On February 14 2006, my college Junior daughter in Tampa Florida, frantically called me from her cell phone telling me she had been in an accident with my 2005 Hyundai. I immediately asked her if she or the other person(s) were hurt and she said No, but my car is really damagedwhat should I do?. I advised that all would be OK and that she should do just two things:
1) Call the police
2) Do not move the car until the police arrive
She told me she would do as I asked and would call me back.
She called back and told me the police arrived and took/made a report and depicted the accident just as she described it to have happenedthe other car made too sharp of a turn and the side of her car hit the front corner of my daughters'. The police also issued a citation to the other driver regarding a moving violation that caused the accident.
My daughter's reaction was, finally, something has gone my way'she had been in accidents before and was to blame. She said, Daddy, I have been driving very carefully and it paid off!. ......little did we know
She also told me that the other driver told herI'm sorry, but don't worry, I have insurance.. A young man also came forward to my daughter and said, here is my cardif there are problems, please call as I saw the entire thing happen". My daughter gave the card to the police on site.
After time went by without hearing anythingand talking to my insurance companyI had my daughter bring the car to the body shop the local Hyundai Dealer recommended for an estimate, which came in at about $1700. Subsequently, I sent the estimate of repairs to the State Farm office.
On March 1, I received a letter from State Farm denying the claim as, I quote, 'we do not feel our insured is liable' in spite of the police drawing of the accident scene and the fact that their insured was given a citation as a result of the accident. Upon follow up phone calls to the adjuster and his managers, I was told that there was an eyewitness that said my daughter had caused the accident by driving in the middle of the road, going too fast and not stopping! I told the State Farm office/team manager that each of these statements were completely the opposite of what my daughter had told me and that each item could not be correct! They told me that the eyewitness was the basis for their decision. I asked about the police action and drawing and they told me the police actions would not hold up against an eyewitness!!
I spent many hours on the phone and even obtained a written transcript of the eyewitness statement---where, among other things, he mentioned that he was in a class with the driver of the other vehicle....
I went further to the Hillsborough County Court office and found that the other driver subsequently paid $109 fine for the citation and opted to take the defensive driving course to avoid having license points. I asked State Farm, what young person---a college student, no lesswould pay $109 and take a defensive driving course and not be considered as guilty"? They replied that none of that matters as much as the eyewitness statement!!!
After months, I am having the car repaired at my expenseoutside of any insurance companyas my company also told me that my rates would jump significantly if I turned it in for compensation via my collision insurancemakes one wonder why we have insurance!
As an aside, I sent State Farm the pictures of the car's damages for their information but was told they would not matter. I asked if I could have a picture of the other car..they told there were none and the car had been sold or otherwise disposed of. I asked why they would allow the car to be sold/released without pictures of it being taken beforehand? They replied that the estimate of repairs sufficed for their purposes!
We never received a claim to pay for the other car's damages. This too would make one wonder, especially in light of how things go in the current world we live in.
State Farm, in this case, was great for their customer, but on the wrong moral sidein my opinion. When the police reports and actions matter less than an eyewitness', we are in trouble.
End of a long story. What a lousy thing and what a good example to set for a student who still thinks it is correct to do the right thing and, in the words of her father, it pays to do the right thing and be honest' because it will pay off in the long run!
Selkirk, New York
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on State Farm Insurance