• Report: #1062247

Complaint Review: Grange Mutual Casualty Company

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  • Submitted: Wed, June 26, 2013
  • Updated: Wed, June 26, 2013

  • Reported By: Peggy — Brecksville Ohio
Grange Mutual Casualty Company
PO Box 182657 Columbus, Ohio USA

Grange Mutual Casualty Company Nick Benko Jeff Potts David S. Mallory Jr Rip Off Con Artists Insurance Adjusters who lie about claims Lied about roof damage and property claim - Damaged lawn Columbus Ohio

*Consumer Comment: Don't Self Adjust Your Claim

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Facts:

  1. On 4/17/2009, I had a new roof put   on the back of my sun room along with a new gutter from Bio Gink Roofing Siding and Gutters in Parma Heights, Ohio. 
  2. Water damage occurred at the newer section of the house. The addition  which suffered damage was built in approximately 2000-2002 and was only a few years old.
  3. I had never filed a claim with Grange insurance before.
  4. Homeowner   is a single female who has no knowledge of roofing, or construction.
  5. Nick Benko, Claim’s Rep for Grange Insurance, never looked on/at the roof when he came for the first time on March 4, 2010.
  6. Nick Benko, Claim’s Rep for Grange Insurance, looked at my roof and took pictures for the first time (over three     months after the damage) on June 8, 2010 after the roofer was there  and patched up my roof (see shingles in picture 14 with patches that the  roofer placed) placed a tarp on the flat roof and did what he could to try  and stop the water from coming in.
  7. Nick Benko, Claim’s Rep for Grange Insurance, never removed my paneling from  the side of my walls in my sun room to see if there was any water damage from the water running between the walls.
  8. Nick Benko, Claim’s Rep for Grange Insurance, never removed my carpeting from the floor to see if there was any water damage to my subfloor, or the floor below.
  9. The same  day I received a check from Grange insurance for $1,591.35 was the same day I received a letter saying that my insurance was going up. My house insurance instantly went from $60.00 per month to $71.00 per month with a $2,500.00 deductible.
  10. Grange  insurance hired and paid Engineer David S. Mallory (a third party) to inspect my property for this claim. Mr Mallory (of course) sided with  Grange Insurance in saying that the roof damage had nothing to do with “ice      damage” (according to Mr Benko’s message he left me on July 9, 2010).  

 

February 27, 2010 (approx date I have no idea when this happened, because it is a three seasons room and I don’t go back there, but it happened in February – since the insurance company had to place a date down, they chose February 27, 2010) I contacted my insurance company, because of a tremendous amount of water and damage I had in my sun room. 

March 4, 2010 Claim Rep Nick Benko from Grange Insurance came to my home inspected the interior by eye only, acknowledged some damage, and wrote a claim for “Water Damage.” (see attached) and he diagnosed my problem as “Ice Damage.”

Without looking at my roof, Mr. Benko told me that I had an accumulation of ice on my roof and once it thawed out, the dripping would go away as well as my problem. He called my problem “ice damage” and refers to this term throughout my claim. Mr. Benko was apparently incorrect in his evaluation, because it is now July and there is no ice on top of my roof; however, each time it rains, the water continues to drip through my window and walls into my house. 

The water was running from my roof through my windows, through my walls and onto my floor. Mr. Benko walked through the soaking wet carpet and witnessed the water running through my windows through my walls. There was a substantial amount of water that saturated my carpet throughout my entire sun room. There was also ceiling water damage in my back bedroom as well as my sun room. Water was also running through my electrical light in my kitchen which is attached to the sun room. Ceiling tiles were hanging and saturated with water.

Mr. Benko told me that he had a many residents in the Brecksville area who encountered the very same thing I had and he referred to all of those homeowners having an accumulation of ice on their roofs; however, he never went outside and looked on the roof, nor did he take pictures when he was at my house in March. 

Mr Benko gave me three contractors to contact. The first contractor‘s phone number was disconnected, the second contractor I contacted came out once, told me he would be back and then never showed. I was not able to contact the third contractor. 

Interesting to note… the second contractor given to me by Grange Insurance specifically told me that I was not given credit for all of my damages. He wrote on my estimate “Subfloor?” (see estimate enclosed).  He asked me if Mr Benko pulled up the carpeting to look at the subfloor and I said no. He asked me if Mr Benko removed any portion of the inside wall (paneling) near the windows to see if any water damage was inside the walls and I said no. He then told me that the insurance company did not give me credit for all of my damages and failed to do a thorough job. 

