Looking for legal advice on a homeowners fire claim against State Farm

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Looking for legal advice on a homeowners fire claim against State Farm

We had a house fire on October 14, 2017. The county assessors office deemed
85 of the house was destroyed, and currently has our property assessed only for
the price of the lot. State Farm wants us to keep the smoke damaged and
carcinogen filled frame and drywall, cover it in shellac and guarantee it wont smell
like smoke, deteriorate, or mold for five years. We will be required to disclose the
fire when we go to sell the home, and burnt, shellacked wood frame is NOT putting
us back to where we were on Oct. 13, 2007. Its inferior quality to what we had.

Our State Farm Insurance adjuster has been vexing. On the first day we met, while
I was in accute shock from being in the fire he said, My nickname at State Farm is
TAT. Tight-Ass-Terry, I dont like paying claims. My job is to make sure people dont
rip-off State Farm. He has treated us like criminals ever since day one.

After surveying out house post-fire, TAT said we have more contents than personnel
property coverage 392K. But he is still making us record every item. New Link Destination
date we
have itemized more than 20,000 individual unique items. Why cant State Farm
simply pay us for our contracted coverage instead of make us go through this
mountainous task?

He has lied to us told us we only had 60 days to complete our entire inventory of
our home, hoping that we would settle for their 60 offer to settle. When we asked
for a copy of our policy he asked in an email why do you need that?, He has
delayed payments and has questioned every receipt we have handed in so far. Its
an exhausting and stressful event every time we try to resolve something with him.

We requested another adjuster, but our State Farm agent disregarded our request.
We are in a town that experienced a tornado in 2013, 1,100 homes were destroyed
or damaged. No one had this type of experience with State Farm. Arent they
supposed to treat people the same? Why is the handling of a claim simply the luck
of the draw of getting a good or bad adjuster?

In Illinois, there is a law against insurance companies being vexatious to the
customer during the course of a claim. Are you familiar with this law and have you
ever used it in previous work?

We were immediately able to settle the claim for our two automobiles….We have
made every reasonable effort to work with this unprofessional adjuster. All we want
is a fair handling of our claim. But with this miserable employee yes he told us he
tried to retire two years ago but his wife wouldnt let him, its not possible. We want
to move the insurance company along on our claim to be handled with the coverage
we have and paid for, on time, over the last 35 years. And we want damages for the
stress and irrational treatment weve experienced from this State Farm employee,
who is a liability for this large insurance giant.

Thank you for your time.

Asked on January 11, 2018 under Insurance Law, Illinois


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to contact the Illinois Insurance Commissioner and file a complaint against State Farm. 
If the Illinois Insurance Commissioner is unable to resolve this matter to your satisfaction, you should file a bad faith claim lawsuit against State Farm.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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