USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

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USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby ProfessorX » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:24 pm

UPDATE:

Still have not gotten my homeowners insurance renewal from USAA. My homeowners is set to expire on 6/1 (i.e. in approx one week). USAA would not have contacted me about it, if I had not contacted them. They claim the lack of a renewal yet is a "IT glitch problem". They keep telling me that they value my business etc and they will certainly renew me in time. But they still can't tell me what my premium will be starting on 6/1... anyone having similar experiences with USAA?

Should I call Amica? Or someone other insurance company?

Why is USAA so highly recommended around here anyway???

OLD POST:

I got a three page mailing from USAA the other day. The first page is titled "Reference: New Homeowners Policy Will Be Issued". It is a weird form letter that says things like "Notice of contract changes" and "Review your homeowners policy packet for details" and "Your new homeowners policy packet will be available to you soon" and "In order to accept the new policy when your current policy expires, all you need to do is pay the required premium when it is due".

The second page says "Notice of cancellation or nonrenewal of insurance". It says that USAA's subcontractor insurance company "Garrison" is nonrenewing me due to "a revision of the homeowners contract" (whatever that means). It says that Pennsylvania law requires that they sent me this page...

The third page says nothing of interest. I find no indication of any of this on my account on the USAA web page... I have never filed a claim on my USAA homeowners.

It seems like this mailing was sent by a confused computer system with no human input. I will have to call them soon. I have all my insurance with them; to be determined how long that lasts... :annoyed
Last edited by ProfessorX on Fri May 24, 2013 12:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: USAA dumped me?

Postby mhc » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:29 pm

I don't think I would get too worked up yet. It sounds like the subcontractor dropped you, but USAA is still going to insure you. That is why the first page says you have a new policy and the second page says your policy is cancelled. I'm would think USAA is following legal requirements.

Of course you are going to do the right thing by calling them to make sure you understand what they are doing and you can give them your feedback about how they are handling it.
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Re: USAA dumped me?

Postby mickeyd » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:58 pm

It seems like this mailing was sent by a confused computer system with no human input. I will have to call them soon. I have all my insurance with them; to be determined how long that lasts... ProfessorX


What did USAA say when you called them? Sounds strange. I have been a USAA member for about 45 years and this is unusual.
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Re: USAA dumped me?

Postby kitteh » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:13 am

What's a subcontractor insurance company? Are they farming stuff out to smaller companies?
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Re: USAA dumped me?

Postby TorpedoBook » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:00 am

I got the same letter. I called in and the explanation was that (for some technical reason) they had to create a new policy and my state laws required a notification that the old one was ending. My coverage was remaining in place. They agreed that the wording was poor and said they were getting a lot of calls. Probably still worth a followup.
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Re: USAA dumped me?

Postby THY4373 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:45 am

kitteh wrote:What's a subcontractor insurance company? Are they farming stuff out to smaller companies?


I believe Garrison is a wholely owned subsidiary of USAA. USAA like all large insurance companies has multiple different subsidiaries. For example I am a non-military member and I technically have insurance with a different part of USAA than the military members do. Also USAA does use third parties to write insurance they do not want too. I believe any policy written through USAA General is in fact with a third-party.
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Re: USAA dumped me?

Postby JamesSFO » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:57 am

I got a similar confusing package from The Hartford. It's a rather user unfriendly format forced by state laws and not helped by lazy insurance companies resulting in phone calls to clarify why you are being non-renewed.
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Re: USAA dumped me?

Postby nisiprius » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:18 am

I've been dumped by my homeowner's insurance company once, in a curt and mysterious way for no apparent reason. My independent insurance agent implied that it was no big deal. There was some vague stuff, in the letter I believe, not just verbal from the agent, that said that they had decided not to insure older homes in our area, nothing personal. Since the agent found use new insurance at the same or maybe a lower rate immediately, it didn't seem to be a biggy. It definitely gave me a cold prickly about that insurance company, though, and I won't forget it.

(One thing that drives me bananas is that every year we get the paperwork to review and it always says that the distance to the nearest fire hydrant is unknown. In reality, it is less than 100 feet! Initially this bothered me and I even sent them a picture showing the fire hydrant and our house in the same frame, but it never gets corrected. I reluctantly accept my agent's explanation that we live in an area in which everyone is presumed to be close enough to a fire hydrant and so they don't record any details. Shrug.)
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Re: USAA dumped me?

