Dec 182009

It’s just as well that I’m stuck inside working on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal, because it’s raining again. We had one mostly clear day Wednesday to give us a break, but yesterday it started all over again, with more rain forecast today.

I know a couple of people who want to leave Summerdale, but the ground is so saturated that they aren’t sure they can even get their RVs out of their campsites. As soon as we get the new issue printed and mailed, we’ll be right behind them. I’m ready to head west.

I spent most of yesterday at my computer, except for an hour or so in the afternoon, when I began to get droopy and stretched out on the couch for a nap. We had a late breakfast or an early lunch, depending on what you want to call it, and when evening rolled around, we weren’t really hungry, so Miss Terry made up a batch of her homemade peanut butter cookies, which were delicious with a cold glass of milk. She says she really misses the Avanti gas range and oven she had in our bus conversion, but I think she’s getting the hang of using the convection oven in our Winnebago.

Judging from the responses to my last couple of blog posts, and the many, many e-mails I have received about our problems with our insurance claim, this has really stirred up a hornet’s nest.

Though PoliSeek, whom we purchased our insurance from, has never called me back, yesterday two other agents who sell for National Interstate contacted the bigwigs at that company, after their customers read my blog comments and e-mailed them. One said that she had already lost customers over the issue, who were taking their business elsewhere. The company told one of them that they were already aware of the blog posts on the subject and were going to get the issue resolved immediately.

Suddenly there seems to have been a complete change of attitude on the part of the claims adjuster I have been working with. He called to tell me that they didn’t have to wait for the last set of notarized papers I sent him listing the items stolen, all I needed to do was go out and buy replacements and they would reimburse me. I explained that I don’t have huge piles of money laying around to go on a shopping spree, and that we had acquired those things over time. He said no problem, just find them on the internet and send him a link to web pages showing their prices and they will send me out a check for whatever the total comes to. Suddenly that 180 day time frame that existed to settle the claim in seems to have disappeared.

I’m still waiting for word on the final repairs that have to be made at Camping World, but he assured me that it will all be resolved very quickly. I’m still skeptical, based upon National Interstate’s past performance, but I hope they will now follow through.

And while I’m appreciative of the other agents, whom I have no business dealings with, for going to bat for us, I’m thoroughly pissed that my own agent, PoliSeek still has ignored us. One of the other agents who contacted the company made one phone call, and had three managers from National Interstate contact her within 24 hours to find out the details to get the issue resolved. Why couldn’t PoliSeek do that for me? They sure have made a lot of commission money from my premiums over the years, since they cover our motorhome, two other vehicles, and I used them for coverage on the bus and my motorcycle before I sold them. I also used them to secure insurance for our Gypsy Gathering rallies. They have lost our business, and I will make it a point to tell any other RVers I talk to (and I talk to a lot of RVers over the course of a year), just how bad they treated us.

So yes, things look better, based upon my last conversations with the claims adjuster. But this whole thing leaves me wondering how many people out there have the same problems, but do not have access to the wide audience I do, to vent their frustrations in public, and instead just have to bend over and take it. It shouldn’t have to be that way for anybody.

Thought For The Day – He who knows nothing, doubts nothing.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  18 Responses to “It’s Raining Again, Go Figure”

  1. I hope they do follow through quickly and fully Nick. In the mean time, I contacted all my RVing friends to tell them what happened to you and gave them your blog address to read about it first hand. I suggested each of them inform all the RVers they know to keep them from purchasing insurance from this outfit. Hopefully other RV insurance companies will hear about this as well and treat their customers the way they should be treated. The power of the written word on the internet should not be taken lightly.

  2. Glad to see that you’ve found the key to their concience! While you’re at it you aughta bill ’em for the barrel of ink, too! 🙂

    See you in Yuma!

    Bill and Annie Tourtillott

  3. Nick, it does appear to be a step forward. I am curious, however, if this “newfound interest” on the part of National Interstate has extended to the claims of Duncan. Have they indicated they wish to resolve those claims quickly as well? It’s some comfort that other agents have involved themselves, but only because it has affected their business. I certainly hope the Escapees rethink their “preferred vendor” status.

    We all are watching closely to see how this plays out. So sorry it has happened to “one of us” and know that many would find themselves in the same position had this terrible event happened to them.


  4. You’ve got a “bully pulpit,” Nick, and you use it well. It’s just too bad it takes that bully pulpit to get things they way they should be from the get-go!

  5. Nick – you always did say not to tick off a guy who buys printers ink by the gallon. I guess you will have to add – or one that has a popular blog!!!

    Glad things are turning around for you. Now, before you grow gills, get out here to the desert. We look forward to seeing you soon.

