Need help in escalating Property Insurance Claim Issues

CLAIM1
Contributor

I need anyone's help on how to escalate a formal complaint to a Supervisor or Manager.  USAA used to have a Corporate Team who you could escalate concerns which were not been addressed by a staff member.  That team no longer appears to be operating.  USAA's procedure for filing a formal complaint now routes you back to the message center to which the staff member I wish to file a complaint against provides all the responses.  I have asked that he escalate my concerns to a manager when he refuses to acknowledge or address my messages and he just ignores my requests. 

I have been a USAA member for over forty years centralizing all of my property, life, vehicle insuarnce, banking, investments, credit cards and loans with USAA and have always been very happy with the service I have received which is why I am baffled on why I am getting such poor service with this property claim.  

On 1-5-19 our toilet overflowed covering 10 of the 15 rooms in our house and the garage.  We immediately called USAA who said they would send a preferred partner out who would assess the damage and begin water mitigation services.  They explained that USAA would warantee the preferred partner's work for three years. When the company showed up approximately 5-6 hours after the loss we had already moved the affected property & furniture, mopped up all the water, and placed buckets under lst floor lights where water was draining from the 2nd floor.  We also took extensive pictures of the loss.  When Extreme Clean, USAA's preferred partner showed up at our house one employee began assessing the damage and one immediately presented us a contract.  When we began to read the contract we came upon a sentence which read "We agree to pay for all costs."  We told the employee that this was an illegal contract.  We had just purchased our home and remodeled it taking it down to the studs so we had become very familar with California law governing Contractors.  We told the employee that the contract didn't meet the Home Improvement Act requirements.  And just on a reasonability standpoint how could they ask us to sign a contract "agreeing to pay for all costs" when those costs hadn't been identified?  The employee said that if we didn't sign the contract they could continue any services including assessing the extent of our loss. One employee had removed three baseboards from two rooms however a number of large heavy pieces of furniture had to be pulled back from the walls in some of the rooms so moisture readings could be taken. They refused to take this action.  They did leave three humidifier machines at our house and over the course of the next two weeks and six days they rotated two of the machines from room to room.   We updated USAA on what had happened providing USAA proof that Extreme Clean's was intentionally presenting USAA members with illegal contracts.  We would told USAA would investigate but then we never heard anything further.  What did suprise me is that USAA allowed them to continue working on our claim. Extreme Clean kept on urging us to sign the contract to begin the packout and we kept saying - present us with a legal contract and we will sign it. Finally Is spoke to a USAA Manager who agreed to call Extreme Clean, address the illegality of the contract and request that they present us with a legal contract.  They refused and then two weeks and six days from the date of the loss they pulled their machines out of our house.  What we didn't understand is that the machines should have never been allowed to operate 24 hours a day over  20 days  because the machines remove all the moisture  out of the air which could lead to wood furniture and cabinets drying out isplitting.  The machine in the kitchen was left immediately in front of our new kitchen cabinets and had not been rotated throughout the entire 20 days so when they removed the machine we realized our cabinets had split in several areas and paint was flaking off. Understanding that USAA warrantys their preferred partners work for three years we placed a claim through USAA's messaging service, provided pictures and asked that Extreme Clean be responsible for repairing our cabinets.  It has been over a month since I sent in that claim and even though I have sent several inquiries through the USAA messaging venue asking about the claim I have yet to receive a response.  I have asked to speak to the department that handles the claims directly and have been told they are an internal department and don't speak to members.   So now I started looking for  water mitigation company myself however I didn't know what type of company I should be looking for or what credentials they should have. I found out through trial and error that mitigation companies should have a contractors license in a specific category and should be mold certified.  California had just experienced months of rain so I was having trouble finding a water mitigation company who wasn't swamped with roof repairs.  I finally found a great company who came out, estimated our loss, found a packout company to estimate those costs and then the estimates were sent to USAA along with pictures taken at the time of the loss (our pictures which we had already  sented to USAA) and the California law requiring specific work to be done in the event of a toilet overflow.  About a week later I was told by the Owner of our water mitigation company that USAA had denied the packout and mitigation service estimates without explaination. I again sent a message through USAA's message venue asking to receive a writtan report of why the packout and mitigation service estimates were denied so we could address the issues.   I was told that the field adjustor who estimated the value of the repair work (not mitigation & mold services) had tried to contact me to set up a reinspection of our property which didn't make sense because he didn't have the credentials to provide expert opinion regarding water mitigation/mold estimates and since the walls had never opened up and it had been over two months since the event the only way to analyze the scope of the work would be to review my messages to USAA and the pictures we took and forwarded to USAA on the date of the loss.  Also I checked my voice mail, missed calls, messages and email messages and I had never received any communication from the field inspector even though we had contacted each other without incident prior to his inspection of our repair costs without issue. So over the last two weeks both the Owner of our Water Mitigation Company and myself have called and or messaged USAA requesting call backs from both our USAA claims representative and the USAA field inspector.  Neither of us have received call backs.  I also sent a formal complaint through the USAA messaging venue asking for my complaint to be escalated to a manager however the claims representative who services our claims answers those messages and has refused to escalate my complaint.  We have asked out the relocation program so we could begin to look into alternate living arrangements but have been told that until the scope of work was approved by USAA we couldn't receive that information.  We are really concerned because vacation season is beginning in Southern California and we are afraid we won't be able to find alternate lodging at the rate per night USAA will provide us if we don't secure lodging asap without further delay.  And previosuly  USAA asked us to hire a plumber to identify the cause of the water overflow.  I asked USAA if they could refer a plumber to me who had presented a report to USAA which met their requirements and I was told USAA didn't have any plumber referrals they could provide however USAA would accept a Plumber's receipt of services and if USAA had any questions they would call the plumber.  So I hired a plumber who came out to our house, determined the water came from the toilet bowl rather than the tank and they unplugged the toilet bowl plumbing line.  I sent in the receipt to USAA and was told USAA was denying the fecal matter portion of my claim because of the Plumber's lack of verbiage on the receipt.  I asked if USAA would contact the plumber and identify what verbiage was required but USAA has failed to take action and told me if I had the plumber write up a new receipt they wouldn't accept it.  Now I am a 65 year old wife who has been legally disabled for over twenty years due to a seizure disorder/accident.  Our 25 year old son is living with my Husband and I.  He has autism and also has other medical conditions which gravely affect his health such as mitrocondrial disease, keracontus (he has had five eye operations, three corona transplants), muscle issues and  respitory weaknesses (he has had two collapsed lungs). This week we took him to the Doctors at which time they verified he has a respitory infection.  I immediately came home and pleaded with the USAA claims representative via USAA's message venue to assist in getting this claim moving so we could relocate as our son's health was now at jeopardy.  We received a return message that he couldn't do anything about relocating us until USAA approved our scope of work yet he was the individual who controls when that can happen and currently he is refusing  to provide myself or my Water Mitigation Company any explaination of why USAA denied the packout and water mitigation service estimates so a scope of work can be identified and approved by USAA. 

