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Farmers Underhanded Tactics

Posted by Ola Martin 
Farmers Underhanded Tactics
April 30, 2006 03:27AM
My husband and I have been insured by Farmers for the entire 10 years that we have been married and he had Farmers for many years before that. Our home is insured by Farmers and we had never before had a claim. On April 2, a heavy storm tore large sections of shingles from our house and there was also some interior water damage in a utility room. About 4 days later, three young people, adjusters, were sent to assess the damage. They agreed that the entire back half of our roof was severely damaged and that daylight could be seen from the attic. They also made note of some damage on the front above the utility room. I asked them if I should get estimates from roofers and they said no, go ahead and get it repaired and that Farmers would send us a check. Our agent's office told us the same thing. Have it repaired as soon as possible, so no more damage would be done. We had the repair made, but, also received a declaration from Farmers limiting the amount they would pay. All this time we have paid extra for replacement value, and thought that meant just that. When I called the claims dept, I was told to fax the bill and an adjustment would be made. The bill for the roofing repair was about $300.00 more than the amount Farmers said was the average for our area, and was offered to us. We have a 1000.00 deductable, and one claims agent even made the statement that "You shouldn't have to pay more than your deductable". I faxed the roofer's bill on Apr. 18. When nearly a week had gone by without hearing anything, I called our agent's office. His assistant looked our claim up on line and told me that it said that my fax had been received on April 24, the same day she looked it up. I told her that that was a falsification of the date, and called the claims office again. He denied that any falsification had been made and that the date of the 24th only reflected the date someone had "picked it up" from the fax machine!! This person proceeded to tell me that we would only receive the "average for our area" amount for repairs, because I should have sent the estimate to them prior to having the repairs done for approval!! He said that if I had been told to go ahead and have the repairs done without sending the estimate in first, then they told me that in error. There is only about a $300.00 discrepancy here, but, it is the principal of the thing now. Our agent knows, and I have told the claims dept. that we really needed to get this cleared up prior to May 1, since I was traveling to Maryland to attend the trial for the DC Sniper, John Muhammed. My brother was one of the Maryland victims and the trial, set to begin on May 1, includes him. It seems like Farmers is stalling the claim so that maybe I will get involved in the trial and forget about them. One claims agent even suggested that I take my cell phone along to the trial so that he could reach me there if he needed to!! Should we retain a lawyer and "fight back"? We are senior citizens and feel that we should fight for our rights. Our agent has been of no help whatsover. Says his hands are tied. What good is it then to even have an agent? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Ola Martin Wentzville, Mo.

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Re: Farmers Underhanded Tactics
May 17, 2006 05:11PM
Hi Ola,

My advice is to go after the agent who told you to fix your roof first. If he doesn't cooperate, then go direct to the distric manager and tell them what has happened. If this doesn't get you anywhere, you may have a claim against the agents errors and omisions based on what they told you. Unfortunately this could result in a he said, she said situation. In the future, get something like that in writing. Then if you have the same problem you have documentation to use.

The overwhelming tone on this site seems to be agent related. I can not stress enough the importance of having an agent that will do what it takes to make sure you are taken care of. I have worked with Farmers claims before and had very good results. In fact, in more than a few cases, I have written a home policy and noticed potential existing damage on the house. I have worked with those potential clients, who were Farmers clients at the time of loss, and with Farmers claims services to reopen the claim and have it fixed before writing the policy.

I'm sure that there are horror stories out there that are completely true, and very well based, but from my experience, I'm also sure that just about very company out there has the same issues.

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On March 31st, the city of Franklin, TN was hit with a terrible hail storm that damaged our roofs and siding. My first assessor did not even bring a ladder long enough to go up on the second story of a three story roof. He looked up from the ground and prophesied, "I don't see any damage." Then he brought back a company called Rainbow, who I believe makes children's playground equipment....and they brought a ladder for the agent to use. Unbeknownst to all of them, I had my windows open and heard all of them describing the damage. Then the "ass"essor came into my home and told me he saw minimal damage. Given that my neighbors are having entire roofs repaired, I did not believe him and his $2,000 assessment of damage. I got four additional bids; none of them were lower than $4,000 for the roof alone,plus the additional siding damage....I was looking at closer to $6-7,000 worth of damage. Not only do I think the company NOT reputable, but I KNOW the assessors are "cooking the books" in favor of Farmers. Not until I had the last roofer take photos of what I could not see....did I know the EXTENT of their lying.

