Problem with car insurance company....greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Well I have a problem. Someone totalled my husbands car last week. The insurance company finally made us an offer this week, the problem is if we pick the check up today the funds won't clear till next week and the rental car ends Sunday. There is no way my husband can miss work to look for a car, so that only leaves weekends. Problem is we won't have the money to buy a car this weekend which means it will be the following weekend before we can buy a car.
In the meantime we're a car short. Since we can't afford the $30 a day for a rental car for hubby he's going to have to borrow my van which leaves me stuck at home with the kids all week. I can't take him to work and drop him off and then pick him up as he works an hour each way from where we live.
It just doesn't seem fair that someone wrecks our car and we're inconvenienced like this. Hubby already missed a day of work the day of the accident. Now we're going to have to give up a couple of weekends and I'm going to be without a car. Not to mentioned that I am having a hard time finding something economical to run in our price range ($1900 insurance check).I also feel like we're under a lot of pressure to buy something - not necessarily what we want or need.
-- anita in NC (email@example.com), October 11, 2001
I'm not sure about your state, but when I had my car totaled, and they wanted to give me less than I owed on it, I called the insurance board for my state. They said that if I wasn't happy with the amount they were going to give me, they had to get me a car.
How they figure it here, in California, is they look in the want ads for your area, for the same car and get what the going rate is for it used, same amenities and mileage, then they give you the lowest amount. If you don't want to take the money, you can get the same comperable car...they buy the least expensive one and then you don't have to worry about no more car, and no rental car, etc. I would check into it before you take the check.
You pay your insurance company good money every month to protect you from situations like this. Funny how they turn once money has to come out of thier pocket.
-- Wendy Antes (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 11, 2001.
Yes, pity the poor insurance companys, they lose money every year paying out to the claims and thats exactly why they stay in business and they lose money investing your payments into their portfolios, isn't this a tragedy? Or maybe just an entire load of bullfeathers?
-- mitch hearn (email@example.com), October 11, 2001.
Anita, I know how you feel. I'm the one who asked on this forum if we should get a lawyer or not. I think we are going to have to. My wife was involved in a wreck and we lost our car. My wife was hurt and hasn't been able to work so we are losing lost wages also. We asked the insurance company about it and they said we would be payed for the lost wages but it would be in the final settlement. Which could be months away. But until then some of our monthly bills are not going to be paid unless I can find a loan from a friend or relative.(I don't have any rich uncles either).
I'll keep you in my prayers so that we both can overcome the battle.
-- r.h. in okla. (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 11, 2001.
They generally look in the Kelly Blue Book or similar publication, and if they didn't (and came up with some way out of line number), you can challenge them based on that. Make sure you have the correct mileage, proof that you took it in for regular service, any warranties (like extended care) that would have transferred had you sold the car privately, stereos, etc. There is "high blue book" and "low blue book". Then you could also go after them for extra rental car money/ time if they screwed up.
I know you're worried about not having the car, but they did get you a check, even if you're not happy with it (that is a separate matter). Do you have any "rent a wreck" places in your area? They aren't too expensive. Can he carpool in the meantime (like call the local rideshare program in your area)? Public transportation?
You say the check won't clear soon. Is that because it is out of state or that the balance in your account is too low to cover it, or it's an insurance company no one's ever heard of? Our credit union always calls on checks that they think are weird for some reason for all customers, and we have never had a problem. I think it is an 800 number they call, and they read them the account number showing on the check. $1900 is nothing to a bank, so they may be stalling, thinking you don't know any better.
We're always shopping mentally for our next car (we've had ours for a while) so we know pretty much what we'd get if something happenned. You might try going after the owner of the other car for the difference in small claims court, but the insurance company has fulfilled its obligation by getting you the check, and the judge would probably see it that way too. What is a reasonable time to give to go out and get a car? 1 week, 2 months, 6 months? Insurance premiums would go through the roof if they had to pay for long-term rentals.
-- GT (email@example.com), October 11, 2001.
This may be a hail mary solution anita . . . but would it be possible for your husband to stay in town during the week, then you pick him up / drop him off on the weekends? I know that a cheap hotel could give him a weekly rate.
Or would a friendly co worker have temporary lodging for him at his / her place, even a travel trailer? Your husband could car pool to work.
Or would his employer allow him to stay overnight in the office? Food and washing facilities might be lacking, but fast food - sponge baths solve those problems.
Incidentally, you can sometimes find cheap cars in junkyards, where the owners mate a good engine from a "totalled" car to a car with a shot engine. This will take some luck, but you might take a look and see what you can find. I hope some of these suggestions might help. The long and short is; don't give up. You can always handle a little more than you think you can.
-- j.r. guerra (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 11, 2001.
You should not be paying for a rental car in the first place. Assuming the someone else was not you and the car was hit by another vehicle then that insurance company should be paying for your car and the rental car until payment is made. I could be contacting your company who in turn should be contacting the other personal insurance.
-- Gary (email@example.com), October 11, 2001.
First, the other person's insurance should cover your car rental fees. Second, what's with the "check clearing" problem? Assuming it's a reputable insurance company, you should have no problem cashing it and using the money -- assuming also that you don't have a history of depositing checks that bounce. Third, if you have a friend who is an attorney or works for one, often just a phone call -- "Hello, I'm so-and-so, attorney at law, and I represent the Holton family..." -- will have wondrous affects on unhelpful bureaucracies. (Voice of experience here.)
Last option: So OK, you might have to stay home alone with the kids during the day for a week. It could be worse -- you could be staying home alone with the kids for the rest of your life if the accident had been more serious. Maybe a look on the bright side will make it more tolerable.
-- Cash (Cash@andcarry.com), October 11, 2001.
Well my hubby managed to get the check and cash it. Always thought the checks took 3 days to clear once you put them into your account, or perhaps that's for peoples personal checks and not checks from a large company. He also talked them into extending the rental for a couple more days at their expense so that should help.
Thanks for all the advice.
-- anita in NC (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 11, 2001.
I had my car backed into. It was an old car and not worth much. What happened the other insurance company totalled the car, then ask me if I wanted to keep the car or surender it to them. Since it was still drivable I keep the car, they cut me a check for what the car was worth minus what the wrecking yard would pay. My husband replaced the hood, grille, and headlight. About the check, the bank won't release the money untill the check clears because it is a cirtified check. The insurance company was State Farm, so it doesn't matter what insurance company it's from, that is the bank's rules. Unless you already have money to cover the amount of the check in the account already.
-- ruby (email@example.com), October 11, 2001.
A certified check is like a money order and can be cashed immediately-- regardless of the amount of money in your account. This is why you have to bring certified checks to escrow when you close on a house. The money has already been taken out of their account. Ruby, if your bank is playing that game I'd get another bank.
Gary is right, and so is Cash--the other insurance company is responsible for the car rental fees, but only until they pay you the check, which they did. Cashing problems on your side are not and should not be their concern. They were nice to give you a couple extra days-- they were not legally obligated to do so.
Credit unions if you are a member, often have good deals on cars.
-- GT (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 11, 2001.
Let me guess. You ae insured with a Mutual Insurance Co. Where the adjuster works for the Company rather than a Independent Agency where the agent works for you. I have been had by three Mutual Companys before I learned. I am a slow learner.
-- Mel Kelly (email@example.com), October 11, 2001.