I don't understand why we are getting such poor service from USAA and why the claims representative is able to provide such poor service without a Manager or Supervisor becoming aware of the situation.  Anyone,  Please help - I don't know what else to do.  I am very loyal to USAA and don't want to file a complaint throught the State of California as one friend advised me to do  -- I just want to resolve it with USAA.

3 REPLIES

@ CLAIM1,

This is certainly not the experience we want you to have when you file a claim with us.  I'd like to have your concerns reviewed further.  I have escalated your situation to a subject matter expert on our complaint team.  They will be reaching out to you to address your concerns.  Please allow 2-3 business days for contact.  -Mike

Mike, thank you for your quick response. I did receive a very timely phone call from a USAA contact representing USAA's escalation team and was very encouraged. She told me she intended to check into the matter and would get back with me no later than tomorrow, Friday, however since her phone call  things have gotten considerably worse and I am very discouraged.  I don't know if the claims representative handling our claim and his manager were notified I had filed a complaint through this venue but it appeared so because with a matter of a few hours we were sent messages from the claim representative advising the availability of the field adjustor to meet with our water mitigation company at our property so they could collectively "agree on a scope" for the water mitigation work (this statement is in writing on USAA's message board).  I contacted my water mitigation company and we had an appointment set up for this last Monday within a few additional minutes.  Now I wanted to make sure this meeting would really accomplish what Benito, our claims representative had indicated it would, so I sent several additional messages asking Benito to confirm that 1) Paul our field adjustor had been granted authority by USAA to  to agree upon a scope for the water mitigation work in behalf of USAA during Monday's Appointment  as Benito had written in earlier messages 2) Paul had the credentials to determine an acceptable scope of work related to black water mitigation.  I was sent response by Benito that yes Paul had been given USAA's authority to agree in USAA's behalf to  a scope of work during Monday's meeting with our water mitigation company and Paul, the field adjustor had the credentials to judge an acceptable scope of work for a black water mitigation scope.  When Paul showed up for Monday's meeting and we advised him Benito had told us in writing that   the objective of Monday's Meeting was for  Paul and our water mitigation expert to collectivcely agree on a scope of work between the two of them  prior to the conclusion of the meeting Paul said Benito had given him a different explaination for the purpose of the meeting. Paul told us that Benito had asked Paul to ONLY 1) update his repair estimate 2) look at the damage to our kitchen cabinets caused by Extreme Clean, USAA's preferred vendor.  Paul made it clear to us that  he did not handle water mitigation estimates and would not be generating a water mitigation report.   Paul again told me his previous report was only based on a repair estimate and e told us that he only had authority to update that report.  Regardless based on Benito's previous written statements I followed Benito's objectives to us and   asked Paul to walk through our water mitigation company's estimate and review each aspect of the report with our water mitigation companys representative. They did and during that inspection Paul never raised one concern or disagreed with any aspect of the report.  When both Paul and Cenmar left it was with the understanding Paul agreed with the water mitigaton estimate previously presented and denied by Benito.  Since we had lived in our property for over two months after  the 1-5-19 black water loss, black water which had not been allowed to dry out by identifying and opening our the affected areas and since I advised Benito in earlier messages  that my disabled son was sick and now I was getting sick I expected on Tuesday for Benito to confirm that Paul and Cenmar had come to an agreement that the estimate from Cenmar should be approved by USAA and action would immediately be taken by USAA to schedule the water mitigation work through our water mitigation company and immediately relocate us.  In fact, on Tuesday the morning after the meeting, I received a call from Benito's manager Lisa Johnson who said her sole objective in calling me was to get the water mitigation scope approved and us relocated.  She didn't mention when the packout estimate would be addressed or the damage to our kitchen cabinets.  