Tuesday 30 June 2015

Me vs The Insurance Monopoly

You may remember a while back our truck was viciously attacked by a rogue deer. The brute leapt wildly out in front of our truck in what I can only imagine was a poorly conceived game of chicken, and it lost.

While the deer became less alive, our truck didn’t come out completely unscathed. Because of the moronic choices of a misguided deer, our bumper and headlight sustained irreparable damage, and honestly, we were lucky that no one was hurt. I hate deer.

This brings us to present-day. We’ve now been waiting 10 months for parts to come in to repair our truck. I realize that our weird little import isn’t the most common of vehicles, but seriously?!? Ten months? I could have flown to Japan, had a new vehicle made from scratch, shipped it over here on a boat, and brought it home in less time than it’s taken to not get my bumper fixed. 

I could have created an ENTIRE HUMAN in less time than it’s taken to not fix my truck.

Enter the insurance company.

Here in BC we suffer from an insurance company monopoly. There are technically other options, but really, there isn’t. You are required to deal first with the monopoly, and then you can opt for additional coverage elsewhere. I get that the ultimate goal was an attempt at insurance consistency, but what has actually happened is that customers are being painted into a really expensive corner.

At first the insurance company was all for covering the repair costs for the truck. We took it in, had the body shop assess the damage, and the parts were ordered. Then we waited. And waited. Then they called us to let us know the parts were coming. Then they weren’t coming anymore. Then they were. Then there was some kind of dock workers strike and the parts were stuck somewhere. Then they arrived damaged/the wrong part/were made of chicken/didn’t fit, pick an excuse. Suffice to say, there were delays.

So, now some ten months later we get a call. The local insurance monopoly has decided that getting the parts is just too hard, despite them not actually being the ones doing the “getting”. Details. We’ve been informed that they will no longer pay to have the parts brought in and installed, but will instead pay us out for some of the damages, and it’s up to us to source the parts and repair the vehicle. 

I’m guessing the payout will be somewhere in the realm of $7. It’s like the insurance company just gave up and said fuck it, you deal with it. 

I pay you for insurance so that when something happens to my car, and it isn’t just a write-off, you fix it. You shouldn’t get to piss off when the task at hand isn’t super easy and you don’t want to do it anymore. I pay you to deal with this shit so I don’t have to. But now I have to.

If I’d known 10 months ago that I was going to get strung along and then dropped on my ass when the level of inconvenience got too high, I would have gone a different route. I wish now that I’d had the foresight to collect the offending deer carcass and strap it to my bumper in homage to Mad Max and Thunderdome. It could serve as a warning to other deer about the dangers of being profoundly stupid. It would probably also act as a theft deterrent, because really, no one wants to steal a truck belonging to someone who would use a dead deer as a bumper.

So now I’m left (carcass-less) to find or make a bumper for an import vehicle that is difficult to get parts for, and to do the job that the insurance company doesn’t feel like doing, despite relentlessly taking my money to do so.

I’m hoping there is a special kind of hell devoted strictly to insurance companies.

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