Thursday, August 28, 2008

Good Hands? You Be the Judge

One of my best friends is an insurance agent, so I have a rudimentary grasp of how those guys think. I've looked deep within myself on many occasions and attempted to be fair with insurance companies. I firmly believe that ridiculous lawsuits and unreasonable demands lead to higher premiums for all of us.
I want to be fair and I hope they will be fair back.
I have an example: My wife had a new car and about three weeks after she got it, the bumper was damaged. We filed a claim and took it to the dealership for replacement or repair. State Farm paid. We got a call back from the dealership saying that they would be replacing the bumper at their expense. They had attempted to repair it before we bought it and had done a poor job.
We returned the check to State Farm. They fell all over themselves thanking us. I only bring this up now to illustrate how we typically approach things.
Now, almost three weeks after a man insured by Allstate made an illegal left turn in front of my son causing a collision, I feel strongly that we are not being treated properly by Allstate. It took them five days to send an adjuster to examine our devastated vehicle the first time. The process, not all of it their responsibility, dragged out for 17 days before they decided the car is a total loss.
They are offering me $7,000 less than we paid for the car, which is a 2008 model. I had no expectation that we would get what we paid for the car. I mean, it's been driven for months and My Man put a lot of miles on it going back and forth from his girlfriend's house and delivering pizza. Still, I expected at least a couple of thousand more.
I surrender. I just want to get this behind me and move on with my life. The Allstate guy appears to be making an effort to be patient with me. Trust me, he got an earful along the way. Allstate wins. I lose. Now we have to go buy another car. Money down the stinkin' drain.

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1 comment:

Chuckles... said...

They're probably going by what the current replacement value is of your son's car based on what it is / was worth at the time of the accident. Some years ago, my wife got "T-Boned" at Knight St & S'port-B'dale by a kid who ran a red light. Of course he was "barely insured" and it was a PITA to deal with the Ins. Co's. (even ours for underinsured motorist). Despite our best efforts...we had to do the undesirable...we got a lawyer and that was a frustrating process. We got to the point of telling our lawyer: "...look...we're not using this to retire on...just get us another car....have the medical paid...and settle for a little inconvenience/pain/work-loss..yada..yada..."

Her car at the time was in great shape (thanks to my anal-retentive maintenance schedule ) but the replacement value was barely $2,000 and I had dropped that coverage since the premiums added about $400 a year to the insurance. We did get a decent settlement..not the thousands and thousands that you see some folks get in those stupid commercials. Could've got more but our lawyer didn't want to expend too much effort when he had folks in neck-braces willing to go through much more to get more, hence a higher commission for him.

Seriously..figure out the hassle factor...your stomach for delays...and do the math. You may be better to just get what you can quickly and move on because that's how the system is set. It'll wear ya down if you let it.

Your karmic philosophy is commendable.... and if that works for you.. to "...be fair and hope they (ins co.s) will be fair back..." But insurance co.s are mostly concerned with their bottom lines and fairness and completely serving the needs of the client are actually secondary.

And now... back to my cold cup of grumpy coffee! ; )