I am two days shy before my claim hits 2 months. It has taken USAA TWO MONTHS to clean up the damage from a pipe burst from January 8th.
We have been with USAA for 5 years or so, and had nothing but wonderful things to say about this company. We Bank, have credits cards, insure our vehicles and home through USAA. Every aspect of this company has been positive, until we had a pipe burst during the polar vortex in early January. I have seen USAA's dark side. The side that accuses, lies, and repeatedly makes astronomical errors, that they then blame on someone else....or worse...do not admit to.
I filed my claim on January 8th. My kitchen flooded due to a frozen pipe burst. It seemed it was happening to everyone because it was difficult to get a plumber in to cut and patch my water line. I was lucky to be able to get a plumber , and had my water back. I paid this out of my own pocket. I submitted pictures of the damage on the online tool for active claims.
I heard back from USAA on 1/10, they assigned a water mitigation company(WMC) and a contractor. -All is well.
on 1/13 I get a call from USAA saying their WMC was overwhelmed and to hire one myself. -No biggie, this polar vortex thing is the real deal I get it, everyone is busy.
I was able to get a WMC in my property on 1/14. They did some demo and put in some equipment. They called me and USAA to advise they needed to go a little further in because mold was starting to form.
I went ahead and anticipated the contractor to be running behind as well, I did a quick Google search on the preferred contractor and found NOTHING. Not a single review. I did find the company had been in business for 10 years, but not one review. Call me cautious, but this raised a red flag for me. I called USAA on 1/15, we talked about the extra work the WMC recommended, I also advised USAA I was not comfortable with their preferred contractor, gave them my reasons...and this is when the change came about.
The tone of the agent changed to a defensive demeanor, and THREATENED to send a field adjustor if I really wanted to go with my own contractor!! I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!!! I chalked that one to a stressed agent having a bad day, I could only imagine all the claims they were getting daily.
From 1/16 to 1/27 I got the run around every time I called for an update The WMC was waiting on USAA for the OK to treat the mold. Meanwhile, we were 2 weeks and 5 days in without a stove, sink, insulation on the bottom floor was gone so it was frigid. We decided it was best for us and our three kids to go stay with friends and family while this wrapped up.
USAA still had the preferred contractor assigned to my claim, AFTER the contractor asked to be taken of the job, AFTER repeated attempts of me trying to get them to take them off.....and no field adjustor had been scheduled.
Finally, after some more exciting back and forth..They sent and adjustor. Who went to the property by himself, without me or my contractor there. He reached out to the WMC who had a key to house. I knew he was going to be reaching out to them, I did not know he was going to be doing his assessment. I would of loved to be there.
Naturally, his assessment came back very low. To which I thought, hey that is what insurance companies do right?
The reality of it was, this is the number they are sticking by, they had no plans to change it. So then, frustration started setting in.
I interviewed 6 contractors. I chose the most honest one that happened to have the lowest estimate. All the estimates from the 6 contractors ranged from $13K to 18K. USAA did not want to pay more than $7K.
Between 1/27 and 3/6 I have been going back and forth with USAA and their unrealistic number. They finally decided to send out another adjustor. This time I made sure I was there with the contractor. I called USAA yesterday to get an update. Same old. Same old. Got the run around, was told they were still reviewing the estimate from the adjustor.
Gerson, we are sorry for this experience and want to understand more about the situation. We would like to put you in touch with one of our claims specialists to further research. Please email us your claim number, date of loss, and details of the situation to [
Removed Link]. Thank you for your time.
Thank you for your reply. When I called on 3/05 I had the specialist I spoke to, Mike, put a note on my file and sent the head adjustor assigned to my case, Jaimie, an email to call me. Mike advised someone would call me within 24 hours. No one has called me. I will submit the requested info, hopefully, someone will actually call me.
on 3/12 I called USAA, got the usual...
we can't help, your head adjustor will call you back....
I can transfer you to a surpervisors voicemal, they will call you back...
After alot of back and forth, I was able to reach a Supervisor, Steve.
I had to explain everything to Steve, the whole scenario from day 1. The 45 minutes I spent on the phone explaining my situation to the agents did not pass over, but hey, I was happy to talk to one of the mythical surpervisors. I was begining to think they did not exist.
