For more than a dozen years I have been a very happy USAA member. Customer service has been amazing. My family has moved nearly everything to USAA.
This past spring, we bought a new house. USAA insurance reviewed the house and requested many corrective actions and we fixed them all. Our house in nearly 100 years old.
Before moving in, we replaced the systems, upgraded the electricity, refinished the floors and painted the walls. Nothing major, but made the house our own.
In September, we notice paint bubbling next to the refrigerator. Then we started to see water on the floor next to the refrigerator. Oh no. It took 3 plumbers to figure out what was wrong. A lead bend from the master toilet to the main stack had collasped.
We called USAA immediately. They were initially great. They said we won't pay for the plumber, but we will pay for any damage from the water.
The water caused mold in 1/3 of our kitchen ceiling, ruined a few cabinets (water and mold), destroyed the basement bathroom and was a big mess. We had a mold doctor test the everything. We had a structural engineer come to see if there was any structural damage.
Now is when things started to get really bad. The kitchen ceiling was buckelling. This was not caused by the water, but it was discovered when we openned the kitchen ceiling. It was a major safety issue.
The USAA policy clearly covers upgrades for structural issues.
The adjustor suggested we get a quote from a USAA authorized contractor. His bid was for $8K. Just sand down the cabinets and put them back up. Deal with the structural issue as supplements. I looked on yelp and the contractor got bad reviews. He also only communicated with the adjustor and did not communicate with me.
I decided to use a contractor I had used before. Someone I trusted.
I communicated with the adjustor that I would use my own contractor and the structural engineer required we open up the rest of the ceiling in order to create a rendering and a structural plan.
The next thing I knew, USAA had issued me a check and a letter that the claim was closed.
CLOSED? I had no kitchen. My second and third floors are collasping onto the kitchen and USAA says the claim is closed.
I focused on making my house safe and we gutted the two second floor bathrooms to remove the weight into order to fix the structure. USAA went quiet and stopped responding. I have spent $30K out of pocket and growing.
I had requested my contractor contact the adjustor and start a dialogue, since I was getting no where. I retained an attorney to review the policy and understand my options.
USAA adjustor final got back to me and said the water claim is closed and we can open a new claim for the structural damage.
The water related damage is $15K expense and USAA is paying $8K?
Why do I need to file a new claim for an issue that I only learned about as a result of the water damage. I am glad I learned about it.
I have left messages for an adjustor manager half a dozen times and no one has ever called me back. I have been shocked by the lack of transparency of the process. I buy insurance for major issues and this is a major issue.
I never expected to pay so much out of pocket for something that should be covered.
Stay tuned. This is not the USAA I know and love.
I agree with the poster as my experience with USAA as a "caring instituion who understands me" is similarly negative. My son, who spent a number of years in a GA prison for a mistake he made 8 years ago came to live with us temporarily to put his life back in order. He is doing very well with our support. USAA canceled all of our insurance except our life insurance because of that. My fellow MOAA members are aghast at my treatment.