Friday, August 17, 2007

What a joke insurance is

I started out mad and I stayed mad on Monday morning. I had to get up at 4:00am in order to catch the first ferry to the mainland. I had an appointment with the insurance adjuster at 9:00am. He was going to inspect the damage to my car, estimate the cost to repair and help me file a claim. You know, all the typical insurance crap.

We arrived at the insurance office at 8:45am. No biggie. I knew we were early. Finally, at 9:15am I had had enough. So I called him on his cell phone. He said he would be there in ten minutes. I said you are already 15 minutes late. Is this how this company does business? Maybe I should renew my insurance with another company. He was there in five minutes.

He took a look at the car, took a look at my policy and then made a few phone calls. When he hung up he advised me that I probably should not file a claim. Why? Because the cost to repair the car was less than my deductible. Ok, that makes sense. So what is my deductible?

I thought it was 5% of the cost of any repairs. At least that was how it was explained to me at the time of purchase. But no. The policy actually says 5% of the commercial value of the vehicle! So, if you have a $100,000 car, the deductible would be $5000 and so on. Since the policy does not state what the "commercial value" of my car is/was at the time of purchasing the policy, I asked what the commercial value was. Surprise, surprise. He didn't know!

Know I ask you, how could he know that the cost was less than 5% of my commercial value if he had no clue as to the commercial value? I smelled a rat. I insisted I needed to know the commercial value of my car so we went inside to the manager's office. This guy spoke a little English so things got just a bit easier. The manager had no idea of the value either!

The manager made a few phone calls and finally told me, very proudly, that my car has a commercial value of $61,500. That's pesos folks. So about $6,150 USD. I made him write it out and date and sign it and give it to me for my records. It may prove handy when I renew my policy in March of next year.

Next I followed the agent to the recommended garage, which is very close to the car ferry. I looked the place over and talked with the mechanic. Everything seemed in order and he said that he could fix the car, labor, paint, etc for $2500 pesos. Or about $250 USD. So when I get a chance, I'll take the car back over to Cancun and leave it for 3 days to be fixed. Actually, I know in my heart that it will be more like 5-7 days, if I'm lucky! But that's not going to happen until we see what Hurricane Dean is going to do. I am really starting to fear this one. He is getting huge.

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