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The Hartford - Fraudulent Business Practices by The Hartford
Posted on Sunday, April 7th, 2013 at 8:41am CDT by David K.
Product: The Hartford/AARP Homeowner's Insurance
Company: The Hartford
Several years ago I switched to The Hartford under AARP for my homeowner's insurance.
We had a major storm with wind and hail in the summer of 2010 and several shingles were blown off my house. I had a roofer look at it and was told the roof had wind and hail damage and needed to be replaced. I filed a claim with The Hartford.
An "Outside Claim Representative" by the name of Eric Hawkins came out and met the roofer and went on the roof. He claimed that the roof was just old and did not have any hail damage. He would simply pay to have a few of the shingles replaced, which was less than my deductible, so he would pay nothing. The roofer insisted that the entire roof was damaged by hail and needed to be replaced. I asked Eric if there was an appeal process and he told me I could request that The Hartford send out an "independent" engineer to evaluate the roof. However, he said that it would take forever to get that done and I should simply accept what he said. He was insistent that The Hartford would take several months to get an engineer out to evaluate the roof.
After he left I called The Hartford and was told they would have an engineer out the next week. Nearly a week later I was told that the engineer could not make it and it ended up being several weeks before they actually got the engineer out. The engineer wanted to make sure the roofer was there as he needed to use his ladder, so I arranged for the roofer to come out again to help the engineer. My roof is fairly steep and when the engineer got on the roof he freaked-out. My house has a garage roof and a main roof. He climbed to the top of the garage roof and sat on the top and would not move. The roofer asked him if he was going to inspect the roof and he was too afraid to move so the roofer took his camera and took pictures of both the garage and main roof to show the hail damage. Then both the engineer and the roofer went back down the garage roof and got down. The engineer had only crawled from the ladder, straight up one side of my garage roof to the top and then back down the same path he took to get up there.
I expected him to file a report that said he could not evaluate the roof. Instead he filed a report that said he saw no hail damage and the roof should not be replaced.
So, first Eric Hawkins lied to me about the engineer being able to come out and then the "independent" engineer lied about his evaluation of the roof. At this point I did not expect anything resembling an honest evaluation from The Hartford.
I complained about the engineer's report being fraudulent and after several months got The Hartford to agree to send another engineer who was not afraid to get on the roof. After another many weeks he came out and once again my roofer had to come out to escort him onto my roof. He took pictures and went on his way. He submitted a report similar to the first one, but this time said that half the roof was damaged.
Eric Hawkins agreed to replace the rear half of my roof but not the front. I told him that I did not believe the "independent" engineers were so "independent" as they were being paid by The Hartford to help them deny claims. I asked him if I had any other appeals process. He said I could hire my own engineer and if that report said I needed to replace the entire roof then The Hartford would not only replace the entire roof, but would pay for the engineer. This I have I writing in a email from Eric. However, he also said it would cost me a fortune to get an engineer to evaluate my roof if I was able to find one at all.
He was right about finding one, but I was diligent and finally found a certified and licensed structural engineer who looked at my roof and submitted a report to me that said the entire roof needed to be replaced due to wind and hail damage.
I sent this to The Hartford and they still denied my claim. Interesting to note that during the, now, nearly two years that all of this has been taking place, four of my neighbors have had their entire roofs replaced due to this storm. Also, about midway through all of this I received a letter from the President of The Hartford asking if I was happy with the service I received from The Hartford in having my "entire roof replaced"! When I called to ask why the President of The Hartford seemed to think I should have my entire roof replaced while the adjusters did not, I was told it was only a form letter and was not worded correctly.
They then sent me a policy cancellation notice because my roof is damaged. So now I am stuck. They will not replace it, but are cancelling my policy because it is damaged and I cannot get a policy from anyone else because my roof is damaged!
I have plenty of evidence to present to a judge and am confident I will win, however the dollar amount of my claim is too much to use small claims court so I would need to hire an attorney.
I am certain that The Hartford has used deceptive business practices with many people so I am looking for anyone who has a legitimate complaint with The Hartford to contact me so we can look at getting a Class Action against them.
Please send me your complaint and contact info and I will start looking for a good law firm to handle the case.
Send your info to: [email protected]