Monday, May 7, 2012

One of These Statements Is a Lie

I received a letter from my car insurance company over the weekend.  This is an excellent example of sending mixed signals.

On the one hand,
Thank you for allowing State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company the opportunity to provide your automobile insurance under this policy.  You are a valued policyholder and we appreciate your business.
We highly value and strive to maintain your business.  Thank you, again, for allowing State Farm to provide for your automobile insurance needs.
On the other hand,
After a thorough review, we have determined changes to your policy are needed.  These changes are effective [12 business days after date of notice; 10 business days after receipt of notice].
To the extent Liability, Medical Payments, Uninsured Motorists, or Underinsured Motorists Coverages are included in your policy, those coverages are being ceded (transferred) to the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility, a state-mandated program established to ensure that qualified North Carolina drivers are able to obtain automobile coverage.
Comprehensive and Collision Coverages are being canceled.
Towing and Labor Costs Coverage is being canceled.
Increased Limits Transportation Expenses Coverage is being canceled.
Automobile Death Indemnity and Specific Disability Benefits Coverage is being canceled.
The changes are being made to your policy for the following reason(s):
You have not provided valid driver information necessary to complete an underwriting review for [name of driver/insured party].

That first part about my status as a State Farm valued customer?  Yeah, I'm thinking that part of the letter is what you might call insincere. 

I made a quick call to my local agent's office this morning and, after a five-minute conversation, feel fairly confident that I'll have follow up correspondence in about a week stating that everything is now fine, that they have the info they need for the underwriting review, and that they've graciously decided to allow me to keep them for my auto insurance needs.  

So what was the issue?  It turned out that they didn't have my North Carolina driver license number, so they hadn't been able to pull all of my records.  That's it.  That was the sum total of what led to the threatening letter.  

With that in mind, think back to that line in the letter that starts out, "After a thorough review..."  Oh, a thorough review, my ass.

And not only was this letter the first notice I'd received about it, the notice that my agent's office received last week was the first they'd heard of it, as well.  Nearly as damning is the fact that the person at the local office wasn't surprised by that.  

So despite my having been with State Farm for coming up on 30 years, having a spotless driving record, and having filed but a single claim for a new windshield 10 years ago (perhaps a $200 cost, at most), the first time there is something out of sorts about my account -- something that is easily cleared up by contacting me -- they're willing to throw me overboard?  Specifically, they're going to throw me into the pool of high risk drivers who can't get insurance elsewhere, subjecting me to what are no doubt astronomical rates and probably causing me untold problems trying to get on with another reputable insurer? 

As as say, it looks like this will soon be sorted out soon.  It certainly ought to be.  And as soon as I have confirmation of that, then we'll see who throws whom overboard.  You disloyal, inconsiderate, worthless [censored text - censored text - censored text - censored text - censored text - censored text].

[Joe Pesci voice with simultaneous Brooklyn style crotch grab]: "Hey, yo!  Insurance guy!  Yeah, you!  Why don't you try insuring this, huh?"