• Report: #12836
Complaint Review:

Karen Peters of State Farm Insurance

  • Submitted: Wed, January 30, 2002
  • Updated: Sat, January 08, 2005

  • Reported By:Aliquippa Pa
Karen Peters of State Farm Insurance
Brodhead Rd Aliquippa, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

Karen Peters of State Farm Insurance, A true example of Ignorance! Aliquippa Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment: The Evil Neighbor

*Consumer Suggestion: If you don't know, don't speak.

*Consumer Comment: Don't believe everything you see or hear!

*Consumer Suggestion: Tell the Truth, for the Underwriters will find it.

*Consumer Comment: D in Newport News MUST be an agent.... and a GOOD one

*Consumer Suggestion: Pre-Qualification Quotes are meaningless

*Consumer Comment: Is this really how you change insurance companies?

*Consumer Comment: Insurance companies have underwriting rules.

*Consumer Suggestion: Please dont forget.

*Consumer Comment: confused


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We wanted to switch our auto insurance over to state farm because they already had our homeowners, Karen told my wife she couldn't write a policy for us untill our existing policy lapsed, She said once we got the cancellation notice to bring it in and she would write a policy, my wife did as she asked , we got the cancellation notice my wife took it inn and payed her by check to start the policy, 32 days later we get the check sent back to us by mail with a rejection letter, when we called to find out why we were rejected she said it was due to a speeding ticket that my wife had gotten 3 years earlier, we forgot about!
Due to us negleting to tell her about this she couldn't write a policy for us.

This now shows as a laps in our coverage, we had a hard time getting other insurance companies to cover us, our premiums went from paying $77.00 a month to almost $300.00 a month because of someone elses mistake, and not even so much as an I'm sorry from her, It's our fault due to the fact we didn't tell her about a ticket that is almost 4 years old! This is just plain wrong.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/30/2002 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/karen-peters-of-state-farm-insurance/aliquippa-pennsylvania-15001/karen-peters-of-state-farm-insurance-a-true-example-of-ignorance-aliquippa-pennsylvania-12836. 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

The Evil Neighbor

AUTHOR: Donald - (U.S.A.)

State Farm Insurance Company is indeed a ripoff.
My family too has suffered at the hands of State Farm as a direct result of State Farm's complicity in fraud. That is, State Farm did defraud my family while conspiring to do same with a contractor. However, we plan to stay the course and continue the fight until "hell" itself freezes over. It's about time these so called "good neighbors" are kicked out of the neighborhood for good. By the way, Agents are of no help to the consumer. They should be replaced with vending machines.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

If you don't know, don't speak.

AUTHOR: Nick - (U.S.A.)

Speaking as an insurance professional, the average citizen does not understand how policies are underwritten.

First, an applicant's motor vehicle record, for their entire household (this includes any licensed driver resident whether related or not, or whether possessing their own policy or not, or using the apllicant vehicle or not), for the past 3 or 5 years (depending on the company in question) is key in underwriting the policy. In the good old days, we relied on the individual to tell us their past. There was no way to physically check their records. Later, when underwriters starting using computers, we still asked the customer about accidents or tickets for the application, and their admitions were verified by the underwriting department. If something was left out, like a ticket in your case, the policy was cancelled for material misrepresentation. Which is completely legal. If it was not legal state insurance commissions would not allow it.

In modern times, all insurance companies have systems in place so that agent's can access an mvr prior to the quote, and many of these include credit checks. Most require this to be checked before any quote, coverage, or price is discussed. And because of this, now some customers are uncomfortable as they cannot hide their past. Others cannot understand why they cannot just get a quote without this information.

Secondly, proof of prior insurance is equally important. And only certain documentation is acceptable. The insurance identification card that you keep in your vehicle is not acceptable. The reason for this is that you could pay a month of premium, recieve your 6-month or 12-month (again depending on the company) id card, and then cancel the policy. You still have a card, but no insurance, so the proof is not valid. Most companies require specific things for proof, such as the following: a dec page or billing statement dated within 15 or 30 days of the present date (again depending on the company), an insured request cancellation notice, or a non-payment of premium cancellation notice. These all show present day coverage or coverage within a specified time period to the present day. Karen asked you for that very thing, because in her case, it was something she could use to do business with you as long as you were honest.

And finally, now that you were cancelled from a company for material misrepresentation, they of course will not rewrite you, and other companies will be wary as well.

So please do not knock something you do not understand. It is not wrong because you do not understand it. It is shame you had put this business woman down.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Don't believe everything you see or hear!

AUTHOR: Rebecca - (U.S.A.)

It sounds kinda fishy for her to tell you to cancel your other policy and then bring in the cancellation letter. Anyone in a lapse of coverage (which you were), should be getting higher rates any way. I am an insurance agent (not for that company) and when someone is in a lapse, 9 times out of 10, the rates are higher anyway. I can't stress this enough, but regardless of how unhappy you are with your current carrier, do not cancel that policy until you have obtained insurance elsewhere. I have people all the time who were unhappy and cancelled their insurance only to call me a few days later and they expect lower rates. After I tell them that it has almost doubled, they always go back to who they had before because they are the only ones who will give them the lower rate. And also, just because your own company recognizes grace periods, no one else does.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Tell the Truth, for the Underwriters will find it.

AUTHOR: Skip - (U.S.A.)

I had this same situation in my office today. I had written a motorcycle policy for someone who failed to tell me about their ticket they had gotten in 2002. Though the company didn't cancel the policy, they did raise it significantly.

