State Farm Insurance - Illinois / Agent, Claims Adjuster, Claim Center TM #14 and Fraud Division
I have been with State Farm Insurance for over 13 years and had little problems until I hit a small log on the road damaging the front end suspension and read bumper area of my 04 Dodge Caravan, with 52,000 miles. I contacted my agent and proceeded to a service first center wherein pictures were taken and a notation indicating to check front end knocking and noise. A week later I was advised that my vehicle was fixed and the noise under the front end were cause by some damaged Strut Links. The repair center representative called while I was on the way and informed me that the State Farm's adjuster would not cover the Strut Link repairs due to it being a normal ware and tear items. I advised him that my vehicle drove fine before this incident and now State Farm (SF) is using this normal wear and tear issues to avoid paying the claim. I was advised that since there was no visible damage underneath my front end that it would not be covered. I advised the repair center agent and SF agent that just because you cannot see damage, doesn’t mean there is none. I have to give the Repair Center Rep. (RCR) credit as he explained how SF always undercuts estimates and will use tactics like this to avoid for paying repairs. I paid my deductible and for the strut links. I then received my paperwork and began to drive my vehicle off and as I did I heard the same popping noise under my left driver’s side and returned to the repair center. The put my vehicle on the rack and I as well inspected underneath the front end, brakes, etc. for something loose. However, we were unable to find anything.
I advised the mechanic that I believed it was a strut and since SF had already used the wear and tear issue to deny my claim, I went and purchased the struts myself and brought my vehicle back to the Repair Center Monday morning. The struts were put on and after the test drive, vehicle fixed and working fine. I advised the RCR that it appeared to be fixed. I asked some questions about the repair order I received from the mechanic since I was required to pay $155.00 labor for these repairs up-font and already paid for the materials. I was advised the claim would be resubmitted and if there were a difference owed that the RCR would cut me a check. I had been in touch with my agent throughout this whole period and to reach out to him for assistance. However, Any time I discussed my dissatisfaction with SF and how they were not even attempting to address these issues it was giving me seconds thoughts about being a customer of SF. I made this clear to my agent, and claim center representatives (CCR) in Bloomington, IL. I spent over $440.00 dollars out of my own pocket to get my vehicle repaired to ensure it was in working order. At the time I could care less about SF and the issues of normal wear and tear. I advised my agent and claim rep. of my dissatisfaction and intention to pursue this issue matter in another venue. This was not a money issue for me but an issue of getting my vehicle fixed and receiving the respect and dignity I deserved from SF.
I took all my receipts in and turned the original over to my agents secretary and advised her of the aforementioned strut being fixed and I was not expecting SF to pay for the other strut, however I advised her that I was not going to replace one without the other. I received copies of the repair order (with parts and labor) alignment charge from a dealership service center I paid for.
I then contacted the CCR dept. and advised I would like to know within a week what course of action they were going to take. I called back in a week and was forwarded to a number and a person named Marion Ashner. I left a message for him and he called my back indicating that someone had definitely whited something out on the repair order and he was going to see if the fraud investigators were going to take the case over. I advised him that I got copies of all the paperwork and there is no whiteout on it and what are you talking about. I advised him that he needed to get a copy of the originals before he began inferring or suggesting that I am involved in some type of fraudulent activity. He indicated that he needed to gather all the facts. I informed him that I paid for these repairs out of my own pocket, because SF pulled its usual games of refusing to pay and I have a right for SF to look at this and determine whether they will pay for some of these repairs or not and if not I will pursue it in other venues. Mr. Asner indicated well we would look into this and see if the investigators want to get involved. I advised him that him and SF are going to be in a fight for your misdeeds, allegations, retaliation, and harassment. Just because I stood up to SF about the perception of how your company works and the perception you give to your customers Vs, the reality of coercion, deception, fraud etc.
This saga will continue and I will provide updates.
I am confident that this is not the first time SF has resulted to this tactic and treatment of customers. If anyone has a comment on the above narrative please reply.
PS. The total repair bill including bumper, bodywork, and front-end repair was under $1,200.00 minus a $100 dollar deductible and the $400 plus dollars I paid out of my pocket!
Thank you for your time.
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