It’s perhaps a pity that I would revive my blog for something not quite so uplifting, but what can you do when you need a medium to voice your opinion? That being said I’m sure this may very well wake something else up too.
So what is this all about? Well basically it’s something I encountered that I would like to share on the web that I feel is important for determining what Insurance Brokers are out there to protect your best interests.
The back story of this is my girlfriend and I were looking to buy our first house and eventually settled on a nice 700 sq-ft house in St. Vital with a quite ludicrous (huge) sized lot. At the time we lived in a single bedroom apartment which backed onto the Bishop Grandin green way and, because it was so convenient, had used Crossroads Insurance for our apartment and car insurance. Their hours were pretty decent considering our work hours and it was easy enough to get in there and get what you needed done for what it was worth.
It wasn’t until we had to really lean on Crossroads, though, that we learned about how fragile and unconcerned their staff and management are about their customers. This is the true topic of this blog post: Outlining what you’re in for when you deal with Crossroads Insurance.
So what are you in for when dealing with Crossroads Insurance? Well if your experience is anything like mine you’ll find that they’re very slow to act, don’t follow up, fragile and their management is entirely lacking in any form of empathy.
Privacy Note: I have removed or blurred out personal information in the various images and audio tracks in this blog to protect our and, to some extent, the employees at Crossroads Insurance.
Slow to Act
During the process of purchasing our current house, we knew we needed house insurance before we would get the keys to the house. So around the second week in July we started asking various agencies for quotes on home insurance and it only made sense to send one to Crossroads. So how long did it take to get a final quote from Crossroads Insurance? Conservatively 3 weeks with an average latency between emails of about 3 business days. We also inquired about Life Insurance through them but didn’t hear back until over a month later.
The only reason we decided to go with their quote is because it was more beneficial to stay with Wawanesa who had our current apartment insurance.
We received our first insurance binder from Crossroads Insurance on August 4th, 2015 and it was set to expire on September 15th, 2015. We were told by the representative at the desk that it would take about two weeks for the policy to come in the mail and, at which point, we would pay. That would have worked out perfectly since our possession date of the house was August 15th; we could take care of all our expenses just as we moved in.
Key words being would have. Fast forward two weeks to August 20th, we still did not have our policy so we called to confirm. The representative on the phone informed us that it could take up to three weeks to come in the mail.
September 1st rolled around, with still no policy in the mail and now worried that we were approaching the expiry date on the insurance binder we called again to Crossroads for a status update. They informed us that it could take up to a month to receive the policy because it is the summer time and Wawanesa is busy this time of year. They also informed us not to worry because we’re covered and the expiration date on the insurance binder is just for the lawyers. If you say so…
October 1st finally arrived and to our surprise we finally received something from Wawanesa in the mail! Yay! Our policy was finally here that we can review and pay… Wrong. No instead it was an insurance lapse notice informing us that our insurance -which we still hadn’t received- had expired. Must have been one of those quantum entangled policies, where by opening the letter my policy suddenly came into existence AND expired, but didn’t exist up until it was observed.
Now I am not going to necessarily pin this entirely on Crossroads Insurance, because for all I know Wawanesa forgot to send the policy or they got the address wrong. Whatever the reason it does lead me to my next point.
No follow up
As I later found out in an email from Ms. DiGirolamo (explained later), Crossroads actually got their copy of our policy on September 15th, 2015. So the fact that it took a month and a half to get someone their policy didn’t seem to warrant any sort of follow-up call in their minds. Despite the fact that a customer of theirs was definitely interested in getting their copy and had previously called numerous times for it, no one really bothered to take note. I guess that meant we should have be doing their jobs for them? Or perhaps that was just too much to expect.
Fragile and lacking in empathy
Here is the true sucker punch in my opinion. After discovering that -weeks prior- my insurance had expired and no one bothered to say anything, I decided to call Crossroads and left them a voice message telling them to get their collective asses in gear and find out what was going on.
I have to apologize about the audio quality of the recording, the app on my phone is still very sensitive to some decibel levels despite the number of times I have tinkered with it.
So how did Crossroads respond? Ms. Nella DiGirolamo (Personal Lines Manager, whatever that is) decided to leave me a very to-the-point, unempathetic email which seemed to reveal the very nature of their employees. I guess they were so wrapped up in their own world that they could not even put themselves in someone else’s shoes. The fact that we would be out of luck if our house had burnt down, or broken into (which someone tried already), or our hot water tank burst or insert apparently inconsequential situation here, did not seem to matter much to them.
No, the only concern they had was that I hurt their feelings in a voicemail. Never mind that they betrayed our trust, ignored us and the years we have used them for our apartment and car insurance (mainly car insurance admittedly). The fact that we had been incredibly patient with them to date was also apparently entirely irrelevant as well.
To top it all off, they never bothered to acknowledge that I would be writing a review about this incident and posting it on the internet. This sort of behavior almost makes me think they feel indestructible behind their desk.
I would highly recommend against using Crossroads Insurance unless you’re there to quickly renew your autopac. Their staff does not care about you and has no vested interest in keeping you around, so if you’re looking for someone who will look after you I would go some where else.