I ask every client at the time of application "Have you had any accidents or violations or have you had any fire or theft losses." You needn't think that the company won't find out the answer to that question. In this computer age, they have easy access to the answers. 10 years ago when I started as an agent, a lot of tickets and wrecks slipped by us and didnt' get charged for. That doesn't happen today.

My companies generally do not cancel for violations, but charge significant additional premiums. Many times, the added amount is more than it would have been if I had known up front and placed it in the proper program to start with. Otherwords, they do pennalize you for lying as well as the accident or ticket.

I am constantly amazed when people come to me after such a rate up for an accident, violation, or suspended license and actually ask me, "When did I get a speeding ticket?" or "What kind of violation did I have in March?"
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#5 Consumer Comment

D in Newport News MUST be an agent.... and a GOOD one

AUTHOR: E - (U.S.A.)

EXACTLY, D.....you understand! Agents are HUMAN too! And so much is dependant on ACCURATE info provided by the potential client/insured. I work in the CS/UW dept. for a large non standard co and EVERY day talk to folks mad as hell that they were quoted the incorrect rate. Well, did you tell your agent about the accident you had last year when you were driving Aunt Tillies car and totaled an innocent persons vehicle to the tune of 10 K in damages? Probably not....you didn't think it mattered because you aren't insuring Aunt Tilles car, you "of course" weren't at fault (you can provide a police report clearly stating that, and, in that case, and we will be GLAD to not charge you for the accident), you forgot, but, more than likely YOU didn't think anyone would ever find out. THINK AGAIN, Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange allows Insurance Co.'s to find out about any accident YOU were involved in. Your agent can not quote you accurately with out accurate info so it's best to DISCLOSE everything upfront........I believe it even states that on the disclosure you sign when accepting the "QUOTE". Accurate info means accurate quotes, accurate rates.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Pre-Qualification Quotes are meaningless

AUTHOR: D - (U.S.A.)

Hey Mike, You hit the nail on the head....Quotes are meaningless especially if you don't have all of the info at hand.

New technologies now allow insurance companies (not all) to "finalize" a quote by running the driving records, auto loss histories, and CBR reports. Then, a better chance of having the right quote the first time is, for the most part, assured.

The insurance business is complicated and misunderstood. Add to that the fact that there is a constant evolution in the underwriting guidelines that change the eligibility and rating rules.

What you need is a well experienced, reputable, and established agency that can avoid mistakes in the first place. It's always better to catch a problem in the rates right up front when they can be more easily dealt with. Once that application is submitted, the agent's are out of the loop in a lot of ways.

Just like in life though, mistakes are made. Good, honest people can make mistakes...just like the client can forget to tell agents about a ticket.

An application can be taken in advance and held until the policy effective date. There's a possibility that the rules may change from the time the app is taken until the effective date of coverage.

If the rate or eligibility changes, there's no reason that someone couldn't just pay their existing bill and not take the new app.
I agree with you that it's a bad deal when the app is taken and then changed by underwriting, an experienced agent can reduce this from happening but not entirely eliminate it.
Such is life though...
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#7 Consumer Comment

Is this really how you change insurance companies?

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

I've never done it, but I can't believe one can't arrange to buy insurance in advance, set up to take effect on a certain date (immediately after the existing policy ends). This really sounds like an unethical pressure technique by the agent to force the consumer into accepting a bad deal because the other policy has expired, so they don't have the option to continue with their existing company. I would want a commitment in writing from Company B that GUARANTEES(*) they will insure me at a certain rate before I'd consider cancelling with Company A. *(assuming no more tickets, accidents, etc. between when they write the guarantee and the policy would take effect.) If Company B wants to check records, etc. before making such an offer, they can go ahead and do it. Otherwise a "quote" for insurance is meaningless.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Insurance companies have underwriting rules.

AUTHOR: D - (U.S.A.)

This is their way of selecting and pricing clients based on the history of losses, claims, and payment histories.
Sounds like Karen was doing all the right things... First, she didn't want you to change policies in the middle of a term so she could save you a short-rate cancellation fee from the losing company...good advice. When policies are cancelled mid-term, there is a handling charge from the other company.

Secondly, she based her quote and judged your eligibility on what she was told. Once she sent in the application, it was out of her hands as to the final outcome because it goes to an underwriting department (over her head).

Underwriters review the application against motor vehicle records and loss histories (sometimes credit reports as well). Karen's underwriting rules may have stated that "no tickets were allowed in this line of insurance in the last five years". She was going on what you told her and I'm certain she was trying to give you the best rate she had. She was trying to do that with one hand tied behind her back because she didn't have the facts.

Also, when a policy is rejected, insurance companies allow time in the letter for you to obtain other insurance. What happened between the time you got the letter and the actual cancellation date? The ball was dropped but it wasn't Karen who did it.

Take an honest approach to what happened to you and quit flaming a good agent trying to do her job. Admit that YOU could have handled the situation better and take a lesson from that. Call Karen and discuss the situation and I'll bet you find that she is not out to rip anyone off... she may even be able to help you now... State Farm agents are solid and respectable as a rule. Sorry for your trouble though...
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Please dont forget.

AUTHOR: Drew - (U.S.A.)

You were probably asked to provide information on your driving record before you were told that you could switch companies. You neglected to bring up your past speeding ticket by choice, or by a lapse in memory. Next time, remember that you had a violation and pass that on to the insurance company. My rates go up because of errors like this on your part.. Do your part.
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#10 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: larry - (U.S.A.)

In defense of the agent, You were probably asked if there were any violations on your driving record. Your lack of a response, or lapse of memory for a speeding violation was not her fault. Start taking responsibility for your own mistakes and stop blaming the insurance companies or others for your omissions...
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#11 Consumer Comment



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