Beware of FARM BUREAU CAR INSURANCE
Michael T. Griffith, San Angelo, Texas
Farm Bureau Insurance can't be trusted to deal fairly and honestly with valid automobile accident claims, in my opinion. It has been my experience that their claims agents and claims managers are unfair and dishonest.
Let me tell you about the experience that my wife and I recently had with Farm Bureau Insurance: The short version is as follows:
A Farm Bureau policy holder named Cleve Moore backed his truck into our car while our car was stationary, in the parking lot of the Sunset Mall in San Angelo, Texas, on Saturday, August 3, 2002. When Mr. Moore saw the damage he had done, he apologized and left his insurance information. Seems pretty open and shut, right? We thought so too.
We contacted a local Farm Bureau claims agent in San Angelo named Calvin Boatright. He took photos of the dent that Mr. Moore had made and then had my wife get a repair estimate. When she brought him the estimate, he said the estimate was acceptable, and he told me shortly thereafter that he didn't think there would be any problem with the claim. Then, a few days later, he rejected our claim, saying he had concluded that Mr. Moore was not "legally responsible" for the accident, with no explanation as to why he believed Mr. Moore was not responsible for the accident. When we followed up, Mr. Boatright wouldn't do a bumper-to-dent comparison with our car and Mr. Moore's truck, and he wouldn't talk to the two other people who had been in our car at the time Mr. Moore backed into it, both of whom could verify that our car was completely stationary well before Mr. Moore hit it. Additionally, Mr. Boatright had not even read the blue form accident report that was filed with the police.
I then appealed to Mr. Boatright's boss, a Mr. Joe Drabek. Mr. Drabek said he would at least have Mr. Boatright do a bumper-to-dent comparison with our car and Mr. Moore's truck. Yet, less than an hour after he told me this, Mr. Drabek called back and said he'd decided to deny our claim. When I asked him why he wouldn't even have Mr. Boatright compare Mr. Moore's bumper with the dent in our car, he declined to answer. When I asked him why he wouldn't even talk with the two other occupants of our car, he again declined to answer. When I asked him to explain why Mr. Moore had left his insurance information and why he had apologized there at the scene in front of two witnesses, he again declined to answer. He simply kept saying he had decided to uphold Mr. Boatright's denial of our claim. When I asked Mr. Drabek who his boss was, he replied that he had no boss and that his decisions were final. This wasn't true. I found out that Mr. Drabek did indeed have a boss, and that his name was Don Skipworth.
I then appealed to Mr. Skipworth. I wrote Mr. Skipworth a long letter detailing all the facts of the accident. I also detailed some of the false and misleading comments and claims that Mr. Drabek had made in my discussions with him. He replied with a very short letter saying he was upholding Mr. Drabek's and Mr. Boatright's decision on our claim. Mr. Skipworth said he was upholding the denial of our claim because Mr. Boatright and Mr. Drabek had so much experience as claims agents.
Mr. Boatright, Mr. Drabek and Mr. Skipworth are experienced claims handlers. They should have no trouble readily discerning the essential facts of what happened in this case. They have gone out of their way to avoid collecting evidence that they know would further support our claim. They refuse to do a bumper-to-dent comparison with Mr. Moore's truck and our car. And they refuse to interview the two other occupants of our car. I have repeatedly asked Mr. Drabek and Mr. Skipworth to explain why Mr. Moore left his insurance information and why he apologized on the spot for having damaged our car if they really don't believe he's responsible for the accident.
Mr. Drabek's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Skipworth's e-mail address is DSkipworth@txfb-ins.com. Mr. Skipworth's boss is a Mr. Steve Williams in the Farm Bureau's Waco office. Mr. Williams' e-mail address is email@example.com. Feel free to e-mail them and tell them what you think of how they've treated me and my wife!
Again, the above account is the short version of what happened. If you'd like to read the long version of our experience with Farm Bureau Insurance involving our claim, the web address is ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/farm2.htm or www.geocities.com/mtgriffith1/farm2.htm.
My advice to anyone who reads this page is that you don't get Farm Bureau insurance. If you already have insurance with Farm Bureau, my advice would be not to renew it. My experience has been that their claims agents and claims managers are unfair and dishonest. If they can do this to me and my wife, they can surely do it to others. Companies that behave the way Farm Bureau Insurance has behaved toward us don't deserve customers.
As indicated, my name is Mike Griffith. My wife's name is Rosemarie Griffith. Our e-mail addresses appear below. If you've had similar experiences with Farm Bureau, or if you'd like to comment on this page, we'd be glad to hear from you.
Send e-mail to Michael T. Griffith: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to Rosemarie Griffith: email@example.com
Michael T. Griffith
Quite by accident, my wife found out on Monday, 2 September, that Mr. Moore's Farm Bureau insurance agent lives in the house that he, Mr. Moore, recently moved out of. How interesting. We wonder if Mr. Moore is leasing the house to his insurance agent. My wife also found out, accidentally, that Mr. Moore and his insurance agent and her husband are all "good friends."
Copy of 1 October 2002 letter of complaint to the Texas Better Business Bureau concerning Farm Bureau's refusal to pay our claim.
Copies of the sworn notarized statements of the two people who were in the back seat of our car during the accident.