How prevalent are State Farm Insurance complaints? No insurance company is exempt from receiving complaints from customers, and State Farm is no different.
Examining State Farm Insurance Complaints
When examining consumer complaints it becomes obvious that it's possible to find complaints about any company regardless of how well the company serves their customers. Companies who do not do a very good job providing quality service to customers have significantly more complaints throughout the Internet. State Farm Insurance has a wide variety of complaints posted in various places online.
Complaints About State Farm Insurance
Based on the level of complaints throughout the Internet, a number of drivers who experienced an accident with someone insured by State Farm have discovered that the process of resolving claims can be very difficult. In many cases, drivers have found that State Farm will simply refuse to cover the costs incurred by the driver who is at fault, forcing the case to go into arbitration. In the case of homeowner's insurance, many customers report that State Farm underpaid claims, especially with cases following hurricane Katrina. In the online cases reported by the customers, State Farm did not respond quickly to complaints. According to these accounts, only customers who were tireless and dogged in their pursuit eventually received appropriate payment. In many cases, the court system had to become involved.
Examples of Customer Complaints
Consumer watchdog groups sometimes maintain forums for customers to post complaints regarding various companies. The complaint boards focusing on State Farm are packed with an array of issues, from refusal to pay legitimate insurance claims to borderline fraud and intimidation. The following websites provide a small sampling of those complaints.
- Consumer Affairs lists complaints starting all the way back as far as the late 1990's. Many of these complaints are actually full essays of three or four paragraphs, providing impressive detail regarding individual consumer cases.
- The Squeaky Wheel has a couple of detailed State Farm Insurance complaints outlining some disturbing behavior from the insurance giant.
- My3Cents details dozens of cases where State Farm tried to avoid paying out for legitimate claims. Only customers who pursued the matter eventually received payment.
- The Consumerist features a section listing articles - some quite humorous - from customers of State Farm. One particularly funny title is, "Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm Wants to Steal Your Money and Send You to Jail."
With all of that said, many customers successfully submit claims with State Farm and eventually receive a claims check. Ultimately, your success with an insurance claim comes down to staying on top of the process and pushing the claim through as needed. It can take a lot of time to do this, but there are few insurance companies where that sort of customer participation isn't needed in order to keep the claims process moving forward. This is simply the nature of the industry.
Submitting a Complaint to State Farm
The good news is that State Farm appears to be making a concerted effort to improve its ethics and services to customers. If the 2009 State Farm Code of Conduct is any indication, the company is working hard to reverse the poor public image through the use of an independent third party in dealing with ethical issues that employees wish to report. Customers can also file a complaint directly with State Farm. The State Farm website recommends the following procedure when you are not satisfied or feel you've been treated unfairly.
- First, try working with your own State Farm agent.
- Next, ask for your Agency Field Executive (AFE) and explain your situation.
- If there's a problem with your claim, ask to talk to the manager of your claim representative.
Submitting a Complaint to State and Federal Authorities
If you've made your best effort to work directly with State Farm in order to resolve a particular claim, yet you find that the claim is being ignored or remaining unpaid when you are due a check under the terms of your policy, another option is to report the problem to the Better Business Bureau. Just click the "File a Complaint" link on the main BBB web page. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides a map you can use to find your State's Bureau of insurance. Find the consumer information section of the state page and submit a complaint detailing the issues that you're having.
Every insurance consumer should carefully research a company and perform appropriate due diligence before signing any contract with an insurance company. No one should ever assume that just because you're paying your insurance premiums on time that this means you'll definitely be protected in the case of a crisis. In some instances it's better to pay a higher premium with a stable insurance company that has a good reputation instead of going with an insurance company that has a poor reputation just to save a few dollars a month.
When it comes to the safety and security of your family, the insurance company you choose should be one that you have no doubt you can trust.