  6. WOW…It pays to be a well followed blog writer. Good for you. We are so pleased to hear that the insurance company has relented and is finally living up to their side of the agreements that you have been paying for over the years.
    This is a real life case that proves the power of the internet can actually be leveraged by an individual to put pressure on a large monolithic organization.
    Way to go Nick.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Pat and Jim

  7. The pen (or in this case, keyboard) is mightier than the sword! Looks like there may be a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel. Now if only the rains would let up.
    Lu and Larry

  8. Without a doubt the “power of the press” is a major factor in the faster resolution of your claim. Poliseek is going to pay a well-deserved and severe penalty in the form of cancelled and non-renewed busness for their callous inaction. Not all RVers have your bully pulpit, but we all have several widely read forums to which we can post a straight-forward factual account of a similar situation.

    I am involed in a much more minor situation in which my mentioning of exposure of the problem to thousands of others seems to have turned the case in my favor. In this particular case the person I spoke to said in the course of our conversation that “we have LOTS of customers who live in RVs.”

    The lesson learned here is that there IS strength in numbers.

  9. It is amazing how a little bad press will force the corporate morons to step up and keep their end of a bargain. Witness the numerous “Problem Solver” columns in newspapers. A little leverage goes a long way!

  10. Nick, when we had our claim with National Interstate we called our agent that just happens to be Daugherty Insurance and is right next door to Alternative Resources. They took care of everything for us. We had things resolved by the next day. It was nice to have an agent that did his job.

  11. Nick,

    Your last paragraph says so much, I repeat it:

    “But this whole thing leaves me wondering how many people out there have the same problems, but do not have access to the wide audience I do, to vent their frustrations in public, and instead just have to bend over and take it. It shouldn’t have to be that way for anybody.”

    There is little doubt in my mind that your blog and the many many other forums this situation has been discussed (even private ones like I belong to have had posts from you readers about this insurance fiasco) has EVERYTHING to do with this change of heart by this insurance company. Hey you deserve the good news, the change of heart, the speedy payments.

    But, I also believe that if you had been “jo dude regular ole RVer” with no platform on which to scream and vent that you would still be “Jo dude regular ole RVer” with no action, sitting twiddling thumbs and stressing out.

    As more of us blog and email and surf the net I hope that companies will start to get it, IT being: OUR REPUTATION IS OUR BEST BUSINESS PLAN!

    So, you go, bring em to their knees! You the dude!!!!

  12. NIck,
    It sure is nice to be able to throw your weight around and not the weight that’s around the waist but the weight of the PEN.
    Now you need to do what Wyatt Earp always said “Always kick em while they’re down, that way they’ll remember”

  13. Perhaps when things settle down for you Nick, you might consider how you can continue to use your “bully pulpit” for the good of the RV community. As some one previously referred to the magazines that have a “Problem solver” column, you could provide an online version.

  14. I just asked Poliseek if I could expect better treatment than Nick received should I ever need their service on the Escapee website. If anyone else here is a Poliseek customer you may want to ask the same question.

    I worked in the autobody repair business for several decades and know Nick’s treatment to be the rule not the exception. We always called it the wreck after the wreck.

    Nick, glad you are getting action finally.

  15. It has been our life experience that the insurance agent is the person who takes either good care or “doesn’t care” about his clients. We both had Farmers Insurance for over thirty years and our agent gave us good counsel and went to bat for us when necessary. When we went fulltime, we had to choose an insurance company that specialized in fulltimers’ insurance and we chose RVAmerica who put us with National Interstate and Continental Car Club for roadside assistance. We have called on National once for a blown tire with slideout damage; they have responded well and paid the full repair. Continental has responded twice and taken care of everything. By comparison, we called roadside assistance through another provider and were charged $250 because “the towing company has a minimum charge of 3 hours and your provider only covers one hour.” It took a caustic letter to the provider as well as several phone calls to get reimbursement…but Persistence Pays!!! Other instances with wheel/tire problems were resolved because we were Squeeky Wheels.

  16. It’s interesting how instinct sometimes works. A little over a month ago when I was going fulltime, I called Poliseek and left a message requesting an agent call me. The purpose was to obtain fulltime insurance.
    They never returned the call. Now I’m glad they didn’t.
    SO, I called Foremost and had the coverage I needed in less than 24 hours. Prompt, Courteous service.
    After reading your blog, it becomes apparent that Poliseek’s customer service is lacking if their feet aren’t put to the fire. Unfortunately, not all of us have your Bully Pulpit.
    Hopefully your published experience will make the other Poliseek customer’s claims flow more smoothly.

  17. For all of those people not in the same position as Nick with his “Bully Pulpit”, do not forget about your states Insurance Commisioner’s Office. Every state has one and they are there to mediate and assist the public. This is another good way to get an insurance company’s attention real fast. The insurance commisioner can take away licenses and do other actions if deemed necessary. One phone call from the insurance commision and insurance companies tend to change their attitudes fast! If you have problems getting your claims settled, try the insurance commisioner’s office in your state. Just a thought.

  18. Well add us to the list of folks who now do not trust National Interstate. We, like a few others bought our insurance policy with National Interstate, through Millers while attending the Escapade Rally last year in Gillette… We recently renewed that policy.

    On Monday we are making a call to Millers to cancel our policy and change to Progressive. Like Nick and Terry, we have never filed a claim and we do want to wait and find ourselves hung out to dry if the day came where we needed them.


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