Saturday, March 3, 2012

State Farm Refuses to Insure a Vacant Home after Residents go to Assisted Living

Shopping for Homeowner's Insurance?  Thinking about State Farm?  Think again.  Even if you are a lifelong customer in good standing with them, your insurance will be dropped if you need to leave your home due to illness or age.  Yes, you will be punished for getting sick or old.  Is that being a "Good Neighbor", State Farm?  It sounds like State Farm is guilty of age discrimination.

I recently found myself in the difficult situation of moving my grandparents to assisted living.  Both in their 90s, they were unable to care for themselves in their home any longer.  The transition was hard on its own, and State Farm made is even harder.

We received a notice from State Farm regarding their car insurance.  They wondered why my grandfather's car was not insured by them any longer and wondered if he was shopping for a better rate.  Clearly, they had not made note of the fact that his car insurance was cancelled because he was legally blind and mentally incompetent.  During the course of the conversation, my mother mentioned that they were living in an assisted living center.  The representative then informed her that despite the fact that they had been customers in good standing for more than 30 years, it was their policy to not insure vacant homes.

My grandparents are being punished for getting old.  They did nothing wrong or irresponsible that would warrent their insurance being cancelled.  The representative tried to explain it by using the example of a drunk driver having his license revoked.  That was a terrible analogy because a drunk driver made a bad grandma didn't choose to get Alzheimer's Disease and lose her mind.  My grandfather didn't choose to go blind.  They didn't refuse to make house payments and lose their home to foreclosure.  The house had been insured for 30 years by a company that they thought would work with them...they were wrong.

I am writing this as a warning to those shopping for homeowner's insurance with State Farm.  My review of State Farm is negative.  They can and will drop your insurance if you have the misfortune of being physically or mentally unable to live in your home.  They will make a very difficult situation more difficult for you.  I encourage you to keep looking for a better alternative to State Farm.