It's Been 4 Months, GEICO, Where's My Money?

Jonathan writes:

On January 1st, a friend of mine went to visit another friend in CT (I am from NJ), and unfortunately hit black ice, and proceeded into a guardrail. The accident, although at the time did not seem too terrible (even though the front end looked completely shot), and I figured I would be up and driving relatively soon. Little did I know this would not be true at all…

The initial call to Geico was great. Melissa, the operator who received my call was gracious, sweet, and understanding. Upon telling her the story of the accident, she said she would wave the “first 50 miles” clause, and allow me to get my car towed to my shop of choice, All Phase Automotive in Nyack, NY. So, after I thought I would have the car towed the next day, I rented a car (on my own dime, damned lack of rental coverage), and drove back.

For the next two days, Geico refused to find a tow operator to get my car towed to my shop of choice, and said they would only pay to have it towed some where in CT (despite my willingness to pay for the extra miles), and ended up referring me to Durable Radiator and Auto-body in Waterbury, CT.

Now with the car still in front of my friend’s house, it took Durable a further two days to pick the car up, and a full three weeks to allow for a Geico adjuster to even get an estimate, which initially came to $6200. Every call placed to either Geico, or Durable yielded no result save for blaming of the other party. It was either a computer problem on Durable’s end with concern to submitting the claim, or Geico not receiving the correct info. Either way, my spidey senses were tingling on this one.

With the estimate finally completed it was merely a waiting game. On Feb 13th, I placed a call to Durable to find out when the car would be ready, and was told it was in painting (the same answer I would then get for the next two weeks of calls). Finally, on March 5th, a day shy of the three month mark, I was told my car was ready and could pick it up. So, come that Friday, I schlepped from my home to the shop, picked up my car, and being happy to have my car back, did not give it the thorough examination I should have, at the time trusting an authorized Geico shop. This is where the fun truly begins.

The following day was the first instance of night driving that occurred after I picked up the car. What happened you ask? No odometer and speedometer lights. Now, I’m starting to panic. I’m asking myself what else could be wrong? So, the following Monday, as soon as they open, I bring the car to the shop I wanted to from the very beginning. Mike, ever the great shop owner puts my car on priority, and proceeds to check it as I head back to work. Not an hour later, he finds GLARING repair issues ranging from aftermarket parts that were not installed properly, to shoddy painting, parts that were billed but never replaced, and the best part, a bent frame. Not being one to stand around and watch a friend and customer be taken advantage of, Mike begins the process of getting a claims adjuster back down to his shop to look things over. Upon doing so the next day (now the 11th) Bryan, the new adjuster totals the car. Upon explanation of my bill, he tells me that although the initial amount was $6200, Durable charged an extra $3000!!! for supplement work they did not even do properly.

So, at this point, although I am livid, I feel a bit of justification seeing as the right thing was being done. The next day, I get a call telling me they cannot total the car. My heart sinks. How could Geico total the car one day, and UNTOTAL it the next? This sort of thing would have been inconceivable to me before this moment. Fortunately, the following day they re-totaled the car, and I was told I should get a check within five business days. Sounds all well and good right?

Well, after three separate phone calls to the total loss representative assigned to my case, I have not yet received word back, and I am still left carless, and with no idea when I am to receive my check. Not only was my car not repaired properly, but because Geico steered me to one of their shops illegally, I’ve been without a car for close to four months, and thus far have no recourse. I just felt that although their commercials appear to allow them to perform small to large miracles, this time around, they failed me as a customer, and as such, the loyal readers of The Consumerist should know to beware.

LVX,
Jonathan Goffan

Sounds like Jonathan needs some TLE (Tender Loving Escalation). Some ideas for shaking the tree: Here are some executive emails that you could blast your story off to:

lsimpson@geico.com, gkalinsky@geico.com, onicely@geico.com, jstewart@geico.com, jreed@geico.com, twells@geico.com, broberts@geic.com, bmiller@geico.com, BoJordan@GEICO.COm, cgarden@geico.com, sabrams@geico.com, dstinson@geico.com, ptate@geico.com, tward@geico.com, contactmarketing@geico.com, ctasher@geico.com, cfernandez@geico.com, jminshall@geico.com

You could also try mailing a complaint letter to Warren Buffet’s office (he owns Berkshire Hathaway, which owns GEICO). Poop runs downhill, as they say.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.
1440 Kiewit Plaza
Omaha, NE 68131

And GEICO, if you’re reading this, give this man his money!

