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whose good hands?

My post-accident situation has taken a turn toward frustration.

Back after I started freelancing, my driving was drastically reduced, because I was no longer commuting daily out to Redmond. So I talked to my Allstate insurance agent about adjusting my policy to reflect that lower mileage, figuring it would reduce the cost of my coverage. During that discussion, he recommended that I also drop collision coverage, because the car was very old, not worth much, and had been totaled once already; dropping collision coverage would further save me money, and my understanding was that it wasn't necessary given the state of my vehicle.

Well, now that I have been in a collision, I've learned how very very wrong that is. It turns out that the collision section of the policy seems to be the "customer service" section as well. Every time I've talked to my claims adjuster about moving my claim forward against the other insurance companies or getting paid for the damages I've suffered, I've been told "well, you don't have collision." You see, because I don't have collision coverage, Allstate apparently is not obliged to pay me for pretty much anything having to do with the car itself. They only had to pay me $50 for towing; to get recompensed for the $650 I had to pay to have it towed back to my home for storage, I have to go after the responsible party's insurance. They've already assessed the damage to my car, but apparently they don't have to pay me anything for it even though it's been totaled, because I don't have collision; I'll have to go after the responsible party's insurance. And so forth. And, because they don't have to pay me any money, they're telling me they have "nothing to pursue"; I'm unclear on exactly whether that's encoded in the law as such, but essentially they're telling me that they don't have to and aren't going to do anything to help me pursue my claims against the responsible party's insurance. The claims adjuster has made some phone calls in her efforts to contact the other people involved and their insurance companies, yes, but unsurprisingly the other parties and insurance companies have not been returning the calls, and my adjuster has left me with the strong impression that she feels there's nothing more that can be done to break this impasse. She made her calls, if they don't return them, that's it, it's out of Allstate's "good hands". 

On the personal injury side of my policy, a different Allstate claims adjuster has been somewhat more helpful, collecting information and paperwork from me and promptly paying out on my bills up to the limits of my coverage and however insurance companies determine what's an acceptable charge. But my initial visit to the hospital alone was more than double the limit of my personal injury coverage, and I'm still going to have some more bills coming in for the rehabilitation of my knee. I do, fortunately, still have my own health insurance policy, and that has kicked in too, but I have for me a fairly high annual deductible to meet, as well as co-payments and percentages that the insurance policy does not cover, and I'll have to go after the responsible party or their insurance once again to get all of that covered. Again, Allstate will be no help with that.

I'm rather angry about all of this. I understand that an insurance policy sets forth terms of what the insurance company will and will not do for me, and that I agreed to that. I understand that they can't do everything for me, and that there are legal and even simply practical business reasons governing what they will and will not help me with. But I still feel like I'm being left in the lurch. Allstate is meeting the letter of their policy with me, and not showing any consideration for the spirit of their relationship with me as a customer. I thought that the point of having auto insurance was so that I would be taken care of and helped out in the event of an accident, but apparently I'm sadly mistaken. "You're in good hands with Allstate"? As far as I can tell, I'm not in Allstate's hands anymore, they did their contractual part and have brushed me out of their hands. It's up to me now to do everything to try to get my expenses covered by the responsible party or parties.

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Comments

( 4 have written — Write )
(Anonymous)
Dec. 11th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
Consistent with what I've known
Years ago, my sister was involved in a head-on collision which was completely the other guy's fault (in her lane). Allstate was HIS carrier, and they refused to pay out. She ended having to sue them. This exhibitted in my opinion, bad-faith, and at the time anyway, the laws didn't force them to pay out. The epitome of the pettily-evil-and-corrupt insurance company.

Since then I've refused to every use them. I use State Farm, who are very good and competent. In the few collisions I've got into, they've done exactly as expected. If it's somebody else's fault, they take it on themselves to pursue it ALL the way, not just "if calls aren't returned."

You need to get away from those guys, find somebody good.

- PaulF
(Anonymous)
Jan. 28th, 2011 08:58 am (UTC)
You do a great job. Please keep on penning. Thank you
philaros
Jan. 28th, 2011 09:32 am (UTC)
Thanks, and thank you for reading!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 30th, 2011 08:34 am (UTC)
Thanks. Nice post. Was seeking some time. Seeking far more blogging of your stuff in the future.
( 4 have written — Write )

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