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(Yahoo)   You know the picture of the destroyed Staten Island home that Allstate uses in the ad patting themselves on the back for how awesome and helpful they are? Yeah, Allstate's stiffing the couple that owns it and refusing to pay off their policy   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 171
    More: Followup, Allstate, Staten Island, Sheila Traina, Staten Island Advance, flood insurance, New Dorp Beach  
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11699 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2013 at 11:55 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-09 12:34:09 PM  

durbnpoisn: This. But it's also illegal to own anthing important (like a car or a house) without it.


If you own it you, it is not illegal to not have insurance on it. If the bank or finance company owns it and you have a lease to own on...then yeah.
Some states make you carry a no-fault insurance on a car, but that covers the other guy, not you.
 
2013-01-09 12:35:01 PM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: This is the third greenight on this story. (at least)


I see no problem with this, especially as the story's been escalating. The sad part is that Allstate is attempting to claim the house was destroyed by flooding, and therefore not their problem, even though the house was clearly knocked over by a friggin' hurricane - witnesses have testified that the house had collapsed long before water ever showed up.

I'm sure Allstate isn't the only insurer claiming that, because the houses were flooded after they collapsed, the insurer doesn't have to pay up - that's the fun of "flood insurance." What adds insult to injury is that they're screwing this family while exploiting their loss as a crass marketing ploy.

The takeaway is to ensure that your property is covered for water damage, even if you're on top of a damned hill in the middle of the desert.
 
2013-01-09 12:35:44 PM  
Insurance companies
Cable companies
Airlines
Banks

The worst companies that always end up in Fark links.
 
2013-01-09 12:35:45 PM  

Fizpez:
/although if you do have a fire, smoke and water will do WAY more damage than the actual fire ever did.


i277.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-09 12:36:06 PM  

ringersol: The problem with that? AllStates' competition are all busily doing the same thing to their own customers.
Trying to use this to get press would only cause one of their own wronged customers to stand up and get press.

Then they're out a few hundred grand for a stab at a 'positive' story that's backfired.
And instead of their competitor getting a shiat ton of bad press, driving people to their door *anyway*, now the bad press is (also) on them.


Hmmm. True. However, there's a line between a screwed customer and a screwed customer that you've used to make commercials.

MugzyBrown: Good business plan.. pay out uncovered claim for $250,000, receive $20,000 in new premiums!


Was more thinking of picking up dozens of new policies with this plan, if not BILLIONS.
 
2013-01-09 12:36:41 PM  

durbnpoisn: I did run into a problem with them only once. I got into a wreck. I was sitting at a light. I wasn't even moving. I got hit by the car that caused the wreck when it ricoched. That was no fun.
So I go to my "friends" of 25 years and say:
"hey, can you help me with a rental car?"
"No. You didn't have that on your policy."
"C'mon guys! 25 years without EVER making a claim and you can't help me with something that was clearly not my fault?!"
"No."

Assholes.


There's an asshole in this story, but it isnt them.
 
2013-01-09 12:36:56 PM  

Rent Party: durbnpoisn: stiletto_the_wise: LOL Insurance is a scam. And water is wet.


This. But it's also illegal to own anthing important (like a car or a house) without it.


No it's not. I own vehicles with no insurance on them. If I want to drive them on the road, I need to insure them.

My house is insured not because the government makes me, but because the bank (the actual owners of the property) make me. If you own your home outright, you can cancel your insurance any time you like.


This. Also, I would like to throw in that not all states require that your car is insured.
 
2013-01-09 12:41:22 PM  

ringersol: mjohnson71: "I feel bad for their losses: but godammit people, stop living so close to water and being shocked when you get flooded."

I'm guessing you're not suggesting that people who live in seaside homes on cliffs shouldn't be surprised if their homes flood.
So we're talking grey areas based on elevation and surrounding elevation and climate and history, not simply lateral distance from the shore.
So the reasonable, relevant question quickly becomes: "When's the last time that area flooded"?

