Three strikes and you’re out!
An open complaint to Edward Rust; CEO of State farm Insurance.
Dear Mr. Rust,
I have written you several times regarding concerns that I have with State Farm, however, I have not yet received any response from you. I am therefore writing this open letter in hopes that you will respond.
On November 8th, 2006 I was involved in an auto incident. There was a scratch mark on the other car, however, I did not feel a thump and there was no damage to my car. So I assumed that the two cars missed each other. To this date I am still not convinced if the two cars actually made contact. The other driver and I exchanged information, and later I called State farm to report the incident. I relayed all the information to a State Farm agent at the 24 hour call center and I was given a claim number. A few days later a claim representative contacted me to discuss the incident. I was suspicious of how State Farm was handling this matter so I asked her to send me a full report of State Farm’s investigation. I explained that I wish to verify the information on the report to ensure its accuracy. I was told that I would be receiving a “letter” soon.
On November 30th I called the claim representative to say that I still did not receive the report of their investigation about this incident. I was told that I would not be receiving a report, and that State Farm considers me to be 100% at fault for the collision and that the matter is closed.
In early December of ’06 I received a call from a State Farm “Team Manager”. He was responding to a letter that I sent to Ed Rust, CEO of State Farm. During the phone call he indicated that there were “…irregularities…” regarding State Farm’s investigation of this incident. I asked him if State Farm had verified whether or not the two cars actually made contact, but he seemed to not understand what I meant, so I explained to him the same information that I gave to the claim representative before. I also mentioned to the team manager that I felt that the other driver may have been speeding, and did State Farm verify this? Again he seemed to not know what I was talking about, so I must assume that this was not investigated. I, again, asked for a complete report of State Farm’s investigation into this matter, but he said that State Farm “…does not normally…” issue such reports. I indicated to him that, in my opinion, State Farm seems to have a habit of botching things on my account, so it is imperative that I receive this report so that I can verify the accuracy of State Farm’s investigation of this matter. Later, in a letter dated June 28, 2007 from a claim representative, State Farm sent me several poor quality photos of both cars. However, as of the date of this letter I have not yet received a complete report of State Farm’s investigation of this matter. Each time that I instructed State Farm to give me this information, either verbally or in writing, I was given a non-committal response.
On December 13th I was contacted by phone by a State Farm “Tasker”. He requested that I meet with him at the scene of the incident and explain what happened; which I did. He said that he had already met the other driver. I asked the tasker to verify if the two cars had actually made contact and to verify the other car’s speed at the time of the incident. He seemed to indicate that he would look into it. Please note that my discussions with the team manager and the tasker were after I received the letter from State Farm indicating that the matter was closed.
In a letter, dated January 16, 2007 from a State Farm claim representative, again indicated that State Farm considers me 100% at fault and, among other things, that photos indicate “…light color scratches and scuff marks on the right corner bumper of your vehicle.” However, my car and that of the other person’s car are not light in color. In fact my car is silver and the other car is metal-flake dark gray in color.
Later in a letter dated 5 March 2007, State Farm indicated that I am “…51% or more at fault…”. So, first State Farm considers me 100% at fault--before collecting essential information, later after collecting further information, considers me to be 51%. However, State Farm still refuses to share with me the information that they collected. I feel that all this is, in the least, inefficient, and, at most—suspect. I want State Farm to send me the report with statements, photos, reports and any other original information related to this incident so that I can verify it and then we can move on to closing this issue.
While researching this matter, I’ve found that there are no laws requiring an insurance company to share, with their customers, the information that they collect, except information that the customer personally gave to the insurer, but it seems that an insurance company may share this information with their customer voluntarily.
I’ve been driving for about twenty five years. In all that time I have never caused an auto collision. I am deeply concerned that State Farm has botched this investigation and has ruined my driving record.
This is not the only trouble that I’ve had with State Farm. In fact I’ve been having trouble with State Farm on-and-off during 2006. There were two other, non-related, incidents.
In June of 2006 the brakes failed on my car. Fortunately there was no collision. I had the car towed to the dealership for repair, and I rented a car for a few days while my car was in the shop. Later I called my agent to obtain a refund for towing and car rental charges, but I was told that I did not have towing or car rental coverage. I was sure that I did, but I did not have my policy in front of me, so I said goodbye and then started to look for my policy. A few minutes later the phone rang; it was the agent’s office, and I was told that I did have towing coverage but not rental. Later I found my policy and it confirmed that I have both towing and car rental coverage. Later I talked with a State Farm “Agency Field Consultant” and she assured me that I would be reimbursed for the rental as well. Some time passed but I still did not receive a check. Later I received a letter from a State Farm claims reprehensive in which he stated that I would not be receiving reimbursement for the car rental. So first it was “no”, then “yes”, then back to “no”. I feel that State Farm owes me for reimbursement for car rental and something for the time that I spent trying to collect it! State Farm did reimburse me for towing.
In another incident, in the fall of ‘06, I was rear ended by another car. This was a slow speed incident at a stop light and there seemed to be no damage to either car. However, I asked the other person for her information and wrote it down. I called my State Farm agent, but an answering machine answered, so I left all the information on the recording. However, I never received a call from the agent. Some months later I discovered that State Farm had no knowledge of this incident. Later I was contacted by State Farm to give them the information again. I now consider this matter closed.
I have since left State Farm, and I’m now with another insurance company. I am still trying to resolve the November 8th matter, and the reimbursement for towing for the June ‘06 matter. I am also in the process of contacting my elected civil servants to request that they initiate laws to require businesses (especially insurance companies) to share all information that they have of their customers to those customers. Remember Mr. Rust—insurance companies are in the “reliability business”, and they must live up to that!
George P. Dorian
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