In my research, I never include my personal experiences; even the best companies will periodically deliver poor experiences. But every once in a while the experience is so poor that it is worthy of a closer look. I recently had one of those experience with Chubb.
Phase 1: I became a Chubb promoter. The story starts on a positive note. Our sewer system backed up (yech!), so we called our insurer Chubb. They identified some restoration and repair companies. After getting one of those firms to our house, we realized that the problem was bigger than we had thought. But Chubb was great; they told us to move ahead with the repairs. The Chubb adjuster came right away; and he was great. He made sure that the insurance payment would cover the full cost of returning the house to it’s pre-incident condition. I told many people how great Chubb had been.
Phase 2: I turned into a Chubb detractor. A few weeks later, we received a letter from Chubb. It was a form entitled “Notice Of Cancellation, Nonrenewal Or Declination Of Insurance.” There was no cover letter, just the form.
Here it is. You have to look closely at it to find out that Chubb was dropping us. Why? Because this had been our second claim in the last 5 years. It was also only the second claim we’ve had over the 17 years that we’ve been a Chubb customer.
We were shocked. I’m not an actuary, but it’s clear that we’ve been a very profitable customer for Chubb; even with our two claims. It turns out that it was very difficult to contact Chubb. They had not notified our insurance agency that they were dropping us, and our agent said that Chubb would not talk to them about it.
In this economic environment, we couldn’t believe that Chubb really wanted to lose our business, so we contacted Chubb on our own. The insurer told us that it would consider covering us if we gave them a couple of our other insurance policies. Since that felt like blackmail, we did not agree to it. But we did find out about a process that Chubb has for appeals. So we submitted an appeal. Well, it turns out that Chubb never responded to our appeal (even after numerous attempts to contact them).
Phase 3: I am an Amica promoter. Given our need to find home insurance, we reached out to a number of different insurance firms. Since our auto insurance was with Amica, and we have been happy with them, we asked them to give us a quote. The process was straightforward and they gave us a good quote; it was much lower than what Chubb had been charging us. We ended up going with Amica.
The bottom line: Try not to turn good customers into detractors.