Monday 8th of January 2018 08:37:41 AM
We used Auto-Owners Insurance Company. We filed a claim for water damage on our rental vacation home relating to a severe storm in mid 2014. Auto-Owners covered and paid for rain damages to walls and ceiling. Renters of the vacation rental home started complaining about the floor coming loose shortly thereafter -- when they occupied the home for their annual snowbird season stay. We responded to the issue -- with some level of success -- by conducting Fix-a-Floor injection repairs to rescue the floor in order to preclude our having to inconvenience the renters to move out for floor replacement. The floor continued deteriorating each snowbird-rental season for two more seasons as we continued the "Fix-a-Floor" repairs with declining levels of success. Finally in mid 2017 as the floor situation continued to decline, we had the floor inspected by an expert tile specialist with a view to total tile replacement.Our tile restoration specialist stated that -- without any doubt -- this floor was gradually failing starting with the rainwater intrusion in the home in 2014. He suggested we "contact your insurance". Auto Owners written procedure for client claims is that client must contact the Auto Owners sales agent first -- the agent will in turn contact Auto Owners claims service. We carefully read this instruction and contacted the agent and explained our "need for supplemental coverage relating to the earlier 2014 rain damage claim". The Auto Owners agent, Randolph Insurance Agency, say they contacted Auto Owners with our described issue. Auto Owners responded by immediately assigning an altogether new claim number for us to complete paperwork on. We followed their instructions which resulted in our then having two claim numbers for this claim.Auto Owners then examined the situation and notified us that we were correct, that this damage actually related to the storm in 2014 claim, and then they reverted everything back to the 2014 claim number and proceeded from there. Noteworthy, this has now left us with two separate claims on the public Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report which adversely affects us in now obtaining replacement new home insurance, and will affect ability for us to sell the house in the future. AO now refuses to correct this error. Auto Owners then engaged unilaterally with an engineer to examine and write a conclusion as to the floor damage. The examination lasted only minutes -- the resulting report was weak and insufficient.We then requested of Auto Owners produce an actual forensic engineering analysis of the tile damage claim -- knowing very well ourselves that a true "forensic" process would entail a fault tree analysis, commonly known as a FMAA (Failure Mode and Affects Analysis), as a means of ruling out the rain water as a causal factor in the floor debonding. Auto Owners knew they needed to comply with the terms of our policy, IOW to cover rain water damage, or rule it out as casual factor based on a "legitimate" engineering report. Auto Owners then engaged a forensic engineering company to examine and write the report to fit their needs for denial as this claim was by then dragging on owing to the several claim number changes and other delays.The forensic report failed to rule out rain water intrusion as a causal factor. Further, they did not inspect the actual debonded underside surfaces of any of the more than 12 fully debonded tiles available for this purpose at time of the their inspection. After seeing this new insufficient report, we began to realize that Auto Owners Claims was determined to now reach a "rush-to-judgement" denial of the floor claim despite the many report deficiencies in not being the true-to-form forensic investigation that we had agreed on with Auto Owners. Worthy of note here, we had offered to participate in the cost of the forensic undertaking with Auto Owners to assure a truthful outcome, but Auto Owners rejected our offer and paid the cost fee unilaterally to obtain their "forensic" report on which they base denial.Auto Owners then denied the claim for the floor portion of our claim based on their purchased report. We are still rescuing the debonding floor with "fix-a Floor" injections until we can locate funds and other schedule resources to replace the floor. Some debonded tiles have now started to crack and exhibit sharp edges, so we will have to finally take the house out of service starting next week. We are still facing the fact of having two separate claim numbers on our CLUE report which penalizes us in two areas. 1/ We cannot find an adequate replacement Home Owners insurance policy for the house because "2" claims means "high risk", (even GEICO has refused us) and 2/ the CLUE report will factor into our ability to sell the house in the future. Arizona Department of Insurance is reviewing.