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By Paul Losch

About this blog: I was a "corporate brat" growing up and lived in different parts of the country, ending in Houston, Texas for high school. After attending college at UC Davis, and getting an MBA at Harvard, I embarked on a marketing career, mai...  (More)

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Here?s An Example of How Insurance Works

Uploaded: Feb 14, 2013
I was home, eating breakfast. My car parked across the street, due to all the water main and storm drain work under way in my neighborhood. (I can't wait for it to be over, although it needs to be done.)

A person was driving along after all the heavy equipment was back at work. The signs are confusing, the Caterpillar tractors are intimidating, and it was the time of day when people are off to work, delivering their children to school, etc. A very hectic time in the morning.

She hit my parked car. Admits to the incident, and there were other people who witnessed it.

Here come the complications:

The lady apparently was driving a rented vehicle. She filed a claim with her insurance company, and they are pushing back due to the fact that she was not driving a vehicle she owned, instead a rental.

So here I am as the offended party, attempting to work amicably with an incident I did not cause, but needs to get my car fixed.

I am not getting frustrated yet, but this appears to a he said/she said between the car rental company and the lady who hit my parked car and her insurance company.

No mercy for me, who experienced the damage. What BS.

It is a case study in how the insurance industry is dysfunctional, inefficient, and not responsive to the people they supposedly serve.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of ,
on Feb 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Paul - Your insurance company should be the one that sorts this out - that is part of what you pay them for.

Posted by Resident, a resident of ,
on Feb 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Paul, why are you dealing with the insurance company when you should be dealing with the rental company?

Several years ago I was hit by someone driving a rental car. Both cars were unroadworthy. Their car was replaced by the rental company within a very short space of time and after the police left they drove away to continue their business and later that day flew out of the country.

I was left to sort out the problem. The other driver, the police and the car rental company all acknowledged that it was not my fault. However, I did not get a rental car drive up within an hour, or a tow truck drive up to take my car away. In fact I had to negotiate with the rental company to get a rental car from a third company because although they would give me a daily allowance for the cost of replacement rental, they did not rent cars at that low amount??????

Anyway, the long winded point I am making is to get in touch with the rental company's insurance and deal with them.

Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Feb 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm


Do you buy uninsured motorist insurance? I always do, because I was raised in an area where many drivers did not carry insurance. Would it make a difference in your case?

Posted by Hit in the wallet, a resident of ,
on Feb 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I was in a head-on collision with an uninsured illegal alien who crossed over into my lane. The driver took off for Mexico immediately. My car was totaled, I was pregnant, and due to the seat belt, a blood clot formed between the uterus and placenta and the baby was stillborn

I had uninsured motorist coverage, BUT: it added only 1K of additional coverage at that time. The insurance co (Allstate) did not Pursue the driver over the border--too expensive, they said. My car was new, they could not find one to replace it with, so they paid it of, but BofA added all three years worth of interest to the payoff, so we were left with no down payment to buy a new car with. I had to go back to work, so bought a clunker out of pocket.

I was due 30K for the death of the baby and my injuries (severe concussion, deep lacerations, loss of vision in one eye), but Allstate refused to pay. We had to get a lawyer, who insisted I get a lot more medical tests, which Allstate did pay for. Finally, after two more years, Allstate paid me $10,000, of which my lawyer took half.

Some compensation! Ten years later I am still angry!

Then, a month later, Allstate sent us a letter saying that we had too many claims, and they terminated our auto insurance! In spite of the fact that we had homeowner's and life insurance with them! So, we dumped the other policies we had with them.

Those hands close tight when they have to pay out!


Posted by live'n'learn, a resident of ,
on Feb 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm

>Paul - Your insurance company should be the one that sorts this out - that is part of what you pay them for.

Yep, that's what I'd do and you should have reported the incident to your insurance company by now in any case.
I'd go to my insurance company and claim. They'll fight for their money back from the other parties and for your deductable. It's not your problem unless it was under the deductable then they won't bother and you'll be stuck with fighting for it (or learn not to park your car in your drive! :})

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of ,
on Feb 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Welcome to the world of Civil law in 21st century America.

Good luck getting anything, but if you pursue this, rest assured some lawyer somewhere will profit from it.

400 years ago Shakespeare gave us wise advise re: Lawyers, and perhaps if we acted on his advise then, we wouldn't have the problems we have today in both Civil and Criminal law.

But we didn't, and now 400 years later it will take much, much more that Shakespeare's solution to fix system as corrupt as it is old.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of ,
on Feb 14, 2013 at 9:08 pm

How about complaining to the California state Department of Insurance?
- Also, write a letter to your state assemblyperson and state senator, so it goes on the record. Enough of these, and perhaps we can improve the law for the insured. I am furious at these stories of rental car drivers, out of state drivers, and illegal aliens skipping out on obligations after causing harm.

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Feb 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Live and Learn--

I did contact my insurance company. They told me that I would have pay the deductible, for which I eventually would be reimbursed,

Why shoud I front money for an incident that was not my responsibility? Why should I get my insurance company in what already is a complicated situation?

This just points out how dysfunctional the insurance industry is. I will get through my personal ordeal, and IMHO this whole thing could be handled much more efficiently.

Posted by Hit in the Wallet, a resident of ,
on Feb 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

The head-on collision and death of my baby were not my fault in any way, yet Allstate chose to punish me because they had to pay out a fraction of what they owed me. And I still feel raped by my lawyer, who was supposed to be helping me. yeah, I came out 5K ahead, but I had no baby, no vision in one eye, a lot of lost work time, and a piece of s--- to drive instead of my new car!

For something that was no fault of mine, I feel robbed, cheated, wronged, and raped--ten years later it still hurts!!

Posted by Palo alto mom, a resident of ,
on Feb 15, 2013 at 8:34 am

Our family has had parked cars hit a couple times over the past years and a couple fender benders. Our insurance company has always handled everything, sending us a check for the repairs minus the deductible or the whole thing when it was the other party's fault. Aside from getting the other driver's insurance info, we never talked to them or their insurance company.

Posted by Hit in the Wallet, a resident of ,
on Feb 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Living where I do, I had a car parked on the street hit in the middle of the night by a hit-and-run driver. The insurance company told us we lived in a high-risk area, and raised our rates!!! I had no tickets in 15 years!!! We changed companies again. So far we have had State Farm, Allstate, AAA, and Mercury. PA MOM, who do you have that makes it so hassle-free???

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of ,
on Feb 16, 2013 at 10:31 am

Hit in the wallet - Amica Insurance. They don't have agents, you will need to contact then directly.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of ,
on Feb 16, 2013 at 10:35 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

USAA if you qualify by virtue of military service by yourself or your parents, grandparents.

Posted by Anon., a resident of ,
on Feb 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm

This idea of insurance is an interesting one ... it's a bit like privatized socialism ... everyone pays a little so that those who have a problem get compensated ... only from many of the stories here, it does not always work so well, because it is owned and run by private interests who are insulated and redirected by the nonsense or the law and lawyers - tons of money goes for this private elite, and the marginal problems for people who do not have lots of money are often ignored. The result is not optimal in any way.

Now ... what about the idea of no-fault insurance financed by taxes on gasoline. What even happened to this idea, and is there a good argument against it based on facts?

It seems that anything that lubricates of helps the lives of those who live in the friction-dominated zone of the non-millionaires is automatically rejected or silly arguments are elevated to serious status and repeated over and over to dismiss these ideas.

Why is it that the average person gets the shaft so often, and even an occasional member of the 1% ... but never a member of the .1%?

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