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
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
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
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
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
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