If they live in a place that hasn't flooded in, say, the last hundred years or so, I think it's reasonable to be surprised when it happens.
I have no idea what the particulars are for *this* particular situation. I'm just saying simple proximity to water isn't a real useful measure on its own.

Not for determining whether these people are dumb for being surprised, nor for gauging how novel a storm of this strength in this area really was.


The last time this area had a significant earthquake was like 201 years ago.

1812_New_Madrid_earthquake

Doesn't stop me from every year writing a $220 check for the earthquake insurance rider on my house.
 
2013-01-09 12:42:07 PM  

durbnpoisn: stiletto_the_wise: LOL Insurance is a scam. And water is wet.


This. But it's also illegal to own anthing important (like a car or a house) without it.

Funny story...
I've had the same insurance guys since I started driving 25 years ago. Father and son team ran an Allstate office in town. One day my wife went down there too pay the bill, and the office was empty and locked up. They totally just left town without a word.

I did run into a problem with them only once. I got into a wreck. I was sitting at a light. I wasn't even moving. I got hit by the car that caused the wreck when it ricoched. That was no fun.
So I go to my "friends" of 25 years and say:
"hey, can you help me with a rental car?"
"No. You didn't have that on your policy."
"C'mon guys! 25 years without EVER making a claim and you can't help me with something that was clearly not my fault?!"
"No."

Assholes.


You are an idiot. Insurance is not about friends or emotional reactions. It is a legal contract. If you didn't pay for rental coverage they don't have to pay for a rental car for you.
 
2013-01-09 12:42:12 PM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: This is the third greenight on this story. (at least)


yeah, this.
 
2013-01-09 12:42:26 PM  
I was tapped by a driver with Allstate. I think there was $350 in damage, and they just about got out the flood light to shine in my eyes when we talked about it.

I have Amica. They don't advertise much. Which is good because their ads are terrible.
 
2013-01-09 12:42:37 PM  
My experience with Allstate home insurance has been, well, spotty. At the time of Katrina I owned two residences. I had just moved out of the one and my wife and I had just moved into the other. The first one was fortunately unoccupied and contained no furniture, and had actually been on the market for about a year (no bites). I say fortunately because four large trees fell on the roof, effectively destroying it. Amazingly (or maybe not so much), a buyer appeared within two days of the storm, ready to pay my asking price as long as I got the damage repaired (they were from St. Bernard where just about everything was destroyed). Allstate really dragged their heels on that one; it took three months just to get the adjustor out. He finally did come out, took his good time inspecting the damage, signed the authorization, and the repair contractors (who were waiting in the driveway with all their equipment and materials) started working before he left. Three days later the new residents moved into what was essentially a new house.

Our new residence suffered minor roof damage...miraculously, because we had dozens of trees down, but only one nicked the roof. (The only hole was directly over the sink in the guest bathroom.) The adjustor was out within HOURS, approved a whole new roof, and we were set to go.

Different adjustors, but both Allstate.
 
2013-01-09 12:42:51 PM  

The Muthaship: Talk to any lawyer who deals with insurance companies regularly. Ask them which company sucks the most.


From reading a few Fark threads, this also seems to be a local thing,even if you're dealing with a "national" company. Company A will be absolutely evil in one state, and completely above-board in another.
 
2013-01-09 12:43:21 PM  

DeathCipris: Also, I would like to throw in that not all states require that your car is insured.


And, at least if I'm right, in most/all that do require you to have insurance, even that requirement is waived if you can demonstrate you have enough money to cover any liability you incur yourself. (It may have to be in escrow; I'm not sure.)

But yeah, in some sense the point is not so much that you have insurance as that you have insurance that will cover other people.
 
2013-01-09 12:43:44 PM  
Rent Party said it way less drunk than I did.
 
2013-01-09 12:44:09 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: Company A will be absolutely evil in one state, and completely above-board in another.


That could be. Here, everything is going to trial. Or, at least the day of.
 
2013-01-09 12:45:54 PM  

mjohnson71: DeathCipris: Deja Thread...