Before Mr Benko left on March 4 2010, he told me that this claim was opened for one year and if I found additional damage to contact him (see statement on his March 04, 2010 letter). 

I found a roofer who lived in my town and worked on many of the local homeowners roofs. Neighbors were very pleased with him. He came to my home and was shocked at the damage. He was willing to meet with my insurance company to help me get my roof fixed. 

I contacted Grange Insurance and Nick Benko agreed to meet with my roofer. 

June 8, 2010Nick Benko was very early then what he had made arrangements for with my roofer that day. When he arrived, he ran in the back of the house grabbed his ladder and took pictures of the roof. The roof had already been patched and the roofer tried his best to place a tarp over the flat roof and tried to fix it, because no one was helping me and damage to my property kept increasing each time it rained. It was now over 3 months since Mr Benko had been here last. 

My roofer arrived at the time that Nick originally made an agreement with him and I waited inside the house. I was waiting for them to come inside, because I didn’t know anything about roofs. I overheard some commotion outside and I heard my roofer tell Nick how he screwed me over with this claim. I heard Nick say that he didn’t have to take that from my roofer and before I knew it, Nick ran to his car, backed out of the driveway, went over my grass and took off. He never came inside the house. I went to the door and saw Nick backing up and running over my grass. There is a huge indentation where Nick backed up. As a matter of fact, I never heard anything about it afterwards. Nick and my roofer did not get along and I overheard my roofer ask Nick for his Supervisor’s name. Nick gave his Supervisor as being Jeff Potts at 1-800-452-1115 Ex 222. 

My roofer tried many times to contact Mr. Potts, but Mr Potts wouldn’t return his call, or answer his phone, so he asked me to contact Mr Potts and I left a message that day expressing my concerns and told him how angry I was the way Nick left and drove over my grass. 

Note… Mr. Benko didn’t want to speak to an experienced roofer; he wanted to speak to the inexperienced female home owner who was alone and unknowledgeable about roofing.  

June 9, 2010I received a phone call from Jeff Potts. Mr. Potts said that he would email me pictures that Nick Benko took along with a copy of the estimate for the roofing work that my roofer submitted to Nick. Mr. Potts mentioned that my roofer didn’t break down the labor and price and submitted it as a lump sum estimate.  

June 9, 2010 I received an email from Nick Benko’s Supervisor, Jeff Potts (see email).

Mr. Potts emailed me pictures that Nick Benko took three months later and emailed an estimate that my roofer gave them along with Mr. Potts’ statement that they had a difference of opinion as to what was covered.

Pictures: 

Picture 1 : was taken from a section of the house that had nothing to do with where my leak was. He took the picture from an older portion of my house on the opposite side. The flat roof has no shingles and is one piece of rolled roofing. I’m not sure what Mr. Benko was trying to prove here. 

Picture 2 : I have no idea where that picture was taken either, but the flat roof where the damage was had a tarp on it and it was nailed by the roofer. 

Picture 3 : You can see the flat roof with the tarp on as well as the new addition and how new the roofing shingles are. Of course Mr. Benko didn’t take a close up picture of the new shingles where it was leaking in the back bedroom adjacent to the sun room. 

Picture 4: The flat roof that was new as well as part of the new gutter. 

Picture 5: The new flat roof covered with a tarp and the new gutter. This is where it continues to leak each time it rains. 

Picture 6: The flat roof with tarp and patching that the roofer did. Mr. Benko kept taking pictures of a Blue tarp and claiming no damage to the roof. You can clearly see where shingles flew off of my roof. 

Picture 7: The same thing as above. A picture taken on June 8, 2010 when damage happened in February, 2010. 

Picture 8: Mr. Benko picks up the end portion of a huge tarp that was nailed to my roof and says no damage. Again a picture taken after the roofer patched things up. 

Picture 9: Shingles laying on the roof where they had been blown off. 

Picture 10: A portion of the roof that had nothing to do as to where the leak was present. Mr. Benko went to the other side of the house and the other roof and took pictures where the leak was not at. This picture has nothing to do with this claim. 

Picture 11: The roofer tried patching my roof up after the damage. You can see patches that the roofer placed on my roof. The roof was in shambles after the weather cleared. The wind was fierce and the month of February was one of the most horrible months we endured. 

Picture 15: Is the front of the house. This has nothing to do with the leak. The leak was in the back of the house. 

Picture 16: Is the front of my house and the front of my garage – again nothing to do with this claim. 

Picture 17: This is the side of my house and again has nothing to do with this claim. The problem I had with the roof leaking was in the back of the house and in the new section. 