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In dealing with my claim, Farmers stooped today to sending me information from an outdated homeowners policy edition (2nd) when I had the current (4th) in front of me which did not include ANY of the "FACTS" they had dug up from the first. As anyone knows, new policies override older policies. They "created" facts that supported their position to not pay out, of course. They even went so far as to use the third page of a three page letter to tell bring up lawsuits and claimed they "Cannot be sued!" Imagine the gall of telling you that you are being stiffed....and you have no recourse!

I've told everyone I know to cancel their Farmer's policy!

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My mother is 72, frail, disabled and on a fixed income. Her roof on home was damaged and garage collopsed in 2004/2005 by a snow storm that was the worst ever recorded in REno,NV. Because of the extent of the damages, the claim was escalated and approved for repairs by a supervisor. When the cost was submitted by the contractor for $150K to Farmers, the supervisor was demoted and replaced. A new supervisor was assigned and the cliam was unapproved. Two other engineers and have been brought in. One agreed with the first, the other said there were no damages and now Farmers refuses to settle the claim and sent me a check for $13K. I gave it back and now they won't respond to any communication I try to make. The adjuster said they are trying to dodge the claim and I should sue them. The house is getting worse and now there is mold, which could make my mother sick and possibly die becuase of her health. I am financially strapped and don't know where to turn. I have everything documented down to the day and minute of every conversation.

CAN ANY ONE HELP OR GIVE SOME ADVICE!

Thanks

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Re: Farmers Underhanded Tactics
June 14, 2006 01:08AM
Hello Eric,

Sorry to hear Farmers Insurance is treating you this way. This is nothing new.

You certainly want to file a complaint with the Nevada Insurance Commissioner
[www.doi.state.nv.us]


And consult an attorney ASAP.

Good Luck! Keep us updated.

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Re: Farmers Underhanded Tactics
November 15, 2006 10:32AM
Our home endured a 15 minute hail storm of golf ball size in Sept. of 2006. All nearby neighbors suffered storm damage to their properties as well. We contacted Farmers Insurance to file a claim and was asked by the adjuster if we had a contractor to which we replied we did not. They sent out a man from Texas to look over damage to our home and replied to us via mail that our shingles had "routine wear and tear" and therefore were not covered under our policy. Aluminum cladding on house windows was dented and they offered to put new skins over the windows which are now leaking air between the thermopanes. We received a check for $1,100.00 and felt that was inadequate for repairs to our home so contacted two contractors and received estimates for over $9,000.00 for repairs to our home. Sent in the estimates to Farmers and have now been told they will contact one of the contractors and also want to come out to our home to "re-evaluate" our claim. What I find ironic is that Farmers in their letter to us said, "Your home has sustained damages that if, not remedied in a timely manny could cause further property loss to your home".

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Re: Farmers Underhanded Tactics
November 15, 2006 03:30PM
We too had our roof blown off and a ceiling in our 3rd bedroom collapse from a storm that hit on July 25 2006.

Joann Jackson, a CAT adjuster from Louisisana was sent to Arizona to look at our house. She spent a little less than an hour there, and per her request we had our GC there because she "really didn't know structural damage". Hello? Why did they send her when they knew our devastation to our home?

She gave us 5900.00 for the damage. She closed our claim, and she lied and said we did not have asbestos in our house after a drying out company ordered the test.

In October we found out from the company that did the test that we have asbestos.

Farmers, in a letter dated after the test was done, stated we did not.

We are still out of our house but will finally be moving back on the 15th of December.

Meanwhile, Farmers never found us temporary housing as stated in our Protection PLUS policy. My husband and I lived in a hotel for 2 months and had to eat out all the time and that really sucked. We both lost atleast 12 pounds and I only weighed 105 at the time.

We tried to get into a little apartment but Farmers would not approve it.

Finally in October they bucked up, but only because we hired a personal adjuster. He was able to get us 35,000.00 for our structural damage.

That was well worth it, however we have retained an attorney that goes after bad faith insurance companies like Farmers because of the lies and underhanded bs that went on for 4 months (not enough time to write it all here).

I have linked this website to my emails - anyone and everyone will be aware of Farmers and their lowballing bad faith underhanded tactics.

We have already converted 7 people - they have dropped Farmers and went elsewhere.

I know what we went through and it's not as bad as some of you, that's why I get so angry. I know what Farmers did to us, and it kills me what they have done to some of you and somehow, someday this will stop.

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Re: Farmers Underhanded Tactics
November 15, 2006 03:35PM
Do not have Farmers contractors!!!!!! They work for them therefore they will lowball you and the work will be subpar. Hire a personal (public) adjuster immediately. They only receive 10% of what they get for you - and they do get more for you.

