Thursday, July 25, 2013

Farmers Insurance is...not so bad (was "worthless crap")

 Two weeks after the accident, I gotta say that "Farmers Insurance" dealt with us fairly honorably, although the claims representative was--not so great through the experience. If I hadn't found a service center and secured a rental myself, who knows how long it would have taken?

In the end, Farmers fixed my car, and they paid for the full rental. I suspect the complaints account on Facebook was a big help.

We were able to visit my ailing Uncle Don in MA pretty much as planned (delayed by one day), and that was the primary reason for the trip. So that was good. Given my uncle's health, I doubt we'd have been able to schedule a trip until late this year, and who knows?

The original post is below:

Yesterday (Weds, 11:30AM) while at a dead stop in a road construction zone, I was rear-ended by a driver who carried Farmers Insurance. Today we were leaving for a trip to Massachusetts, to visit family and see my uncle, who's in hospice.

2:30PM, Thurs:

27 hours and seven phone calls later, I finally spoke to the claims representative. They tried to contact me once with wrong number yesterday, although I had left them two separate phone numbers, on three occasions... Yet when I called the claim center at 12:30 PM today, their automated system already knew who I was (I'd called yesterday). But when I called back two hours later at 2:30PM, the system no longer knew--the rep had apparently reset the number, rather than use a number that that the automated system had shown to be correct. That second call to the center (today; third total) finally connected me to the representative.

So get this--they accept the responsibility for the accident. But because I was able to drive my vehicle away, we're not eligible to receive a rental. So we're delayed possibly for days while we resolve this issue.

My vehicle is in better shape than the other driver, but the bumper is trashed and the exhaust system looks sketchy. We certainly don't want to drive it 1400 miles.

The moral: DON'T DEAL with FARMERS INSURANCE--if you possibly can avoid it.

Update 1, 3PM Thurs.--I'll keep posting as the farce continues. Now I'm waiting for a response regarding repair options...which they said would be included in an email, but were not... 

Update 2, 4:21PM Thurs.--the Farmers Insurance website sent me a document telling me that my claim was "inactive" until I get an estimate...but the web document could only be accessed by giving the incorrect phone number. And of course neither the representative or the supervisor has responded to my request to clarify a repair location--maybe because they're using the wrong number, even though I've given them each the correct number via phone, and email.

Update 3, 4:40PM, Thurs.--The staff at Farmers has been unresponsive, but their website at least has authorized service locations. I found a helpful person at a local shop, and can take my vehicle in without an appointment. Too bad it's too late for an estimate today...

Update 4, 6:10 PM, Thurs--Receive an email from the claims rep, saying they cannot contact me via phone. The phone number they quote is the same incorrect number they've been calling for a whole day. Even though I'd verbally given the same rep the correct number @ 2:30PM this afternoon, and emailed the correct number at 4:15PM.

So day two ends without resolution.

But my wife contacted Farmers via Facebook, where they have a complaints account. 

Friday Update

Took the vehicle early this morning to the authorized repair center. They were very helpful. They sent us on to the rental agency.

At the car rental we were informed that Farmers would only pay for the days while the car was being repaired. We expected this. But at this point we were a day behind schedule, so we didn't care. We got the rental vehicle and went home to continue packing for the trip.

At 10:15AM I called the claims rep, who had indicated the night before her intent to contact me. But she didn't even try Friday morning. By some miracle I got through. She was pleased the car was at an authorized center (sure--I did all the work), and seemed more sorry for the person who's number she kept calling, rather than my own correct number. I don't have a clue why she didn't try to call me Friday morning, as she'd indicated.

We left town and stopped my mother-in-law's house for a couple hours before leaving OH. Sometime during the drive I received a couple phone calls from their complaints people--probably prompted the Facebook msgs--but we didn't hear the phone in the car.

At this point, I didn't care. By 2:00PM we were on the road, next stop New England, via PA. 

If we had to pay for part of the rental, so be it. I was freaking sick of dealing with them.

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