Lofi & Mr WKG could get together and write up some sort of Gearslutz Insurance Informational sticky thread.
I've seen some companies which advertise insurance specifically for music industry related situations. Are these companies more amenable to paying out when the time comes?
I wish all those affected by Sandy the best outcome possible.

Ernest Buckley 20th December 2012 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoFi_By_Choice (Post 8557499)
At risk of being banned, I have to chime in on this:

This is intended to be basic info, not a bash against anyone, especially disaster victims. This is all just from my personal experience:

I used to sell insurance. Mostly auto, but some homeowners and renters also. No life or health.

The number one mistake that most people make when buying insurance is going for the lowest possible premium. Some people seem to think that "It will never happen to me" so why pay a higher premium than absolutely necessary? A few people seem to think that insurance is like the lottery ($1 in for a $1Mil payout).

I cannot stress enough that when your agent/underwriter tries to explain the benefits of NOT going with the bottom tier plan, you as a paying customer should listen and request ALL information in writing.

Most policies cover items on a "replacement cost" basis. Depreciation is in the formula. It is generally irrelevant how much you paid for an item. This is why two items that are identical can be valued differently with two different policies. If the company can find records of being able to replace a Massive Passive for $1000, that is what they will pay you. If your gear is 6 months older than the neighbor's gear, it will be valued accordingly.

Always over-shoot your coverage when it comes to gear. If you think it will cost $30K to replace your stuff, insure it for $50k. The difference in premium will usually surprise you with how little it really is.

Most importantly, express your concerns when getting the policy issued. Think of all of the worst case scenarios. Ask direct questions. Get it in writing.

Good luck to everyone.


So this is what I got from your post...

1) go with premium coverage
2) double the coverage of what you think your gear is worth
3) then you`ll get treated better?

I don`t know, I think you`ll still find numerous loopholes in the premium coverage. You know better than all of us, insurance companies stay in business and thrive by not dishing out the $$$.

They are crooks and I`m not apologizing for calling it like I see it.

mlange 20th December 2012 03:17 PM

Perhaps some of the Nashville folks would chime in - the 2010 flood took-out a *ton* of gear, and with 2.5 years having passed, there'd be some perspective....

LoFi_By_Choice 20th December 2012 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ernest Buckley (Post 8558557)
So this is what I got from your post...

1) go with premium coverage
2) double the coverage of what you think your gear is worth
3) then you`ll get treated better?

I don`t know, I think you`ll still find numerous loopholes in the premium coverage. You know better than all of us, insurance companies stay in business and thrive by not dishing out the $$$.

They are crooks and I`m not apologizing for calling it like I see it.

Mr Buckley, I get where you are coming from. It is really stressful for everybody when it comes time for a claim. I am not suggesting that "you will get treated better", merely stating that if your belongings will cost $50K to replace, it makes no sense to insure it for $20K.

You don't necessarily need premium coverage. The reality is that it may cost you $250 a year for $20k in coverage, and you could double that for maybe another $50 a year ($300 a year). Why not take the better coverage, with less "loopholes" as you call them, more riders, etc, so that if the worst happens you will have no problem getting your settlement.

Insurance companies are not in it to screw you. Sure, lots of people feel slighted by their companies, but I would be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 of them went to an agent/underwriter and said, "I need insurance to cover my stuff, I only can afford $200 a year, what can you sell me?"

Flood insurance is never covered in a renters/homeowners policy! It is separate. YES, renters and homeowners cover "water damage", but that is for busted pipes, hot water tank, etc. Floods are strictly covered by their own policy. DO NOT assume that "water damage" includes floods! Again, ask your agent all of these things. If you are buying coverage to protect your gear, or any personal belongings, always have time to talk and go in with a list of questions. The agent is bound by law to answer your questions truthfully and wholly. If you never asked, and the agent didn't know it was a concern, the only one to point the finger at in the end is yourself.

Good luck.

BTW, how many members knew that if you are carrying a bunch of gear in your car, have an accident, gear is destroyed, that you can claim this on your homeowners (not renters) insurance? Theft also applies.

LoFi_By_Choice 20th December 2012 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spiritworks (Post 8558465)
It would be good if Mr Lofi & Mr WKG could get together and write up some sort of Gearslutz Insurance Informational sticky thread.
I've seen some companies which advertise insurance specifically for music industry related situations. Are these companies more amenable to paying out when the time comes?
I wish all those affected by Sandy the best outcome possible.

I wish I could, but the fact is that each state has unique laws which don't necessarily apply to all states.