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:32 am

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (insurance).
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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby ProfessorX » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:07 pm

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.
As some of you suggested, it turns out (as I learned after I called them) that for some reason USAA is just switching over to a new "better" insurance (so they claim and whatever that means) and the letter is just sent out to follow Pennsylvania state disclosure laws.

They are apparently working to both expand their business and also stay consistent with the by-laws of their organization.

I will learn in the next few weeks what kind of homeowners insurance policy they want to give me for next year.
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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby ProfessorX » Fri May 24, 2013 8:49 am

ADDED THIS TO OP.

UPDATE:

Still have not gotten my homeowners insurance renewal from USAA. My homeowners is set to expire on 6/1 (i.e. in approx one week). USAA would not have contacted me about it, if I had not contacted them. They claim the lack of a renewal yet is a "IT glitch problem". They keep telling me that they value my business etc and they will certainly renew me in time. But they still can't tell me what my premium will be starting on 6/1... anyone having similar experiences with USAA?

Should I call Amica? Or someone other insurance company??
Last edited by ProfessorX on Fri May 24, 2013 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby frugaltype » Fri May 24, 2013 9:23 am

ProfessorX wrote:UPDATE: Still have not gotten my homeowners insurance renewal from USAA. My homeowners is set to expire on 6/1 (i.e. in approx one week). USAA would not have contacted me about it, if I had not contacted them. They claim the lack of a renewal yet is a "IT glitch problem". They keep telling me that they value my business etc and they will certainly renew me in time. But they still can't tell me what my premium will be starting on 6/1... anyone having similar experiences with USAA?

Should I call Amica? Or someone other insurance company??


I would have gotten worked up earlier than a week, and would obtain new insurance. I'm an AMICA customer and I like them fine. I do not have homeowner's insurance with them, because they do not write new homeowner's policies for waterfront homes.

My independent insurance agent found a company that does homeowner's insurance and a few years ago scrambled around and found a replacement company when the previous one stopped writing those policies. (My main concern is that liability insurance requires homeowner's insurance. I could lose a lot more in a liability problem than if the house burned down.) I don't know why homeowner's policies are keyed to water location, since they don't cover flood damage. Does anyone know?
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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby whomever » Fri May 24, 2013 10:17 am

What's a subcontractor insurance company? Are they farming stuff out to smaller companies?


At least some of the time they are. We've had homeowner's (and, well, everything else!) with them for 30 odd years, including earthquake. When we bought a new house recently, they said they are not writing new earthquake coverage in WA, and fobbed us off on an affiliate (for an earthquake rider, not the main policy). From my googling, the affiliate company doesn't have the same sterling reputation as USAA, so it's a bit disappointing. Ironically, the new house has a lot lower seismic risk than the old :-(, so I decided to live with the hassle of dealing with two companies.

We also had an auto claim a couple of years ago which they handled poorly - the first time we've had that in all the years. I sense USAA is trying to grow their business, i.e. I see a lot more ads than I used to. I hope they don't become just another insurance company.
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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby ProfessorX » Fri May 24, 2013 12:16 pm

whomever wrote:We also had an auto claim a couple of years ago which they handled poorly - the first time we've had that in all the years. I sense USAA is trying to grow their business, i.e. I see a lot more ads than I used to. I hope they don't become just another insurance company.


By my experience so far they seem to be worse than that... What did they do wrong with your claim?
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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby whomever » Fri May 24, 2013 5:03 pm

The Cliff Notes version: we bought a new car (because we wanted air conditioning) and left the old high-milage-but-running-well-daily-driver parked outside pending selling it. The old one was stolen and recovered partly stripped a few hours later. Getting it repaired at the USAA recommended repair shop took, from memory, four months or so. When I went to pick it up, the brake pedal went to the floor, so I looked around - spare tire missing, other unrepaired damage, and so on. USAA/the body shop seemed to assume it must have been a non running derelict prior to being stolen; it wasn't, it had been my wife's daily commuter. I wanted it restored to the condition it was in at the time it was stolen. That took months of calls and several trips back to the shop only to find it still had major unrepaired damage. The damage was never fully fixed, but it was eventually close enough I took it home (parked with part of the ignition removed this time) and sold it a few days later.

