Electrical Failure, How Do I Get Liberty Mutual To Call Me Back?

Ryan writes:

“Hi, I’ve experienced a electrical failure on my property last week resulting in the loss of use of my home as well as many electric devices (appliances, heat, water pump). The day I filed the claim I was told by two people at Liberty Mutual that a person from their emergency department would contact me the same day because of my situation (having an elderly person in the household) and my claim handler would call me the next day.

It has been five days and I have heard from no one….”

Every time I call the claims department I get put on hold or get voicemail. My policy says I can get money in advance to handle my immediate expenses (since I have had to move my family into a hotel and I am going to need to pay contractors to fix the basic use of my house again).

Any advice on the steps I should follow to escalate this matter and get my insurance company to actually process my claim?

-Ryan

We’re assuming that the electrical failure is covered under a policy you have with Liberty Mutual, so maybe you just need a dose of TLE, Tender Loving Escalation. Here’s three sure-fire ways to get their attention:

Executive Email Carpet Bomb – Gather the email addresses for company’s executives and send them all your complaint letter.
Executive Customer Service. Navigate to a high-level executive’s office and pitch your complaint.
Faxing For Dollars. Find an appropriate company fax number and send your complaint letter in over and over again until they call you.

Comments

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  1. DojiStar says:

    How is an electrical failure amount to an insurance claim??

    I can see if their was a fire that damaged the electrical or a water leak thet fried the panel, but there was no mention of any of that. Just an electrical failure.

    Maybe that’s the reason the homeowner is getting the run around.

    Wish we all could file an insurance claim when something breaks in our homes.

  2. TechnoDestructo says:

    You had to move out because you didn’t have electricity for a few days? Way to teach your children to be a bunch of pussies.

    Also…homeowners policies cover power outages?

  3. oneswellfoop says:

    I’m sure he can reimbursed, but the amount he’s going get after his deductible is subtracted vs. how much his premiums are going to go up is going to make him wish he never said a word about it.

  4. mwdavis says:

    Personally, could care less whether an “electrical failure” constitutes grounds for a claim under the policy. What I react to is the broken promises of call backs and responses. I don’t know how many times I’ve been promised a call back by some CSR. I do know how many times the promised call backs have been made: zero. Customer service has little to do with the “rightness” of the claim, it has everything to do with follow-through and keeping promises . . . this seems to be something many American companies don’t seem to be able to do consistently or reliably. A pity really.

  5. spryte says:

    “Resulting in the loss of use of my home…”

    Huh? I mean, I get that lights and appliances wouldn’t work, but doesn’t one’s “use” of a home also include things like sleeping and uhh…living in it? There are fixes for most problems associated with a power outage (candles, flashlights, a spoon and a can of beans). It’s not as though the house suddenly imploded…

    And contractors? Again…huh? Methinks we need more details…

  6. protest says:

    @TechnoDestructo:

    not sure where you live, but many people in the U.S., in November, require heat in their homes to survive.

    this guy should be calling his electric supplier and getting them to reimburse him! unless he generates his own electricity, and the generator is covered under his homeowners insurance…do we know this?

  7. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Oh yeah, they’re being totally unreasonable. I mean, no heat, no water, and an elderly relative, in November? TOUGH IT OUT, PUSSIES!

    Whatever. And yes, I know, many people around the world live in much worse conditions. That doesn’t mean this guy’s obliged to grin and bear it if he has other options. His doing so wouldn’t fix anybody else’s problems, would it?

  8. scarletvirtue says:

    @TechnoDestructo: This guy also has an elderly person living in the house, who may need medical equipment (in-home dialysis; heart monitor, etc.) that operates electrically.

  9. erratapage says:

    Power goes out in my house in November and I’m not just cold… my pipes freeze and I have major damage.

    It’s snowing here tonight and the wind is enough to make me wish I lived elsewhere, but what the heck… I bought insurance coverage for that, right?

    Geez… what’s with these yahoos?

  10. Sudonum says:

    Most homeowners policies cover “loss of use” for a variety of reasons.

    And yeah, when you live in a place that requires electricity for water, like for flushing toilets etc, I guess it’s no problem to go out a dig a latrine so you could “tough it out”. Do you think the local health officials would mind?

  11. MrEvil says:

    I’d say it depends on where the person lives. If she lived here in Amarillo TX despite our cold temperatures. I’d say she just needs to tough it out and check into a Motel 6 if they need power that bad. If it’s some place where the thermometer broke then she has a case.

