Homecomplaint › Marilyn - Cary, NC - USAA's Guarantee Program and Homeowners

Consumer Complaint

Marilyn - Cary, NC - USAA's Guarantee Program and Homeowners

Companies Involved: 
USAA Insurance, Allied
Issue Area: 
Insurance

My house and my belongings are ruined. USAA recently said to me in a deposition that I should read their guarantee letter word for word, and asked if I was educated, they said it is not a guarantee. Attached is a letter from the NC Dept of Insurance where they were informed by USAA that is was a guarantee. Their guarantee program is presented as a guarantee if you use USAA's preferred contractors (hopefully they vetted), but in my case the preferred contractor Allied brought persons to do the work that were cheaper, less cost, and did not speak English, however Allied failed to mention these were not their workers. These workers then felled a black mold ceiling into the floor without protection, with debris falling out into other areas, and black mold air born. Neither USAA or Allied or these men tested for mold in the air, or for asbestos or lead, or for moisture in the walls and sub-floor, where do they think the water went? Allied job supervisor Mike Caudle promised me he would check the walls and sub-floor, but did not, he then told me don't worry about it little lady it will dry. The SOW was with Allied and was sent to me by USAA, and the job supervisor Mike Caudle gave me an Allied business card. The workers stood on the tub faucet to work on the black mold ceiling they felled, so the faucet then faced down and the plumbing was pulled away from from the shower wall. A hot water pipe started leaking under my house in the crawlspace. They stood on the top of the toilet and the toilet seal was broken and the toilet dinged by them with a metal tool, and other damage. The roof they repaired then leaked in other rooms so inside walls are suspect, several walls have cracked from the damage, and water damage is evident in other areas. They did not install shingle starter rows correctly, so outer walls are suspect. USAA/Allied argued with me for about a year that this was a good roof, USAA's adjuster would for example would look at a new crack down the corner of a wall and then say he did not see anything wrong with it. I said I was going to replace the roof myself, they said they had to be present. I was told they would cover some costs after seeing some issues e.g., shingling over plywood that should have been replaced, patching the roof with a 12" square of OSB board instead of a half sheet or sheet of plywood, poor quality shingles curling up, but then USAA's adjuster called me and said no they weren't, even though I had had in writing they would, specifically mentioning starter rows issue. When I wrote the NC Dept of Insurance, USAA lied outright to the NC Insurance Commission and said things like I had the roof pulled up, they did not get to see, however I have photos of them arriving, on the roof, and leaving, (time and date stamped). I wrote the BBB a few years back, Allied responded with what I thought were lies. I wrote the NC Attorney General. The asbestos/lead issue was only recently discovered when a new person inspected my house to provide an updated estimate and asked if USAA/Allied tested for asbestos/lead and I said no, and so he performed testing and found asbestos in the popcorn ceiling and compounding in the joints, so myself, family and friends, including a young child were exposed to asbestos/lead/mold over about 2 years. He took a photo (attached) of the floor under the bathroom where Allied said the water would dry, the floor and walls they never took a moisture/water reading on or inspected, the floor is rotted and has a hole under where the workers stood on the faucet. I was informed it would likely cost approximately $56,500.00 to take the walls out given the asbestos, and twice that to put them back, so maybe $180-200k. The house estimate on Zillow lists it at $245k. I wrote to you because it looks like this method of USAA's guarantee, and the terms noted in the attached document e.g., quid pro quo, cost savings subs, inadequate inspections, failure to notify users that USAA benefits from the homeowner using, price fixing, a company called Crawford, etc does not seem right, and that maybe this is their business as usual. These workers put everyone who was in my house, including themselves, at risk resulting from the exposure to asbestos/lead/black mold, and USAA/Allied failed to test for anything, from incompetence or to save a dollar? But do you know how much USAA will spend of insurers money to argue me, and how long they will argue to try to make you give up and go away? I am 63 years old, this was the house I was going to retire in, I have a handicap placard since 2008, I have lost my house and belongings, cannot afford to replace furniture, mattresses, shoes, etc and have had to pay the house payment and rent and utilities for 2 years, and legal costs - - - This has been going on since Nov2012. I had an attorney (Randy Ingram) I obtained after about 2 years of trying to get USAA/Allied to fix, he took over 10k from me, he kept giving extensions to USAA's attorney Jim Stephenson, and when I asked him why he said he was good friends with him for over 30 years and he works by the hour. Randy Ingram then had a surgery, which he never informed me of and let my case sit. His office sent me an email scheduling depositions, which were never scheduled, but I took vacation off for. On the day he told me he would obtain USAA discovery within 30 days, he put my case on hold. He threatened to charge me over 14k if I did not let him keep the monies I had paid and a document was sent to me to sign, which I did not. He still would not refund any monies. I obtained a 2nd attorney, Laurie Gengo. She worked on the case for awhile and a mediation was held 31May2017. She told me the 1st attorney hurt my case, and if I didn't agree to settle that the attorneys for USAA, Allied and the 3 men who did not speak English (who worked for Cruz, a cost-saving sub?) would run to court and get a summary judgement and I would get NOTHING. The mediation was not a mediation, it was an ambush, I felt an agreement had been made prior to the mediation that had not included me. Laurie Gengo said at the mediation that she had informed USAA's attorney Stephenson that the asbestos/lead exposure was not included in the agreement. Laurie Gengo threatened to quit if I did not sign, that I would get NOTHING. USAA sent me an email notifying me they issued a check stating settled, and it was clear they were trying to roll the asbestos/lead exposures into the confidentiality. As my attorney Laurie Gengo had told me in writing previously the exposure was irrelevant to my case, I wrote USAA back and said the exposure was excluded and they needed to set up a path for this to be addressed if someone were to have a related health issue. USAA cancelled the check. USAA later reissued. Laurie Gengo also told me we would have a say in the wording of the document, but I have not been afforded that opportunity. USAA took about a month to write the 17 page mediation agreement, and I said I would never sign that document when I read it, there are so many issues. Instead of my attorney saying we did not agree with the wording, she appears to have sold me out. She has sent me emails saying I had to sign, she said if someone comes down with an illness, they can sue, how would they sue as the 17 page document they are demanding I sign says they have done nothing wrong, etc. She has not addressed my questions like this. I said I won't sign that, it has false statements. I said USAA cancelled, now I am cancelling, and told her to send the money back,but she won't. She has sent me emails that they will sue me to enforce, that I will have to pay all their attorneys fees, that I could go to jail for contempt, etc. Someone else has noted that one or more legal deadlines or statutes of limitation affecting my claim may be about to expire, that if the deadlines expire before I act, that I may lose valuable rights. In the attached insurance experts deposition, he notes terms noted quid pro quo, cost savings subs, inadequate inspections, failure to notify users that USAA benefits from the homeowner using, price fixing, a company called Crawford. I have received notice that a hearing is scheduled for 18-Sep-2017, and I need a new attorney to help me with the hearing and my case. I am trying to find a new attorney, but have not been able to find. While my attorney Laurie Gengo has told me in writing to get a second opinion, other attorneys say they need a letter saying she does not represent me in order to give legal advice. Can you help me? Do you think a reporter might be able to help. Is USAA targeting veterans and their families?