The "Farmers Insurance "News-Alert" website is dedicated to providing the consumer and general public with detailed information concerning the Farmers Insurance Group. This includes fraud reports, consumer complaints, lawsuit's and other legal actions taken against this company. All information contained herein is for educational purposes only. Original sources, when known are sited.
|Saturday, October 15, 1994
Couple Seeks Class Action Suit Against Insurer in
Quake Case; Law: They say Farmers denied them chance for
coverage. Company calls claim 'absolutely untrue.';
By: JOHN CHANDLER
"We offer earthquake coverage to every one of our homeowner customers in California," said Jeffrey Beyer, a Farmers vice president. "There may have been some procedural issues in 1988-89. But that was five years ago," Beyer said, insisting the problems have been corrected.
Under a 1984 state law, insurance companies in California offering residential policies must also offer would-be customers earthquake coverage at the same time. If a customer declines that coverage, insurers then must again offer the earthquake coverage every two years, officials said.
The Appers originally sued Farmers in June for misrepresentation and breach of contract. On Thursday, their attorney filed an amended complaint seeking to broaden the case into a class action lawsuit, in which other Farmers customers could join. A judge still must rule on that request.
The Appers claim they asked their Farmers agent, Greg Kusnierek of Thousand Oaks, for an earthquake quote in December, 1991, but never received one. Their lawsuit claims Kusnierek or someone else several months later forged Helene Apper's signature on a form rejecting earthquake coverage.
The couple accepted a homeowners policy from Kusnierek in March, 1992, that contained no earthquake coverage. But they say they didn't learn of the alleged forgery until dealing with Farmers after their house suffered between $50,000 and $100,000 damage in the Jan. 17 Northridge earthquake.
The couple's suit claims Farmers originally refused to pay for their earthquake repairs because they lacked an earthquake policy. But in May, amid the couple's forgery claim, the company agreed to cover them with a $100,000 policy with a 10% deductible, both sides said in interviews.
Gary Paul, the Santa Monica attorney representing the couple, said the decision suggests Farmers realized the company had engaged in wrongdoing. But Beyer, the Farmers official, said the company found "no evidence" of forgery and simply gave the Appers "the benefit of the doubt."
Paul did not provide evidence in his court filing to
back up the claim that thousands of Farmers customers are
being denied earthquake coverage. In an interview, he
said he based it on Kusnierek's claim in a memo that he
followed company policy in handling the Appers' case.
Copyright (c) 1994 Times Mirror Company
|Attention! All information contained herein is for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended by any material on these pages. The copyrights of the whole multimedia content on these pages are belonging to their originators, authors, creators... etc. All original content is the property of it's originators. Copyrighted material has been used for non-commercial purposes only. This website is best viewed with your monitor resolution set to 800x600 and your video mode set to true color.|