Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Thanks for nothing, USAA
Old 09-23-2010, 03:14 PM   #1
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Thanks for nothing, USAA

At least this time. I've been a very satisfied customer for many years. But now I'm really miffed.

A couple weeks ago, a dead tree fell into our garage and did some damage. Deciding to be safe about it but thinking the damage probably didn't exceed our 2% deductible, I called and INQUIRED about the process and making it clear I did not yet want to do *anything* that would get anything on the CLUE report unless I knew the damage considerably exceeded the deductible. I made this clear to everyone I spoke with. The adjuster said something to the effect that we could have someone sent out to assess the damage and take it from there, that I could choose to pursue a claim if the estimate made it worthwhile.

Now I made it abundantly clear to this guy that I wanted to do NOTHING that would trigger an entry in the CLUE report. And yet this guy does NOT tell me that the act of sending out someone to do the estimate makes it an official claim that WILL be in the CLUE report. And at this point they say there is nothing they can do to remove it.

So I have 1% damage on a 2% deductible, nothing paid out and despite my adamant position that we do nothing that would go on the CLUE report, it will be there because it was (a) not explained to me that sending someone out would make it a claim and (b) he suggested a course of action that would trigger consequences contrary to my clearly and repeatedly stated desires about how to proceed.

Yeah, I'm a little miffed now. If they use this as an excuse to jack up my renewal rates, I WILL be leaving.

Consider yourselves warned, everyone.
__________________

__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-23-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,101
Zig, sorry you learned the lesson the hard way. Never, ever contact your insurance company regarding damages of any sort unless you plan to file a claim. There are no hypothetical situations or "just between me and you" conversations. Assume everything is on the record when you discuss anything with an insurance company.
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Indialantic FL
Posts: 1,197
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
At least this time. I've been a very satisfied customer for many years. But now I'm really miffed.

A couple weeks ago, a dead tree fell into our garage and did some damage. Deciding to be safe about it but thinking the damage probably didn't exceed our 2% deductible, I called and INQUIRED about the process and making it clear I did not yet want to do *anything* that would get anything on the CLUE report unless I knew the damage considerably exceeded the deductible. I made this clear to everyone I spoke with. The adjuster said something to the effect that we could have someone sent out to assess the damage and take it from there, that I could choose to pursue a claim if the estimate made it worthwhile.

Now I made it abundantly clear to this guy that I wanted to do NOTHING that would trigger an entry in the CLUE report. And yet this guy does NOT tell me that the act of sending out someone to do the estimate makes it an official claim that WILL be in the CLUE report. And at this point they say there is nothing they can do to remove it.

So I have 1% damage on a 2% deductible, nothing paid out and despite my adamant position that we do nothing that would go on the CLUE report, it will be there because it was (a) not explained to me that sending someone out would make it a claim and (b) he suggested a course of action that would trigger consequences contrary to my clearly and repeatedly stated desires about how to proceed.

Yeah, I'm a little miffed now. If they use this as an excuse to jack up my renewal rates, I WILL be leaving.

Consider yourselves warned, everyone.

If I were you, I would call USAA and insist on talking to a manager. Tell him your situation and insist that they pull the phone recordings of your conversations with a representative. I had to do this with the banking side several years ago on an error USAA made, I eventually had a phone conversation with the VP of banking operations and received a letter of apology.
__________________
JimnJana
"The four most dangerous words in investing are 'This time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton
jimnjana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 03:39 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
I'm with J&J, you need to rock some boats.
__________________
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Zig, sorry you learned the lesson the hard way. Never, ever contact your insurance company regarding damages of any sort unless you plan to file a claim. There are no hypothetical situations or "just between me and you" conversations. Assume everything is on the record when you discuss anything with an insurance company.
+1

I would add to the above except for the fact that my extreme (post-Katrina) bias against insurance companies would be abundantly apparent, and would probably offend certain other members of our forum community including some who are in the insurance business.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 04:31 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,616
OK, it goes in CLUE. So what? Are you just anguished because of myths that you have heard? Or has this affected your life and finances in some meaningful way?
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 04:35 PM   #7
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
OK, it goes in CLUE. So what? Are you just anguished because of myths that you have heard? Or has this affected your life and finances in some meaningful way?
It's because if I have another legitimate claim that I intended to be a claim, I'm screwed in terms of being renewed or the premiums I'm likely to pay. And if I sold this house, that could complicate matters if the buyer has trouble getting insurance in that case.

