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Homeowner Insurance overcharged on premium
Old 11-13-2010, 10:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 206
Homeowner Insurance overcharged on premium

I am considering filing a complaint to the Ohio Dept of Insurance. I want to be objective so am soliciting opinions, as to whether that would be appropriate.

Having rec'd a post card from my agent that said "We need to talk about your castle insurance", I gave him a call. He wanted me to come in to the office, I said, it's more convenient to discuss this via the phone. So he pulls up the Home Owners policy, quickly looks it over & says "Everything seems to be in order." My son had told me of getting a substantial reduction in his HO insurance (same company) when they ran his credit rating & found it to be excellent. So, since my agent didn't mention this after his "review", I posed this as a possibility for our HO insurance. He responded like "if I use enough big words she'll think I'm a genius", a lot of jargon, smoke & mirrors, & didn't seem inclined to wanna go there (no pro/con offered). I persisted & he agreed to check further.

His assistant calls me back, says they can save me ~$110/yr by switching the policy from the Mutual Co to the Fire Ins. Co and that it will provide more/better coverage because this would be a "home replacement" policy. She said that when they ran this new policy they found that we were erroneously in a Fire Protection Class of 10 instead of the lower cost class 5. I asked her how that change of protection class would affect the "old" policy cost. She hadn't run the numbers to make a comparison. I asked to speak to the Agent. He again gives me gobblety-gook answers/info. I confronted him with the fact that I found him to be evasive & not forthcoming with answers/info & how was it that we were in the WRONG protection class? Oh, mea culpa! & he didn't know the root of the mistake. I pushed ... again... to get comparative data. The premium was due in a week... he knew that. Assistant calls 2 days after premium due date & says that with the correct Protection class (5) the old policy would be $168 less per year.

While he was dithering for over a week, I researched other options & have found that USAA (thanks ER forum) will meet our needs for HO AND vehicle insurance for a total savings of $374/yr. So I told his ass't thanks, but we're changing insurance companies.

We've been paying this inflated/erroneous price for at least 2 year, probably longer. I should have noticed that it had changed, but I had just figured that insurance costs had gone higher & didn't study the policy for errors or changes.

So, my question boils down to.... We didn't change our Protection Class & he "doesn't know how or why it was in error". We over-paid. Is this something that the Insurance Commission should know about? I recognize that my objectivity might be clouded by my high level of irritation with the Agent's poor customer service and use of "used car salesman"-jargon/smoke/mirrors tactics.

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