The purpose of this is to discuss my dissatisfaction with the way The Traveler's Insurance Company handled our Hail Storm Loss.
On May 31, 2008, the Upper Marlboro area suffered a hail storm which caused a tremendous amount of damage to cars, siding, roofs, etc. There were companies in the area that were willing to work with your insurance company to get the problems resolved. However, we decided that in all fairness to our insurance company, we would give them the benefit of doubt and ask them to come and look at the house and let us know if we had any damage. Traveler's agreed to come out and take a look.
We were told by our adjuster, Joe Harmel that we were hit pretty bad. He said that it looked as if the house had been shot by a pellet gun. He assured us that we would never be able to sell the house in its current condition and although we have no plans of selling it, we agreed it needed to be fixed. We agreed after seeing it with his trained eye that it was pretty bad.
He suggested that we not use either of the two companies that were in our area helping homeowners to work with their insurance company. We agreed to work directly with him as he assured us that he would be fair. Unfortunately, we learned the hard way that both Joe Harmel and The Traveler's Insurance Company are not fair. We discovered that Joe Harmel is a liar and his bosses are clueless about customer service and will fully support his position, regardless.
In addition to all the damage to the house, we were dealing with a dishonest insurance appraiser and an insurance company not interested in making us whole.
Joe Harmel repeatedly gave us bad information and most of the time he was not available due to personal family problems. When we became completely frustrated, we contacted Dana Atkins, his supervisor only to be told that he is entitled to time out of the office.
After several conversations with Dana and pointing out to her that he was giving us inaccurate information, instead of assigning us a new appraiser she agreed to handle the caseMs. Atkins did not take any more of our calls as we could now only work with Mr. Harmel. The last straw was when we he told us to send him a final bill and instead of waiting for the final bill, he went ahead and prematurely closed our claim. We became aware that the claim was closed by a Geico representative while we were shopping for a jewelry policy. The Geico agent suggested that we talk to Paul Schnell and we agreed. Paul Schnell was absolutely no different from Dana Atkins or Joe Harmel. In fact, because he was supposedly a general manager, he was worse as he merely regurgitated words from Mr. Harmel.
The worse part of this is that Mr. Harmel told us to get a contractor of our choice and that if there was a difference between his estimate and the contractors estimate, he would work with the contractor so that there would be no out of pocket to us. This was the biggest lie as we are out of pocket of a lot of money because he never considered the final bill. Mr. Harmel stuck to his previous estimate and did not consider the estimate from the contractors.
The bottom line is that we were lied to, treated unfairly, and are out of pocket for a lot of unnecessary home repairs. We should probably point out that every house in our development has had to have its roof, siding, etc. replaced but our insurance company only agreed to replace two sides of our siding. We were not made whole and have had to come out of our pockets for expenses related to the hail storm, i.e., garage door, HVAC Unit, etc. and we are not happy customers. Our HVAC Unit was taken away to be reviewed by Traveler's and has not been returned to us.
It is our hope that by making this public and bringing this to the Commission of Insurance that no other customer that suffers a loss is then also lied to or badgered by their insurance company. We are also requesting that the Commission of Insurance investigates the dishonest practices of The Traveler's Insurance Company.
Upper Marlboro, Maryland