If you see a company that is advertising music industry coverage, I would encourage anyone to talk with those companies. It isn't that they would be "more amenable to paying out", but their agents/underwriters would have a good understanding of coverage that is useful, and may even bring up concerns that the customer hadn't thought of.

When I sold auto insurance, I saw coverage inadequacy all the time. People wanted the cheapest coverage allowed by law (here it is called 20/40/10). What this means is that the customer will have a low annual premium, but it will only cover $20K per person bodily injury to the other party, $40K total bodily injury per accident to other parties, and $10K in physical damage to the other party's vehicle. This does not cover your own vehicle, nor does it cover your own injury related bills.

Now, what happens if you are in an accident where you are at fault, and the other party is driving an Escalade and the other party goes comatose on the scene? You are screwed. This is an extreme example, but how many new cars on the road are only worth $10k? How far will $20k go to pay hospital/ambulance bills? Not many, and not far at all. This is specifically why I suggested overshooting your estimated costs, it is never a bad idea to be over-insured (within reason).

No one wants a disaster to hit. Of course companies want to make a profit. Does this make the insurance industry any more evil than any other for-profit company?

Good luck.

LoFi_By_Choice 20th December 2012 07:25 PM

Also, word to the wise: never wait until danger is seemingly imminent. Most insurance companies place a moratorium on new policies if they believe a disaster is likely to happen.

Also, remember that if your governor declares state of emergency, with roads closed and allow emergency vehicles only, insurance companies "can" deny claims due to traveling on said roads. If the state closes the roads, stay home!

greggybud 20th December 2012 09:13 PM

As a former property and auto claims adjuster for Farmers Insurance and then later fraud claims many years ago here are my thoughts.

First of all, a "list" in a forum like this is laughable.

Secondly, saying one insurance company is better than another is meaningless. 2 insureds could easily have the exact same loss, same coverage, and same insurance company, and even same state laws but a very different claims pay-out. Coverage could even be denied with one but accepted by the other.

All major insurance company policies are structured the same way. For example on a Home Owners policy the building and structures is covered, except for the named exclusions. In other words to deny coverage the adjuster has to find the exclusion. For personal property, on all HO policies it works the very opposite. For there to be coverage, it has to be a named peril or coverage does not exist. Have you read those named perils?

What sets the differences between insurance companies is the dollar amounts listed in their particular HO policy, specific limits, company procedure/policy, state laws, and even the actual town/area you live.

My best advice is to find a good agent you can trust. Find an experienced agent. Ask lots of questions, ask about the horror stories you have heard. Specifically ask about replacement cost. Often when payment is made the insurance company will only pay actual cash value until you show proof of replacement. Know your policy limits. Do you have annual reviews with your agent? There can be specific limits on items used in a business, jewelry, guns, tools, cash etc. If an adjuster can prove just one occurrence where you received money from your bedroom studio, coverage could be denied.

You will find a world of difference between agents. Most agents are high volume and after an initial meeting you might only spend time with the agents secretary. I would avoid those because they rarely give the best personal service. Insist on a yearly face-to-face meeting and if the agent refuses, find one who will do that. Theagents errors and omission insurance might not even extend to his assistant/secretary.

Some agents will write a policy to anyone who walks through their doors including known criminals. Other agents scrutinize their potential insureds and are very selective about who they insure. Choose one who wants to know what you are all about. Agent character is very important, and a good agent definitely wants to know your character too.heh

If you are just shopping for the lowest price, it's doubtful you will even end up with an agent, let alone a quality agent. Then you had better read and completely understand those 20 pages thoroughly.

Specific company selection is also meaningless because from a claims end, I will guarantee you that your local claims office/region/supervisor has a huge impact on what is initially covered or denied. For example some regional supervisors instruct their claims adjusters to thoroughly advise their insured about every possible avenue of coverage. Other supervisors take the "if they didn't ask, we wont tell" philosophy. The difference between these 2 scenarios can be huge, and again it's not the specific insurance company since the policies are all structured the same. But if you have a good experienced agent, that agent can help you overcome the "don't tell" philosophy.

The bottom line is you have a contract, and it's enforceable by law. Did you read or know your contract? Yes it's a huge contract, but with a good honest agent it is understandable to know the basics. If there is a dispute, think to yourself what a judge or jury would decide because ultimately this is how insurance companies make their decisions.

LoFi_By_Choice 20th December 2012 09:36 PM

greggybud, nicely posted.

