Just when I think I’ve heard it all, I get a call from a claims adjuster at major insurance carrier that we will call Old MacDonalds Insurance and I can’t believe what I hear. The background on the claim is that a driver insured by Old MacDonalds Insurance lost control of his car and crashed into my client’s house. A scary situation for everyone involved, I’m sure.
Obviously the homeowner involved is very concerned with his home being put back to the way it was before the accident, and he is working directly with the Old MacDonalds Insurance claims adjuster. I received a call from the homeowner asking me about some things that the Old MacDonalds Insurance adjuster said to him about depreciation. He told me that the Old MacDonalds Insurance claims adjuster told him that he would have to share in the cost to repair his own home and that Old MacDonalds Insurance will pay him a depreciated amount for things like paint, siding and window coverings.
What?!?! This homeowner, who did nothing wrong, is being asked to share in the cost to repair his home? I told my client that I have never heard of such terrible claims service before. I armed him with some key words and phrases to use with his claims adjuster as well as the phone number for the consumer assistance line at the California Department of Insurance. After he spoke with the adjuster again, the adjuster called me and left me a message.
The message was more of the same. He said that Old MacDonalds Insurance liability does not pay the full cost to repair a claimant's home and that indeed they will only pay depreciated values for items I mentioned before. This adjuster actually recommended that my client not use the Old MacDonalds Insurance claims department at all. He acknowledged that he would receive better claims service through his own homeowner insurance carrier.
Now, I agree with him that he will receive better service from his own carrier, but that doesn’t excuse Old MacDonalds Insurance from providing appropriate claims service to a claimant. Remember, this is the company with a national advertising campaign advising you to learn more about your coverage and you might find gaps. They even have a web page advising you of gaps in coverage. There is no mention of not repairing a claimant's full cost to repair his home.
Don’t assume that a nationally known insurance company is going to provide you with the best service when you need them. Take a look at some customer success stories of Capital Insurance Group, who JSW Insurance has represented since 1981 https://www.ciginsurance.com/about/customer-success-stories/.
If you do have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us at 925.737.1560.