We had almost the same situation as you- wind storm blew our roof off and collaspe a ceiling. We were giving 5900.00 for damages which wouldn't begin to cover the roof. We hired a PA and he got us 35,000.00 and we chose our GC. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOSE WHOM YOU WANT WORKING ON YOUR HOUSE.

This takes time but you will not be screwed by Farmers!

Good Luck!

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Re: Farmers Underhanded Tactics
December 29, 2006 05:46PM
Our house caught on fire last January 9, 2006. Farmers sent an adjustor out the next day who arrived at 5:00 p.m. and didn't understand WHY we had no lights (the first thing the fire marshall did was pulled the electric meter from the house after the fire). Most of the fire damage was on the roof and ceilings in the two bathrooms (in both rooms you could see the sky as the roof wsa GONE) but the adjuster determined that we had no smoke damage in our house and had no lose of furnishings. We finally that that adjustor removed after he caused Farmers to have to pay substantially for our clothing and furnishing because of his stupidity. The restoration company was not allowed to remove any of our personal belongs to have them cleaned but the adjustor instead insisted that they put an enclosed dumpster onsite and put everything in there. Four months later when they opened that dumpster (that was not water proof either) EVERYTHING was ruined when most of it could have been cleaned if they were allowed to handle it properly after the fire. We had replacement value insurance and are still battling to get things replaced or reimbursed for the few things that have been replaced. When our house was finished inside Farmers told us to move back in even though we had NO furniture, no beds, beddings, etc. and they didn't care. FARMERS stinks. We also were cancelled...we found other insurance with higher policy limits and lower premiums! Still waiting in Missouri.....

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Re: Farmers Underhanded Tactics
January 19, 2007 06:32PM
was your adjusters name Joann Jackson?? Sounds like the brainless wonder we had at our house in Arizona.

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Re: Farmers Underhanded Tactics
January 26, 2007 12:48PM
We had a fire at our home last month but already the adjuster playin the he said she said game on our allowable living expenses. We have had this adjuster before and had requested someone else as soon as he showed up. We had to go over his head the last time we dealt with him and felt it was a conflict of interest for him to handle our claim. We were told to allow him to finish and it would be reviewed. So we'll see.
His name is Brad Thomas, has anyone else had any problems dealing with this adjuster from Missouri? Also does anyone know how to get a mediator or just an imparsal third party to help out. We don't want to get a lawyer just yet. That is an expense that we are not prepared for at this time with so much going out and only about an 1/8 coming back.

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I would look for a Public Adjuster prior to retaining an attorney. Public Adjusters work on far less of a percentage than attorneys and can walk you through the mediation arbitration process.

JWS

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I am an insurance liaison. We help home/policy owners receive proper settlements/adjustments due to storm damage.

First, you need to know you are not the exception to the rule.
This past October (2006), a significant hailstorm hit the Central Ohio area.

I know for a fact Farmers Adjusters (all company adjusters) were denying and or minimalizing settlements/adjustments.

One of their Adjusters stated Hail didn't do damage to a roof, just because there was aggregate missing from the roof's shingles. He went on to say, the aggregate was there for the sole purpose of giving the shingles color!!!!!

Remember to an Insurance Company Risk- Management is.........YOU are the RISK!
Management is how LITTLE Restoration $$$ if any $$$$'s they let out at all;
ALSO.....how long they can drag out the Claims Process in order to get a few more days, months, maybe years they can not pay the "Insured," but instead keep the money for claims in the Money Market accounts.

The reply previously to mine says hold off on the lawyer..........I AGREE!!

Not only will the Lawyer charge you substantially, but take longer too!!!
NOTE: The Insurance Companies know this too! It's one of the reasons the Insurance Company pushes the Policy Holder arround,they know what they are doing.

Please feel free to contact me @ 614-440-2548. Ask for Brent.

Step up America, say NO to your Insurance Company's abuse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I have had insurance with Farmers for 35 Years, my parents longer. We have had only small claims in this time. In November of 2006 we had a blizzard that put snow in everyone's ceiling space of his or her modular homes. All my neighbors damage to the ceilings (snagging and shorted out fuses) was cover except some with State farm. I was told if there was damage from the wind it would be covered, but our damage was done by water so it was not covered. The adjuster said “they make no distinction between snow & water-it’s all the same.” We changed out insurance to Colorado Farm Bureau – it’s costing us more, but we have coverage now with our loop holes (That I could tell) .

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