AmGuard has had problems with late complaints when it does not respond quickly to questions from its customers or refunds. A recent Missouri jury verdict found AmGuard guilty of failing to pay for fires, property damage, and causing blackouts. I have already seen how AmGuard did it in the Washington case Delayed Claims Lead to Adverse Judgment.
Two letters attached to the complaint indicate “ghosting”1 The first letter dated November 9, 2020, stated:
This letter follows my efforts to communicate with you via email and voicemail in respect of the above. I understand that Jennifer A. Turner of Summit Insurance Group also attempted to contact you regarding the above. However, to date, neither you nor anyone else at Berkshire Hathaway Guard Insurance Companies (“BHG”) has responded to our inquiries.
As I stated in my email dated September 22, 2020, I have been retained to represent Academy Bank, NA, in the above matter. Academy Bank is the holder of interest and the recipient of lost income under the policy issued to Shri Ganesai, LLC (see ‘Businessowners Policy Changes’ confirmation).
You already know that Shri Ganesai, LLC, has submitted a claim under this policy regarding the fire damage that occurred at the insured premises on October 2 or 2019. It has not made any information about Shri Ganesai, LLC.
… Now it’s been a year since the fire loss and Academy Bank should have information about what led to BHG’s decision.
On March 4, 2021, the following was posted to AmGuard:
The letter was dated November 9, 2020, from the Academy’s counsel, Norris Keplinger Hicks & Welder, seeking more information about the facts and their comments. Many applications on behalf of the Academy have been in place since at least September 2020. The applications and demands therein have been reproduced and consolidated and presented here. We know that there is no insurance solution. The Academy continues to subpoena all legal documents and any grounds for withholding payment in accordance with the Academy’s policy.
Accordingly, the Academy requires payment of funds immediately available to the Academy no later than March 15, 2021. If payment or delivery of the document or reason for default is not received by that date, the Academy will initiate action….
I’m sure the lawyers didn’t hold their breath waiting for an answer. We have seen this type of unresponsiveness from AmGuard on occasion.
After the lawsuit was filed in April 2021, AmGuard made a partial settlement.
A jury verdict last week found for the defendant and the payer. The jury awarded the contractor, tortfeasor, and attorney’s fees and damages to AmGuard.
Insurance companies have a duty to act quickly in repairing losses and in responding to claimants. These types of jury verdicts are insured against default.
Thought of the Day
When you have a reputation for being responsive and generous, an ever-increasing mountain of requests is coming.
— Adam Grant
1 Ghosting, also known as simmering or icing, is a generic term that describes the practice of ending all contact and communication with another person without warning or justification and then ignoring any attempts to reach or contact said person. The term originated in the early 2000s, especially when it comes to dating and romantic relationships. In the following decade, the media reported a rise in violence, which has been attributed to the increased use of social media and social networking software. The word is also used to refer to similar behavior between friends, family, employers and businesses.