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Anything I can do?? Insurance Question(12 posts)

Anything I can do?? Insurance QuestionKristin
Feb 4, 2003 12:25 PM
Last year I was turned down by three insurance companies and waited 2 months for the one to underwrite me all because of an accident in 2000. At the scene, I had done the dumbest thing in the world--I admitted fault. Later, it turns out, I wasn't at fault. During the claim process, adjuster told me that they were paying this as an uninsured motorist claim--something she now denies and asserts that they found me at fault. ARRRGGGHHH! The other driver was uninsured and didn't speak a word of English, and the police interviewed me as the put me in an ambulance and I was disoriented. (They did come to the hospital to follow up, but they didn't read me the report or anything. They just asked if everything I said was true. I said, "yes.") Not to mention that the report contains serious errors. So it looks like I just can't proove my innocence in this. Is there anything I can do?

If you need to hear the story, here it is: I was trying to find a store and thought I might have passed it. I decided to turn around and go back west, so I pulled into the inside lane of the double lane highway and slowed down. Suddenly saw the store on the right so I did a "very-quick" shoulder check and noticed a van behind me in the other lane. I estimated that I had time to cross the lane, slow down and make my turn. (I remember him being 4 car lengths back.) I changed lanes, slowed quickly and began to turn. As I did all this, I noticed him in my rear-view just as he hit me. My car spun around. I tried to get out, but my neck really felt weird, so I waited for the police. I never saw the damage. I think I got the impression that he'd hit me on the side of the car--that I'd pulled straight across his path--because the car had spun. So I told the police that I had cut him off. Later I discovered that he'd rear-ended me straight on and I remembered that I should have had enough time. I spun around because my wheels were slightly turned when he hit me. So I was wrong. Since the guy spoke no English, I had no way of knowing if he was even interviewed by the police.
Feb 4, 2003 12:47 PM
If you get in an accident, you represent risk, and risk is bad for an insurance company. It's worse if the accident is your fault, but your rates will go up even if it wasn't. That's how insurance works. They're only happy with you if you never cost or threaten to cost them money. If a piano falls from the sky and crushes your car, even though it's not your fault, you have acquired a bad mojo (not exactly insurance parlance), and you can bet your rates will go up.

If you were turned down by three companies, I suspect they either only want perfect drivers or you have some other things in your closet. In any case, the only solution is time. Two or three years from now, if you are ticket-free and accident-free, you shouldn't have a problem getting insurance. After seven to ten years of no accidents/no tickets, all your sins will be washed away and you will be considered perfect again.
No other skeletons. One minor speeding ticket 3 years agoKristin
Feb 4, 2003 1:00 PM
That wasn't suposed to show up on my record. But that combined with an accident that looks like my fault--though isn't really my fault. Pushes me over the edge. These were all A+ Best companies, and the one I finally got into increased my rates within a year, so I'm going back to the B market. The A companies seem to be grouchy and difficult to deal with. I was just hoping there was a way I could clear up my record BEFORE putting in the signed app. with this new company.
you have encountered the insurance catch 22ColnagoFE
Feb 4, 2003 1:07 PM
to get low rates you can't have accidents, but you buy insurance to protect yourself in the event of an accident. insurance companies are out to make $ (and they do make good money contrary to what some think) and will drop you like a hot potato when you do something wrong. then you are forced to buy expensive insurance where the insurer charges enough to pay off the increased claims that its less desirable drivers have more of statistically.
What business are insurance companies in?Turtleherder
Feb 4, 2003 1:30 PM
This is from an old insurance guy. "Insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums, not paying claims." If they think you will cost them money they won't insure you.
If you ever have a driving-age son, you'll REALLY get nailedcory
Feb 5, 2003 8:54 AM
Why people hate insurance companies, No. 1864: My wife and I had been married 23 years when our son turned 16. Neither of us had had an accident or made any other insurance claim while we were married, and our only claim TOTAL in a combined 38 years of driving was a minor fenderbender when I was 19.
But when my son got his license--not his own car, just a license--our rates tripled. That was six years ago (he's still in school, so still on our policy), and we've paid more than $20,000 in premiums in that time. I made one $400 claim last year when a deer jumped into the side of my car and dented the door, our only incident in 29 years. AAARG
Feb 5, 2003 9:05 AM
If the son is not driving your cars, you can exclude him from your policy and not suffer the rate hike, can't you?

Of course, that means he can't drive, unless he finds someone to lend him an insured car. Cars (and drivers of those cars while in those cars) are insured, not people.

Nooooo, you can notKristin
Feb 5, 2003 11:53 AM
You can only exclude him if he is not licensed. AND EVEN THEN, some states still allow the insurance company to charge an additional rate just for having unlicensed teens living in the house--simply because they create a risk (i.e. they could steal the car on a Saturday night). I used to deal with angry parents all the time who got hit with these rates. But insurance companies are allowed (at least companies insuring NY residents from 1991-1994) to surcharge a policy as soon as any teen becomese licensed.
how'd they know he got his lisence?ColnagoFE
Feb 5, 2003 10:05 AM
do they run a check for stuff like that? seems that unless you called them and put him on your policy they shouldn't be rasing your rates. he theoretically could supply his own insurance--and not neccesarily from the company you use either.
Well, you need the insurance stillKristin
Feb 5, 2003 11:57 AM
If you fail to claim a driver on a policy and then let him/her drive the car, you become liable, and the insurer doesn't have to cover the damages. God forbid, but if your son runs head on into a Corvette, don't you want the insurance company to pay for it? (BTW, When I was 19, I pulled in front of a brand new (one day old) Bronco which promptly swerved and ran head on into a Corvette. It happens.)
Anything you can do? Try taking the bus...The Walrus
Feb 5, 2003 12:37 PM
Let me get this straight--you're traveling in the right-hand lane, slide over to the left and slow down, then pull back into the right-hand lane, in front of this van, slow quickly and get rammed. How, exactly, is this not your fault? Using the "1 car length/10 mph" rule of thumb, a distance of 4 car lengths and a speed of 35-40 mph (?), there's not much chance you wouldn't have gotten hit. It's unfortunate that you were injured, but as far as your insurance situation goes, you need to just suck it up and learn from this experience.

...and then there's that business with the Bronco and the 'vette!
Hey, that's not exactly what I saidKristin
Feb 5, 2003 1:41 PM
I was in the inside lane for a good 2 minutes before changing back to the right hand lane. You make it sound like I was weaving or something. I wasn't. The only thing I know about the distance is that my adjuster--before she changed her story--said that if he was 4 car lengths back it was enough to make him at fault. I don't really understand your math. A person traveling at 45 MPH (speed limit there) should be able to stop their car in 40 feet. Besides, the skid marks were only 4 feet long, suggesting that he didn't even see me until the last second. Suck it up. I guess I have no choice.

And hey! the Vette accident was when I was 19. Every teen is allowed one big "I blew it." That was mine. And I was thorough. Actually, the chick in the corvette was 17 and was flagging drivers through a one-way stop to be nice. I really couldn't tell the suble difference between her, "Please go in front of me, I'll wait" waive and her, "No, stop there's a truck coming," waive. So sue me. Actually, they did. I lost my car, had to quit my job and move back to campus where I was forced to live with the "I'll stab you in your sleep if you piss me off" psycho-snorer. I couldn't get out of assigned risk for 5 years. Believe me, I paid.