• Report: #1038552

Complaint Review: American Bankers Insurance

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  • Submitted: Wed, March 27, 2013
  • Updated: Wed, March 27, 2013

  • Reported By: Robert — Rock Hill South Carolina
American Bankers Insurance
Internet United States of America

American Bankers Insurance Assurant Illegally recording phone conversation without consent. Internet

*Author of original report: Missed the point!

*Consumer Comment: Admittedly

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This  involves illegal phone recording by an insurance company in Florida, a 2 party consent state.

ISSUE:me and my boyfriend live in Rock Hill SC. on March 2, our home was burglarized. Cops were called out, took a report etc.

We filed a claim with our insurance company for the loss under our renters insurance policy with Assurant / American Bankers Insurance of Florida.

We were assigned a claims adjuster, Named Mary. Her initial phone call to us she explained the process could take about 14-21 days . We submitted all information requested, police report, photos, statement etc etc etc.

After the first 2 weeks, Mary informed us further investigation was taking place. In a voice mail message to us, she stated she needed to do a recorded phone interview/statement and would call back the following day
to do so. The same day of that voice mail, I emailed Mary and informed her we certainly did not mind doing a recorded phone conversation/statement "if" we could do the same. I informed her I would like to record the conversation(s) as well.

Mary called me the following morning ( this past Firday, March 22) and stated she got the email but could not authorize us to record the conversation, only she was allowed to do so. I then informed her if that was the case, we did not wish to do a recorded phone conversation "if" we were not allowed to record the interview as well...She then informed me she had a couple questions she needed clarification on for a few of
Tony's reported items ( Tony my boyfriend ). I put TOny on the phone and I walked out of the room to take our dog outdoors.

When I came back in , Tony was still on the phone with Mary , the adjuster, and Tony was asking me questions also for clarification. As well, I was listening to him talking to Mary and often elaborated on things he was saying regarding the burglary/claim/loss. I WAS NOT HOWEVER aware this conversation was being recorded until Tony hung up and said he had to give a recorded statement. It ticked me off Mary, the adjuster was told by me, "I" didnt want to do a recorded conversation if I couldnt record the conversation yet she did so with TOny. That is fine with Tony, I dont have a problem, he is an adult and can make his own decision. What I do have a problem/issue with, is the fact that I was talking in the background of the
conversation and not once did Mary tell Tony to inform me the conversation was being recorded..I
emailed Mary my concern and complaint about this and informed her to let me know if in fact i was recorded in the background talking. Mary emailed me back this past Monday stating : I understand your concern, however I was granted permission from Tony to take a recorded interview. This is an agreement that was made between him and I as a requirement prior to  initiating the  recorded interview. If during the interview
there was any communication between you and him, that would  be solely between you and Tony.  Your file has been forwarded over to our special investigations unit for further processing and as soon as I get additional details from the investigator, I will be notifying the both of you.:.

As well, on Monday, Mary informed us that the claim has been turned over to the SIU ( Special investigations Unit ) for further investigation by an investigator. This REALY has us upset . I did research and found that claims are turned over to SIU when their is "fraud" suspected. WE are the victims and now being treated like the criminals?

I informed Mary her interpretation of the laws in Florida regarding recording phone calls was incorrect and that the law actually states:
copy of my email text:"Mary,

That is incorrect information. Each person to a party of a conversation should have express consent in a 2 party state such as Florida for such a recording. You could have easily informed Tony to inform me the call was being recorded but you didnt and knowing that I previously stated I would not do a recorded statement on the phone if I could not as well record the conversation, which you stated I could not do.

Here is the info regarding consent for Florida: Florida's wiretapping law is a two party consent law state. Florida makes it a crime to intercept or record a "wire, oral, or electronic communication" in Florida, unless all parties to the communication consent.

Florida law makes an exception for in-person communications when the parties do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the conversation, such as when they are engaged in conversation in a public
place where they might reasonably be overheard. If you are operating in Florida, you may record these kinds of in-person conversations without breaking the law. However, you should always get the consent of all
parties before recording any telephone conversation and any in-person that common sense tells you is private."-------end____________CONTINUED FROM ABOVE PARAGRAPH

We feel she used the recorded conversation of Me to our disadvantage and in retaliation for my complaining, forwarded the claim to the SIU. I have allready expressed frustration to the insurance company this claim is 2 days from being a month since it happened and we are being stalled and investigated. We have sent all information they have requested, we have also sent information above and beyond what they have
requested in advance. Now, going into the 4th week, it's NOW being turned over to the SIU. It seems with this Insurance company, their customers are "guilty until proven innocent".