In addition to those problems, the claims people were just unresponsive to calls and so on.

And the icing was that they sent an investigator to see us. I assumed he was investigating the theft, but he was operating under the assumption we stole our own car. The car had a FMV of $1000, and similar models that needed repairs were going for $500, and we had a $500 deductible. The investigator couldn't really articulate any way I could turn a profit by stealing my own car given those numbers. It didn't seem like he'd bothered to investigate any of those things before accusing us. I dunno, maybe there has been an epidemic of long time USAA customers with a few hundred grand setting in USAA bank accounts and mutual funds deciding to fake stealing their own cars as some kind of thrill seeking behavior or something.

I guess the bottom line is that I don't expect it to take months to get a car repaired, and I don't expect to have to call adjusters, and their bosses, multiple times over several weeks to get a call back.

We've had several claims over the decades, never at fault, and they were always great prior to that time. And they must have lost their shirt on this repair - heck, they left it in the impound yard for 10 days or so, and the cost of that probably exceeded the value of the car, not to mention the eventual, grudging, repairs. I was very surprised they didn't just total it. It would have worked out the same for me, minus months of calling them, and they would have been way ahead.
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Re: USAA dumped me?

Postby Rick Ferri » Fri May 24, 2013 6:46 pm

mickeyd wrote:
It seems like this mailing was sent by a confused computer system with no human input. I will have to call them soon. I have all my insurance with them; to be determined how long that lasts... ProfessorX


What did USAA say when you called them? Sounds strange. I have been a USAA member for about 45 years and this is unusual.


As a 32 year member, I agree. They have my auto, life, homeowners and umbrella policies. Never a problem with a claim. Always prompt and courteous service.

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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby tomd37 » Fri May 24, 2013 7:12 pm

I have been a member of USAA since 1961 and have never had any problems with any claim against USAA. I must admit there has only been one instance in those 52 years and that was handled to my satisfaction. I have homeowners, auto, umbrella, valuable personal property, and life insurance policies with USAA.
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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby mickeyd » Sat May 25, 2013 2:39 pm

ProfessorX wrote: the letter is just sent out to follow Pennsylvania state disclosure laws.




That actually makes sense to me.

I recently used my "Towing and Labor" feature of my USAA auto policy to jump my dead car battery. A few days later I received a 2 page letter from them refering to a recent auto accident. Since I had no recent accident, I called them and was politely advised that the state of TX requires that notice to be sent, even when it is for such a silly action.
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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby ProfessorX » Wed May 29, 2013 7:30 am

It s now 5/29/2013 and my homeowners is set to expire on 6/1/2013... USAA has said that my homeowners is going to renew, but it has so far not renewed. Only two days left... wonder what my USAA homeowners rate going to be for next year...

Apparently a technical computer problem is holding up my renewal. For some reason they can't just pick up the phone and talk to a human being who could renew my policy.

The USAA representative I talked to a week ago said that she was going to "watch" my renewal to make sure it went through... LOL. Looks like she is really "watching it" expire which is of no help to me.

More people should know what kind of a company they are dealing with.

My grandfather was in the Air Force and he was USAA member for practically his whole life... this company never treated him the way they are treating me...

USAA must have a two tiered service structure, one for ex-military and the other for the family of ex-military and everyone else. Thats the only way that I can imagine explaining the difference of opinions around here.

I guess if you are ex-military this company might be OK. I say stay away from them otherwise...
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Re: USAA dumped me? [Homeowners insurance]

Postby bertie wooster » Wed May 29, 2013 1:51 pm

I've always felt that there's a lot of USAA kool-aid that folks tend to drink. It's alright, but not as good as people make it out to be. The cost is matched by other companies with insurance and the investment options are poor and expensive. Banking is convenient, but there are plenty of other banks that offer the same services at the same cost.

A close friend had USAA homeowner's insurance and lived in New Orleans during Katrina and had a nightmare of a time getting his insurance payment. Other insurance companies were giving their customers minimal BS and paying the benefit. USAA, on the otherhand, had my friend (who is very squared away and organized regarding his financial situtation) in tears on multiple occasions. Made me resolve to never use them for home insurance. (I do my banking with them).
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