Monday 4 November 2013

to confess my hatred of insurance companies

Am confessing off topic this week over at My Home Truths... Kirsty had asked us to confess what makes us happy but at the moment, I'm just not feeling the love!

So this week's confession...... I HATE INSURANCE COMPANIES!!! (yep, am lumping them all in together!!)

Mention the word insurance company to just about anyone and they are bound to have a story of hatred and disappointment.

For me, insurance is one of those necessary evils! Can't be without it, hardly ever use it and when you need it, they are beyond frustrating and make it damn near impossible for you to get any of YOUR money! Each year we pay 100's, no 1000's of dollars to these companies in case something goes wrong!!!

So here is my story....

A few weeks back (about the 10th of September to be more exact) I had to evict the tenants from my rental property. After almost 4 years of them getting behind in rent I had had a gutfull. My real estate agent had been less than helpful and I had had thoughts of selling so I thought now was my chance. I had them evicted. A few days after they left I went to inspect the property..... Words cannot describe how I felt walking through what was once MY home...

I had bought the house about 7 years ago with money I had saved but also money my parents had given me from my sisters life insurance policy after she passed away. I still remember the first time I looked at the didn't tick many of my boxes that I had been looking for but for some reason that didn't matter, there was something that drew me to the house and I was determined to make it mine. I only moved out and let it become a rental when I left town for a new job 4 hours away..

Standing in the house now I felt all sorts of emotions...sick...angry...disappointed...disgusted...

Broken light

Stove that used to have a glass cover that acted as the splash back

Ripped curtains

Holes behind every door obviously from the door handles, even though there are door stoppers, that they have tried to patch up themselves

Mould and water damage

Broken shower head

Cupboard door broken off it's hinges

Used to be a towel rail attached to that

Mould everywhere, and later I discovered that the sink was clogged - even the plumber said it was gross! 

Bath tub..

Marks, drawing and holes all over the walls

Have no idea what they have done here but it used to be a phone plug.

Needless to say the Real Estate and I have had stern words about how the property was left to get in such a state.

I was covered with Landlords Insurance for malicious damage and loss of rent. Now, with an excess of $1000 and not being able to class this damage as 'malicious' I have been left to foot the bill on all the repairs. Leaving just my claim of loss of rent. When they were evicted the tenants were about 2 weeks behind in rent, it has taken me a number of weeks to repair all the damage and get the house back to a rentable or sellable state. It needed to be fully repainted internally and this was only finished on Thursday.

In this time I have spent a ridiculous amount of time on the phone to the Insurance Company, who advertise that they are available 24/7, and each time I speak to them I get told something different. Several times I have been told that I have to call back during business hours to speak to a supervisor! Here's a tip....


So finally last Monday I left work early and got to call during business hours and speak to a supervisor who informed me that they were considering not approving my claim as I had not been actively seeking a new tenant! ummmm....How could I when the house was SO disgusting and the WHOLE interior needed to be repainted!!! It wasn't fit to be rented or sold! I think hope he got the picture, he apologised for taking so long in getting back to me (ummm I rang you idiot!) and explained that there were only 2 people who could handle my type of claim and he had been on holidays....WTF???? Are you serious!?

So he now told me he would have to take the matter to his supervisor for approval and that he would call me back within 24 hours..... THAT WAS 144 HOURS AGO!!!!

So here's how I figure the time I have had my insurance with them I have paid them somewhere around the $4000 mark..... I am out of pocket somewhere around the $5000 mark (not to mention the time it has taken to do all the work, with the help of some AMAZING friends and their husbands!, the phonecalls, driving all over town to buy stuff etc etc) and they are disputing my claim which is for (maximum) around $2500.... is it really too much to ask?? I guess I will have to wait and see....if he ever calls me back!

Do you have a confession to make? An insurance success story? or have your experiences been similar to mine?


  1. Wow - that's just soul destroying.
    We were robbed and the claim was very small (except for the damage done on the actual break in). I claimed $100 cash was stolen (the max I could have claimed was $500). The insurance rang me and asked for proof - an atm receipt. I went nuts. They said I had to get a stat dec. I told them to add the $2 it cost to get the stat dec form to the claim - I was furious. That seemed to do it - the claim was approved almost instanteously after that. But seriously, never really forgiven them for that.

    1. some of it is seriously such a joke!!! Glad it worked out for you.

  2. How can people treat someone else's house like that! I hope that it all gets resolved for you soon and your next tenant is much better than the last ones.

    1. I know right!!! I rent a unit and am totally paranoid every time something hits the walls! Seemed to have no respect!

  3. I hope you got to keep the bond at least!!! Make sure you sack that real estate company too, that is extremely poor service. I mean WTF were you paying them for? To collect rent? Geez you could have done that!

    1. So true Janet! After I had to pay for it to be professionally cleaned and the hot water system fixed there was very little left from their bond! Have made my anger with the real estate company well known!

  4. Oh god - how frustrating! I cannot believe people can be so disrespectful of property that is not their's!! I hope it all works out well for you in the end. Fingers crossed!! xo

  5. Oh I feel your pain on both levels - as a landlord having had my house trashed and another time I got robbed and it took 2 months to finally get my claim approved after jumping through absolute hoops. It was infuriating.

    I hope I never have to deal with an insurance company (other than my health insurance as they are awesome) again. Hugs to you!

    1. It's ridiculous how ling it takes! Glad you have a good health insurance company!

  6. I hope you hear positive news on your claim soon Zita. I hate insurance companies too and try to have as little to do with them as possible. I have just moved all my policies to a new one so I have yet to see how they will handle any potential claims but I won;t hold my breath as they all seem about the same. BTW, that damage and condition is unacceptable - the real estate agent has really let you down there, just as much as the insurance company. If I were you I would try to take my business elsewhere - that's just not on. Hugs to you, hope you get a good result, whether you end up selling or renting again x

    1. Am absolutely taking my business elsewhere and hopefully selling the house, it has left such a bad feeling in my guts I just want it gone. :(

  7. Zita, you poor thing. I have never liked insurance companies after the Brisbane Floods in 2011 and most of them knocking back claims because of stupid wording and not covering for floods. If you pay for insurance, it should cover EVERYTHING. As a plumber I see this type of think happen all the time with renters damaging properties. It's put me off having a rental, I can tell you. I hope the insurance company will pay you and I hope that when you do sell the property you make an awesome profit. :)

  8. oh no :( I think insurance companies are mostly the work of the devil. I've got my car with NRMA insurance and I have to admit, I've had 2 claims with them and both times they've been fantastic. I've heard lots of nightmares though about many other companies. :( I hope you find a new - and reliable/responsible - tenant soon. And I hope you fired that slackass RE agent. -Aroha

  9. Oh my goodness that is all so terrible! I really hope by now that something good has come of it all and you are not so out of pocket. Sending lots of fairy wishes and butterfly kisses your way