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/27/2013 01:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/American-Bankers-Insurance/internet/American-Bankers-Insurance-Assurant-Illegally-recording-phone-conversation-without-consent-1038552. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 1Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Missed the point!

AUTHOR: Brb28054 - ()

Robert - because they said in a voice mail msg they "needed to record " a statement did not state they "were going to- with or without " my consent. One may think im making a big deal of this and im not. Im trying to prove a point. I as the insured expect to be treated as the consumer. These people treat you as though your guilty until proven innocent. Im the victim and now they want to turn the claim over to SIU. If they have the audacity to treat us like criminals, I have the ability to protect my rights as well.

You are correct, the adjuster did not record mine and her conversation. She recorded my boyfriend and hers. And me talking in the background to Tony in my house not aware THAT conversation was being recorded being she told me she just had a couple questions for Tony. I stated earlier and will again, Florida is a 2 party consent state requiring everyone in the party to a conversation to consent to a recording. It's not up to me to ask "is this being recorded", the person calling has the obligation to inform the called party they are being recorded.

To clarify - I do not think anything I stated was used against me in the sense i thought I said something wrong, rather, I felt because I did not agree to a recording myself maybe used against me. As well, on the contrary Robert, you stated,
 "is basically a BS argument.  Because these corporations will NEVER allow anyone to record them, and since a lot of people know that." 1st. Im not a president of a corporation and have no idea what they allow and what they do not. 2nd, i have learned after speaking to an attorney ( wish I would have known then) whether they allow it or not, once they stated it would be recorded, i was well within my rights to record the conversation also, but again, I didnt know that.

Laws are put in place for a reason and does not exclude big corporations from following the laws.
It does bother me that after 3 weeks, I complain about the recording, then they want to turn it over to SIU as if to prove a point!

you state:
"There is one final saying you probably should think about...to basically paraphrase an old saying you probably should think about.."The lady doth protest too much".  I underlined the two statements you made that show you seem a bit too eager to provide information.  That is sometimes seen as actually worse then not providing information.   Whether or not your claim is legitimate, you never give any company more than they are asking for.  If you overwhelm them with paperwork and "proof" that proof may start tocontradict each other and make it very easy to deny a claim."

Ive highlighted and bold-faced your quote above and respond: Im well aware of that statement. And upon filing the claim read the policy and wanted to have any and all information available in advance as to not prolong the process. Aware of the statement: "DAMNED IF YOU DO, DAMNED IF YOU DONT?".. It seems if you dont send enough required information, your lying or hiding something, if you send more than enough, it seems you are eager!..

It is not enough a person gets burglarized but to be treated as if you have done something wrong is not kosher to say the least. If a company OR ANYONE for that matter, wants to treat someone like they have committed a crime, you damn well better be sure you have not committed one either is all i am saying.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Admittedly

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

You are in a "gray area".  They did inform you on the Voice Mail that they would need to do a record conversation.   It also appears that when they were dealing with you they honored your request and did not record the conversation.  You then put your bf on the phone and left.  He then apparently consented to being recorded when you were outside.

 

You could have easily informed Tony to inform me the call was being recorded but you didnt and knowing that I previously stated I would not do a recorded statement on the phone

- And perhaps you could have informed Tony that you did not want to be recorded, or perhaps you could have asked if the phone call was being recorded when you came back in.  With the fact that they appeared to honor your original request, and you left when he was on the phone.  Trying to make any claim that it was intentional is probably not going to go anywhere.

Now, as an observation from the outside.  When someone is putting up such a barrier not to be recorded that probably raises some questions.  The "well I would have let them record me, if they let me record them"..is basically a BS argument.  Because these corporations will NEVER allow anyone to record them, and since a lot of people know that.  It is an easy "out" as to a claim why you don't want to be recorded...even though as they say it is a "red herring".

We feel she used the recorded conversation of Me to our disadvantage and in retaliation for my complaining, forwarded the claim to the SIU

- What exactly were you so worried about saying and what did you say that would make her use something against you?

As well, I was listening to him talking to Mary and often elaborated on things he was saying regarding the burglary/claim/loss....I have allready expressed frustration to the insurance company this claim is 2 days from being a month since it happened and we are being stalled and investigated. We have sent all information they have requested, we have also sent information above and beyond what they have requested in advance

There is one final saying you probably should think about...to basically paraphrase an old saying you probably should think about.."The lady doth protest too much".  I underlined the two statements you made that show you seem a bit too eager to provide information.  That is sometimes seen as actually worse then not providing information.   Whether or not your claim is legitimate, you never give any company more than they are asking for.  If you overwhelm them with paperwork and "proof" that proof may start to contradict each other and make it very easy to deny a claim.

So exactly how much is this claim for?

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