(Photo: simondhweller)

Comments

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  1. bonzombiekitty says:

    heehee. I kinda know the guy that owns Durable. My brother is really good friends with his son. They fixed my car many-a-time when I was in CT. And it’s in waterbury, not waterford.

  2. donnie5 says:

    I had an issue with a very “progressive” insurance company. I was able to threaten the filing of a “bad face claim” and suddenly things started moving. If they have too many bad face claims, they will be unable to operate in the state where the claims are filed.

  3. laserjobs says:

    You need to email Warren Buffet and tell him his company is not credit worthy.

  4. bonzombiekitty says:

    D’oh, hit submit too early. I meant to mention that I’m surprised Durable did a shoddy job. They did a really good job fixing our cars when we had them repaired there.

  5. cmcd14 says:

    Cheaper insurance = crappier service.

  6. Ben Popken says:

    @laserjobs: I’ve heard it said that Warren doesn’t have an email address.

  7. GEICO nightmares. Like when I backed into a tree using my Godfather’s pickup on a third party’s private property.

    GEICO said they wouldn’t pay. I pointed to the part of my insurance contract where it specifically noted I was covered for any vehicle I’m driving as an incidental driver. GEICO stalled and didn’t call either of us back for weeks.

    Six months later, it’s finally all wrapped up satisfactorily. My Godfather, being a lawyer, just sued me and GEICO. They paid without further provocation after getting their local lawyer in the loop.

    Unfortunately, this all happened in Louisiana, which despite low population, low median value of cars, and low per year mileage, has some of the absolute WORST drivers in the world. Insurance companies take forever to resolve anything in LOuisiana, and the body shop work I’ve had done there is apalling – it takes 3-4 visits back to the body shop to get anything fixed right..

  8. Pro-Pain says:

    Three insurance companies to steer clear of – Geico, Progressive, and Esurance. You have been warned.

  9. azrael1o says:

    @bonzombiekitty: any problems with your car repair from them, you did say many-a-time

  10. Buran says:

    Ugh. I know it doesn’t help now, but I’d like to suggest you pick up AAA Plus. Regular AAA gives you 5 miles of towing. Plus gives you 100.

    The policy pays for itself for the year the first time you need a tow — I had to get towed once due to Jiffy Lube stripping the threads on my oil pan drain plug, which wasn’t discovered til the car had been drained of oil … and having the AAA Plus policy meant it was towed to the shop of my choice, which was able to make the repairs with no problem.

    Would have cost me a lot more than the policy for the year to pay for that myself!

    Plus, the coverage is on you, not the car, so even if you’re with a friend or in a rental or in a borrowed car, you’re still covered.

  11. Buran says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: Yikes, your own godfather sued you? I’m sorry…

  12. seth1066 says:

    Maybe even a caveman can’t do it.

  13. laserjobs says:

    @Ben Popken:

    Write him a letter

    WARREN E BUFFETT
    5505 FARNAM ST
    OMAHA, NE 68132

  14. Zombilina says:

    I love the line “proceeded into a guardrail.”

  15. coan_net says:

    It is at times like this, reading things like this that I’m happy that I have all my insurance through a Country Insurance – a smaller place… through a guy who had handled my parents insurance for many years. Whenever I had problems or claims (over past 15 years, 2 house issues & 1 car issue) – things were taken care of very fast.

    I probable pay a little more then I would through places like Geico, but it’s worth the fast service & help I can get through someone who locally works with me.

  16. dbson says:

    @Buran:

    Agreed. I got towed from Scranton PA to my home in bergen county NJ without a dime charged to me. AAA Plus FTW!

  17. God I hate Geico. Have a look at my story:

    [consumerist.com]

    Got Amica now and HAPPY.
    I had progressive in between, which was slightly less than Geico, but my bill with Amica, when all is said and done, is literally 1/4 of what I was paying with the other assclowns, and I’m getting better coverage.

  18. NathanLV says:

    I also strongly recommend to you that you contact the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and request assistance from them: [www.state.nj.us]

    You wouldn’t believe how quickly insurance companies respond to calls from state insurance commissions.

  19. NathanLV says:

    I also recommend you contact the New Jersey Deparment of Banking and Insurance for assistance.

    [www.state.nj.us]

  20. @NathanLV: Ha! In Texas the Department of Insurance is headed by all the top board members of the insurance companies. It’s a disgrace.

