Author Topic: Insurance Dilemma (long)  (Read 1808 times)

esq

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Insurance Dilemma (long)
« on: May 16, 2017, 09:28:59 AM »
About five years ago, we switched homeowners/auto insurance to Horace Mann, which is a teacher's insurance company (you have to show you're a teacher to be accepted).  Their prices were great, average reviews (does any insurance company have great reviews anymore?), so we signed up.

Fast forward to late last year, my husband did some research on a new carrier, calling about 10 companies, including Allstate.  Horace Mann had gone up, no notice, and when I called to see if they'd give me a new quote, the agent said she'd call back with numbers but never did, and I didn't chase it.  Couldn't get any better prices, so we stayed with Horace Mann.  Then Allstate calls back last month and said their prices have gone down, can they quote us again?  Well, sure.  Homeowners/auto came back about $60/mo cheaper, and they even threw in a small life insurance policy.

I'm retiring in 11 years, at 70 yrs old, and don't have a lot saved up, so $60 month is a big deal.  I sign up with Allstate - lots of paperwork/phone calls back and forth, funds autopayed from bank account, etc.  This took place late April/early May over the course of two weeks. Then last Friday, after everything is said and done, we get a homeowner's cancellation letter from Allstate saying there are holes in our eaves and a tree touching our roof, so they will cancel in June if we don't fix it.  I call, tell them, "wtf?", they send pictures.  We have a 1" hole in one eave, and a few branches, none of which are more than 1/2" wide, touching our roof. The actual trunk of this tree is 15' away from the house.  No other insurance companies have had a problem in the 22 years we've lived here. Our home was built in 1995, and is in great shape.  When I answered Allstate's email with those pictures, I said I'd think about whether we want to stay or go with the cancellation, and asked the agent if she had any idea why they'd wait until all that paperwork/phone calling/signing, etc was done to cancel?  Haven't heard a word back from her since Friday, and believe me, they called every day, multiple times, to make sure I signed and returned they myriad forms, agreements, and autopay arrangements.

Our house is 2-story with steep pitched roof, and husband could fix both problems, but he has a bad back, and I'm not sure I want him to attempt this. He's not crazy about the idea, either, TBH.  No idea how much it would cost to hire someone.

Then yesterday (Monday) I get another letter saying we owe $74.48 on our cancelled account.  I haven't called yet about this since I got home so late, but I have no idea what to make of it.

My ideas about going forward on this:

1. Fix the eave and the branches, and stay with Allstate.  But I'm wondering why they would conduct business like this? Who writes policies involving weeks of back and forth, and then cancels over tiny things no one else ever worried about? If Allstate is difficult about this, what else will they be difficult about? What if it's my car and I can't get to work? It makes me very concerned.  Also, the life insurance policy is $40 a month - I suspect this might have something to do with the good deal they gave me on home/auto in the first place, just so they could write a life insurance policy.  It's only $10,000, and I don't really want it.

2.  There's a new Horace Mann agent close to me; different office than the one that never called back.  I could go sit down with them and see if they can match Allstate's price. When we insured with them they used my pictures of the house.

I wanted to bring this here to you wise and experienced people. Thoughts, comments, concerns - hopefully no face punches; remember, I'm old.

Gin1984

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Re: Insurance Dilemma (long)
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 09:33:12 AM »
I'd look around at other insurance companies not just Horace Mann.  I would not say with allstate.

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GizmoTX

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Re: Insurance Dilemma (long)
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 09:48:19 AM »
I'd look around at other insurance companies not just Horace Mann.  I would not say with allstate.

+1. Any company doing that to you now will NOT pay off well if you have a claim. Make sure you cancel the autopay.

We've had excellent service, including claims, from State Farm, for house, auto, boat, & umbrella coverage for decades. Also check with Farmers.

Goldielocks

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Re: Insurance Dilemma (long)
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 01:09:45 PM »
Whatever you decide, fixing a 1" hole in your eave, and trimming back branches from your roof is a good idea for long term maintenance prevention.

techwiz

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Re: Insurance Dilemma (long)
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 01:57:58 PM »
I am looking at this from a positive point of view. They noticed something and pointed it out. 

My guess is they are concerned with critters using the tree to get up to the roof using those branches and the 1 inch hole as an access point into the roof/attic space. I would thank them for the heads up and fix the issue.

Of course insurance companies only focus is making money so they didn't do this to help you out, likely just so they don't have to pay for a claim for any damage caused by critters.     

ColaMan

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Re: Insurance Dilemma (long)
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 04:43:07 PM »
Had a similar issue with Allstate a couple of years ago.  Switched to them because they offered homeowners that was much cheaper than my then-existing carrier.  Signed up, has a subsequent inspection, and got a demand to fix a small handful of issues, or else cancellation.  These issues were almost purely cosmetic, and the whole thing rubbed me the wrong way (if they're nitpicking on stuff like this, what would they be like if I had to file a claim?  Plus the timeframe to fix the stuff was a little tight, in light of other things I had to do).  So I found a different carrier ( a little more $ than Allstate).  No problem getting refunded the balance of the premium (of course I paid the premium on a prorated basis for the 3 months or so that I was covered by Allstate -- I had paid for six months or a year when I initially switched to them).

I guess the idea is that the premium is low because they bounce any homeowner who is not spectacularly Type-A about home maintenance?  But annoying, because, as I said, none of the issues they raised looked like legit safety problems -- it was stuff like peeling paint on the eaves.