Farm Bureau — Delaying tactics to avoid payment of claim
In March of 2005 I was rear-ended on the freeway in Atlanta, Georgia. I was passing through during traffic on my way to visit relatives. I live in Charleston, S.C. and had been on the road for about four hours when I encountered rush hour traffic in Atlanta. Traffic came to a complete stop and I had to stop quickly. After coming to a complete stop I was hit from the rear by a Ford Excursion traveling at approx 45mph. The driver was insured by Farm Bureau of Georgia. The driver of the Ford Excursion was sited and we exchanged information. I contacted my insurance company (Geico) and he contacted his. My 2000 Toyota 4-runner was smashed in the rear causing frame damage and complete destruction of the rear tailgate/tow frame and undercarriage, as well as buckling the right rear quarter panel into the wheel well. After making it back to Charleston, I contacted Farm Bureau and they stated that they had no offices for claims in Charleston and that I needed to have three quotes for repair by three different repair facilities. I proceeded to have this done. After submitting the reports, I was not contacted for two weeks, I called them several times and was instructed that the person handling my claim was not present. Finally, I spoke to one person that actually checked and found out that the lady handling my claim was out on maternity leave. This placed it at about three weeks. The gentleman that was taking over my case made sure to handle it quickly. I had the 4-runner placed in the middle quote shop and waited. They had to contact the Insurance company and state that the original $6800 quote was not sufficient, because they had underestimated the extent of the damage to the frame. They needed to send the truck to a third party that specialized in frame straightening. The amount increased to approx. $9k. After a couple more weeks in the shop, I finally get my truck back. Total time for vehicle repair 6 weeks. Now for the good part, bear in mind that I have had some back problems with pain and headaches, pretty much non-stop since the accident. I had seen an orthopedic surgeon and was being treated by a Chiropractor for soft tissue damage and spinal realignment. I was in treatment for about 6 months. During this time, I paid some of the visits out of pocket and the rest were put on a tab for Farm Bureau to pay. They haven't paid a penny. My total cost was $2500 for medical expenses. I lost $7000 in value for my paid off 2000 4-runner. (I traded it in after getting it back because I knew that the repairs could never be as thorough as is needed. I informed the auto company that I traded the vehicle in and so they would only give me 10k on the trade-in as opposed to the approx. 17k the truck was worth). Now it has been nearly two years and I still haven't seen a dime. I had to obtain a lawyer to even get Farm Bureau to correspond. They have just recently offered me $4500 for everything. After the lawyers take their cut and the medical bills are paid, I am left with nearly nothing. Which means I get nothing for pain, headaches, frustration and to top it all off... They had a claims service center not even 3-miles from my house. It had been there the whole time! My recommendation is to never deal with some corporation that has this kind of ethics. This is the same type of company that would short any one to pad their profit margin.