With any insurance company, think twice before agreeing to their yearly plans
Photo credit: Create Her Stock
Update on August 31, 2019: Amazon refuses to allow my customer review detailing a missing tablet, only one-third of a refund on a gift card, and the constant transfers and hangups from Asurion. I have never had an Amazon review refused before, and I?ve had at least three accounts over the years (one of which had a few hundred reviews). But on August 31, after approximately four more calls ? including a never-happened callback from an Asurion supervisor ? to Amazon, I finally got a ?Good Faith? refund. I re-purchased my tablet. I will never purchase, nor recommend, the add-on Asurion insurance plan again.
I shy away from insurance plans that aren?t required. Flood and home insurance were required to get my mortgage approved. Auto insurance is required for my car. For any other plan, I?d rather do without it. Asurion, an insurer option on Amazon, just proved why.
When I purchased a tablet for $89.99 in July, I bought insurance at the same time. When the side of my tablet cover cracked (my fault, not theirs), I called to report a claim, hoping the ?2-year tablet accident protection plan with tech support $80-$89.99? would cover it. I should?ve known something was wrong from the very first time I called.
Photo credit: Geralt/Pixabay
Asurion had no idea about my insurance plan. Amazon had to prove it was purchased.
A reputable insurance company would immediately contact you and submit a confirmation of receipt of purchase. Asurion could not find my order number nor proof of purchase, even though I have an email from them with ?Thanks for purchasing an Asurion Protection Plan? clear as day. I repeated my contact information and order number twice, including getting two Amazon reps on the phone. I thought this was odd. It got worse. They finally agreed to manually input my information a month after I bought the plan.
Photo credit: sabinevanerp/Pixabay
Asurion will keep saying your proof of purchase documentation doesn?t work.
Asurion will indeed open your claim. But they will send repeated emails stating that they cannot see the price or the product on your screenshots. They asked for proof of purchase of Asurion insurance first. I sent that. Then they said that was wrong and to send proof of purchase of the tablet. I sent that. Then the proof of purchase (with my credit card?s last four digits blocked out) was ?not clearly visible.? I sent a bigger screenshot with my credit card number blocked out again. Then I was told that I needed to send proof of purchase of my protection plan or proof of the product. I?d sent both. Twice. Apparently they wanted me to give up on the claim. I refused to.
Photo credit: Geralt/Pixabay
Asurion will not fix nor reimburse you the full amount for your product.
The Asurion representative boasted that their company was ?so great that we?ll reimburse you for the item.? Personally I?d rather have the item fixed. If the company doesn?t have people on hand to fix electronics, just call it ?reimbursement insurance.? Don?t bother with tech support. They did neither. Instead of reimbursing me for the $89.98 that I paid for the tablet, they sent reimbursement for $29.99 ? the price of the insurance. Considering I thought my investment with Asurion was a waste of money to begin with, this would?ve normally been a relief. But now I?m out $60 and they have my tablet.
After being on hold for more than an hour and hung up on twice after asking for a supervisor, I gave up and contacted Amazon directly. Now I?m filing an official claim. If Asurion refuses to give me my money back, I will take this higher and dispute the credit card purchase.
Photo credit: Pixabay/Pexels
Lessons learned as a receptionist for a claims company
In the early 2000s, I was hired as a receptionist for a claims adjustment company. I often observed claims adjusters dodging calls from both hysterical and honest callers. What I learned from the year and a half that I was a receptionist there is if you?re right, you better stick it out for the long haul.
Insurance companies will unfortunately often hope they can run you in circles for so long that you?ll give up. I?m not built that way. I?ll drag a claim out, specifically if I know I?m right, for the rest of the year and call everyday. Repeated calls and nagging is the gift that keeps on giving, especially when you?re a journalist. Before you lock yourself into any insurance agreement, do the following:
- Talk to the claims department first. Ask about how they usually handle insurance claims. Is it usually repairs or refunds? At what percentage of the refund?
- Read through other marketplace sellers? responses. Keep in mind that additional reviews may be banned from publishing. Look the company up on Google Reviews, Yelp or the Better Business Bureau to see additional feedback. Consider looking at Glassdoor and other job boards.
- Always ask to speak to a supervisor. If you cannot see a professional, diplomatic conversation happening when it comes to money, do not waste a whole lot of time debating with the same person. Miraculously employees either tighten up or hang up when a supervisor is requested. Keep track of the time and date of the call, and make sure you complete those customer service surveys. Or, go old school and write the company headquarters if all else fails.
- Read the fineprint. Even some of the best companies will disappoint you. Although Asurion is my latest gripe, they are not the only insurance company that I?ve had issues with. Geico?s Roadside Assistance would not send a tow truck to pull my car out of a snow ditch. Their rationale: I?d have to dig my car out of the pile first, and then they could send a tow truck to pull me the rest of the way out. Why would I need Geico?s Roadside Assistance if I was going to shovel my buried car out on my own?
- Document their callbacks. A woman side-swiped my car, and USAA went missing for three weeks until she responded. Her claims adjuster ? who never answered the phone and only relied on voicemail ? never told me that they?d made contact with her and it was OK to get my car fixed. For that reason alone, I would never ever consider signing up for USAA insurance. I?d rather pay double than invest in a company that has claims adjusters who don?t bother to stay up-to-date on their caseload.
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