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Beware of USAA Homeowner's Insurance

Posted Fri August 10, 2001, by Reed R. written to USAA Casualty Insurance Co

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Insurance is supposed to be something dependable, right? Obviously, something's gone wrong. I'm writing with a complaint about the overall experience at USAA Casualty Insurance Co and the frustration it's causing me. I'm very angry about this!

It's a home insurance policy. I write to express my extreme displeasure with USAA Homeowner's Insurance policies. My family's relationship with USAA dates back to 1957. I have never considered any other insurance company for my insurance needs. As I have recently secured a contract on a pre-owned home, USAA was my first and only choice for homeowner's insurance, and I was also planning to get a term life insurance policy with the company. USAA's cumbersome requirements for homeowner's insurance however motivated me to check with other insurance companies, and none of them (State Farm, etc.) has required what USAA has required of me. The sticking point is USAA's requirement for a home inspection report. No other insurer that I checked with required a home inspection report. I paid for the home inspection report for my own benefit, not USAA's. If USAA requires such things, then USAA should send out its own home inspector! To make matters worse, USAA then required that I fix virtually everything in the house that is stated in the inspection report, including the light bulbs (the agent actually brought this up). I would have thought USAA would have been only interested in seeing if there were major structural flaws (there are none). I am particularly upset that USAA required me to undertake an expensive re-grading job (this was pointed out in the inspection report). After reading my inspection report, the seller pointed out that he had installed drainpipes around the perimeter of the house, which flushes water to the street. The home inspector had missed this. There was absolutely no evidence of water damage in the basement and hence I am convinced to invest many dollars in re-grading after the seller had installed a more sophisticated system for drainage would not be a good use of my money. In any event, this is beside the point. No other insurers besides USAA wanted this level of detail on the house or were requiring such actions.

As a result of USAA's policies and procedures on homeowner's insurance, I have decided to go with State Farm. Moreover, since I am rather upset with USAA right now, I will also consider other companies for my life insurance needs, and may in fact consider State Farm for my auto insurance needs if they give me a good package deal.

I would advise that USAA review its homeowner's insurance policies. My real estate agent informed me that he had at least two other clients who were USAA clients and had a similar horrible experience with USAA's homeowner's insurance. They were infuriated, and walked away from the company. USAA is simply non-competitive in homeowner's insurance and should consider revamping or completely withdrawing this product before it loses more of its client base. I have advised other family members (who are also your clients) of the difficulties I have had with USAA. It's a pity. USAA had me as long-term customer for all of my insurance needs, until now.

If you want my honest opinion, I've been very dissatisfied from the start. Because of this, I'll definitely find another insurance carrier (State Farm). Will I recommend your firm to people I know? No way!

Here's what I would like USAA Casualty Insurance Co to do about this: Issue my homeowner's policy NOW, without requirements per MY home inspection report, or lose my business to State Farm, which is ready to do business without this nonsense! It's that simple.

I hope to hear from you in a timely manner so that this problem can be resolved quickly and dependably.


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