you're in good hands...

Said my husband least when it comes to our current insurance company.

We changed insurance back in December 2011.  We had them drafting directly from our on-line savings account.  I was a little leery about that since they can potentially withdraw money at any time.  Typically they don't and I have no basis on being worried about it.

But as life went on, a few months after we paid our premium, in fact they did draw an additional $8 from our account.  This truly upset me not only because of what I stated earlier, but also because with on-line banks you are only allowed 6 withdraws per statement period without penalty, and I didn't want to acquire a penalty in which I would have to hold the insurance company responsible and expect the charges refunded.

Life went on and nothing further went wrong, they did refund me the $8 that they erroneously withdrew, so NBD, right?

December comes upon us again and thinking of what happened earlier in the year, I wanted to do a preemptive strike and see if instead of my bank account, could the insurance company draft the money from our credit card.

I called and asked this question to the woman who answered; we will call her Linda.  And Linda replied that yes, we can change your payment to be drafted from your credit card instead of your bank account.  I asked if there would be any additional charge and she told me that there would not be an additional charge, however since we were starting this change so late in the month and so close to our due date, she would have to make it that the draft would take place the following month on the 19th.  I said that was fine.

This was when things got very complicated.

As with any change to our insurance, we receive a tree of a policy a couple of weeks later in the mail, even if we only made a change to the payment type.  This time, the tree came with a charge.  A little over $200!  We immediately called and asked why we were charged and were told that it was because we changed our payment type from automatic draft from our checking account to automatic payment from our credit card.

We explained that we were told by Linda that there wouldn't be a charge.  We were told that Linda was new and didn't know what she was talking about.  We told them that we wanted to change the payment back to the checking account.

A couple of weeks later we received another tree.  The amount due was again a totally different number.  It wasn't what we were originally charged when we first received our bill, it was now $65 more.  We called immediately and were told that they would look into it and call us back.  They never did.  Jerome called and wrote them many emails.  We were quoted yet another amount over the phone that was $28 less than our original amount.  But before that went into effect, the insurance company withdrew the larger amount, the amount that was $65 more than what we were originally quoted.

This completely pissed off Jerome and as we were calling, emailing and getting ready to have our heads pop off in frustration because our agent was never in the office and when he was, he would blame it on his employees, we received another amount deducted from our checking account in the amount of $90!  We called again asking WTH is going on???!!!  And were told that Allstate took out that amount because we were on the yearly payment plan and because we were LATE with our yearly payment, we were charged the late fee!  We were only "late" because you had to change the date because your computer system didn't recognize that I made a change, and you had to update the system with the following month's date - YOU made us late.

Now we were getting absolutely NO WHERE, so Jerome decided to pay a visit to the office.  He became the crazy Frenchman and told the agent that he wasn't going to leave his office until he received the $65 erroneous charge + the $90 late fee.  He stayed while the agent called Corporate and had things explained to him.  He told Jerome that he would have his $90 late fee returned within 10 days and he gave Jerome the $65 in a check.

10 days came and went with NO CHECK arriving at our house.  NO reversal of the fee whatsoever.  Now Jerome called again and inquired and was told that corporate didn't approve of the reversal of the late fee.


Very rude and no customer service!  I'm sure Jerome could add MUCH more to this post as I only can keep straight these details.

What else can you do?  So, I called a local Allstate Insurance Agent and told him a little of our story.  We meet with him today to see if we can change him to our agent and if by chance we could get our $90 back.

This has been the most ridiculous thing to go through.  This is MURICA!  These things SHOULD NOT HAPPEN.

We'll see what happens tonight.


dynochick (Jan) said…
On Jan 17th we canceled our homeowners policy with Citizens (the worst insurance company EVER) and they said they would refund the balance. I just received a check last week for over 800 bucks. It took 5 months to receive the balance but if you are 1 minute late with your payment they charge you 75 bucks.

We paid off one of our houses last month. We owed 317 dollars in principle but they made me also pay the escrow amount. Now they tell me that it will take 3 months for an escrow check to be sent. That is 2700 bucks they get to play with for three months...FREE of charge.

In the meantime, my doctor ordered some tests but the office help forgot to tell the people doing the blood work and tests that I have BCBS so they billed me for the entire charge. It was only after I paid the bill that I read the statement and noticed that they didn't run it through BCBS. I called and had to wait on the phone forever until I could talk to someone. We finally got it straightened out but the next day I received another bill for another test. This resulted in yet another call.

This made me think if the doctor's office maybe forgot that I had BCBS so on my next appointment I brought that up and sure enough for some reason they, too, had not been running my stuff through BCBS. I now have over a $200 credit with the doctor.

So wonder I am cash poor. Everyone has my money and won't give it back.
baby sister said…
So, we've been able to switch to the insurance guy that is just down the street - after we had filed a complaint about the other guy. He showed us where we could save some money for our rentals. We had him investigate the $90 and we heard back from "Corporate". They told us that they could not refund the money as that was for full year payment and we hadn't paid on time. I said OK, but Jerome is still on the warpath. In the meantime, we received a $10 refund...not sure for what exactly.

Really have never had this much difficulty with an insurance company or agent, EVER.
dynochick (Jan) said…
Insurance companies are evil. You pay and pay and pay and then when you actually file a claim they raise your rates because you filed a claim. We might as well keep our money and save it up for when we need it.

I find it hard to believe that we need to have all this insurance just in case something catastrophic happens. What are the odds of that happening? Then if it's really bad just do like companies do and file bankruptcy.

I just hate insurance companies.

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