They didn't buy flood insurance and live near the water.

I searched Google Maps to see where New Dorp Beach is. According to what they have marked off this couple (at most) lives like 10 or 11 blocks from the ocean.

I feel bad for their losses: but godammit people, stop living so close to water and being shocked when you get flooded.


It's even worst than that, Here is a story, about how the same lady, who's lived there 45 years, pleaded with the city for a sea wall.

From the other article, "There was a flood-prevention plan for the area created in 1976, but nothing came of it and was finally defunded in 1986, after a powerful nor'easter swamped the neighborhood, according to a Staten Island Advance article from Dec. 12, 1992."

If she lived there for 45 years, obviously she lived through the 1986 flood, how the hell can you not have flood insurance?
 
2013-01-09 12:46:46 PM  
I am unsurprised. After Allstate pulled home insurance from Florida (after fifteen years of no claims, enjoy my money), we attempted to cancel our auto insurance with them. It took three months, and calls to corporate and (for lulz) the BBB, for them to refund our prepaid premium balance. They continue to send us various ads and privacy-policy notices and such, years later. I suspect it's a fark-you response from them, since they don't seem interested in stopping them.
 
2013-01-09 12:47:38 PM  

evaned: DeathCipris: Also, I would like to throw in that not all states require that your car is insured.

And, at least if I'm right, in most/all that do require you to have insurance, even that requirement is waived if you can demonstrate you have enough money to cover any liability you incur yourself. (It may have to be in escrow; I'm not sure.)

But yeah, in some sense the point is not so much that you have insurance as that you have insurance that will cover other people.


Not sure, but it makes sense. Being hit by an uninsured motorist (which is shockingly likely in VA) is an all out war to get your money to repair the vehicle. You end up having to take your insurance company to court to get them to pay for damages since typically the driver at fault pays to fix.
 
2013-01-09 12:48:58 PM  
They should get a private adjuster and they should sue for bad faith.

simple enough.
 
2013-01-09 12:49:27 PM  
I sorta wish there WAS a requirement to maintain insurance at minimum of liability on a vehicle.
 
2013-01-09 12:49:55 PM  

Fizpez: /although if you do have a fire, smoke and water will do WAY more damage than the actual fire ever did.


Depends on the fire...and how quickly the FD responds
 
2013-01-09 12:50:00 PM  
Why is everyone surprised to learn that an insurance company will spend more trying to dispute a claim than it would cost to just pay it?

It ain't like this just recently started happening....
 
2013-01-09 12:50:53 PM  
I've had Allstate for years. Had to file several claims with them (home and auto). They always paid out promptly, to my satisfaction, and gave a thorough accounting of why they paid what they did. My rates have always been reasonable and affordable.

/I know. I'm not helping.
//I'll just go sit over in the corner.
 
2013-01-09 12:52:06 PM  
I would like to throw in that not all states require that your car is insured.

All states that don't require insurance do require that you put up a bond of $50,000+ if you choose not to insure your car. Anyone that can afford to pay the bond likely choose to pay for insurance.
 
2013-01-09 12:52:57 PM  
So let's say we all blindly accept the neighbor's claim that the roof was off before the flooding occurred. It seems to me that this statement proves that Allstate is correct to deny the claim. What mystical logic is this you say? Pretty simple really:

If the statement has to be made that the roof was torn off by the wind and not by the flood, then the flood must have reached at least to their roof. The existence (or lack thereof) of a roof when your house is surrounded by 12+ feet of ocean swell is completely irrelevant. The flood damage was caused by the flood, not by the fact that it was raining.
 
2013-01-09 12:53:46 PM  

durbnpoisn: stiletto_the_wise: LOL Insurance is a scam. And water is wet.


This. But it's also illegal to own anthing important (like a car or a house) without it.

Funny story...
I've had the same insurance guys since I started driving 25 years ago. Father and son team ran an Allstate office in town. One day my wife went down there too pay the bill, and the office was empty and locked up. They totally just left town without a word.