  21. Turcicus says:

    @Pro-Pain: Truer words have never been spoken. This story further illustrates to me why Geico sucks. My wife’s story (nutshell – Progressive gives her a rental car w/ substandard tire tread, she hydroplanes on the interstate and crashes into a jersey barrier, they blame her) is why Progressive sucks. I’ll stick with State Farm, thank you.

  22. GearheadGeek says:

    GEICO is just plain evil. Even if they offered decent insurance and service I wouldn’t consider using them, because (like all insurance companies) they perpetuate the myth that if you’re ever ticketed for speeding you’re a “high risk” driver. Where they get especially evil is that they helped fund the development of laser speed guns and they buy and donate them to police departments. If they were the only company that would insure my car, I’d walk.

  23. kellsbells says:

    I realize it’s not available to a lot of people, but I love love LOVE USAA. If your dad/mom is or was military, they are definitely worth it. (My dad retired in 1998 but I’m still eligible…) One instance where the military is taking care of its own.

  24. GearheadGeek says:

    @Buran: You probably know this by now, but NO JIFFY LUBE. EVER. Oil-change monkeys don’t touch my car. If I’m too lazy to do it myself, my dealer will change the oil for about $10 more than the cost of the oil and filter at AutoZone, so the cost of laziness is $10.

  25. ClayS says:

    @GearheadGeek:
    Are you opposed to the enforcement of speed limits?

  26. Elvisisdead says:

    USAA is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend that you pick it up.

  27. r081984 says:

    State Farm is an excellent insurance company.

    My younger brother is a poor, poor driver. He basically totaled his truck twice and each time State Farm quickly fixed it.
    I can tell you that every part on this Ford pickup has been completely replaced after two bad accidents.

    Also, I had my car fixed at Carstar in Schererville, IN, which is a great company. I met the owner and he helped me out with lower shop rates because I only had liability on my Corolla and I had to pay out of pocket.

  28. Orv says:

    @Turcicus: There are lots of horror stories about State Farm, too, including a woman who ended up paralyzed because they repeatedly delayed paying for her medical treatment.

    In general you should never take your car to a shop that’s been recommended by your insurance company. It usually means the shop has agreed to do substandard work in exchange for lower payment. In most states you cannot be forced to use the shop the insurance company is steering you to.

  29. mike says:

    When people ask for recommendations on car insurance, they want what the rates are, how easy it is to file a claim, etc.

    But rarely do I get asked, “What happens if you get into an accident? Do they take care of you?”

    While GEICO and others may offer lower rates, it comes at a price somewhere else. Friends of mine got kicked out of GEICO for getting into an accident. That’s one accident.

    I’m not going toot my insurance company (Allstate), but you want a car insurance company that’s going to take care of you when things go bad.

  30. MeOhMy says:

    @Buran: In many (most?) states you don’t actually sue the insurance company directly, you have to sue the insured party. In some jurisdictions it’s not even legal to disclose that your insurance company is on the hook for damages or legal fees!

    Calling the regulatory agency is definitely a good idea. I had some issues with an insurance company (also in NJ, btw) giving me the runaround for weeks. Then someone recommended calling the state insurance regulators and wouldn’t you know it the claim was completely settled 2 days later.

  31. Three Word Chant says:

    I had a similar issue with them. I had good experiences with Geico, so when my car was broken into (and the door heavily damaged) I thought nothing of going to the “Geico-recommended” repair shop near my house.

    They told me the damage was exactly equa l to my deductible..go figure.

    Two days later, I went to pick up the car. They said it was all done and asked for payment, without walking me through what was done or showing me the car. Lo and behold, I go outside to look at it first – and literally NO work was done to the car. It was the same as when I dropped it off.

    After another day, the work was done, but something still seemed off on the door, and the radio antenna (which was also damaged in the theft) wasn’t fixed.

    Two months later, the entire weatherstripping on the door fell off, and I still do not have a working radio. While I have been reasonably happy with Geico still, these “partnerships” they have with local dealers seem to be a sham with no accountability. The Geico adjuster seemed much more concerned with making the dealer (he works with) happy than me or Geico HQ.

  32. nsv says:

    Geico is sitting on $3000 of my money.

    Since the car was stolen years ago, I can’t hope to get it back. They stalled me for over a year, using lame excuses like “The check is sitting here on my desk, I just need to have it signed,” to “You haven’t received it? My goodness, I mailed it a week ago. Well, I mailed it, so there’s nothing more I can do.”

    Never again.

  33. sleze69 says:

    @Pro-Pain: @donnie5: I had a bent frame on my passat and had a wonderful time with Progressive. Not only was my car fixed in a week, they covered everything sans my deductable. It probably had to do with going to Gene’s which is a legendary VW autoshop (if you can actually BE a legendary VW autoshop) in the western Philly suburbs.

