Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bad Drivers Crack Me Up(date)

If you've been keeping up with my blog, you will have recently read my entry Bad Drivers Crack Me Up, in which I shared the traffic accident in which I was a victim. Well, the plot has thickened since that day so I thought I'd take a moment to fill everyone in.
About two weeks after the accident occurred, I received a call from a strange number. Considering I was expecting calls from insurance adjusters and the body shop, I figured it was one of those culprits. Shockingly, the person on the other end of the line was none other than the doofus who drove out of the alley and thus caused the accident. He told me in broken English that he was sorry for causing the accident and that he should have been looking before he pulled out of the alley. He also apologized for not being responsive when I asked him if he was all right, because he was dazed and confused after the crash. I would really like to believe that this gentleman was sincere in his apology, but sadly the timing of the call is suspicious. The day before the call, I spoke to the insurance adjuster person and she said she was going to contact this man's insurance company in order to get his statement. It is my assumption that he gave his statement, was told that he was at 100% fault, and decided he had better apologize. Whether he apologized because he was sincerely sorry or because he wanted to butter me up so I don't sue for personal injury is debatable. I choose to believe that he just called because he wanted to own up and take responsibility for his actions. I need to put more faith in people.
Anyway, that was the last I heard of this man. Later in the day, I received a call from my adjuster. She said that he was found at fault and so she would send the go-ahead to the body shop so I could book my car in to be repaired. Sadly, this whole accident thing is anything but easy. I received a call from the adjuster a few days after and she told me that the insurance company wanted to view the damages. I guessed that the other driver's insurance company wasn't accepting the estimate I received and they wanted to send someone to view the vehicle. My adjuster said that the viewing was to determine if the vehicle was a write-off or not.
When I got off the phone, I remember thinking to myself "no fucking way." There was no chance that I was going to bend over and let them write off my car. The problem here is that I already had damage from a previous rear-end collision, so my back bumper was all gibbled. Also I was a victim of a hit-and-run in which some asshole tore up my front left side. These damages would be deducted from the wholesale value of the car and thus increase the likelihood of a write-off. Clearly that is not fair, since the rear of the vehicle was already set to be repaired and the front left of the vehicle was going to be repaired simply by luck (the bumper damage on the right side resulted in the entire bumper needing replacement, so that damage on the left side would have to be fixed as a result).
At any rate, we set up a time for me to drop off my vehicle at the body shop and take a rental car until the adjuster could finish taking a look at the car. My adjuster told me that the rental car company would contact me to schedule a time for me to pick up a rental car. I received no call and therefore did not go to drop off my car on the scheduled day.
Days past and I called my adjuster to ask her WTF was going on. She said that I never showed up for my appointment and I told her that the rental car company did not contact me. This bitch then proceeded to tell me all matter-of-fact that I should have called the company when I did not receive a call. Well, that's a nice idea, but I was specifically told that they would call me AND I had no idea what company it was that would be renting me a car. This cow was unapologetic and treated me like I was a moron. That frustrated me and I got angry. I told her that I would reschedule for the next day and I would call the company myself to avoid another problem. She told me that the man who went to inspect my car was "upset" that my vehicle had not been left at the body shop. I then went off on her. I told her that the damage estimate was from a reputable body shop and that this whole "viewing" was nonsense and an utter waste of my time. It was then that she told me that "we" (referring to MY insurance company) had a right to view the car. What the hell? Why would my insurance company need to view the damage? I was found not at fault, so it is the other party's insurance company that must pay out for the repairs, no? I asked her why my insurance company needed to see the car and she merely spouted the bureaucratic "it's policy." Whatever. I told her that this accident was not my fault and I should not be so inconvenienced. This stupid ho replied with "Well, accidents are never convenient." Argh! Thanks for respecting your clients.
The call ended with my adjuster and I then called the rental company. Sadly, they closed before I would be able to drop my car off in the evening. I called my adjuster back and she told me the car had to be present at the body shop by 8AM the next day. I said "I'll see what I can do" and hung up. It was then that I realized that I was working late and did not feel like driving my car across the city to the body shop in the middle of Calgary's morning rush hour just to appease some assholes who are trying to screw me. I called the adjuster back yet again, but she did not answer. I left a message saying that I would have to reschedule the appointment as I would be unable to get my car to the body shop on time. I asked her to call me back and she did not.
That was yesterday. Today, I received a call at around 11:00AM from the body shop. The gentleman asked me where my car was, as an insurance company agent was present to view it. I had the gentleman put the adjuster on the phone and I apologized for the misunderstandings. He told me he was unable to contact my adjuster either. I told the dude that I would bring my vehicle right over for him to look at it, and I did. My politeness to the man resulted in an added bonus. He said that he was supposed to report the previous unreported damage on my car (from the hit-and-run) so that the insurance company could reduce the amount they are to pay for the repairs and make me have to pay out of pocket, but he would not bother since the section would be repaired anyway. That was awesome of him and I really appreciate it. And for the record, I was nice to the man because it wasn't his fault that my adjuster is a tool...not because I needed him to cut me a break.
Okay, so he looked at my car for a few minutes and sent me on my way. Now I need only wait for the body shop to schedule a booking for my car to be repaired. And all this in only three and a half bloody weeks. That's unacceptable time to wait just to get CLEARED to get a car repaired. Who knows when I'll get the booking. Who knows when I'll actually have my car in for repairs. Ridiculous! What do people do whose cars are rendered undrivable? Ugh. I hate insurance companies and their bullshit.

The insurance company is an evil beast. It's a business that should be working for the client and not the other way around. The amount of money I sink into my insurance company should entitle me to some respect and should prevent the wasting of my time, money, and energy in the event of an incident that was not my fault. Sadly, the insurance company looks out only for itself and has no scruples about screwing over its clients in order to save a buck. If only insurance was a highly competitive field, where the different companies were cutthroat in their race to be on top of the pack. Rates would go down and/or perks would go up. Suddenly the client would be of importance and would likely be treated like a person instead of a number.
Of course, in this perfect world, I'd look like Tom Welling and be worth billions. Ah, what a wonderful world it would be!

But things aren't so terrible. I spoke with my adjuster again after the vehicle was viewed. She apologized for the delay in responding to my voicemail from yesterday, though it was the phoniest apology I've heard in quite some time. She was unaware that the man had viewed my car and she said we would reschedule again. However, she said that this would be third time she had to schedule an appointment and would like to avoid doing so again. I asked "oh, is this inconvenient for you?" to which she said "it is when I'm busy, yes." My reply?

"Well, accidents are never convenient."

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