Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Personal Opinion of Farmers Insurance

“The mere narcotizing effect of which cosmic forces have on a shallow and brittle personality is attested in the relation of such a person to one of the highest and most genial manifestations of these forces: the weather. Nothing is more characteristic than that precisely this most intimate and mysterious affair, the working of the weather on humans, should have become the theme of their emptiest chatter. Nothing bores the ordinary man more than the cosmos. Hence, for him, the deepest connection between weather and boredom.
 - Walter Benjamin, The Arcade Project

It’s been hot lately. I talked about the weather for 15 minutes the other night with a complete stranger. Did you know it’s been hot lately? Enough narcotizing.

I recently filed the second homeowners insurance claim I have ever filed with Farmer’s Insurance in >25 years.  They more recently denied it, just like they did when I found mold from a slow leak  under my kitchen dishwasher that hadn’t been used in 20 years, and refused to even give me a copy of the hazmat report that it was black mold I should have noticed sooner. Because, apparently we should all be checking beneath un-used and un-movable kitchen appliances regularly, rather than discovering the mold when it spreads to the adjacent cabinet beneath the sink. Due diligence.

Tiffany, my good neighbor claims adjustor from Kansas, at first said the fallen tree branch must have fallen (and badly damaged a guest’s vehicle) because I must have been negligent in not removing a dead branch that was clearly threatening to fall in my driveway.

When I produced a 3-page detailed invoice and cancelled check for $5,000 worth of tree work less than 90 days ago, it gave Tiffany pause. But only briefly. Tiffany then said it must have been an act of god.

Well then, I said. Since I had the burden of proof that I wasn’t negligent, she’d have to prove it was an act of god, beginning with proving that there is a god. Tiffany said that act-of-god is a legal term of art. I said I’d been a lawyer longer than she’d been inhaling air, and term of art or not, she had the burden of proof. 

Unless, I suggested in my best good neighbor voice, there was a policy exception for “shit happens”. Tiffany reminded me that the call was being recorded. I reminded Tiffany that shit happens is a legal term of art, and was in no way directed at her or intended to impugn the reputation of Farmers so-called Insurance.

As the claim was denied – to my great lack of surprise – as an act of nature, I felt it not worth my trouble to file another claim for removal of the branches that were knocked down by the hurricane remnant that blasted through my backyard even more recently. Tiffany can't afford to waste any more air denying any more claims from now until I replace this worthless company with someone who won't at least disrespect my atheism. 

Tiffany did mention that Farmers insurance has a good neighbor clause that will pay up to the amount of my deductible but that if I invoked it, she couldn’t guarantee that my rates wouldn’t increase. I told Tiffany that is my exact definition of bad neighbor, but then again being a good neighbor wasn’t my job, so what do I know.

I do know that good neighbor is a meaningless term of art used by Farmers Insurance. And now, so do you.

1 comment:

Modesto Culbertson said...

I'm sorry to hear about your insurance woes! There are absolutely no words that can describe how frustrating things like that can be. I do hope everything has been doing well after that. After all, you must've felt terribly frustrated after having your claim denied. In any way, thanks for sharing that! I wish you all the best! :)

Modesto Culbertson @ D&Z Law Group