Until December 2012 I had two cars insured by AARP The Hartford. Around the 10th of December I went on line and requested one of the cars be removed from the policy as it was inoperable.
On December 13th I received via email from the Hartford a form with 3 questions to answer regarding my request for removal. I responded on the same day.
On December 14th I was notified via email that The Hartford had processed the requested change to my policy. On December 18th The Hartford used the automatic on line bank deduction on my account and deducted the amount for both cars - four days after the second car was removed from the policy.
The scheduled date each month for automatic bank deductions on my policy is the 18th. On January 18th, my account had insufficient funds to make the payment. The Hartford notified me by mail that my policy would be cancelled as of February 9th. I made the payment on February 9th. It was not posted until February 12th. The policy remained in effect.
Again in March I had insufficient funds for my payment. On March 22nd I received Notice of Cancellation of Insurance with the policy to be cancelled as of April 5th at 12:01 A.M. because the electronic payment was rejected. I wasn't given the chance to remit a payment to keep the insurance going.
On March 29th I sent an email to The Hartford Customer Service Center, explaining my situation as follows: I had been forced into early retirement when the law firm that employed me downsized and had to lay me off. I wanted to have my payment date changed for my payment to be deducted right after the 1st of each month when my Social Security money would be in the bank.
On April 2nd I received a reply email from the Hartford stating that a representative would be in touch with me shortly. I missed the telephone call that day and the next day phone the Hartford. The representative I spoke with told me my policy could not be reinstated unless I could submit something on paper that proves the rejected automatic withdrawal was a bank error. He told me they would make no exceptions to that rule.
It was not a bank error. The Hartford is advertised by AARP as the best auto insurance agency for the elderly. Their communications proclaim "Protecting You At Every Turn" and "Protecting you, your loved ones and your car. At AARP and The Hartford, nothing is more important. And that's not a statement we make lightly. I disagree.
The Representative I spoke with was very rude. Even after I explained my current financial situation to him he told me the rule could not be changed under any circumstance. I asked to speak to someone superior to him and he told me anyone else would tell me the same thing. He was very argumentative and I was getting upset so decided to terminate our conversation. He even refused to get a copy of the email I had sent to read what I had said. He left me on hold for ten minutes and came back and told me no one could speak with me and someone would call me in the next 24 to 48 hours. Meanwhile, my car insurance would be expired.
The following day, April 4th, I sent another email to the customer center asking the recipient to please carry it to someone superior to the person I had spoken with on the 3rd. Later that day I received a phone call from a woman who allowed me to fully explain my situation. She was very courteous and understanding and, at the end, told me she had to take my request for an exception to the policy cancellation after two insufficient funds occurred and without proof of a bank error. She said she would phone me back in fifteen minutes with an answer. Today is April 8th and I have not heard from The Hartford again.
Because of this ridiculous rule, one that can be overcome by a payment by mail or an online payment, I am now without car insurance, living on less than a third of what I made while working, making me too underfunded to pay a large sum to get another policy started, and with a roommate who is on disability for illness. I would like to sue The Hartford for all of the reasons mentioned herein, including false advertising, stress and duress, emotional toll and endangerment of health. To even go to pick up prescriptions for my roommate would now require using public transportation where I could possibly pick up any number of unhealthy situations and pass them on to him. Not to mention that I, myself, am 67 years old and more susceptible to illness than in my earlier years.
The fact that an insurance company would abandon a customer in my situation is horrendous to me, yet not surprising. Most of the law firms I worked for handled insurance claims lawsuits and I was able to plainly see how those companies try to dupe people out of their hard earned money and give little or nothing in return, causing highly expensive lawsuits for which, if a client loses a case, sometimes has to pay attorney fees and expenses accrued on both sides or; winning a case involves paying as much as 35% of the winnings to one's attorneys. I can't afford anything other than a contingency lawyer, and if no lawyer feels I have a case I will certainly do my best to warn people against The Hartford on AARP's website and the Better Business Bureau and anywhere else that I can warn the elderly against putting their trust in a company that says they care but don't. The payment they wanted to cancel my policy for in February? $14.94. Pitiful.