Forums - General Discussion - I'm never dealing with State Farm again!

A bit of history first. I've had my motorcycle insurance with State Farm since early 2012, and I've always paid in full, no issues there. I did have an indirect 'problem' for the first couple of years, when I found out that the lack of potential policies available was due to the individuals running the local office purposely not offering them, to pocket more money. I would have saved hundreds if they told me and others the truth and offered all the plans, but not only were they and their team fired soon after this came to light, but the new team was a dream to work with and the other policies were much much cheaper. Cheap enough I turned a blind eye to the money I lost earlier on. The upper management of the local office has since changed again, but my agent has been the same since late 2013.

This year my policy came early as usual, costing around $700, higher yet again this year, but I had decided it was time to sell the bike. I wasn't riding much anymore, and much of that had to do with my group of friends selling their's over the years, due to getting married and having children. They either didn't have the time to ride anymore, or 'wanted' to sell without any outside source of influence... lol.

Either way, knowing I would be charged for cancelling out of the blue, I made my agent aware that I would be selling and that I required a new policy with just the basics, like fire and theft, since I wouldn't be riding the bike. They let me know that because they are now part of Certas, and soon to be Desjardins, they couldn't offer me that, so I told them I would be taking my business elsewhere. My agent then told me what she could do, was split my policy into equal monthly payments, and when my bike sold, I could call in and cancel the policy. I of course asked about cancellation fee's, etc, and she assured me there would be none. While $60 a month wasn't great, as long as I sold in the first couple of months, I wouldn't really be paying anymore than if I went elsewhere, so it seemed like it wasn't worth the hassle to leave, or so I thought...

I took me longer than I had hoped to sell, so I paid more than I wanted, $240, which is my problem, but I accept that. However, after finding out that my agent no longer worked for State Farm, I had to deal with someone else. I made it clear who I used to deal with and that she was aware my bike was up for sale, and they could now cancel my policy. I then received and email from them a few hours later stating they had cancelled the policy and that I still owed State Farm $150. I called back to find out why and they told me that they no longer can look up my agents history and notes, and so since they could not be sure of my plans to sell, they considered my decision to be out of the blue and therefore charged me extra.

This led me to explaining the entire situation, which got me nowhere, and when I tried to request to speak with the manager, she wasn't available ironically, day after day. Finally I spoke to someone else with more authority, and they told me they couldn't do anything and I had to pay. When I explained to this individual that I had emails proving everything I said, they changed their mind and spoke to headquarters. I was then emailed and told if I simply produced the bill of sale, to prove I wasn't trying to leave State Farm and join another company with better rates, then everything would be dropped. The next day I hand delivered the bill to the local office, and hours later I received another email stating that headquarters had made a mistake, and the bill of sale meant nothing, and that the real problem was the monthly billing process was incorrect.

Apparently there was no way I could have only been charged $60 per month, because the way their monthly policy works, is that depending on how many bikes, and vehicles in general are on the road, the higher the risk and the higher payment is that month. Which makes sense. I know this because I used to have that plan. I would pay varying amounts during the summer, and had a low flat rate over the winter. This plan was cheaper but has a catch though. If you take the bike off the road before State Farm get's their monies worth, they charge you the difference after the fact. Which is fine and understandable, but I never had that problem before since I kept my bike on the road for a long enough period. Why don't I still have this plan then you ask? I was told Certas/Desjadins would not allow it. So why is State Farm telling me that's how their monthly plans work now? Not only that, but I also have an email with a screenshot of my agents billing program, clearly showing all 12 months at $60 per.

I felt I had no choice but to go even higher, but found out that Certas and Desjardins won't deal with State Farm issues, and only the State Farm headquarters complaint department could help. I contacted the department, which led to jumping through hoops and dealing with one person after another, week after week, until I finally got to some people who could make decisions. I made my case, and weeks later, not only have they held firm that I am wrong, they say they actually made yet another mistake, and instead of $150, I actually owe them $350 now. WTF?

I have since asked for the dispute to be handled through an arbitrator, and after another couple of weeks of waiting, they have made it clear they still feel they are in the right, and if I wish to take things further, I can contact a Gov resolution service that they deal with. After speaking with State Farm one last time to try and settle this here and now, they not only made it clear they were done with dealing with me directly, but that even if the Gov service recommends they give up or give in, they are in no way forced to do so, and could very well continue to request payment from me.

Whether this ends up in my favor or not, I am never dealing with State Farm again, regardless of their future policies or pricing. Fool me twice...

Last edited by EricHiggin - on 16 August 2018

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Moral of the story: Don't get a bike.



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A lesson I learned is after any important phone conversation to send a email afterward with a recap of what was discuss and asking for confirmation that it accuracy reflects what was discuss. It might not have changed anything but at least when it goes to a arbitrator you would have written evidence of all the conversations you mention in your post.



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Cyran said:
A lesson I learned is after any important phone conversation to send a email afterward with a recap of what was discuss and asking for confirmation that it accuracy reflects what was discuss. It might not have changed anything but at least when it goes to a arbitrator you would have written evidence of all the conversations you mention in your post.

This would be normal for me to do at work, always having written evidence just in case, but I haven't really worried about it in my personal life as getting screwed over like this is really rare, especially when it comes to businesses that operate out of this area. It is very handshake friendly because if you screw someone over, it will spread fast and you will lose business. I've had a couple friends and a few extended family members who switched already because of this, so they've already lost more than they will gain from my payment.

Now I do have some emails with some of the situation as evidence, more so the important things, which was enough that when I talked to the first Gov service, that lawyer told me they felt morally I was clearly in the right based on my evidence, and I just might win in court if I went after them for misinformation, but that legally no matter what I did otherwise, I would lose. Court also costs the same as what I owe, plus more time, so it's not really a worthy cause, especially if I happened to lose. The insurance company policies allow them to only give me partial information about the insurance policy, and if I don't go out of my way to ask for the rest, even though I don't know the rest exists, it doesn't matter what information they give me, verbally or physically, that with the full legal policy backing them, which it does, I'm screwed. This is ridiculous.

Unfortunately that first Gov service couldn't help me based on my type of insurance, so I had to try a couple more to finally find one that could 'help'. Unfortunately, the best they can do is try to understand the case from both sides, and if it's found that I am in the right, the Gov service will punish the insurance company. They wouldn't tell me what the punishment was exactly, and said it usually takes a really long time and that typically just angers the insurance companies, so they will likely disagree to let me off the hook, so I would still have to pay regardless.

Since that sounds like it's probably a big waste of my time, on top of the time wasted already, I've decided to just pay it and learn a fairly cheap lesson. I am however going to pay the total amount in small coins to show them my disgust with the whole situation.

Last edited by EricHiggin - on 06 September 2018