    The adjuster came within a day of it being in the shop and he and Gene’s negotiated a good settlement. I left with a car as good as new with a $500 bill.

    Because of that experience, I was sad to switch insurance but Progressive doesn’t offer home owners insurance and I saved a boatload by combining the two with AAA Midatlantic.

  34. Orv says:

    @sohmc: To be honest, my take on car insurance companies is that they’re all out to rip me off, so I might as well go with the one that will take the least amount of my money in worthless premiums and carry as little insurance as I can legally get away with.

  35. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Jonathan from NJ is not a consumer support blogger. So, to help him, we hired Ben Popken.

  36. SacraBos says:

    Yeah, but think of the money you’ve saved…

    @Buran: Sounds like it wasn’t a spiteful thing – but just a way to insure that GEICO took the claim very seriously. I’d have my Godfather do the same thing in that case.

  37. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @Elvisisdead: Only problem with USAA is that little military service clause and/or grandfathering which I’m not sure people would want to endure to get cheap car insurance rates. Then again, it IS New Jersey.

  38. r081984 says:

    @Ditch1852:
    An insurance company cannot force you to go to a certain shop.

  39. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    You should have called the shop of your choice and let them arrange towing. It would have been a legitimate part of the collision claim in the end.

    I have Geico, but only because they were 50% cheaper than progressive. Progressive was great for all of my claims.

    Rear ended at stop sign by drunk who ran. $9500 on 2 year old Miata.

    I then co signed for my nephew to buy a car (he lived with us at the time) and put him and the car on our policy. It broke down so we loaned him our Xterra to go to the auto parts store. On his return he rear ended our Infiniti. We had a $1k deductible on the Xterra and a $500 on the Inifinity. both vehicles worked and we put off repairing the Xterra nearly a year, but they still had no problem with supplemental claims. I never did get the damage to the Infiniti fixed (minor cosmetic damage, but over $1k to fix) but it wasn’t because of insurance issues.

    Later his Miata hit a rock, causing the airbags to deploy (hole in the oil pan, and there was a recall on the airbag controller we had overlooked). it totaled the car. We also had a $1000 deductible, but the blue book was high enough that we were paid $700 more than we paid for the car 6 months prior.

    I would strongly recommend Progressive to anyone after my experiences.

  40. theblackdog says:

    3rd in line with the USAA love. They took care of things the one car accident I had 9 years ago with no major trauma to my rates.

  41. JiminyChristmas says:

    I have had the “It’s totaled. Oh wait, no it’s not.” experience with GEICO as well. So, it must not be all that rare. Otherwise, they were pretty decent. They were the insurer of someone who hit my car.

    One thing I did find helpful: When I went to pick up the car, there was a printout of about three pages of all the things that were repaired or replaced. It was about $6500 worth of work. At my car, with the hood open, I had the mechanic walk me through every major line item so that I knew: a) The exact extents of the damage., and b) What they did to fix it.

  42. The Porkchop Express says:

    @Buran: He probably had to inorder to get this guy’s insurance company to start working. They have to cover your legal stuff to certain point in most cases.

    People sometimes have to sue themselves to invoke coverage.

  43. I had no problems with GEICO when someone ran into my car while it was parked and drove off without leaving a note.

    Their recommended repair facility was Pray Auto Body in Stamford, CT who have a long history of working on VW, Audi and Porsche and are one of very few repair shops in the US authorized to do repairs on aluminum bodied Audis.

    The work the shop did was excellent, they had a claims adjuster on hand and my rates didn’t even go up. I dropped off my car, paid the deductable in person when it was done, and that was that.

  44. The Porkchop Express says:

    @Elvisisdead: nice FB ref.

  45. The Porkchop Express says:

    @Canadian Impostor: I don’t knwo about where you are, but most in most states it’s illegal for them to raise your rates if your car was legally parked at the time of the accident.

  46. @Buran: I was named on the lawsuit as the insured. It’s isn’t as though I had to hire a lawyer or show up in court; the suit was against GEICO, who took over six months to pay out a $500.00 claim.

    DId I mention my Godfather’s daughter is my lawyer? :-)

  47. tmlfan81 says:

    I have Geico and I actually love the level of service that I have. They were quite helpful to me when I had a situation of an over-zealous dealership looking to “total” my car in order to get a new or used car sale out of it in the end.

