State Farm Insurance
The American Association for Justice engaged in a comprehensive investigation of thousands of court documents, consumer complaints, FBI and SEC records, depositions and testimony from former insurance adjusters and agents, and state insurance department investigations in order to identify the worst insurance companies. These insurance companies offer a range of different insurance coverages, including homeowners, auto, health, life and disability. Unfortunately, despite the commercials which attempt to convince the American public that insurance companies are our friends and will “be there” should we need them, this may not be the reality of the situation.
State Farm Ranks as Fourth Worst Insurance Company
State Farm came in fourth as the worst insurance company, largely due to alleged deny and delay tactics following some of America’s worst disasters—the Northridge earthquake and Hurricane Katrina. According to the American Association for Justice report, State Farm was responsible for altering engineering reports regarding damages from Hurricane Katrina, which caused $135 billion in damages. Following the storm, there was widespread dissatisfaction regarding the response of State Farm and other insurance companies.
Can the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuse to compensate me because I was driving without insurance?
While State Farm later claimed it settled 99 percent of the Katrina cases, regulators claimed the insurance company used misleading statistics, as State Farm claimed any home with water damage did not actually constitute a claim in the first place. State Farm denied the claims of the Nguyen family of Mississippi, who lost their home during Hurricane Katrina, even after the insurance company’s own engineers concluded the damage to the home was caused by wind. State Farm hired another engineering firm to come to a different conclusion, then denied the claim, asserting the damage to the Nguyen family’s home was the result of flooding. Many other claims were similarly denied. After Katrina, State Farm ceases writing new homeowner policies in Mississippi and Florida.
The Good News About State Farm
Since the State Farm Katrina debacle, the company has worked hard to improve their image with consumers. In fact, State Farm home insurance shines when it comes to coverage options, even offering great options for farms and ranches. Unlike many insurance companies, State Farm does not deny coverage on older homes, rather offers coverage on a case-by-case basis. State Farm offers home insurance quotes online with a relatively user-friendly quote tool, and has a number of great claims-filing options, including a 24-hour telephone claim filing center. If mobile access is important to you, State Farm offers Pocket Agent for iPhones and Android phones which allows full access to account management tools and bill payment services. Finally, State Farm offers comprehensive online learning materials, including a detailed explanation of home insurance, and how it works.
Other Facts About State Farm
Below are some additional facts about State Farm Insurance:
- The State Farm headquarters are in Bloomington, Illinois.
- State Farm offers property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance as well as annuities, mutual funds and banking products.
- State Farm was ranked number 41 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies.
- State Farm is the leading insurer of watercraft.
- State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S.
- State Farm is the country’s number 1 insurer of individual life insurance policies in force.
- At the end of 2014, State Farm had 82 million policies in effect.
- State Farm processes about 35,000 claims a day
- State Farm was founded in 1922 by retired farmer and insurance salesman George Jacob Mecherle.
- While State Farm originally only offered auto insurance, the company now offers nearly 100 products and services.
Class-Action Lawsuits Against State Farm
In February 2015, a class action lawsuit was settled by State Farm, to the tune of $352.5 million in refunds to Texas customers, after a twelve-year battle. Although State Farm repeatedly denied it overcharged homeowner policyholders far above what was necessary to earn a reasonable profit, the company settled the class-action suit. An estimated 1.2 million Texas homeowners received between $200 and $300. On February 10, 2016, a Florida class-action lawsuit against State Farm was dismissed.
State Farm in Mississippi
In April 2015, the Mississippi Attorney General resurrected the Katrina fight, claiming State Farm shifted hundreds of millions of dollars in Hurricane Katrina wind claims to the state by mislabeling them flood claims. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for losses the state of Mississippi suffered as a result. The Attorney General, Jim Hood, claimed any funds recovered would be returned to the state, rather than to homeowners. Hood asserted that while State Farm and other insurers walked away from Hurricane Katrina with record profits in the years following, the state of Mississippi continued to suffer.
Filing a State Farm Claim
To file a State Farm claim online, go to: https://www.statefarm.com/claims/file-a-claim.
You can also call (800) 782-8332, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Helpful Information for Filing an Insurance Claim
If you are like most Americans you will, at some point in your adult life, have to file an insurance claim. There are things to remember when you have an auto accident, such as:
- Never, ever leave the scene of the accident until all information has been exchanged and the police have arrived.
- Make sure yourself and others receive necessary medical attention.
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident.
- Never admit fault to the police or your insurance company until you have spoken to an attorney—even saying “I’m sorry” to another person involved in the accident could later be construed as an admission of fault.
- Whenever possible take photographs at the scene of the accident—these photos could be crucial evidence in the event there are conflicting statements.
- Never give a recorded statement to your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company without first speaking to your attorney.
- Only talk to your attorney about the accident, and never, ever, post on social media, even if you believe what you are posting is harmless.
Getting Legal Help
If you have suffered an auto accident or other type of personal injury in the areas of Southaven, Horn Lake, Hernando, Walls, Tunica, Olive Branch, Desoto County, Memphis TN or Shelby County TN, contact the Stroud Law Firm as soon as possible at (662) 536-5656. We will be your advocate and will do our best to ensure you receive equitable compensation for your injuries