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Farm Bureau Insurance Company Paul Higgenbotham Raised Home Owner's Insurance more than 62.5% due to
2nd of Dec, 2011 by User464567
This all started about 3 weeks ago when I received a letter from my mortgage company telling me that my escrow account was overdrawn by approximately $500 dollars. Concerned, I flipped through the attached information and found that my home owner's insurance had increased. Now, this was not a simple rate increase (like 20 or 30%) which I had expected due to flooding and tornadoes in the area. This was a 62.5% increase in my yearly payment! Keep in mind, I have not made a claim on my policy since 2008. Since this was a Saturday, I phoned my insurance company Monday. The lady in the office was very nice, and said she would pull my file and see what happened, then call me right back. She called me back and said "well, that appears to be the correct premium amount, let me give the file to Paul and I'll have him call you back and go over it with you line by line, maybe we can figure this out". I thought, great nice lady and we'll get this straightened out fast. On Wednesday, I finally get a phone call from Paul. He said that the adjuster happened to be in town, and he had sent him back by my house to double check everything. In a few days he would have a complete print out of everything and call me back. Two weeks later, I finally went by the office because I had not heard from him. Paul was en route to Little Rock and would call me back tomorrow. The next day I get a phone call from Paul. He proceeds to explain to me that some of the increase was a general rate increase of 30% to all customers in my area due to the massive flooding that had taken place consistently over the last 3 years. Keep in mind, I am NOT IN THE FLOOD PLAIN, but, hey, this kind of thing happens and I probably could have lived with that...maybe. After all, they have given me great rates on my automobiles. When I asked him about the other 32.5% of the increase, he hemmed and hawed around and then made a comment about upkeep and maintenance. I questioned for more details, pointing out that we had put a knew roof on the house out of our own pocket after the ice storm, and the gutters were cleaned regularly, the lawn was mowed, the windows and siding were free of damage. He hemmed and hawed some more and then finally made a statement about "Pride of Ownership." At this point I asked him a very frank question. I said "are you trying to tell me that you raised my insurance because there is some 'junk' in my carport and the leaves haven't been raked in a few weeks?" and he said "Yes ma'am, that is exactly what I am trying to tell you." I continued on the phone for about 15 more minutes with this man, in absolute awe that 1) its anyone's business what is in my carport, and 2) that the insurance company could raise my rate almost double for this problem that could be taken care of in a weekend. I asked him three times if there was some math error or if I was, in fact, being charged 32.5% higher than last year because of this. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't dreaming or something! Now, I'm a teacher, so I get summers off. Had the adjustor come by in July, that crap would not have been there. My husband works FROM HOME, so if I had known that it was this stiff of a penalty, it could have been taken care of pretty quick. Its the holidays, we've been traveling a lot, stuff falls behind. But none of the stuff in the car port is a fire hazard, its stuff that was moved out of the shed while we replaced it, and then not moved back in yet. Oh, and the cardboard box the new shed came in which was FREAKIN HUGE and we were waiting on a friend to come haul it off for us. So, Paul finally confided to me that this was Farm Bureau's way of making up for the billions of dollars it has lost paying claims for the recent flooding and tornadoes in Arkansas. Raising rates on people for "Pride of Ownership" violations. He said "If you were my own mother I couldn't help you ma'am." When I called my husband to fill him in on what Paul had to say, a lightbulb went off in his head. He called his grandmother. The phrase "pride of ownership" had tipped him off. Sure enough, Farm Bureau tried the same crap with his grandmother last year. Keep in mind, Nan keeps an absolutely immaculate home inside and out, even has the yard nicely landscaped and removes leaves and mows every two weeks. (I wish I had her discipline) Farm Bureau tries to raise her rate for "pride of ownership". When she finally got their agent to give details, he said the adjustor felt they had...get this....too many metal carports in back THEY HAVE 5 VEHICLES A TRACTOR AND A DUMP TRUCK!! Each of these carports was well maintained and constructed and contained nothing but the vehicle it was designed to hold, no trash, no extra boxes, just the car/truck/tractor. They are all well maintained and mowed around, and are positioned in a line next to the shop. My husband's grandfather apparently went into town and had extreme words with their agent (almost got arrested LOL) and then immediately pulled all of those vehicles, the home, life insurance policies and such from them, and switched companies. They had been with Farm Bureau since the 1950's. My husband has been with them since his grandparents first insured him when he was 16. So it seems, that this is an ongoing practice with Farm Bureau in Arkansas, and it doesn't matter who you are or if you have been a faithful customer for years. If you are thinking of switching to them, keep this in mind. It doesn't matter how good the rates start out at, it is not worth the hassle. In the process of switching everything to a new company and trying to spread the word to everyone I know that uses Farm Bureau. Probably won't matter to them, but it makes me feel better.

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