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Old 05-01-2012, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Madison
10 posts, read 13,871 times
Reputation: 12

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I don't mean to start an insurance war lol, just honest questions. I currently have Allstate for home and auto. For the most part I've been fairly satisfied. I've had to file a couple of auto claims and they've been fairly good. I have not had to file a home claim.

That's where it gets tricky. I'm moving into a Madison City house in Limestone County in about 6 weeks. The tornadoes of 4/27 affected all insurers no doubt. My co-workers (and their neighbors) seem to have more success with their home claims with Cotton States, State Farm and Alfa. Farmers and Allstate received more so-so or "poor" marks. A co-worker said she had a tough time recently with a non-tornado home claim with Allstate. So my confidence in Allstate on the home side is a bit shaky.

I will say that Allstate gives a good bit of discounts. Any other insurance recommendations/agents in the area? That's another thing, my Allstate "agent" is in BHam, so even if I stay with Allstate, I'd like to go with a local agent. Please give personal or known experiences and avoid "I heard.....".

Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
3,298 posts, read 5,466,837 times
Reputation: 2659
Well...I have had a client really have to tangle with State Farm over their tornado claim, and they have consulted an attorney who successfully sued State Farm last year over non payment of claim. State Farm spent $150k on legal fees over a $100k claim on that one....how does that make sense?? Cotton States is HORRENDOUS when I have had to deal with them in regards to roof replacement.
I had a client last year who had to file a tornado claim with Allstate and they had to fight to get it paid too. Allstate claimed a defect that did not exist. They finally got it paid but not without major hassles and stress and some attorney involvement.
Stay AWAY from Traveler's whatever you do. They are some of the worst. Cheap insurance is exactly what you get and they do not like to pay claims. My mom had them and we had a client who had them...awful!

I had Alfa as a young adult in college. Perfect driving record, no claims ever. Hit a large deer on my way back to school and nearly totaled my car. Alfa paid the claim, then dropped me. Nice.

Bottom line, I have not heard anyone who had a tornado claim or any major claim rave about their insurance....so in my opinion when you have to file something major like that, the insurance is going to fight you tooth and nail to pay you as little as possible. I do have a friend who works for an insurance company and her position is "negotiating" the insurance settlement and she has told me they are to offer very low and try to convince the policy holder to take much less than what they actually are entitled to. Pretty sorry. Make sure you are educated on your policy and what you are covered for and how much. Good luck!

Just so you know, I haven't had any impact on my insurance and I live off County Line, and I have sold several on the Limestone side in Madison city and rates have seemed to remain steady for my clients. I did just close one in East Limestone and their insurance was DOUBLE what we expected and they have excellent credit, and I know some people in Canebrake who have seen their insurance go up quite significantly, even with no claims.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:13 AM
 
13,768 posts, read 35,438,791 times
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I have a friend who had Cotton States for her new home. She had 2 claims, one a year, first one a pipe broke, the second one they had a pan catch fire. They cancelled them.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
90 posts, read 199,532 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
I have a friend who had Cotton States for her new home. She had 2 claims, one a year, first one a pipe broke, the second one they had a pan catch fire. They cancelled them.
What a nightmare! Was your friend able to get insurance through someone else? I bet it is quite hard to do so after filing a claim.

I'm pretty new to home ownership, but so far my attitude is: Keep a high deductible (my mortgage only allows 1K, which is what I have to go with) and don't file unless the repairs/stolen valuables are more than the amount in my emergency fund... which I think would cover most things, but not so far to cover a roof. I'm terrified of getting dropped and having to pay an outrageous amount because I'll have no other choice!

I have Allstate. Love what they made pretty fair payments for car accidents. Very much dislike my agent.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
3,298 posts, read 5,466,837 times
Reputation: 2659
I used to have Allstate, and the reason I left is that Allstate would not let me switch agents....I REALLY did not like mine, due to how he handled a claim.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:51 PM
 
6,122 posts, read 9,825,582 times
Reputation: 5544
Shop & compare. There is no royalty anymore. The insurance companies can drop you on a dime even after 20 years staying with them.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:33 PM
 
32 posts, read 32,194 times
Reputation: 24
I can't address insurance in Alabama specifically, since I haven't needed to make any claims since I moved here. However, I have had Nationwide for 30+ years and have never had a problem. Most of my claims have been auto related, however, we did have a claim on our roof 3 years ago in Georgia due to hail damage. I actually didn't think we had damage, but was advised to make a claim anyway. I also thought we were too late filing for the last major hail storm (over 1 year). But, the inspector came out, looked at the roof and wrote a check. They didn't raise our rates nor did they cancel us. I've been thinking of looking around for lower rates, but this thread has me thinking I'll stay where I am.

Terry
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:50 AM
 
14 posts, read 26,369 times
Reputation: 23
Any thoughts on USAA or AAA? I'm looking now and after a call with USAA I was impressed with the customer service. Also, my realtor said USAA was very responsive after the tornadoes. I called AAA and while it was cheaper (if you have their car insurance) I kinda felt like I was talking to that "Peggy" guy in those commercials. Thoughts?
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
3,298 posts, read 5,466,837 times
Reputation: 2659
I have USAA currently, but I have never had to file a big claim with them. Their customer service has always been superior, in my opinion. I also have computer riders and jewelry coverage through them, in addition to homeowners/auto.

***Note...USAA will dig heels about doing a percentage deductible in regards to wind/hail....they will argue that they won't but they will. We changed to a flat $1000 deductible and it increased our yearly premium a whopping $30. Would recommend the flat deductible over the percentage.

A few years ago I sold a house that needed a new roof due to hail damage (every other house around had a roof replaced too for hail)....and USAA really gave the sellers the run around in regards to the claim, even tho we had a HAAG certified roof inspector state major hail damage. It delayed our closing about two weeks, and we ended up getting a second USAA adjuster to make the determination. I have heard from roofers that USAA is extremely difficult to deal with in those cases, but I have only had one claim in that regards with them.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
3,549 posts, read 3,006,808 times
Reputation: 6872
I had cottonstate (with ex) for about 15 yrs, filed 3 claims, got all 3 taken care of no probs.
Have had statefarm for about 16 yrs now and have files a few claims no probs. Had roof replaced from hail damage under both.
I definitely agree with LCT ... stay away from Travelers. I couldn't begin to tell you the nightmare my dad went thru with them.
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