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State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Comany / Putting Burden of Proof of Damage back on me

United States
1
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On October 15, 2008 I was traveling North Bound. A buck ran across 2 south bound lanes, a 4 lane grassy median, and then over the left passing lane in front of my car and hit the right front and side. I was apx 1/2 mile from the exit. So I proceeded to get to a safe place. I pulled over to an Auto Collision place and my car made horrific sounds and dumped the entire cooling system onto their lot as it overheated. I have been hit by deer before, but nothing like this. You could not open the hood to my car and my car looked horrible there in the dark of the night. There is a huge whining sound and steam coming from all over. I have to have my husband come pick me up. I call the place where my car died at and leave a vm because they are closed that evening. I also call my insurance company and they give me a claim number and advise that this place is State Farm approved. Now mind you I still have the car keys. The next morning I call the place where my car died at... and they believe the car is repairable, but that I arrange to have a rental car. I repeatedly called the collision repair place asking about my engine because the radiator was squashed and pushed up hard and the fact that my coolant dumped all over their parking lot, also the fact that the engine sounded horrible before the car stopped there in there lot. That estimate did not move even after they supposedly checked my engine. I also kept asking are you sure my car is not totaled? And repeatedly no. Mind you I never spoke to my adjuster.. he or she never called. Something did not sound right... Estimate $5365.00 and that did not cover what State Farm would have to pay for Car Rental. My car is a 2003 Pontiac Vibe with almost 91, 808 miles. It made no sense that they did not total car. But I did not want to be difficult. They were to fix my car in 11 days.. I received my car back on October 31st. I had to pick it up after work. Collision place not open on weekends and close anywhere from 5-5:30. I was not even sure until later my work day that the car was complete. They hid the keys so that I could pickup the car. I dropped off my rental keys in their drop box. Immediately when I got the car there were issues. I had no left turn signal, no horn, battery light kept blinking on and off, hub cap had huge hole in it, hazzard lights did not work, the lights mis-aligned, speckled plastic in the headlight that they replaced. I took the car for a drive the next day in the daylight to see if I could discover anything else wrong. I left a voicemail with my Insurance Agent and also with the collision repair. That if they could not fix the obvious then how was I to have faith in any engine repairs.. and that I was driving a compromised vehicle and that I worried for my safety. They relayed the information to the claims office which in turn they stated that the claims adjuster would look into. Also that I could not take off work the next week because I had off site spec. gas training for work. But I did take it in on Tuesday, November 10th. They gave me a rental car for the day.. and I thought they went over the things that my husband to had called in such as the alignment and how the car drove. They fixed some of the items I mentioned not he speckled headlight.. but it seemed that they worked better so I gave that a pass. The battery light would still flicker on and off from time to time.. but figured it was what the collision place said.. paint on the wires and that I could take it back. I only drive to work and back, I was taking Italian and go to the gym.. but I do that on my way home from work. So no extra mileage. I did complain on the decrease in my gas mileage from 31 down to 23mpg. And stated something about the white smoke from exhaust. It was so cold I thought with the new radiator that this was just the car working itself. On December 4th I had to drive to Philadelphia to pick up my sister and husband from the Airport for she was visiting for the weekend. I had to return her on December 7th back to the airport in Philadelphia my car ran funny, but did not overheat or anything. I did not go to work on December 8th. I went to work on Tuesday, December 9th. I noticed straight away I had no heat in my car. It was 23 degrees that day... I froze all the way to work. My engine light flickered on just as I got to work. I immediately called my insurance and they had me call my claims office. I told them I had no heater and this was supposedly entirely replaced along with my radiator and cooling system. I also advised again of the decrease in mileage, white smoke... etc. In the interim my husband called the Collision place and they proceeded to say that the no heat was not related to the repair work they had done but that they would look at it WHAT? You replace the entire heating/cooling and radiator .. and it is not your workmanship? Anyway the insurance claims office called me back to tell me to bring my car into the collision shop the following day. Also that the adjuster would call. I received no call yet again. Well guess what on the way home... at the same exact spot that buck hit me ... my car totally lost power (like someone pulled the keys out of the ignition). My engine seized and I hardly made it on the shoulder. There was no overheating... there was no engine indicator light. Car would not start again. We waited for Triple AAA to tow us off the road because car was in a compromising position... towed it to the Collision Repair because they were to check it out anyway. I called that night from the side of the road to the claims adjuster place and filled them in. The following morning I had my girlfriend bring me to work and had the rental place drive me a rental car. The auto collision place advised that they were authorized to look at it and approved for the car rental. I called the Claims office again to advise that after googling on the internet that it sounded like a head gasket .. and this can happen if losing all coolant and if when replacing that the entire system was not pressurized and or mixed right. The collision repair place called stating that they needed it to be put on a diagnostic and that they could send it to their mechanic or if I wanted to .. I could send to mine .. and it would be authorized to be checked by State Farm. Again no call from this adjuster which we kept being told that we would be called by. I said I rather my mechanic. (I am not going to have buddies cover up one another's workmanship). I was initially told that the adjuster would of gone down to collision place when they got the car back this 3rd time. But later it was implied he/she was not. So I contacted my place to say the car was going to be going down there. Mind you when I had no heat I had asked to the insurance claim place, that I was thinking about having 2nd opinions on the work on my car. Then again told that when it was at my mechanic shop that the adjuster would be there. Anyway it came