Country Financial Insurance Company was founded in 1925, when they started out selling policies mostly to the Illinois farmers who also acted as their agents. While they wouldn’t be considered one of the largest auto insurers in the country, they do cover more than 1 million vehicles and employ 3,600 people across the nation and have an estimated 2,000 agents selling their range of products.
They have corporate offices in three states; Illinois, Minnesota and a corporate office in Salem, Oregon. Their 2010 group revenue was an impressive $3.237 billion, so, like most insurance companies, they are not short of money in the bank. But when it comes to paying out Country Financial insurance Oregon claims, how are they about taking some of that money out of the bank and putting it into the pockets of Oregon drivers who have been involved in traffic accidents?
Country Financial is “About Average”
Country Financial sells more than half a billion dollars worth of policies every year. Yet when it comes to customer satisfaction, they seem to be coming up short. In 2011, a free advice website that recommends insurance companies noted that only 38% of the company’s customers are either very satisfied or extremely satisfied, while 11% reported being unsatisfied and a worrying 43% said they were “very unsatisfied.” So more than half of Country Financial clients are unhappy with the service they receive.
Many people think comparison websites are simply a venue for people to lodge complaints, but the study quoted above matches a J.D. Power satisfaction study which was based on feedback from more than 11,000 customers of 25 insurance companies. Despite Country Financial’s claims to be among the very best of all insurance providers, J.D. Power gave them a Circle Rating of 3 out of 5, or as the study itself concludes, “about average.” The same study calculated Country Financial’s overall score to be 853 out of a possible 1,000, which is right around the industry average score of 846. Of the 25 insurance companies covered by the survey, Country Financial has been moving between 8th and 12th places since 2007.
Complaints Include: Increased Premiums, Low Settlement Offers
Like other insurance companies, this company seems to have a habit of increasing Oregon customers’ premium prices, even when no Country Financial Insurance Oregon claims have been filed. Customers have also complained about receiving offers of payment far less than the legitimate value of their claim, and the fact that they never seem to be able to talk to the same person twice when trying to contact the company. As recently as November 23, 2011, a customer posted a complaint saying in part, “…my rates keep going up with no claims. I’ve had four reps in…three years. They burn through agents really fast, so they must be under high sales pressure.”
As regards rate increases, another dissatisfied customer made this complaint on September 13. “I have had (Country Financial) insurance for one year and received my renewal, and I was shocked that it went up over $300 for the year. I have had no claims with them!”
Country Financial Tactics: Delay, Deny, Defend
Country Financial also seem to engage in what appears to be the standard industry practices of delaying, denying and defending claims without any justification. A motorcyclist took out a policy with Country Financial and was unlucky enough to have to put in a claim some time later. His experience goes some way to explaining the high dissatisfaction rating the company has received. He said, “I paid for a $500,000 insurance policy…and when an accident occurred, which was not our fault, Country Financial are calling us liars and cheats (regarding what a fair settlement price is). This motorcycle is 11 years old, and they want to give us nothing for it…and now the insurance company refuses to speak to us.”
A similar story was passed on by a motorist whose car was totaled this year. He wrote on February 18 that “the claim rep was rude and not looking after our interests. Our agent was rude and very negative. This company is horrible, and I would not recommend them to my worst enemy!”
When Oregon Country Financial Insurance claims are filed, those making the claims would do well to consult an experienced Portland car accident attorney, one who is used to dealing with insurance companies every day and who is used to the methods those companies employ to pay out the smallest settlements they can get away with. Like all auto insurance companies, Country Financial tend to respond faster and with improved settlement offers once they know they’re dealing with an experienced professional.