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Old 10-23-2014, 09:28 AM   #1
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Accident Forgiveness - AKA Bull Pucky!

A guilty pleasure is watching "Mad Men" about how Madison Avenue packages poop and makes it smell like rosebuds. If you are even considering changing insurance companies please try to get past the "Mad" spin about rates.

First of all, lowest premiums - often mean second or third rate coverage with many exclusions and high deductibles. AND you can wait for way too long to get a claim paid. You can also find that your own insurance company won't help you when another company tries to imply that you were at fault when you weren't. We actually had an employee whose PARKED car was hit by an elderly woman who hit the gas instead of the brake. The employee was not in the car or even within a mile of his car. Yet on three separate occasions the other company tried to shift responsibility to him, and we actually had to call and confirm that he was driving a company vehicle making deliveries while HI truck was legally parked in it's normally designated space. Sheesh!

Deductible - DO NOT concentrate too much on how high your deductible is. Instead look at the upper limit your insurance will pay. If the most your insurance will pay out on a single accident is $100,000... what happens to you financially when you (heaven forbid) paralyze or kill someone else? First you get sued for millions and in truth, that is what it might take to care for someone who will live for 30 years with a serious disability. You might lose your home, your retirement savings, your child's college fund... and still have a lien against future earnings for the rest of your life. Most people couldn't EASILY afford a $3000-$5000 deductible, but wow, risking THAT and having a $25 million umbrella policy might be a far more cost effective investment in insurance.

And last but not least "Accident Forgiveness" Due to personal experience I'm now paying $50 more every six months for the accident I had last year... No one else involved. No Proven road hazard or equipment failure. Mea culpa, by all reasonable insurance and personal standards. Here's the funny part - funny peculiar more than funny haha - but my agent tried to sell me on adding "accident forgiveness" to my policy about 2 months before I had my first EVER accident that went to an insurance claim. OH, adding accident forgiveness would have cost me $50 more every six months.
Well D'oh!
How about that sports fans? Pay for an accident you haven't yet had, and get forgiven when or IF it happens.
Most people who pay for accident forgiveness will be paying for YEARS for an accident that could well be someone else's fault when it happens.

I rolled the dice and DID have an accident. But I might have gone another 10 years without having one. And now of course I'm super paranoid about alertness, never driving even an extra ten miles if I'm the least bit tired, always ignoring my cell phone, taking a driver improvement course, and on and on.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:40 AM   #2
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Good info, Paula.

Thank you.


Maggie
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:20 AM   #3
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Over the last couple of years I've sensed a disturbing change in my dealings with my home/auto/boat/RV insurance company of 40 years.

Even though I've had nothing but a few very minor claims in those 40 years, I am now treated as a suspect rather than a customer. My agent does not look out for me - only for how much he can raise my rates. The insurance company underwriters seem to now have far far wider arbitrary and subjective power to raise rates and deny coverage.

Maybe someone here knows better about what is changng in the industry but I sense that state insurance regulators/commissions have dropped any pretense of protecting the consumer and now are just in bed with the insurance companies
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
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If figured if you want "accident foregiveness" that meant paying more for that "feature" in your premium. Just another way for them to get more prepaid money for something you may not need for years. To insurance companies we are all statistics to them. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 10-23-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
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As understand it the role of insurance companies used to be the sharing of risk among it's members/customers. Insurance companies have now morphed into financial institutions who view their role as profit optimization.
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minke View Post
As understand it the role of insurance companies used to be the sharing of risk among it's members/customers. Insurance companies have now morphed into financial institutions who view their role as profit optimization.
It has actually been that way all along. An insurance company is not a non-profit organization. It's a business and its function is to provide a serviceó insuranceó at the highest price the customers will stand, while paying out the minimum the courts allow, in order to maximize profits to the shareholders.

