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FactFinder 12 shares steps to take to avoid issues when filing a renter’s insurance claim

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 10:32 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - FactFinder 12 investigators have looked into thefts from storage units many times over the years, but what about what happens next?

Are you protected if you have renter’s insurance? Not always, FactFinder 12 found out.

Felicia Smith one day discovered all her belongings were gone in her storage unit she rented at her apartment complex.

“You didn’t see the lock anymore, doors kind of flapping back and forth. I noticed everything was gone.”

Smith notified her apartment managers and called police and took a report and gave reassuring words.

“He was like ‘yeah, you can reach out to your renter’s insurance and they will compensate you.”

Smith didn’t get reassuring words from her insurance company.

“She was like, ‘well, I can also too, I can deny it. If you don’t have receipts,’ and I was like ‘receipts?’”

The company, American Modern Insurance, didn’t outright deny her claim -- but did request she provide pictures of the items that were stolen and receipts to prove she’d purchased them in the first place.

“Just like any industry, there are insurance companies that may not have superior customer service. So, you pay your policy, every year, and when it’s your turn to submit a claim you run into hurdles that you’re continuously having to fight to get what you want in that claim,” Denise Groene with the Better Business Bureau said.

After a quick google search, Smith found she was not alone. Many customers turned to the Better Business Bureau with similar issues. Still, she pressed on.

“I’ve been trying to call multiple days just keep calling, keep calling. Nobody’s calling me back.”

FactFinder 12 reached out to the company and within a couple of hours received a response saying the company was working, “to resolve her claim as quickly as possible.”

Shortly after, Smith’s claim was fulfilled, but she said she’s learned a lesson.

“It’s just, it’s unfortunate that you even have to go this far.”

A lesson Groene said anyone watching should pay attention to.

“A lot of it comes down to doing your research and with the internet, you know it’s super easy to hop online, read the reviews that other customers have you experienced with a particular company.”

In addition to researching reviews online before choosing an insurance company, the Better Business Bureau suggests saving receipts if you can, but at least taking inventory of high dollar items in your home. Take photos and shoot video, walking through your home or storage unit, pointing out those items.

In Kansas, if you’re having a dispute with your insurance company, you can file a complaint with the Kansas Insurance Commissioner to look into your issue.

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