Sentry Insurance began to insure my 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup in early 2001. This particular vehicle is quite heavily modified and, per Sentry Insurance staff, any vehicle modified in the way my vehicle is modified goes through an extra approval process prior to Sentry providing insurance coverage.
I have a written statement from Sentry Insurance indicating that their company policy indicated a need for underwriting approval prior to insuring my vehicle.
I notified Sentry Insurance agent Steve Obst of all modifications to the vehicle. I have written proof of giving this notification.
Sentry Insurance process my request for insurance, as prescribed by their company policies, and agreed to provide insurance cover for my vehicle. The policy was in-effect from early 2001 until May 2004.
I was hit-and-run by another vehicle on January 29, 2004 and expected Sentry Insurance to pay for the repairs while they subrogated with the other party's company.
The repair cost was expected to exceed $5000.
I presented my vehicle to several repair shops on four separate occasions. Sentry Insurance representatives never appeared at the shops performing the estimate. I had notified Sentry Insurance in advance, and in writing, each time my vehicle was available to be viewed at a repair shop.
Sentry Insurance requested another estimate appointment several months after the accident. Sentry Insurance representatives did finally appear and examine my vehicle. After this examination, however, Sentry Insurance indicated that they would only cover damages to "standard equipment".
Consequently, I received approximately $27 to cover over $5000 worth of damage to my vehicle.
Sentry Insurance's stance regarding "standard equipment coverage only" is in direct contradiction to their policy indicating that underwriting approval must be given at policy initiation, for modified vehicles.
For one partiular estimate, at Axle and Frame in Milwaukee - a repair shop recommended by one of their adjusters - Sentry Insurance failed to pay for the services provided and I was forced to call the local police department to get my vehicle released. The repair shop claims that Sentry Insurance never intended to pay for the estimate they requested.
Throughout this entire process Sentry Insurance agent Steve Obst seems to have "fallen off the face of the earth". This agent fails to return contact since many months ago.
Sentry Insurance fails to address my complaints about the general delays in handling this claim, the handling of the original policy, incorrect underwrote my policy, and refuses to acknowledge or address the complaints about their agent.
Excepting 3 letters saying "we'll forward your complaint to the appropriate party", and the $27 check mentioned above, Sentry Insurance has done almost nothing to resolve this claim.
I have attempted to make small repairs, as required by my former insurance policy, to keep the vehicle safely operating without causing more damage. It is almost impossible to properly repair numerous components and many must be replaced, as described in my estimates.
It is now almost 7 months since the accident and my vehicle is still mostly unrepaired and nearly unusable.