WKG 21st December 2012 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greggybud (Post 8559794)

All major insurance company policies are structured the same way. For example on a Home Owners policy the building and structures is covered, except for the named exclusions. In other words to deny coverage the adjuster has to find the exclusion. For personal property, on all HO policies it works the very opposite. For there to be coverage, it has to be a named peril or coverage does not exist. Have you read those named perils?

Great info but actually they may not all be the same on the property side. There are many who adhere to standard ISO policy language but some who have proprietary clauses etc. Farmer's happens to be one of those, I spent several years as staff adjuster with them. There are also manuscript policies which are written specifically for the risk addressed though these are seen more so in larger commercial risks. I would think some of the larger commercial studios affected should fall in this category. Always best to read and ask questions...

Quote:

Originally Posted by greggybud (Post 8559794)
If an adjuster can prove just one occurrence where you received money from your bedroom studio, coverage could be denied.

Yup, an adjuster has to ask and investigate this issue. I would suspect this is an issue with many home/hobbyists.

Quote:

Originally Posted by greggybud (Post 8559794)
If you are just shopping for the lowest price, it's doubtful you will even end up with an agent, let alone a quality agent. Then you had better read and completely understand those 20 pages thoroughly.

Unfortunately few people ever actually read their policy and want it as cheap as possible.

Quote:

Originally Posted by greggybud (Post 8559794)
The bottom line is you have a contract, and it's enforceable by law. Did you read or know your contract? Yes it's a huge contract, but with a good honest agent it is understandable to know the basics. If there is a dispute, think to yourself what a judge or jury would decide because ultimately this is how insurance companies make their decisions.

Yup. It's a unilateral contract, as long as you pay your premiums and don't violate the conditions the insurance company is bound by law to the policy language.This is why insurance companies really do want to pay losses. There is a great amount of case law governing how insurance companies do business and how claims are handled. They do not want to get on the wrong side of that for the most part. Rates are charged per risk entailed based on statistical probable occurrences. When claims are paid accordingly the system works and remains healthy. When claims are paid contrary the system breaks down and honest people who in good faith pay their premiums start seeing rates skyrocket.

Remember also that if things do go south in regards to the settlement with the carrier there is an appraisal clause in the policy, don't be afraid to pursue if need be.

LoFi_By_Choice 21st December 2012 01:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WKG (Post 8560536)

Yup, an adjuster has to ask and investigate this issue. I would suspect this is an issue with many home/hobbyists.

This is referring to studios at home. Businesses run out of the home are really difficult to insure. Not impossible, but not as cheap as a standalone studio (or any other business).

This was probably the biggest barrier to writing business insurance in my area.

"I got a tanning salon on the second floor of my home. No, there is no door directly to the salon... gotta go through the living room, but the dogs won't bite anyone... much..."

PDC 21st December 2012 03:13 AM

We are all getting screwed, but not because of the flood, hurricane, etc. My wife had to have a heart catheterization. IF they found something, then we were on the hook for all of the testing and expenses for treatment. If they did not find any issues, which they didn't in our case, the treatment was covered 50%. This is how it is under Obama care folks. Check your policies. Things are changing big time. My wife's doctor was told he was too old to operate. They are making surgeons stop at 55. They don't really get good until their 40s. They start around 32 to 35. This is the new reality. We had a tumor removed from her hip. It was approved by insurance BEFORE it was scheduled by the surgeon. Post operation, the insurance company declined it. This is the way it is. I hope everyone enjoys getting the shaft a little deeper and harder than we got it before in the USA.

LoFi_By_Choice 21st December 2012 03:17 AM

Yes, unfortunately most people don't understand insurance in general. It is the one thing people buy in hopes they'll never need it, so some don't bother to understand it until they actually do need it. Then, they think they are getting the big donkey punch.

It's much better (it should go without saying) to understand this stuff BEFORE you sign the dotted line, and far in advance of actually needing it.

Sorry to hear about the issues you are facing PDC...

If you can prove that the procedure was approved, and THEN denied, you may have a legitimate legal case.

PDC 21st December 2012 03:22 AM

We had proof. We consulted legal counsel. We can't do anything about it.

greggybud 21st December 2012 03:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WKG (Post 8560536)
Remember also that if things do go south in regards to the settlement with the carrier there is an appraisal clause in the policy, don't be afraid to pursue if need be.

That's right. Thanks for the reminder. For a total loss automobile if the insured felt their auto was worth twice as much as comparable autos found, I would just outline the next step in their policy which is the appraisal procedure including a list of state certified auto appraisers.

In all my years, I think only 4 or 5 people actually went through the appraisal procedure.