It's just that in the last decade, with massive payouts due to natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the insurance companies can't afford to sugar-coat it anymore. They have to make up the losses and they're not shy about doing it.
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:54 PM   #7
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"Accident Forgiveness", it is not. My husband had a small fender bender coming out of a sporting event. Fender bender in the truest sense of the word. It bent the guys fender in the corner, he had to have it replaced. Never hit a Jaguar, very expensive fenders. We had Liberty Mutual at the time. We had been with them for sixteen years, with no accidents. This included the boys cars, we were insuring five cars at the time. No problem with Liberty Mutual they forgave, but they didn't forget. We were forced to change insurance company because they were canceling home owners insurance policy's because they have redrawn the fire maps in California and don't like our neighborhood any more. That is a whole other story.we went with State Farm. They sent us a letter accused us of lying about never having an accident. They wanted the police report (there was none) and were very upset, even asking if anyone was killed, or injured. Liberty Mutual must have told them something terrible happened. Now for State Farm, they couldn't find the Airstream Interstate and kept insisting we were misinformed about the manufacturer of the vehicle. My patient husband got them straightened out. We pick up our 2015 InterstateEXT Grand Tour on Saturday. I can't wait.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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Two things:
1. Insurance companies don't get rich off collecting premiums and paying out claims. They take the money and invest it in the stock market. That's where they really make their money, when times are good. When times are bad, premiums go up so that they can maintain the same profit ratio.

2. I've been with the same insurance company since I learned to drive, over 20 years now, with only a few minor claims up until a couple years ago. My policy premium page says, "You've been with us for over 10 years, so there will be no surcharge for at-fault accidents!" Well, I had an at-fault accident (which I believe wasn't entirely my fault, but it was entirely blamed on me) 20 years into the policy, and my premium went up. There was no surcharge, but they canceled a couple discounts I apparently had going. It might be different to them, but to me it means my rate went up and would be decreasing again some time in the future - i.e., a surcharge.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:57 PM   #9
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One of the problems with insurance threads is that the laws/rules vary from state to state so any comparisons are apples to oranges.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:06 PM   #10
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More like comparing horse and cow droppings. They are both the same product, but smell slightly differently when fresh. :roll eyes:
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:20 PM   #11
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Like a good neighbor state farm is there. What ever happened to that comercial or mindset. The good old days are gone
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:56 PM   #12
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Follow the $$$... I recall some years back, when I was told..
"It is NOT what is RIGHT, it is HOW MUCH it will cost!"
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Like a good neighbor state farm is there. What ever happened to that comercial or mindset. The good old days are gone
Insurance is becoming a racket.

My "good neighbor" agent of 40 some years screwed me big time on my house insurance.

An underwriter somewhere decided my house needed some roof/soffit maintenance based on a photo. As a home contractor, I assured them it was in no danger of leaking and even invited the agent out to explain.

I later learned both he and an independent inspector had entered my property without notification or permission, taken photos, even peered through the windows in the process and taken photos. Needless to say I was outraged.

I and my family found a new insurance company for our cars, houses, boats and RVs. State Farm clearly did not want our business.
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:52 AM   #14
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Catastrophy - NOT Fender Benders

I've been friends for many years with two insurance agents. Both give the same advice privately.... If it's minor DO NOT call the insurance company, just pay for it privately.

Just starting an insurance claim puts the same "ding" on your status as a customer as would happen if you had a big claim for a serious accident. Another friend of mine believes that insurance is there to be used. So he has a $500 deductible, and someone scrapes his door in a parking lot (it might have been a shopping cart... really a dimple more than anything else) so he files a claim, he gets a tear in a fiberglass bumper, files a claim, has his antenna broken off files a claim... and in two of the three cases the damage is less than his $500 deductible. The company canceled his policy because he had 3 claims in a single year.

Me, I've always carried $1000 deductible. I get a scratch on my door and pay for it myself. I total the truck and the trailer, get paid reasonably fast and reasonably fair, my premiums go up $50 every six months, and then some jerk dings my Airstream and drives off. I go to Jackson Center and everyone has trouble understanding why I want to pay a $3K+ bill without reference to insurance? Because I know a second claim in less than a year is going to bring me to the attention of the carrier for the Airstream and for the EcoBoost - probably to the tune of $500 every six months.

No thank you.

I've never hurt another human being in a wreck - killed 2 deer over the years - but if I did do serious damage to someone else's property or person (or to my precious self for that matter) I want to be ABLE to afford really good insurance. So life's minor dings and dents will either remain on the vehicles or be repaired at my cost. In the end I believe I'm saving money.

I do subscribe to rampant superstition though - every time I get a minor blemish repaired it seems that I get a new "whacko" right where I just had paint or body work done. Life's little irony is it not?

Paula
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