Monthly Archives: July 2010

Why How Your Insurance Company Pays Claims Should Matter

Ok, this isn’t my usual debt related kind of post; but here goes.

Wednesday night I was rear-ended at a stop light on the NW Expressway.  In all honesty it was more understandable than that.  The sun was in just the wrong place to see the light change.  Nonetheless, I stopped; the woman behind me didn’t.  The back of my car was pretty badly crunched, and the front of hers was a real mess.  Anyway, I discovered soon enough that her insurance policy was in a family member’s name, the car she was driving was her husband’s; and all of this makes sense when you realize that she doesn’t have a driver’s license.  She did have a State ID card.  Yes, she does have a couple of DUI convictions.  Why do you ask?

Anyway, the next morning she calls me to tell me that she has called it in to her insurance; and she needs two additional pieces of information:  my home address (I had given her my office) and my insurance policy number.  That didn’t strike me as the kind of thing you make up, so I assume that she called it in.  I reported in to my insurance company, just like my policy requires.  Then, I waited for her company to call me; and I waited.  Finally, I called her agent’s office.  They had no clue what I was talking about, so I gave them all relevant information.  They were going to have the claims office in Enid call me; and they did.  A man called to say he was returning my call and who was I and what did I want — basically.  Once again, no clue that there has been any communication on this claim.  So, today I get a call from their National Claims center who didn’t know who was driving, didn’t know if I was hurt, didn’t know the make or model of my car or even if it was drivable.  At this point I am starting to lose my cool with what I am now calling the Larry, Moe and Curly Insurance Agency.

So, my instructions now are to take my car to their approved body shop for pictures and an estimate.  They have a location near my house and one near my office, but they are only open Mon-Fri.  So, I get to take off work for them to appraise my car.   Then, I can have them fix it or I can take it someplace else and have it fixed.  Oh, that assumes that they are going to allow the claim.  They haven’t made a decision yet, because they haven’t spoken to their insured yet.

Now, maybe it is just the bleeding heart defense lawyer in me; but I would think that if I were that company’s customer I would expect that they would be a little more proactive in protecting me from a lawsuit involving an unlicensed driver with 2 DUI convictions.  I have been annoyed at the runaround they are putting me through, but I have been appalled at how little effort they are making to protect their own insured.

So, the next time you go to buy car insurance.  Give some thought to how the company treats the people their insureds hit.  You could be preventing your own lawsuit.

Elaine

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 1 Comment

Mortgage Overcharges and Consumer Protection

Recently, Bank of America agreed to a staggering settlement for mortgage fees improperly charged by Countrywide prior to the BOA takeover.  Henry Sommer, one of the Country’s leading Bankruptcy lawyers, scholars and consumer activists has posted some thoughts about that settlement on Credit Slips.  It is well worth reading.

Elaine

Categories: Bankruptcy, Consumer Credit, consumer law, foreclosure, Mortgages and Foreclosure | Tags: | Leave a comment

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