Steve, was very helpful, as a supervisor should be. He was able to cut me a check so I could get work started.
I got on the phone the very next day (3/13) with my contractor to get someone in and start the work. The contractor had someone there on Thursday 3/20.
While on the phone with Steve, I brought up two points that were discussed during the second adjustor visit. The plumbing and the framing that was damaged due to the frozen pipe burst.
Steve approved the plumbing on 3/12. We touched on the framing.
3/20 I called USAA on my way to work to talk about the framing. The adjustor submitted pictures of the damage. The process was surprisingly smooth. I spoke to another supervisor (I learned the trick on how to reach one) She was friendly, she looked at the pictures, said she understood. Approved. I called my contractor back gave him the ok.
At around 2pm when I leave work, I see I had a ton of voicemails and missed calls. Turns out the USAA changed their minds and wanted to let me know they had unapproved the framing. Unfortunatly, the contractor had already begun work.
When the damage occured and my kitchen flooded, one of the fuses tripped. I was hesistant to use any of the electrical in the area and asked USAA for allowance to get a electrician evaluation. The adjustor approved it.
I'll update when I go through that magical experience.
I noticed you haven't posted since March. I've been having some homeowner's claim problems of my own, so therefore have been keeping an eye on the message boards to see if that is a trend or a fluke.
How are things going now that you are a couple of months out? Did USAA ever come through for you?
I have not been able to update I have been busy with work. I spoke to USAA last on Friday 5/18 to get final approval on appliance replacement.
Now I will submit receipts and electric bills and look forward to that experience!
I hope your claim is small as from what I understand they treat those differently.
4/2-My contractor and USAA field adjustor recomended top cabinet replacement. My contractor sent the estimate in for replacement. USAA declined and advised they wanted to reface the top cabinets. I didnt really care what they did as long as they finished my kitchen. I went back in forth with them about the cabinets, if it were up to them I'd have unmatching cabinets in my home. Long story short, it would be more expensive to reface the cabinets than to replace them. It took them 9 days to figure that out*.
4/3-Submitted electrician report.
*4/9-Office adjustor Jayme approved replacement of cabinets.
4/16-Called Jaymie for status on electrical approval.
4/18-Jayme calls me back and leaves me a message saying she is getting ready to go home for the day. (No way of calling her back since she is leaving.)
4/21-Called Jayme yet again asking for a call back to discuss electrical status.
4/24-Called spoke to manage Aubrey who approved supplement for floors. I shared with Aubrey how I could never get a hold of Jayme, asked her to send her an internal email asking her to call me back.
5/1-Sent finalized estimate to USAA online, kitchen 95% complete. Asked Jayme to call me via the online tool
5/2-Jayme replied via online tool insinuating she would not call. *chuckle
5/18-Spoke to manager Tameka (I am so sorry if I am not spelling it right) explained to her I cant get a hold of my office adjustor. I have been without a stove for 5 months. I really need this approval so we can start feeding our kids proper meals. She approved it. Now we are just waiting for them to cut the final check for the contractor and see how the refunding procedure goes.
For anyone who has taken the time to read through this extensive post. These are some highlights/pointers I learned from my claim.
1. Throughout this 5 month journey, I dealt with two office adjustors. Lisa and Jayme. I was never able to speak to XXXX. XXXXX, I spoke to her TWICE. This made the the claim stretch longer than needed. The usual excuse I received was "we have XX amount of adjustors working 13 hours shifts to get caught up with eveyone"
2. Do not ever, ever use the online tool for communication between agents. It will only frustate you. ONLY use it to upload the docs USAA needs. Conduct all your business through the phone. It's a plus if you have a call recording app on your phone.
3. If you cannot reach your adjustor get a surpervisor. Have the surpervisor help you. DO NOT give them the option to say "what is the best number to reach you? We will call you back." They will not. If they do its going to take days.
4.Understand your contract. Read it then Read it again. No one I spoke to was familiar with it, and yet they kept creating a different hoop for me to jump everytime I provided what they asked.
5. Document everything. Do not expect customer service. This is about money. You want to get your property back the way it was, they want give you the least amount of money possible. The higher your claim gets, the ruder the people get.
If you need any help I'll be more than happy to share any knowledge I learned. Just send me a message.