Lisa  advised me it was very important to send to USAA before the end of the day  the property we wished to relocate to even though Lisa told me she couldn't provide any permiters on USAA's relocation program's requirements.  I spent alot of time investigating the average cost of lodging per day in my area and once I identified a property that might work I made sure there was a bus route so our Son could attend his therpahy sessions and school, a location that would accept our two dogs, a location that had openings for a two month period (difficult during vacation season), a location close to my Husband's work  and a location in which I could walk to local businesses since I had a seizure disorder and typically didn't drive (we only have one car). I sent that informaiton to USAA Tuesday evening after my Husband approved the property.   Then later after my phone call with Lisa, Benito sent me written messages completely changing the purpose of Monday's meeting and contradicting my phone with Lisa. Benito now wrote that said that  Monday's reinspection "will address the mitigation, packout, and repair needed for damages related to this loss."  This was not the purpose of the reinspection based on the written statements Benito sent me prior to the meeting.  Now Benito said that he had to wait for a formal report from Paul, our field adjustor, which would cover mitigation, packout and repair even though during Monday's meeting  Paul had indicated  he did't know anything about him  reviewing and agreeing upon a scope for the packout during Monday's meeting  and he hadn't even been given   a copy of the packout estimate. If an agreement of a scope of work for the packout was to be accomplished during Monday's meeting then Benito should advised me that was an objective, Paul should have been advised of this objective, Paul should have received a copy of the packout estimate and a representative of the packout company should have been invited to attend the meeting.   As far as Paul finalizing his repair estimate during Monday's inspection that was a useless action since USAA in multiple previous message had agreed with me that Paul couldn't formalize his repair estimate until  a full assessment of the   full extent of the water mitigation damage was identified since Extreme Clean, USAA's  preferred vendor refused to complete the assessment of our claim on the date of the loss unless we signed their illegal contract.  Finally again even though Paul had claimed in our meeting he wasn't sent out to agree to a scope for the water mitigation work, based on our request, Paul did review our water mitigation company's estimate with Cenmar and during that extensive review Paul never communicated  any concerns or disagreements to myself or Cenmar.  So according to Benito's previous written statements to on Tuesday all Benito had to do was contact both Cenmar and Paul, confirm they both agreed to accept Cenmar's estimate before Benito could then  move forward immediately to schedule our relocation and water mitigation work.  I don't even know what to say about Benito's claim that Paul was going to address our Packout company's estimate.  If Paul didn't know he was suppose to address our packout company's estimate, was not sent   a copy of our Packout Company's estimate and Benito didn't ask that a representative of the packout company attend the meeting I don't know how USAA will address their denial of the packout estimate three weeks ago or USAA's subsequent refusal to provide any explaination on which the packout was denied. Now Benito messaged us that neither  the scope for the water mitigation water work and our relocation wouldn't be addressed by himself until he received a formal report from Paul addressing  the water mitigation, repair and packout estimates.  I don't even know what to say or do at this point because Paul made it clear he would only be updating his repair estimate.  Benito has refused to provide us any understanding of when he expects to receive Paul's report nor has Benito addressed our requests to reconcile  the discrepancies in the scope of the report Paul told us he would be presenting compared what Benito told us to expect.   And finally it appears that everything that Lisa Johnson told me during our phone conversation on Tuesday that she was going to do immediately following the end of our conversation isn't going to happen since I haven't heard back from Lisa since our Tuesday phone call. So after one additional week since my cry for help in this community venue I find myself even more in need of assistance.  I look forward to hearing from the escalation expert tomorrow hoping that she has been able to sort this all out.

 

The USAA Intervention Representative that called me  this week said she was going to call me today, Friday but hasn't called.  How do I reach someone in the intervention team?