I did run into a problem with them only once. I got into a wreck. I was sitting at a light. I wasn't even moving. I got hit by the car that caused the wreck when it ricoched. That was no fun.
So I go to my "friends" of 25 years and say:
"hey, can you help me with a rental car?"
"No. You didn't have that on your policy."
"C'mon guys! 25 years without EVER making a claim and you can't help me with something that was clearly not my fault?!"
"No."

Assholes.


You should have gotten a rental car alright, but not from your insurance company.  That should have come from the insurance company who wrote the policy of the guy that hit you.  They are the ones with a duty to make you whole, and that should include rental wheels when you have none because of the actions of their driver.  The rantal car rider on you policy ismuch like your collision insurance-there to pay off when YOU are at fault
 
2013-01-09 12:57:52 PM  
The only two decent insurance companies are Chubb and Amica. Had one, now have the other.

Allstate in particular is bad. They of the infamous McKinsey consulting report that suggested flat out that Allstate increases its profits by purposely screwing their insureds.
 
2013-01-09 01:00:19 PM  

Belias: So let's say we all blindly accept the neighbor's claim that the roof was off before the flooding occurred. It seems to me that this statement proves that Allstate is correct to deny the claim. What mystical logic is this you say? Pretty simple really:

If the statement has to be made that the roof was torn off by the wind and not by the flood, then the flood must have reached at least to their roof. The existence (or lack thereof) of a roof when your house is surrounded by 12+ feet of ocean swell is completely irrelevant. The flood damage was caused by the flood, not by the fact that it was raining.


Um, no? If storm surge knocks down your walls, do you think the roof is just going to float in the air?

And water doesn't need to be up to the roof to knock over the walls. The storm surge knocking down the walls seems to be Allstate's theory; the wind lifting off the roof then knocking down the walls seems to be the homeowner's theory.
 
2013-01-09 01:01:07 PM  

Wookie_Jesus: Rent Party said it way less drunk than I did.


I'm way more drunk than you are.
 
2013-01-09 01:01:54 PM  
Allstate sucks. I've dealt with two different agents here in town - both very unethical, so I switched to a different company years ago. I have never recommended Allstate, and make it a point to tell people of my experiences who have it.
 
2013-01-09 01:04:18 PM  
just a quick note for everyone saying "why didn't they have flood insurance" - if your property is not in a federally mapped flood zone, then you cannot purchase flood insurance. it's not something you can buy just for kicks.

that said, i have no idea if they were in a federal flood zone or not.
 
2013-01-09 01:05:00 PM  

Belias: So let's say we all blindly accept the neighbor's claim that the roof was off before the flooding occurred. It seems to me that this statement proves that Allstate is correct to deny the claim. What mystical logic is this you say? Pretty simple really:

If the statement has to be made that the roof was torn off by the wind and not by the flood, then the flood must have reached at least to their roof. The existence (or lack thereof) of a roof when your house is surrounded by 12+ feet of ocean swell is completely irrelevant. The flood damage was caused by the flood, not by the fact that it was raining.



That's not how it works at all. First, the loss of the roof would have resulted in damage and loss regarding personal property and contents. Secondly, the structure would have been damage as the roof was torn away and the exposure of the interior load-bearing walls to the full force of the wind would have further compromised the structural integrity of the home. Thus, the home was badly weakened by the time the surge arrived which is why the surge was able to collapse the structure. In all likelihood, had the surge not occurred, the building would have needed significant reconstruction in order to be habitable and up to code.

So from the standpoint of adjusting, the claim needs to reflect the contribution made by a covered peril to the overall loss.
 
2013-01-09 01:05:16 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: From reading a few Fark threads, this also seems to be a local thing,even if you're dealing with a "national" company. Company A will be absolutely evil in one state, and completely above-board in another.


this.