    @Sudonum: If you live in a place where you have to have electricity in order to have running water….odds are you don’t have any local officials to bitch about the latrine. Municipal water supplies use backups in the event of electrical outages. Backups like Water towers (nothing keeps the water pressure up like gravity) and generator sets at the pumping stations. I know my city has both. Not to mention that fact that your sewer will still drain regardless of electricity being present. Just close the lid on the toilet.

  12. Sudonum says:

    @MrEvil:
    Not true. I live in an area in the south where lots of people have well water and septic tanks and they live within city limits. The whole country doesn’t look like LA or NY.

  13. trollkiller says:

    I wish I knew what is meant by an “electrical failure”. Does this means he lost power or did he lose his breaker box?

    The “lost use of the home” sounds like the outage lasted for a few days. My only advice is never move to Florida, a hurricane can take your power for weeks.

  14. thomamas says:

    If the loss isn’t covered by the policy, then the claims department should have said so rather than disappearing.

    Regardless, I’m surprised that nobody’s suggested Ryan call his agent and ask him to figure out what’s going on.

  15. MommaJ says:

    @MrEvil: “If you live in a place where you have to have electricity in order to have running water….odds are you don’t have any local officials to bitch about the latrine.” Careful with those blanket statements that are based on your own limited experience. I live in a city of 100,000 within 35 miles of New York City–when we lose power in the winter for more than half a day, we hightail it to a hotel, because we can’t manage without heat or running water. Lots of communities in heavily populated areas have parts of town that aren’t served by city water or sewers.

  16. Jesse in Japan says:

    Wait, Vinu Kuriakose is on product development? How the hell do you develop products for an insurance company?

  17. sibertater says:

    Some of you people are horrible. The man just had a quick question and instead of commenting on his question you attack him.

    You don’t know his situation and it is November and he may not live in San Diego or Naples, FL. If he lives north it’s cold.

    I don’t know why as a society we attack first. How about this: Compassion first, then we beat them over the head later when he has heat and electricity.

  18. cryrevolution says:

    @thomamas: Heh agents would have the same luck. I work in Claims and take these types of calls everyday. We have what we call an “Escalation procedure” that requires we take down the best number so an emergency adjuster can call them within 3 hrs. I don’t know anything about the “money in advance” deal, as insurance companies pay NOTHING out until they say the loss is covered. I’ve never heard of that, and I’ve taken power outages and power surge calls before. But the calls I’ve taken have never been enough to warrant moving to a hotel or anything, just a power surge that took out appliances & maybe a tv or something. Even with the escalated calls (which usually we have to ask “Is the home livable?” if they answer no, its immediately escalated), we just usually advise them to take any necessary precautions to secure their family’s safety and the claim handler will discuss liability & reimbursement. That’s my $.02.

  19. FLConsumer says:

    @sibertater: If it’s THAT critical that he have electricity, then it’s up to him to ensure that he has power. He can do what Floridans have been doing for the past 2 decades — have a permanently-mounted generator in place. If you’re really good, you’ve got one that automatically starts and transfers over when the power fails.

    Ironically, the power died out here on Ft. Myers Beach tonight for about 90 minutes. My place was lit like a Christmas tree, all exterior and landscape lighting fully lit, fountain going, elevators still worked, indoor lighting and air conditioning — all on generator power. I also have a small generator at my other home which will run everything but the oven, water heater’s high wattage element (the low wattage one will still run), clothes dryer. Generators are expensive…until you find yourself having one and needing it. Then it becomes the best money you’ve ever spent. Having been through 3 hurricanes, it was a great relief to be able to retreat to inside my house and having everything working and appearing normal while the world outside was totally devastated.

  20. trollkiller says:

    @FLConsumer: Generators are nice if you can afford them, poorer folks like us have to make do with power inverters, candles, wind up flash lights, oil lamps and propane stoves.

    I know the three hurricanes you speak of. We got a mild (think strong thunderstorm) hit on the second one, but all the spare parts the power company had were already being used down south. We went 2 weeks without power due to damage that would have normally been fixed within a day.

    I do agree with you, if something is THAT crucial then you need to be prepared.

  21. FLConsumer says:

    I think cost comes back down to the question of priorities. Even ghetto people have XBox360’s and games. It’s also a bit of an incentive to make your home more energy efficient. More efficient house = smaller generator & less fuel needed. At 2 gallons/day if I’m running my place full-tilt, I’m good for 7-10 days alone with the fuel from my car.

    Generator $1k
    Liquid fuel for the generator: $50
    Liquid fuel (beer/wine) for the humans: $200
    Living in perfect luxury after a hurricane and throwing one of the best hurricane parties on the island: priceless.

  22. trollkiller says:

    @FLConsumer: I’m coming to your house for the next hurricane.