Conclusion: Mr. Benko did not do his job in February when he should have taken pictures of my roof then, BEFORE a roofer got there and tried patching things up at my house, because no one would help me. Mr. Benko then tried to make up for it and ran to my house over three months later in June taking pictures of my roof after it was somewhat patched up. 

When Mr. Mallory came out to inspect my property, he continued talking about “hail damage.” I told him I was unaware of “hail damage” being the cause, but I had no idea what the cause was, because I couldn’t see the roof from below and wasn’t familiar with roofing. Mr. Mallory spoke with my roofer and they got along fine. Mr. Mallory said he couldn’t take the tarp off, because he didn’t have a hammer and any nails to put it back on with. Mr. Mallory also said he couldn’t take apart the sides of the walls inside my sun room to inspect for water damage and mold, nor could he lift my carpet up to check my sub floor, because again he didn’t have a hammer or nails to secure it back on. He said he wanted to know if he could come back and I said yes, of course. Mr. Mallory clearly stated that no one could deny the extensive amount of damage that was done to my home.  

July 9, 2010  The insurance company continued dragging their feet on this claim and so I contacted Jeff Potts at 1-800-452-1115 Ex 222 and left another message. I told Mr. Potts the additional damage that I had experienced a few days prior when thousands of Yellow Jackets and Wasps had surrounded my house and went up under the areas of my roof that were lifted and came into my house. I informed him that I had to contact the Bee Keepers Association and it was them who came to my house and started spraying the thousands of Yellow Jackets and Wasps in hopes to avoid them from coming in my home. The insects went into my attic and were coming into my house through the light fixtures in my bathroom and any other way possible. The Bee Keepers association grabbed a ladder along with spray and sprayed under the tarp that the roofer placed and saw the large gaps in my roof where the insects were flying in and out. I did not receive a return phone call from Mr. Potts.

I contacted Mr. Mallory on his cell at 216-408-8775 and he answered. I told Mr. Mallory about the Yellow Jackets and Hornets and Mr. Mallory said he wanted to come back on the following Monday (July 12, 2010) to look at the walls and carpeting and I said he could. Mr. Mallory said he had not submitted a report to the insurance company as of yet regarding my roof. Mr. Mallory was going to contact my roofer, so my roofer could be here on Monday when Mr. Mallory was to come to my house.  

July 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm (shortly after I left a message for Mr. Potts and shortly after I spoke with Mr. Mallory) Nick Benko called and left a message for me saying that David Mallory submitted his report to the insurance company and did not feel that the damage to the roof was related to the ”ice damage” and he would forward me a report within two weeks.  

My roofer was angry that Mr. Benko insisted upon referring to this problem as “ice damage.” My roofer said that the problem was the high winds and the storms we had at that time of the year that tore my roof apart and it had nothing to do with “ice damage.”  

How could a report be submitted by Mr. Mallory if he didn’t even pick the tarp up? Mr. Mallory stated that he didn’t have a hammer and nails to secure it back on?  

The hiring of an Engineer is not for the benefit of the Homeowner, but for the benefit of the insurance company.   

This report was submitted by Mr. Mallory to get me off of Grange’s back and put an end to this claim especially now that I had the Yellow Jackets and Hornets along with witnesses from the Bee Keepers Association.  

It is clear that Mr. Mallory was paid by Grange Insurance (Mr. Mallory said he was paid by Grange when I asked who was paying for his services). If Mr. Mallory did not say what Grange wanted him to say, Grange would not hire Mr. Mallory again; thus, Mr. Mallory would not have a job. This ordeal with Mr. Mallory was another tactic to get more ammunition for Grange Insurance to have another person on their side.  

July 9, 2010 I phoned Mr. Mallory again, but he did not pick up his phone. I left a message for him saying I was confused and I had just spoke with him and he told me that he was planning on coming back on Monday for the walls and the carpet, but I received a phone call from Nick Benko saying that he submitted his report. I told him that I was not going to roll over and play dead on this claim and that I was contacting the Ohio Department of Insurance, because I realized that I will not get help from my Insurance Company and they left me no alternative. 

I never heard from Mr. Mallory again, nor did he ever come back like he said he would to examine my home and remove the tarp to look at my roof. 

Another liar was Warren Wheeler who refused to email all of the pictures that were taken of my hosue. He was from Hunter Insurance and is no longer working there. This so called Christian holds his head up high and prances in the church where he goes to acting like he is a saint when he is really a deceiver. He is doing very well financially, because of this untruthful actions that he practiced while he worked at Hunter Insurance. Nikki DelLoss is another prize package who will talk to you in circles. They do this, so you will give up. She too proclaims to be a great person, but given the opportunity she will mess you over in a second. They do this to put more money in their pockets.  