I was riding a bicycle in a bicycle lane, wearing reflective stuff, during the day, when a person ran a stop sign and hit me from the side. They were going 40. My bicycle was a twisted mess - and so was I. Shut down a busy street (Genese) in San Diego for over an hour. Serious concussion, lost a lot of skin, back was screwed up, neck was screwed up, etc. The driver's insurance company - which, as it so happens, was in fact allstate - balked at simply paying my medical bills and buying me a new bicycle. I was...shocked. I had such an open/shut case, I didn't understand. I was moving across the country literally 2 weeks after the accident though, and decided I'd just take care of that first, then deal with allstate. So, had movers pack up our stuff (couldn't move it myself anymore, injured) and moved from San Diego to Ithaca, NY. Few days later I called allstate, they rerouted my claim to a NY person. That person called me about 15 minutes later, and asked when I was available to talk in person. Told him I was just unpacking for the forseeable future, and he said he'd be there in an hour. He was 10 minutes early, but waited in his car and knocked on the door right at the hour.

Told him what happened. Showed him my bills, what the doctors thought I'd need, showed him the pictures of the remains of my bike. It had only been a few weeks, so I was still missing the skin on my right arm (like...a lot of it), my left leg, and the left side of my face. I looked like I hurt, and...as it so happened, I did in fact hurt. Then, I told him what I had asked for from the allstate person in SD. His eyes got huge - then he opened up a checkbook ledger thing, wrote me a check for all the damages right there, then added $5k for "pain and suffering," told me I had a black check for medical expenses - gave me that in writing, and then told me he wouldn't let me write away their liability in the situation. He even said that the SD allstate people were taking a huge risk, because with lawyers I could get a lot - told him I knew I could, but that I just didn't care to game a bad situation like that.

So yeah, depends on the area, the office, etc. They may be national, but they are silos.
 
2013-01-09 01:06:06 PM  

DoctorOfLove: The only two decent insurance companies are Chubb and Amica. Had one, now have the other.

Allstate in particular is bad. They of the infamous McKinsey consulting report that suggested flat out that Allstate increases its profits by purposely screwing their insureds.


I've been very happy with StateFarm. I've filed three major claims in about a decade with them (my apartment was robbed, hail damage to the roof and siding of my house, I rear-ended someone on the interstate). They paid in full all three times, and they did so quickly. When I had hail damage, I told the adjuster that I had looked at the roof and thought it was fine. He checked anyhow, schooled me on how to spot hail damage on shingles, and then got me a new roof. When I totaled my car, they paid me about $1,500 more than the car was selling for anywhere.
 
2013-01-09 01:06:53 PM  
My car got hit by someone with Allstate. They paid the repair bill immediately, because they had some sort of agreement with the repair shop we used. Therefore they are a great company and not across-the-board assholes.

/cab
//cool anecdote, bro
 
2013-01-09 01:08:33 PM  

MugzyBrown: Satanic_Hamster: Here's my suggestion:
ATTENTION ALLSATES BIGGEST COMPETITOR IN THAT MARKET.

Go to these people. Fix their house. Get them to switch to you. Then pay them to be spokespeople for you.

Good business plan.. pay out uncovered claim for $250,000, receive $20,000 in new premiums!


Wow, you really are a master of advertisement. Seriously, how much does it cost to hire you to do my advertising.
 
2013-01-09 01:08:47 PM  
wheresmysammich.com

State Insurance Commission and go on Fox News!
 
2013-01-09 01:09:02 PM  

evaned: And water doesn't need to be up to the roof to knock over the walls. The storm surge knocking down the walls seems to be Allstate's theory; the wind lifting off the roof then knocking down the walls seems to be the homeowner's theory.


Point taken, it need not have reached the roof but must have significantly overtaken the walls. In any case, the max water line should be evident.

However, if the roof had been there when the swell came through, the water would have been stopped? Again, this isn't a slow flood due to heavy rain, this is ocean swell.
 
2013-01-09 01:09:42 PM  
$10,000 Covers the roof, which was certainly damaged by the wind. The rest of the house...
 
2013-01-09 01:11:16 PM  

Nothing To See Here: Well, it looks like getting the "Good Hands", they just got the finger.


Or the fist in the anal canal.

