In February, after a drawn out eviction, a tenant in one of our properties or his acquaintances stole all our appliances, electronics, and some cabinetry and vandalized our property. Our Realtor immediately notified the police and we notified the insurance company. Auto-Owners came and inspected the property. We requested multiple times the proper forms to fill out. Which were not sent.
We proceeded to set appointments for bids, we sent photos, we had them visit the property. There was a police report filed. The realtors and several other unconnected people gave us affidavits that the damage was not caused by us and the bids were real. We sent them all sorts of emails asking them to please stop playing games. We were very upset by the run around as they kept shooting us to different staff who all would ask questions designed to find a way out of the claim. [continued below]....
During the first month as we were trying to get a benefit statement and find out what we needed to do to get payment, we were told many inaccurate things and threatened that we would have our claim denied and told that we were not entitled to payment for numerous unfounded reasons. We reviewed the Utah statues and sent them to them. They still refused to treat us well. Instead they hired a private investigator to try and find ways to get out of the claim. Finally after we figured out where to get the forms ourselves and sent everything in yet a second time with a notarized statement. They took the position that until our court case was completed related to the eviction they didn't have to do anything because the tenant was claiming he was the owner. (the tenant was never on the policy and never made any payments and was never on title in the state of Utah, they simply wanted to use him as an excuse to delay and deny. The tenant also had the police at his home many times for parties and other problems prior to eviction and was a known liar and has several attorney's serving him with suits.) Yet they wanted to hang their denial on the word of a man who had no credibility and numerous legal problems over what is properly and legally recorded in Utah.
The the courts ruled completely in our favor on June 8, 2010. Auto-Owners said they would have a staff person at court from the insurance company. (they promised our attorney) They did not - they simply did nothing - again. After notifying them that we had won, then they hired an attorney to try and find a way to deny all or some of our claims regardless of the court upholding that we were the only owners. They are now wanting us to resubmit everything again and also to have me fly from MN to UT to be interrogated! They continue to argue that our ownership isn't valid or that a certain paperwork isn't done right or that our bids aren't right or they aren't responsible for the claim or that the house isn't uninhabitable and they shouldn't have to cover the rents missed because of the damage etc. etc. etc.
This home has over $100,000 in damages and has been uninhabitable since February. Meantime we have missed several new tenants and continue to lose money. We don't have money to make the repairs of this magnitude. Auto Owners intentionally doesn't provide forms, withholds information, fails to hep the client fill out forms, asks us to submit photos and then says they aren't the right format, we resubmit them, and they still say they are not acceptable in the format they asked us to resubmit in. This even after they have viewed the home themselves multiple times and with multiple staff from their company. We have provided bids from totally unconnected contractors and submit them with a proof of loss form (which we had to get from another companies adjuster because they wouldn't send theirs in a timely manner). They deny our claim stating they don't know who the owners are. We tell them to go to the county and provide them with our proof of ownership. (they were only too happy to take our premiums as owners though! and took more premiums after the claim). They are by far the worst company we have ever worked with. They will do whatever they can to minimize your claim, draw out the process and try to not pay as much or at all.
IF THAT ISN'T BAD ENOUGH, THEY DO IT TO US AGAIN ON ANOTHER PROPERTY!
IN MARCH, we become aware of another claim being filed by a plumber through auto-owners on another one of our properties where he didn't do the work right and it flooded the entire home. The Tenant's and plumber notify Auto-Owners. Auto-Owners again inspects this property and then doesn't do anything. They won't help the contractors or us or the tenants file. They intentionally don't provide forms. We fly all the way to Utah to meet with the adjuster and all the contractors and record the entire meeting. The adjuster does nothing to help get the claim paperwork filed out even to this day almost five weeks after we flew out and over three months since the water accident. The damages were repaired and no reimbursements are done whatsoever. They simply don't do anything and keep saying well until you have the right paperwork we can't do anything. But they don't help the contractors or us or anyone get the paperwork or fill it out.
Auto Owner's adjuster wants to argue if the water heaters needing replacement or not when they stopped working. He won't help anyone figure out how to fill out forms. He never initiates phone calls and takes a long time to return them or emails He has told us even after we get the claim filed, he will have to forward it on to 'senior' personal there. He has been taught by Auto-Owners to do everything possible to make it impossible to file a claim. He also has never delivered claim forms as he promised verbally he would when we met at the property. He promised to email those forms to us and they have never come.
This company is out to rip off people. We had multiple policies with them on several of our rentals. We moved them all to a new company as of July except for the one with the outstanding loss of appliances and vandalism because it is uninhabitable AND NO OTHER insurance company will insure it with the claim not done. They are by far the worst, worst ever customer service and they do it because it means they don't have to pay.
We have complained to the state of Utah, but their department says they have no power to force them to do anything, but only to try and get the parties to work together.
We have had to hire an attorney. We are losing thousands and probably tens of thousands of dollars due to this company's unlawful practices.
Now, finally after months of trying to figure out their magical system to get someone to pay a claim, we are resorting to reporting them online. We have worked on claims with other insurance companies. We are not incompetent or mean spirited people. We are professionals who ended up owning several rentals in Utah due to the economic changes. We paid 100% of our premiums upfront for a years policy because they required it of us. Now when we file claims, they simply find delays and won't pay!