Grange denied the claim and refused to put a new roof on my house. All of my other neighbors received new roofs due to the terrible weather we had at that time, but Grange refused to do so for me.

Grange dropped me, because they said I need a new roof! These adjusters get bonuses when they deny claims. Nick Benko, Jeff Potts, and David S. Mallory, Jr are the biggest con artists around for Grange insurance. I am now without insurance, because Grange said I need a new roof and any other insurance company I try to get will not insure me.

I was trying to get a modification for my home and applied for the HAMP Program; however, since I did not have insurance, nor could I get insurance, I was denied for the HAMP Program. These people screwed me over and tricked me and now I may lose my home because of this.

I feel it is important for the public to know about these rip off con artists who work for companies like Grange Insurance to get a big bonus check for denying claims.

When you call your insurance company for a claim, be ready to have them deny the claim and then make an inspection date with you to come to look at your home. They will then tell you to repair whatever it was they declined, or tell you they will drop you. Someone should investigate these people and put a stop to this. Still suffering for their devious actions.  

 


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/26/2013 10:32 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Grange-Mutual-Casualty-Company-/Columbus-Ohio-43218/Grange-Mutual-Casualty-Company-Nick-Benko-Jeff-Potts-David-S-Mallory-Jr-Rip-Off-Con-Art-1062247. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Don't Self Adjust Your Claim

AUTHOR: ClaimAdvocate - ()

As a Claim Consultant for both the insurer and now as a claim advocate for policyholders it is even more imperative in todays market place that insureds on denials and low balled losses retain a Public Adjuster to review your case. Its free unless they make a recovery then its 10-20% of the recovery for their fee. An 80% recovery is far better than ending up with zero!. 

The critical mistake is trying to adjust your own claim after they denied you the first time. What you say "will and can" be used against you. After reading your remarks you have caused a lot of self collateral damage to your own claim by what you said and what you did afterwards to prove your loss.

The adjuster need only determine the cause of loss for you, it is not their job to file proof of damages, thats your job even if they prepare their own estimate or take photos for their own use. They work for the benefit and profits for Grange, not you. Never use a contractor to try and prove your loss, they are not adjusters and in Indiana and Ohio we are working closely with the Atty General to identify those contractors "filing a claim, handling or offering to meet with your insurer to adjust your loss for you. The contractors are illegally posing as adjusters wihtout a license and more importantly have little to no skills in underwriting, loss control or rating of the policy which could have reversed your denial. All the contractor bids in the world will not reverse a denial, its a coverage issue and not an estimating process that determines liability after a loss. Your contractor bids (if not an insurance contracor) does not proide a valid itemized scope but rather a "proposal only" which is worthless to the insurer. It's akin to hiring a plumber to replace your car water pump.

   All the details you set forth clearly shows you had coverage on many fronts "but for" the willful deception or mis represntation of the facts by you and the adjusters involved. The proximate cause of loss wa snever clearly defined. The ensuing loss and resulting damages are ALWAYS coverd. It is clear you had mulitple perils at play and an experienced adjuster would have found coverage for the entire loss with the proper investigation and with both the proper preparation and presentation of your claim it would have been paid. Contractors do more damage to your claim than good. Thats why they should not be involved in any adjustment of a claim, just write a detaield itemized estimate and stay out of the claim business.

Yes, the manager and supervisor were indifferent, inexperienced, or intentionally dishonest to your claim for any number of reasons such as late reporting, lack of cooperation, failure to file a proper Proof of Loss required under the terms of the contract etc. There are hundreds of nuances to every claim and each claim is different with its own set of circumstances. Grange owes you no duty outside of determing the cause of loss, then the proof of damages to be filed rests with you. Their offer to send out experts or pet contractors that work for them is as a courtesy only and benefits them, not you.  Never use a pet contractor sent out by the agent or carreir, they are already bias and not on your side unless you sign a contract with them, then the claim will be paid 200%...to them, not you.

An Indiana Claim Advocate or Ohio Public Adjuster near you would have found an easy resolution to your plight had you called one at the first sign of a problem. Now it appears you caused your own dilemma by allowing the 2 year statue to toll. For whatever reason you hired contractors to adjust your claim, you got what you paid for. You may be able to report your plight to the Dept of Insurance and get a response. They do not have judicial authority but can slap them for bad behavior, they cannot make them pay a claim or alter the contract conditions and limitations, especially at this late date. 

 

The Claim Advocate

 

 

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