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Friday, January 11, 2013

How a Crap Insurance Company Treats its Customers

How a Crap Insurance Company Treats its Customers.

Alan Himmel


 Over the years I have had the misfortune to have to deal with certain insurance companies that, for the most part are existing for the purpose of ripping policy holder's off.  I am not going to mention any names, but if you google the three words, "Deny, Delay, Dont pay," you will be able to track down the name of this insurance carrier.

Luckily I have not had to deal with this company in several years, ever since I picked up my practice and moved 60 miles north.  Better for me anyway, because I was commuting down to this rancid insurance area just to try to help injured people, and oh yeah, actually be compensated for my work.  Some insurance carriers specifically target poor people who could hardly read or understand English.  Its very easy to rip off people who are uneducated.

So, as I was sitting here and had a few minutes, I was just reminiscing about a situation that a patient had a number of years ago with this insurance company.

What happened was a patient of mine was in an accident with his new pickup truck.  It seems he was crossing an intersection and ran a red light.  The accident caused substantial damage to his car and his car had to be towed.  Since it was a brand new Toyota, he told the tow truck driver to bring it to the local Toyota dealership for repair, which is where he just bought it.  He reported the claim to his insurance company and they sent an adjuster out to the body shop and estimated the damage to be about $2200.  The body shop on the other hand told the insurance company that the damages were closer to $8000, and there was no way that any body shop could repair the truck for the amount the insurance company was willing to pay.  So, since the body shop would not start the work, and the insurance company would not allow the correct amount to make the repairs, my patient's pickup truck remained at the body shop for several months.  My patient was adamant that the repairs be done correctly and at the Toyota dealership since the truck was only 2 months old.  The insurance company stated that they have no problem with him doing the repairs there, but they will not pay any more than $2200 to do the job.

Long and short of it, was that after several months at the Toyota body shop, the dealership called my patient and told him that he had to remove his vehicle, and he now had several thousand dollars in storage fees that must be paid to the dealership in order for the dealership to release his car  He has been paying the loan on his new truck the whole time the car was at the shop.  He was also paying for his insurance.  At this point, since he did not have the money to release his truck from the dealership, he decided to just abandon the truck.  He lost his truck, all the payments toward it, and his down payment. Not to mention, he also lost all the insurance premiums he paid.  Oh, and his PIP was paid at about 10 cents on the dollar to me.  I had to file a law suit to get the PIP paid, which took almost three years.

I would like to hear some other people who have had disasters dealing with insurance companies.  It can be any insurance company.  Anywhere in any state.  If you have an interesting story, lets hear it.