Even if there isn't another claim, if I were to sell the house it's one more potential issue with potential buyers, as they might be afraid they're buying a house that's only one legitimate claim away from non-renewal.

And because of this, now I'd be hesitant to file even a claim involving $10,000 damage.

IF nothing else happens in the next few years that triggers a claim, I'm pretty sure it's a minor thing and almost a non-event. But I don't know that now, do I?
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 04:51 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,041
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Zig, sorry you learned the lesson the hard way. Never, ever contact your insurance company regarding damages of any sort unless you plan to file a claim. There are no hypothetical situations or "just between me and you" conversations. Assume everything is on the record when you discuss anything with an insurance company.
+2. For small claims, it's probably best to get estimates from local contractors first and involve the insurance company only if absolutely necessary. I had one issue with USAA many years ago regarding a car insurance claim. I became a bit vocal, threatened to move my business elsewhere, talked to a supervisor and the problem went away. It might be worth trying...
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 04:54 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 291
I almost got blindsided with this same situation and Allstate after a hail storm last year. Agree with poster upthread that recommended you call all the way to the top if necesary.
__________________
bubba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 05:03 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
It's because if I have another legitimate claim that I intended to be a claim, I'm screwed in terms of being renewed or the premiums I'm likely to pay. And if I sold this house, that could complicate matters if the buyer has trouble getting insurance in that case.

Even if there isn't another claim, if I were to sell the house it's one more potential issue with potential buyers, as they might be afraid they're buying a house that's only one legitimate claim away from non-renewal.

And because of this, now I'd be hesitant to file even a claim involving $10,000 damage.
So is it written in your insurance policies all the above? That is, does it say, "You are screwed if non-claims go into CLUE." Or are you just imagining what will happen? I'm genuinely curious if this is all hearsay or not.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 05:15 PM   #11
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
So is it written in your insurance policies all the above? That is, does it say, "You are screwed if non-claims go into CLUE." Or are you just imagining what will happen? I'm genuinely curious if this is all hearsay or not.
I already said I'm quite certain this will be a non-issue IF nothing comes up in the next few years AND if having a "non-claim claim" doesn't scare away the lender or insurer of a potential buyer if we sold. (Most likely, this single "non-claim" in a vacuum won't do that alone.) But that's only with the benefit of hindsight IF nothing else happens and IF I don't sell and IF a buyer's lender and/or insurance don't balk. (CLUE reports are only issued to homeowners, insurers and lenders, so the prospective buyer won't likely know unless their insurer or lender squawks about it.

But most policies do have pricing or renewal rules that are determined by the number of claims in a set period of time. Let's say 6 months from now, a fire ripped through a portion of the house and did, say $40,000 damage. I file a claim for that. Now on my next renewal I have two claims in the last 12 months, and either my rates likely skyrocket or I'm non-renewed.

Now for $40K it's an easy call to take that risk; that's way too much for me to eat even if it results in huge rate hikes or non-renewal. But $10K? Maybe not. $5K? Probably not. The bottom line is that this not only risks causing renewal issues or rate hikes if another legitimate claim comes in, but also makes me MUCH less likely to file claims in amounts where I'd definitely file if I didn't already have a claim out there.

As far as I know, most insurers look at the number of claims in a period -- not just whether or not how much (if anything) was paid out. X claims in a certain period, and you are flagged for rate hikes or non-renewal. This one will count as one of the X as far as I'm able to tell from the experiences of most folks.

The sad thing is that while I don't want to brag, I think I'm more money-savvy than probably 90% of the people out there with respect to financial planning, saving, debt management, insurance and investments. And if I got tripped up by this, most people don't have a chance.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 05:22 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,881
Quote:
I called and INQUIRED about the process and making it clear I did not yet want to do *anything* that would get anything on the CLUE report
Seems like you should have known that an employee of USAA, or any insurance company, is obligated to obtain as much claims data for their company as possible. Always remember that speaking to a CS rep is no different than speaking to the president of the company or a claims manager.

