“Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.” This tagline from the insurance company I am currently insured with has stuck with me since I signed my life away as their client. However, State Farm insurance has not lived up to their own tagline. I was involved in an accident on January 19, 2016 where my 2014 fully-loaded Ford Fiesta, unfortunately, was totaled. Although it was not my fault, I retrieved a lawyer to aid me in this process.
First, I called State Farm customer service at 1-800-440-0998. When that failed I wrote a formal claim to the corporate office at State Farm, 1 State Farm Plaza, Bloomington, IL 61710.
I did sustain an injury to my left shoulder due to the side curtain air bags deploying. Since January 19th, 2016 State Farm claims department (including total loss, personal injury and general claims teams) has ignored, forgot, and battled me on my auto claim, clearly “customer service” is not priority for them.
My car was sitting at a collision centre for two and a half weeks before State Farm decided to bring their appraiser to the shop. At the time of the appraiser looking at my vehicle, I was notified by State Farm that I had to release the vehicle so it can be given to one of their preferred shops. I have previous experience in the insurance industry by working with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in the insurance replacement division. My job description was to collect money from insurance companies based on authorizations for rental vehicles. Due to my previous knowledge I was aware that I own my vehicle, I am the one to choose which shop the vehicle goes to to-be appraised/repaired, etc.
Obviously State Farm ideally would like their clients to use preferred shops because these shops have deals with the insurance companies for discounted work and kick-backs for the shop. For this, I did not release my car to State Farm, I refused to be pushed around by the insurance company I became a victim of State Farm’s bullying and scare tactics. I soon realized the tagline “Like a good neighbour State Farm is there” does not apply to my situation.
From then on, State Farm deemed my car a total loss and placed me “at fault” for the accident when I had nothing to do or control of the situation.
After finding out the vehicle was a total loss and I am at fault my anxiety levels began to rise and my relationship with my partner became rocky with both us wanting answers and to move on from this traumatic experience.
I became depressed, anxious, sad and angry that I pay State Farm to provide a customer service and insurance at the time an accident occurs and I received the exact opposite. On State Farms website the mission statement for the company is made available to the public, the experience I went through goes against the company’s mission statement. How can a huge insurance company, like State Farm, go against their own mission statement without being reprehended for their mistakes? For example, “From losing everything, to life's smaller disappointments, State Farm means people who care, with unparalleled experience in getting back on your feet.”
People who care? I was left in the dark about the status of my vehicle or paying my deductible so State Farm did not care. I was injured from the accident and the Personal Injury adjustor called me the day after the accident pushing me to go to one of their preferred medical professionals and I needed to complete this process as soon as possible. Again, insurance companies have make deals with these medical professionals and they receive a kick-backs from the insurance companies to get their clients in and out as soon as possible. Therefore, the insurance companies do not need to cough up standard rates for medical help.
Again, I was not going to be bullied or scared by State Farm so I told this Personal Injury Adjustor on January 20th, 2016 that I was in a lot of pain and did not want to speak about this matter. I completely understand getting people back on their feet but when your insurance company is supposed to fight for your well-being, they should not be pushing but understanding of the circumstances of their clients. Your clients do not care if there is a quota you need to reach to make your bonus, your clients care about getting better and for people to understand each situation is unique that requires a degree of compassion, patience and sympathy.
“We've been putting the needs of our policyholders first and making decisions that are in their best interest since we began serving Canadians in 1938” is completely untrue and should be taken off their mission statement, in my opinion. State Farm was negligent in putting my needs first, they forgot about me and the accident. This is shown by their lack of communication with myself and my lawyer as well as their blatant disregard for their clients.
I will be cancelling my insurance policy with State Farm because the company does not have a sense of urgency when it comes to auto claims and does not understand the term “customer service.”
Customer service should be a number one priority to an insurance company for client retention and to gain more insureds without customer service a negative view is put on the insurance company.
“You can expect us to help our policyholders get back on their feet after the unexpected hits, no matter what the unexpected is.” Please tell me State Farm how you helped me get back on my feet? Each person I spoke to was rude and pushy. I feel as though State Farm was not on my side but making me feel like I was the one in the wrong that I could have prevented the “not at fault” accident. Currently my lawyer is in talks for a settlement for my fully loaded 2014 Ford Fiesta and of course State Farm does not look into the exact type of vehicle, packages on the vehicle, and winter tires on the vehicle.
I understand an insurance company is trying to save money from dishing out the entire value of the vehicle, I am also aware of the depreciation of a vehicle once it leaves a dealer’s lot but I did not expect for State Farm to low-ball the estimate to the point where I had an anxiety attack attempting to figure out how I would pay for the remainder of my loan to Ford Credit Canada.
After reviewing the estimate I received and speaking with people who write estimates/appraisals everyday State Farm was negligent on comparing my vehicle with other vehicles that are close to the vehicle I owned, State Farm did not take into consideration I had navigation, snow tires, heated seats and comfort package. Why am I paying for an insurance company to basically slap me in the face? I rejected their offer and is now being pushed into arbitration. If State Farm actually did their research into the true value of my vehicle and the collision I would not be at fault nor would I reject the offer.
’Being a good neighbour’ is not just a slogan; it's a promise to each and every one of our policyholders.” I believe being a neighbour is to provide aid when it is needed, State Farm does the exact opposite. They are not neighbours, they are crooks looking to take advantage, scare, manipulate and bully the very people they keep them in business. State Farm should re-evaluate their mission statement and change it reflect the different ways they handle claims – their auto claims system is not customer service but a nuisance.
Instead of their teams attacking their clients, making a “not at fault” client feel like they are “at fault,” making a client pay for a deductible when they were not “at fault” and completely disregarding their client’s needs to change.
This is not “customer service” this is people attempting to reach a quota of how much pain and suffering they can inflict on people.
When looking at the value State Farm receives from their clients in an average year from home, auto, farming and health claims it is clear to see that State Farm is not collecting the majority of their revenue from auto claims but from home, farming and health claims. I find this completely ridiculous and does not comply with their tagline “Like a good neighbour State Farm is there” because they were not there for me and doing research I have found there is a multitude of people who are in the same boat as myself in Canada and the United States. Their tagline should be “Like a good neighbour, State Farm is only there for you if you have a home, health or farm claim. If you have an auto claim we will neglect you, take your money and cause stress.”
The only good thing that has come out of this situation is the collision centre for backing me up and not siding with the insurance company, Enterprise Rent-A-Car for getting me a vehicle even though due to my injury I am unable to drive and my lawyer for fighting with me against State Farm.
This rant is for everyone to be aware that this insurance company is scamming and taking advantage of their clients when an insurance company is supposed to help in the time of need. I ask for you, the reader, to share this with your friends and family. Considering State Farm/Certas/Desjardins is a large insurance company you, the reader, may know of someone who is currently insured with this company. This is unacceptable and I am not the only one this is happened or is happening to. Any insurance company should treat their clients like HUMAN BEINGS not like criminals.
I am not a criminal, I am not committing any insurance fraud, I am an innocent person in this entire process. No insurance company should bully, scare, manipulate or cause any sort of stress with you or your relationships, they should be there to help you through this traumatic experience, not adding to the stress. I am not saying all insurance companies possess the same level of negligence like State Farm, I am merely pointing out the fact an insurance company is a crooked business.