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Friday Un-Favorite: Travelers Insurance

January 7th, 2011

I’m the ultimate loyal customer, if a company makes a great product, has a great store, or has great customer service I’ll be a loyal customer for life. I’ll sing their praises until the cows come home telling anyone and everyone about it. I’ll willingly pay more for the product if I love it and will go out of my way to shop at a specific store or buy a certain product. I’m the customer you want to have, that is unless you decide to be ridiculous. Every now and then a company falls from my graces, it doesn’t happen often since I always give second chances. Until last month I’ve been singing the praises of Travelers Insurance. We’ve been their loyal customers for 11+ years, we’ve never even bothered checking for better rates anywhere else – ever. Whenever I heard someone complaining about their insurance company I’d chime in with how much we LOVED Travelers.

Most companies will love you as long as you don’t have a problem and are handing them money. When you have an issue that needs resolved and they need to hand a little money back your way, they show their true colors. Here’s what transpired with Travelers Insurance. We had a small fender bender when we were in Maine (the first in Mr Chiot’s 18 year driving career). The process of filing a claim was OK, but there were a few misscommunications and not enough info passed along to us from them. No problem, we decided to stick with them. Then we got our policy renewal in December which was much higher than usual, 50% higher than our last bill. We expected it go up a bit, but then we saw in our statement “NEW Accident Forgiveness for customers over 4 years and who haven’t had an accident in the past 5 years”. Great we thought, we’ll just call and get this fixed. Obviously there was an error.

When we first called the agent said, “Oh yeah, you should qualify, I’ll check on it.” Then she called back and explained that since we pay our insurance 6 months ahead of time, they decided we didn’t qualify for accident forgiveness since our accident happened under our “old” policy. If we had paid on monthly basis we would have qualified because our policy renews each month, but since we pay our bill up front we were out of luck. Basically I’m being penalized for giving them a bunch of money up front and paying my bill in full at the beginning of the contract – WHAT? We called several times to complain and try to resolve the issue and basically they said, “Sorry, screw you. You can’t get this and won’t even be able qualify for this on your policy for the next 5 years, since you just had an accident.”

After much frustration and lots of thought, I decided I’ll be taking my auto, home, and business insurance elsewhere, and I’m willing to move my life insurance as well if I find a new company I like that offers all three. I’m even willing to pay more elsewhere if I get good service and if the company is respectful of their clients. I am by no means out for cut rate products with bad service, it’s not worth it. I will no longer be telling people about how great Travelers Insurance is, I’ll be telling people to stay away from them at all costs.

So this is where you come in – Do you have a great insurance company that you can recommend?

Have they been there for you and treated you with the respect you deserve as a loyal customer when you’ve needed to file a claim?

How long have you been with this company?

Do you have any insurance company horror stories? any companies we should avoid?

Do you know of a great insurance agent we should call?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.