Have you ever wondered how to complain about an insurance company?
You’ve been insured by the same company for fifteen years; in fact you bought the policy when you bought your house just after your first child was born. Now after all those years of faithfully paying premiums and having no claims, you’ve notified the company about the new driver in your household and they respond by doubling the cost of your auto policy.
You are upset! How can you be treated so badly- doesn’t loyalty count for anything?
There must be someone who to blame. Should you just begin by screaming at them or should you just wring someone’s neck… What was the name of the agent, who sold you the policy? It’s probably on that old tractor calendar you got from him last fall.
It seems like the only time a person thinks about insurance is when something bad happens. Perhaps someone broke your front window or your wife backed over your neighbor’s bush. Sometimes it’s a notification of a rate increase. We are all use to those normal parts of the insurance business, but when it’s a declination of a loss or a double digit rate increase, the average insured wants to reach out and touch someone.
The problem is, if you have a policy with one of the big insurance giants, it may seem as if you are the flea who landed on the elephant! No matter how hard you try, your individual problems don’t carry much weight. You need to find a way to have your bite cause an itch.
The easiest and quickest way to a concerned ear, is to contact your local insurance agent. He has spent his life dealing with insurance companies and specializes in developing contacts within the corporate structure. Like any type of business, a complaint letter sent to a nameless, faceless contact address isn’t going to have much of an impact. But allow your agent to touch base with his internal contacts and you are on your way to a dialog that can be effective in solving your problem.
To make the most of the contact, it is important to be organized with a clear goal of what you would like to accomplish. For instance, ranting about run-away rates is not going to instigate a change in your favor. But, seeking advice on methods to make your risk qualify for a discount or seek methods to change your company’s perception of your risk characteristics, by purchasing a safer vehicle, taking a safety course, or upgrading your alarm package.
However, if you feel you are being treated unfairly after talking it through with your agent, there is still something you can do. Every state has a commerce/insurance commissioner, whose job it is to make sure the companies are performing in accordance of state laws. A well-stated letter detailing the action you’ve requested, backed up by any documents regarding the action of the insurance company will work in your favor. Strive to keep you behavior professional and civil, you will help you create a strong ally who has a big voice in the insurance industry.
Above all, keep a record of who you contacted and when it occurred. Keep notes on the conversations and retain any correspondence you receive during the exchange.
Remember, insurance is a business and businesses want to retain profitable customers that fit their business model. If you do not fall into that category, perhaps it is time for you to move on to a better fit. Your local independent insurance agent represents multiple companies and one of them can work for you.
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