    In the end they had to make a repair to the steering column of my Cobalt, when before they claimed my car was involved in an electrical storm and shorted the electronics. Geico was very responsive, and when they figured out what the dealership was telling me was far from the truth, I had the rental car covered [approximately one week] at no cost to me.

    I used to have State Farm, but the local rep hounded me morning, noon, and night for additional services.

  48. EvilSwine says:

    Funny Geico’s commercials say they came back to New Jersey like they’re doing us a favor. Word on the street is they were fired out of New Jersey for pulling garbage like this. All these places are the same they will gladly take your money, but never like to part with it.

  49. GearheadGeek says:

    @ClayS: I am opposed to corporate entities like Geico being in the business of enforcing speed limits. I’m opposed to the unsupported lie that anyone who receives a citation for speeding is dangerous driver and therefore a higher risk. I’m also opposed to speed limits set arbitrarily to low levels, rather than set based upon sound traffic-management research.

    Law enforcement agencies go along with the insurance lies and pretend that all of their speed enforcement is to address safety concerns. Some is, much isn’t. There’s a valid reason for low speed limits in residential and congested areas, there’s much less justification for many areas in which limits are set artificially low.

  50. jenafer says:

    This is from [www.cga.ct.gov]

    (6) Unfair claim settlement practices. Committing or performing with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice any of the following: (a) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue; (b) failing to acknowledge and act with reasonable promptness upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies; (c) failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies; (d) refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information; (e) failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed; (f) not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear; (g) compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by such insureds; (h) attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application; (i) attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of the insured; (j) making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied by statements setting forth the coverage under which the payments are being made; (k) making known to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than the amount awarded in arbitration; (l) delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an insured, claimant, or the physician of either to submit a preliminary claim report and then requiring the subsequent submission of formal proof of loss forms, both of which submissions contain substantially the same information; (m) failing to promptly settle claims, where liability has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage; (n) failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement; (o) using as a basis for cash settlement with a first party automobile insurance claimant an amount which is less than the amount which the insurer would pay if repairs were made unless such amount is agreed to by the insured or provided for by the insurance policy.

  51. jenafer says:

    File complaints to both Connecticut and New Jersey Department of Insurance.

    Insurance companies are required to respond to them very quickly. They are required to show proof that they’ve handled your claim fairly and properly (according to states laws, which vary).

    Connecticut Dept. of Insurance: [www.ct.gov]
    New Jersey Dept. of Banking and Insurance : [www.state.nj.us]

  52. acknight says:

    Hrmm. While my Geico accident a few months ago wasn’t speedily paid out (total loss on both vehicles, determined 100% the other Geico-insured driver’s fault – took about a month, all told, to get everything taken care of), they did in fact pay out and didn’t give me any sort of run-around like is described here.

    Worked out beautifully that I had gotten a good deal on the car (which I’d only purchased four months or so earlier) since I actually got more than I owed on the car from Geico.

  53. Sndtrkman says:

    I’m stuck in a situation with a “progressively” aggravating insurance company. I was rear-ended by one of their customers, ended up having to get a new car because mine was considered a “total loss” and now they want me to close the claim. Considering they paid me for my old car, I ended up having to go to 2 doctors for my upper back/neck pain that I experienced after the accident.

    I’m at a standstill as to how I should proceed to close my personal injury claim because they are only willing to give me a $500 cap which if my injuries re-appear, won’t cover much (if all) any future medical bills. Any one have any idea as to how I should proceed with this?

  54. Buran says:

    @GearheadGeek: Yeah, not ever going back THERE again.

  55. Buran says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: No, but that’s amusingly circular.

  56. Buran says:

    @nsv: Sue. Hire your godfather’s daughter. :p

  57. nsv says:

    @Buran: Why didn’t I think of that?

  58. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Wow this is ridiculous. So $6200 worth of damage is repaired, then Geico comes out and totals it – then you get a call the next day saying that they can’t total it? Did they give you an explanation of why? Even though after all was said and done, they ended up “re-totaling” it – I’d like to know their reasoning why they changed their mind here twice.

    I live in Virginia and quite unfortuantely had to use Geico 4 times in the past year and each time they were great. Maybe it has something to do with their headquarters being down here? I dunno.

    Best of luck Jonathan!

  59. Anonymous says:

    @BuddyGuyMontag: ha! I had to read that a few times to get it…

    Very nice.

  60. nightshadowon says:

    I have had State Farm since I began driving about 18 years ago (different agents, but always with State Farm). I have had no problem with claims for me. Everything from car being broken in to, getting rear ended, hitting a stationary concrete pillar (those things just jump out at you).

