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Larisa's complaint:
November 20, 2012

Insurance Company: American Family Insurance
Coverage Type: Homeowners Insurance

  • Underwriting - Refusal to Insure

After nearly 20 years been a loyal customer of AFI our family is not getting any support.
In October 2012 we contacted American Family Insurance Company to report a sinking problem of the slab in the family room. Property claim adjuster came to see the problem and he determent that slab is sinking due to "settling". We questioned that conclusion because the house is over 35 years old. Claim was denied.
Shortly after we called Plumbing company to inspect our sewer pipes which located underneath a family room and then go to main sewer line outside. After camera visual inspection it was determined and recorded that there is a sewer pipe collapse at 10-15' which places location in the middle of my family room. Second collapse is at 30-35'(location to be determined). Every time anything going thru the sewer pipe it propagates the problem by washing away grouts. The camera was completely submerged under "water" at 10-15' and 30-35'.
Next day, we called claim adjuster with AFI once again. We also e-mailed them the report provided by Plumbing company. I explained the significance of the situation, that our family room is over a lake of sewer and my powder-room is floating in the air because 2x4 are not attached to the slab anymore.
We called every day to find out the status of this issue. It took claim adjuster all week to get back to us, we were told that our claim was denied once more.
We were trying to find the reason how AFI could come up with a decision just by glancing at the house. The adjuster didn't spend a sufficient amount of time to investigate the house. We could not get any straight answers from claim adjuster. Claim adjuster made it very clear that he is not a decision maker. All he was persistent on that he provided his report to his manager and it was a managerís decision. The adjuster, would refuse to provide any additional information. We asked to provide us the report to understand what was described in the report; but the claim adjuster refused. The adjuster suggested we should contact his manager directly. We called Property Unit Manager on his #800 line several times and no one answered the call. After the adjuster provided his cell phone number we finally got hold of him. He was extremely rude. He didn't want to hear what we have to say, instead he cut me off by saying that the claim is denied and the final decision is made. After submitting the complaint to IL Department of Insurance we finally received report from AFI, this report lists all the aspects that DO NOT reflect a situation pertaining to the problem with our house. We am stunned that AFI in such difficult economic times for the entire US employing people such as this Property Manager, that is completely lacking of customer service manners especially been in the position of a Property Manager.
Two separate professional contractors came to inspect the damages and determined the cause of this problem.
We were told by both, the issue occurred due to collapsed sewer pipe and sewer water washing away grout that holding everything in place. American Family Insurance didn't even gave us a chance to provide them those reports to determine the course and see the seriousness of the problem. In addition, with the winter approaching, both contractors advised that the situation may get worse due to the water may freeze and the toilets will not be functional.
The family room is the main room used in the house. This is the room where kids like to play and entire family to watch a TV. We have extensive damages in my family room and first floor powder-room as well as basement side wall. We afraid to let kids walk through the family room floor, besides the mold is probably building underneath of the floor. There is a visible collapse in the middle of the floor of family room. The only thing is keeping the floor together is the plywood and hardwood floor over the slab. Hardwood floor is buckled from moisture underneath. Most baseboard around the family room is separated from floor and cracking. The toilet in the powder room raised from pipe extruding up. I had to replace the seals and put longer bolts to attach toilet to base plate. Walls in the powder room are splitting apart. We have two little children in the house and we are afraid for their safety. The house is in need of immediate repair. we have not received any support from American Family as of yet.

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