back that it must be the timing chain.. that from the collision place before went to my mechanic.. and I feel that my auto mechanic was not told about all that happened to my car from accident etc. So he initially thought the same. Which with the phone calls me and my husband had with the original dealer of my car and another car dealership said it would not happen with my car the liters etc. That there was no way it was the timing chain. When it was initially told to us by the insurance claims and Auto collision that timing chain my husband was on the phone stating this is not our wear and tear.. because that is what they kept trying to tell us. I did not believe it was the timing chain. It did not fit. But they degraded us.. gave us no respect and told us basically tough it was out cost. No matter what the other dealers were telling us.. they were not paying and it is what it is. We then asked for a more accurate estimate then just more than $1000.00 for the timing chain.. and so our mechanic started looking .. and he called us and stated he was sorry .. with the information he was given and the strong arming of the adjuster he thought it was the timing chain.. but he could not see totally at time.. but now he can see that it was not the timing chain what so ever. And that he knew that it was the gasket. So again we went back to the claims each and every time asking to speak to this ghost adjuster with no name or phone number. We figured that he/she was upsidedown because the estimate for the repairs should of had the car totaled from the get go. So my car needs an entire engine.. my mechanic can get an engine for apx 1500 and that does not include the mechanic hours. We tell the insurance company it is not the timing belt.. and they say it was our responsibility to authorize a complete rip down of the engine and that was the only way to determine if head gasket and then that would not prove it was from accident or repair. To rip down is apx 4 hours.. and at $65/hour and that is not back together etc. We have paid our $500.00 deductible... 10% of car rental. Loss of work, loss of my class, loss of me going to the gym.. etc. Our Mechanic has stated that our adjuster is not a nice person.. and has implied that no way are they going to admit to their error and will find a way out of paying. My question is this... they never looked at the engine initially from the accident.. the gasket probably was damaged from the dumping of the coolant when the collision happened. They are arguing that in 2 months time that I put on miles and that my car would of overheated and that I would have noticed. Only time car overheated in a visual sense was when I hit the dear and car initially died. With all the wiring problems is it not conceivable that I had no indicator that I had a problem with engine. I have people that can document that my car was not overheating. Also, per my sisters husband who is a repair shop advisor in Colorado.. stated that many times during an entire radiator heating/cooling replacement.. thermostats and sensors are cut by accident or not connected .. therefore making the engine run cold... and not indicating any overheating. I have had this car since it was brand new... my mechanic states my car was always in great condition mechanically. None of this makes sense... When I spoke to this Jennifer from Claims office she keeps implying I drove while overheating and it is my burden to even try to prove it. Also this claims office has told my husband that I must drive the car hard to have made this happened. He laughed.. because I drive the speed limit.. and was very anal when I first got the car back in the first place. I have no speeding tickets since I was 20 something... I have been with State Farm from the early 90's something like 92 give or take. My homeowners insurance is with State Farm.. I am not some swindler. So I called my Insurance rep.. I pled my case. They had the owner call me. I told him as much as I could recollect in Cliff notes. He called to see... he suggested having the shop check for leaks in radiator could of been a defect in radiator.. and if so then it would be the radiator company. I cannot speak for him.. but he did try to find out what they thought my car was worth to have the initial estimate over $5000. I also advised that 2 dealerships could not understand why the car was not totaled with that extensive of an estimate. My rep is giving me respect and hearing me out .. and trying to help on his end. He has given me the feeling that he is uneasy about what has happened to me. But of course he cannot say. I love this office.. they have always been good... but State Farm Claims and their adjusters... are covering up for a job that should of never been done. So in turn they are making me take the lumps. All this transpiring over the holidays of Thanksgiving, and the Christmas Holidays. There Claims adjusters yelling at us.. and telling us any fairtale ie.. timing chain.. etc.. telling me that my car was overheating...and that I drive hard. Telling me that no way was the collision shop wrong.. because they did everything right in pressurizing and mixing the coolant... because the collision place said so... HUH.. the same collision shop that gave me my car back with obvious things not working that I could see... but to take the word on the things unseen that they did right. Please. Now, I have no car.. it is in a shop.. If I proceed with the work... then what... my husband complained of the car pulling before the hub cap replacement.. and again after.. so on this last trip they say well you have scrapes in the new hub... yes but that did not make my car pull.. it was happening before... They said I must of ran into a curb hard... again with my driving. I have a nice driving record. They keep trying to make me sound like Mario Andretti on the highway. Just because they were upsidedown from the get go. My insurance rep could not find out from the adjuster what they felt my car was worth just prior to the accident. No numbers.. ... Anyway.. I am filing with the PA State Insurance Commission and/or take to court. My husband was told that the Insurance Adjusters Supervisor has been handling our case for a while... but still no name.. still no call... just some customer service in between people.. I have spoken to so many people.. people reading scripts on findings from computer screen. Letters in CAPS like shouting at me. But no Adjuster.. have begged .. but nothing. No car... borrowing a friends. Tough around my schedule and Holidays. Happy Holidays to those of you at State Farm. It is always the hard and honest worker that has been paying premiums for those that are dishonest... sad is that it will come back and bite you in the bum when you knowingly are wronging your customers. Lynn Bangor, Pennsylvania
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State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company Logo State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
Customer Service
Overall Satisfaction Rating

242 Reviews
One State Farm Plaza
Bloomington
IL
United States - 61710
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