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jueves, abril 26, 2007

Rant

Ok I understand that unless you've gone through the claim process with an insurance company, you may not always understand how it works. I understand that when you call your insurance for the first time after you need to claim something, you don't always know who you need to talk to, or whatever. I UNDERSTAND!! I know that if I hadn't worked at 3 different insurance-related offices, I probably wouldn't know this either. But I am REALLY bothered by the new State Farm commercial, where the lady has someone drive into her living room "at 2 in the morning" and calls her agent who then states she "had to get the car towed out of the living room".  Why is State Farm perpetuating ignorance?? WHY??? I feel for SF receptionists. OK people, the AGENT does NOT do this!!! The adjuster is the one who will come get the car towed. If it's at 2am, then it will be the on-call adjuster, and they will not love you and cater to you, they will probably just get the job done. On-call adjusters are regular adjusters and on-call duty is rotated among adjusters in an office. That adjuster will then have to go back to work the next day like normal even if they were out all night towing cars from living rooms. Where's the agent all this time? Probably sleeping!! Who knows what they're doing but they will not be there towing the car nor be anywhere near the loss.

See, agents SELL, they are sellers, they want money. Adjusters get paid no matter what, whether you file a claim or not. Claims are filed daily by many people, and adjusters aren't commissioned. Heck, claims get transferred adjusters all the time. If you bought a policy from an agent (which from what I've noticed recently, is becoming less common with companies like Geico and Esurance doing stuff online), you should know that all the agent wants is your money. Once you have bought the policy, they very rarely get involved with you. If you have to file a claim, it's extremely likely that if you call your agent they will redirect you to the claims department. Most insurance companies have a 1-800 number for this. You will be calling a call center, where all they do is enter a claim into a database and it will then be assigned the next working day. Whoever you talk to at the claims center will probably have nothing to do with your claim anymore. Most of these call centers operate in one state, regardless of where you are located. For example, one of the companies I worked for is headquartered in OK, so that is where their claims call center is located. The person who assigns claims tends to work regular office hours, like M-F 8a-5p, in the local claims office (local to you). That means if you file a claim on Saturday morning, your claim will not get assigned until Monday at some point. You will probably get a call from the on-call adjuster soon after you file a claim, and the urgent things will be taken care of (hopefully), but come Monday you will be talking to someone else (maybe, sometimes the on-call adjuster will just happen to keep a claim depending on the distribution ratio, etc).

In my opinion, a good agent will educate you on this process. They will let you know who to call should something go wrong and you need to file a claim. Maybe they could give you a list of phone numbers. The 1-800 number is probably the best one to remember. At one of the offices I worked, I can't even count the amount of people who just opened the phone book, looked up the insurance company's name, and w/o regard to what type of office it was would invariably reach me and demand that I provide all sorts of insurance-related services that unfortunately (for them) my particular office just didn't offer. Sidenote: To get an insurance quote, do not call a claims office.

Ok, I just needed to vent. Not that anyone cares but it's off my chest!

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