You miscalculated. Chalk it up to experience.
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 05:32 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
The sad thing is that while I don't want to brag, I think I'm more money-savvy than probably 90% of the people out there with respect to financial planning, saving, debt management, insurance and investments. And if I got tripped up by this, most people don't have a chance.
Yup.

I learned about it from DW who was a claims adjuster, although when asked what she did before retiring she usually says she was a sex worker. Less stigma.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 05:38 PM   #14
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Seems like you should have known that an employee of USAA, or any insurance company, is obligated to obtain as much claims data for their company as possible. Always remember that speaking to a CS rep is no different than speaking to the president of the company or a claims manager.
"Obtaining data" and blatantly initiating an action that they know the customer was dead set against are two different things, at least from a business ethics point of view if not a legal one.

It's not entirely different than a risk-averse widow telling her broker that she's looking to configure her life savings and that she wants to avoid investments that entail risk -- and the broker then suggests a course of action that puts much of her nest egg into a stock fund or a "high yield" junk bond fund. Not entirely the same, but there are considerable similarities. In both cases the "professional" has steered someone into a decision that was not appropriate for their situation and their own clearly communicated desires.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 05:45 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Let's say 6 months from now, a fire ripped through a portion of the house and did, say $40,000 damage. I file a claim for that. Now on my next renewal I have two claims in the last 12 months, and either my rates likely skyrocket or I'm non-renewed.
I don't understand. Why would you have 2 claims?
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 05:50 PM   #16
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I don't understand. Why would you have 2 claims?
I don't. But if a theoretical future second claim is likely to cause problems, then if I have another loss I'm a lot less likely to file if it's the second claim than if it were the first claim (which IMO it would have been had I not been misled).

Again, to repeat yet again -- this is ONE claim that shouldn't have been a claim if the agent didn't use my ignorance to initiate a process that I was against had the consequences been disclosed. So if another loss comes along, instead of being the first claim I would definitely file, it now becomes the second that I might not, even if the loss were $10K.

What are you not understanding here? I think I've been pretty clear on this point.

The bottom line is that for practical purposes, my "deductible" has significantly risen. Because now it will take a MUCH greater potential future loss for me to even consider filing a claim at this point. Sure, if nothing happens for a few years there's little to no impact, but that's still a few years of extra worry and stress that ONE moderately significant event can really take a bite out of our savings now.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 06:02 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,616
I guess I am not understanding that if you didn't sign something, then you don't even have a claim this time no matter what USAA says.

And suppose you have $40K paid in a future claim. And another $20K in a future claim after that. Are you sure you will be dropped? Does it actually stipulate that in your policy.

I have USAA, but have not made claims on the HO policy. In the past, we have made hail damage claims on our Allstate policy with no adverse effects that I could see.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 06:07 PM   #18
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I guess I am not understanding that if you didn't sign something, then you don't even have a claim this time no matter what USAA says.

And suppose you have $40K paid in a future claim. And another $20K in a future claim after that. Are you sure you will be dropped? Does it actually stipulate that in your policy.

I have USAA, but have not made claims on the HO policy. In the past, we have made hail damage claims on our Allstate policy with no adverse effects that I could see.
The bottom line is, whatever the threshold is we're one step closer to reaching it than I intended to be.

This whole thing makes me think there needs to be an insurance version of Miranda rights: "You realize that by sending out an estimator, you are filing a claim that may count against you even if the damage does not exceed your deductible..."
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 06:08 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,101
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I guess I am not understanding that if you didn't sign something, then you don't even have a claim this time no matter what USAA says.
You don't need to have a claim to impact your CLUE score. Even calling to inquire about filing a claim can (and is) reported and can lower your rating.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2010, 06:12 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,616
And, once again, so what if you affect your CLUE score?
__________________

__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
USAA 2 Year CD @ 3.25% ziggy29 FIRE and Money 5 04-30-2009 02:32 PM
USAA or Vanguard johnk FIRE and Money 9 06-27-2008 02:43 PM
USAA vs. GEICO friar1610 Life after FIRE 15 01-31-2008 03:25 PM
USAA for investment help? Joss FIRE and Money 10 05-18-2007 02:49 PM
USAA website virginia Other topics 4 09-21-2006 08:20 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:30 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.