As of Earth Day tomorrow I will be living in this crime scene for over a year and have been attempting to resolve my problem with Safeco Insurance for three years.
Safeco adjuster Kent Stiles continues to fail to provide me with requested documentation. Vince Paglia lies to the Contractors State License Board about plans that never existed.
I am unable to get corresponding, itemized statements like the only one I have that corresponds to an $80+K check for materials and services not provided here, but paid for by Kent Stiles.
I am exceptionally tired of living in this crime scene. I think I have succeeded in having my property taxes lowered as I was finally able to get the assessor to come back out here and measure the property. When he came here before, he didn’t measure. He took pictures and the contractors word for the dimensions of the structure. The contractor told him the structure measured 816 sq ft. It actually measured 585 sq ft.
Not only are the insurance company and contractor crooked, the Los Angeles County Building and Safety seems to have some issues with their building inspectors. Not all of them are honest dealers. I had to write an online request to get the appraiser to come back here. He took a page from Stiles and Paglia and ignored my first three calls. Sending written notification prevented him from ignoring me any longer.
I am so angry about this situation that I could not sleep at all last night. Three years of claim mishandling and abuse from Safeco and Protech. Insurance companies have a fiduciary responsibility to their consumers. I should not have been less well off than I was before I filed my claim for damages. I should not have a smaller house with no amenities. I should not have to continue being a customer of Safeco, but I have already experienced Stiles’ manipulation of the information regarding my claim; he attributed my claim to water damage when it was wind that blew a tree limb onto the roof of my bedroom, the only room damaged in the incident. Stiles and Paglia destroyed my undamaged workshop, the entire front three-quarters of my home, all of my landscaping grown to support pollinators. I had to look at my front yard, barren and without any growth, or color for such a long time that I refuse to cut the grass. I prefer looking at green to brown.
On 6 March 2018, Kent Stiles paid Vince Paglia $80K+ for services not provided at this site, for materials not installed at this site. Over the course of this claim, Vince Paglia was paid with 7 checks. I have an itemized statement for only one check, the last one collected over my objections that the document was false. I requested the prior statements, but neither Stiles nor Paglia will provide them, opting to ignore me and my complaints and their blatant fraud.
Avoid Safeco Insurance and Protech Construction. I don’t know who is running this company that owes a fiduciary responsibility to clients, but anyone dealing with these companies should find alternatives as quickly as possible.
I had to take a break from thinking about Safeco and Protech. It is bizarre to me that I am having such a weird experience with an agency I am supposed to trust(?) to do the right thing because I have faithfully paid my premiums to Safeco since 2011.
I received a letter from Cheryl Flaherty, Consumer Affairs Manager for Safeco/Liberty Mutual. “We have conducted a thorough investigation and have determined that your allegations are unfounded and of no merit. We request that you cease and desist from any further comments or allegations related to any employee of Safeco Insurance/Liberty Mutual Insurance Company that was involved in the adjustment of your claim.”
Now, cease and desist raises my hackles. Cease and desist is usually a legal demand. Coming from a Consumer Affairs Manager, it reads like a threat. Cease and desist, or what? What about this thorough investigation? How could it be thorough if you never spoke with me?
Flaherty goes on: “Please be aware that as of the date of this letter (21 February 2019), First National Insurance Company of America/Safeco Insurance will only respond to issues related specifically to your claim and specifically only to new information related to the adjustment of the claim.”
For the past year, I have been doing nothing but attempting to get questions answered about my claim. It has been an exercise in futility as the only person apparently qualified to work my claim, the man who refuses to answer my questions, is the same man who orchestrated grand theft. I cannot understand how and why this nightmare experience continues.
All of the questions I had about why it took 19 days to get a response to my initial report of the damage to my home caused by a tree that fell during high winds; about why proper plans were never drawn for the rebuilding of my home; about why the contractor, Protech, was paid for goods and services not provided or in evidence on this toft.
Today, as a birthday present to me and in compliance with Flaherty’s instructions, I sent a request for the itemized statements or invoices submitted by Protech to Safeco for payment. I have one statement and it is for the items that do not exist here but for which Safeco paid Protech in excess of $80K. This was the last payment. Six others preceded it. I should have those itemized statements, doncha think?
The first adjuster who worked my claim requested an engineering report to better assess the damage than the appraiser who came out to make the initial assessment. It was the appraiser who recommended an engineer come and take a look because there might be hidden damage that he was not able to check. The engineering report, May 2016, concluded that what was needed was about $48K of repair as the damage was confined to my bedroom. The report’s conclusions were to be considered relevant until their expiry in March 2018. The engineering company reserved the right to amend or supplement the report if additional relevant information became available.
Enter the second adjuster. I was under the impression that the contractor brought to my home by the field adjuster came to make repairs based on this report. Instead, I was told that repairs could not happen because I had no foundation. My entire house would have to be torn down. I guess the report was read and focused on the statement that the foundation system of the house was unknown. There was no damage to my workshop, but they tore that down, too.
I have requested the additional relevant information from the adjuster that I think of as the mastermind of this fraud. They need to present a documented justification for tearing down my home. The contractor submitted a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) to the adjuster to get paid, but he started getting paid in February 2017 when the house was in demolition. The CO was dated March 2017, issued in September 2017. Submission of the CO to the insurance company is an indication that all work is completed. There needs to be some explanation of why the contractor was paid after I told the mastermind that material and services listed on the sole document in my first claim file did not exist at this house. There was a check cut in March 2018 for $80K for things not present, but paid for, like hardwood floors, vent-free heaters, and an Alder door. I told the mastermind this. He told me to file a police report. I did, submitted it to him. He gave it to another adjuster, creating another claim, effectively making the police report that noted the stolen items in detail, disappear. No matter what I told the mastermind, he paid the contractor.
What began as a $48K repair job mushroomed into a $430K gaslighting nightmare for me, and plenty of money for the adjusters and contractors to spread around, I guess. The Claims Department and the Presidential Service Team of Safeco Insurance have worked for a solid year to prevent me from speaking to anyone other than the mastermind and his coworkers. They want me to go away. They tell me I have gone as far as I can with them and should consider alternative methods for dealing with this problem as I am still dissatisfied with their resolution of this fraud. Gall. Brazen gall.
For more than a year, I have been paying an insurance premium that I thought was too high for what this here is. I contacted Underwriting after being told by a conscientious employee who provides policy service that Underwriting had placed some sort of hold on my account. I called in and got a bot, asked for Underwriting, and was put through. Had I called and been directed to Claims, I would never have been allowed to speak with them. I was able to inform them of all the changes to my house, which were never reported to anyone outside of Claims, but should have been, and realized a substantial reduction in my premium and a refund of the monies spent over the past year. I asked if I should have paid a premium while there was no house standing in this empty space and was told no, they did not insure empty lots, and I would have to have the adjuster contact them to correct this error. I did ask the mastermind to address this, but doubt he will.
Fraud takes a long time to trace and uncover. Heading into the third year. I have no doubt the mastermind and his friends have run this scam on many people, but they didn’t have time to follow-up or were satisfied with what they were given. In fact, the adjusters suggested that I should be grateful for the “brand new house” that I’d been gifted. They really make me want to Wayne Brady them. They need to be audited. I hope I can shut these bastards down so they can’t do this to any more people.