    I tried switching when I thought SF was too expensive, but no one could match them.

    I even get to do my taxes for free through TurboTax Online Deluxe (at least the last 2 years).

  61. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    We were very pleased with the service we received from GEICO here in Vermont. We’ve had three accidents since we moved here (other drivers’ faults) and GEICO paid promptly and recovered our deductable from the other party.

    However, when I turned 50 and found that GEICO was raising my rates, AND I found that AARP insurance was less than half the cost of GEICO for the same coverage, I switched.

  62. ltnickel says:

    I also had a good experience with GEICO. Someone hit my car and didn’t leave any information. I called GEICO, adn they set up an appointment with an appraiser (he worked at a local Cadillac Collision Ctr.) I went to another body shop first and got an appraisal. Then, at my appointment the appraiser gave me an estimate and it was better. He wrote me the check right there and said I could take it to the other shop, or they could do the work. So, I just signed the check back over and they did a great, fast job.

  63. The Porkchop Express says:

    @Sndtrkman: depends on what state you’re in. There are different laws and what not everywhere.

  64. Cyfun says:

    So we’re getting a lot of mixed reviews about Geico, Progressive, and State Farm. Can anyone recommend an auto insurance company that is reliably better than the others, even if they cost a bit more?

  65. Sndtrkman says:

    @Lo-Pan: Well I live in IL so I’m not too familiar with the laws here since this is the first time that I’ve been rear-ended.

  66. kbarrett says:

    @ClayS:

    Traffic fatalities went down in Montana during the years they had no daytime freeway speed limits.

    Do you oppose less traffic fatalities?

  67. I’m still a big fan of Farmer’s. They’re a bit more expensive, but when I totalled a car at a DE day at Pacific, they paid up within days without a hiccup, and I was able to buy a new car the next day.

  68. mpines says:

    I filed a claim with the insurance commissioner in Illinois when I was having trouble with esurance and lived there. Thankfully it wasn’t quite as disastrous as this scenario. Esurance reps told me there was no way they could do what I wanted on friday, and to go ahead and file the formal complaint. I did so and on monday got a call from higher management giving me more or less what I wanted.

    Moral of that story figure out who the government office in charge of regulating insurance companies in the state your policy is in and file a formal complaint. It will get their attention fast.

  69. nsv says:

    @Cyfun: Geico is evil, and I have no experience with State Farm.

    I had Prudential years ago, and they dumped me (after no accidents!) by returning my check uncashed and then saying I didn’t pay my premiums. Since they sent the check to me via Siberia, I didn’t know about it until I had been without insurance for about a month.

    I found out that insurance companies don’t like to insure someone who doesn’t currently have insurance. Progressive was the only one that would give me a policy. And I had an accident since then, and they were great.

  70. Jonathan is a real Geico customer, not a paid celebrity. So to tell his story, we hired 80’s rock legend Def Leppard (band begins to play “Billy’s got a gun”).

  71. purplegrog says:

    @kbarret@kbarrett: I’m an undertaker. So yes. Yes I do.

    Not really.

  72. t0fu says:

    @Pro-Pain:
    Agree, stay away from ESURANCE!!!!

  73. ltlbbynthn says:

    This is why my uncle hates GEICO. Someone totalled his VW bug back in the 80s, and they never gave him a dime. You can kinda tell how terrible an insurance company is by how interesting they need to make their advertising. Because no one will pick them by word-of-mouth!

  74. gingerCE says:

    Hmm I have had good experiences with Esurance so far–quickly got vehicle fixed. I had even better experience with AAA, not my insurance but the other guy’s–they really took care of me after the accident.

  75. JimAg says:

    I have worked in auto insurance claims for the past 10 years, both as an adjuster and a claims manager. In my experience, no one company’s claims handling is consistently better than any other’s. The real issue is typically with an individual adjuster, who has either made a mistake and does not want to admit it or does not have the authority to resolve the issue.

    Your best strategy is to elevate your issue to the adjuster’s manager, then to that person’s manager. If your issue is not resolved, then contact the state insurance commission and executives at the company. In some states, the insurance commission is basically the industry’s voice in the capitol. Every auto insurance executive is interested in retaining customers, especially in the current market where many companies are operating at a combined ratio near or over 100.

    Also, remember that insurance is mainly regulated at the state level, so rules for one state may not apply in another. Most state insurance commission web sites have information on what standards must be met for good faith claim handling.