Anyone who uses Allstate or Farmers for any insurance is a masochistic moron.
 
2013-01-09 01:12:07 PM  

HAMMERTOE: $10,000 Covers the roof, which was certainly damaged by the wind. The rest of the house...


Exactly. I can't really fault Allstate, as much as I'd like to blame to evil Insurance people.
 
2013-01-09 01:12:07 PM  

MN8: You mean the policy that excludes flood damage? They choose not to pay for Flood Coverage, then got a flooded house and are now butt hurt?


Because of the way the homeowners insurance risk pool works in NJ, some homeowners insurance companies are required to charge additional fee's to homeowners for 'flood insurance' when they are not near a floodplain or the shore to cover the idiots who do live in flood prone areas who refuse to get flood insurance.
 
2013-01-09 01:12:39 PM  

Raw_fishFood: Gee, you think with all the negative publicity they are getting from this, they'd say, "Oh, our bad, our initial claims of flood damages were incorrect blah blah blah anyways here's the full amount you were covered for."

But I guess I just don't think like a business man con artist.


fixed.
 
2013-01-09 01:12:58 PM  

Elegy: Yawn. Insurance companies become the enemy from the second you file the claim. Their profitability is founded on keeping premiums high and payouts low, after all.


Bingo. And that's exactly why Americans want insurance companies to run their health care. Wait...
 
2013-01-09 01:12:59 PM  
Was the Obvious tag busy filing a claim?
 
2013-01-09 01:13:51 PM  

trucktrash: Fizpez:
/although if you do have a fire, smoke and water will do WAY more damage than the actual fire ever did.

[i277.photobucket.com image 423x366]

Posting funny cartoons when you don't know what the hell you're talking about doesnt make you any smarter either. A house fire typically damages a relatively small area of the house, assuming you live anywhere near a fire department it is extremely unlikely you will even have to replace wall studs. When the firefighters cut through the roof to vent the house they will do significant amounts (money) of damage. The smoke will likely require you to replace almost all furniture in the house and the water from the hoses will require you replace most of the flooring materials in the area where the fire was contained. In terms of dollars the smoke and water almost always do more damage than the actual fire.
 
2013-01-09 01:13:53 PM  

evaned: And water doesn't need to be up to the roof to knock over the walls. The storm surge knocking down the walls seems to be Allstate's theory; the wind lifting off the roof then knocking down the walls seems to be the homeowner's theory.


And which of these is more plausible? Lemme grab some chicken wire and a couple cinder blocks and figure it out.
 
2013-01-09 01:17:29 PM  

durbnpoisn: This. But it's also illegal to own anthing important (like a car or a house) without it.

Funny story...
I've had the same insurance guys since I started driving 25 years ago. Father and son team ran an Allstate office in town. One day my wife went down there too pay the bill, and the office was empty and locked up. They totally just left town without a word.

I did run into a problem with them only once. I got into a wreck. I was sitting at a light. I wasn't even moving. I got hit by the car that caused the wreck when it ricoched. That was no fun.
So I go to my "friends" of 25 years and say:
"hey, can you help me with a rental car?"
"No. You didn't have that on your policy."
"C'mon guys! 25 years without EVER making a claim and you can't help me with something that was clearly not my fault?!"
"No."

Assholes.



Did you ask at McDonalds? Or your local grocery store? Because you also didn't pay them for a rental car, so I'm assuming you think they owe you one too.
 
2013-01-09 01:19:04 PM  

mjohnson71: ringersol: mjohnson71: "I feel bad for their losses: but godammit people, stop living so close to water and being shocked when you get flooded."

Not for determining whether these people are dumb for being surprised, nor for gauging how novel a storm of this strength in this area really was.

The last time this area had a significant earthquake was like 201 years ago.

1812_New_Madrid_earthquake

Doesn't stop me from every year writing a $220 check for the earthquake insurance rider on my house.


Indeed. I do the same thing for that same reason.

Plus it covers volcano, so I'm pretty sure I'm gold if Yellowstone goes.
 
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