A clause within the terms of service contract created by American Family insurance prevents customers from filing or joining class action lawsuits. However, you can still file a complaint in small claims court.
Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims. Your first step is to make sure you qualify to file a claim. Before you file a claim, focus on two important factors to get it done right.
If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.
Most small claims courts require that you ask the defendant to fix your problem voluntarily before you file your claim. If you want to sue American Family Insurance in small claims court, you first need to send the company a demand letter.
The demand letter should contain direct language. Tell American Family Insurance who you are (your name, address, phone number and account number), what the problem is, and what you want from them. The whole letter should last a few sentences. Remember you are just checking a box on your to do list before you file a claim.
When you’re done writing, you need to mail a hard copy of the letter, preferably as certified mail, to the company’s legal address. American Family Insurance is based in Delaware and receives mail at this address :
AMERICAN FAMILY FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
CORPORATION SERVICE COMPANY
8040 EXCELSIOR DR
MADISON , WI 53717-2915
If you would like examples of demand letters or more information about how to write them, check out this useful guide.
Each state has a set of forms that need to be filled out to file a claim, and sometimes counties provide additional forms. The correct forms for your location is available for free on your state court website.
Make sure you fill out enough forms; most states that require you to file forms by mail or in-person ask for 3 or 4 copies. If you don’t submit the right number of copies, the court clerk has the power to dismiss your claim.
When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to hand over the forms to the court. This process called “filing” can take a considerable amount of time.
Many courts require plaintiffs to deliver paperwork during limited times of the day. Other courts allow plaintiffs to file by fax, mail, or online.
All courts require plaintiffs to pay a filing fee before allowing a lawsuit to start in small claims court. The fee, which is published on your court website, is sometimes waived for low income plaintiffs.
When you file court forms, the court clerk provides you with a stamped copy of the forms and a reminder about the court date.
If you’ve made it this far, good work! Suing American Family Insurance in small claims is a long and frustrating process.
Now that you’ve filed the paperwork required to start your case against American Family Insurance, you need to tell American Family Insurance about the date of the hearing. This is a called “serving” American Family Insurance. To do this, you need to deliver a copy of your filed papers to the company.
Look at your court’s website for instructions on how to deliver your forms correctly to American Family Insurance, or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”. Most courts have implemented stringent rules for delivering copies of court documents. Make sure you follow the rule to ensure a timely start for your small claims court case.
When the court clerk gives you a court date, make sure to put it on your calendar. You should also write down the address of the courthouse, including the courtroom number. Bring the copies of your filed forms, as well as any evidence that backs up your case against American Family Insurance. Sometimes, American Family Insurance does not show up to oppose plaintiffs. If that happens, take advantage of the situation to present your side of the story.
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