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Author Topic: Insurance idiocy (rant)
Belle
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Okay, so my 17 year old was in an accident last year. She had the right of way, and the other car clipped her. The other lady's car was damaged much more than ours was.

The police officer stated my daughter was not at fault in the accident. The insurance company did its review and stated she was not at fault. That was the end of it, so we thought.

Fast forward more than a year to now - our 6 month policy is up and we go to renew it and find our rates have jumped more than $70 a month. We call and inquire why, and are told that it's because of my daughter's at-fault accident. After several more phone calls we finally get in touch with someone who tells us that the other company appealed the decision. Our company's review board reviwed it and once again determined it was not my daughter's fault. At which point the other company appealed again and requested arbitration. The arbitration board decided that my daughter was, in fact, at fault even though the police officer said she was not and two separate reviews said she was not. Personally, I think the only thing my daughter was guilty of was being 16.

So now my daughter has an accident on her record that clearly, positively was not her fault. [Wall Bash]

So my husband tells the insurance guy on the phone that by this time tomorrow we will not have insurance with them. So we called the gecko and turns out we get a discount for being government employees and it turns out we'll be paying less than we were before the rate was raised.

All's well that ends well, I guess, but I'm still mad about it. [Mad]

But I got to thinking about it, and what a really stupid decision on our insurance company's part - to raise our rates, even though they had agreed she was not at fault - prompting us to immediately drop them for another carrier. Had they not done that, we would probably have been paying customers for years to come and they would have more than made back the money they had to pay out to fix the other driver's car. We are very good customers, by the way - no speeding tickets by any of us, no at-fault accidents (except this one, now) and we pay electronically on time every month. Now we will be very good customers of Geico instead.

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rivka
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The trouble with insurance arbitration is that most arbitrators have a split-the-baby attitude. I suspect that the results were actually not that she was 100% at fault, but maybe 20% -- still ridiculous, but a teeny bit more understandable.

Not much, though. [Razz]

I'm glad you are saving money on the deal. How long in your state before the accident falls off her record? And is there a way to have the file annotated?

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katharina
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Just a major plug for Geico. I love them - lowest rates every time I check (once a year for the past ten years) and impeccable service. The last time I totaled my car, I had a check in my hands within 24 hours, and it WAS my fault. And my rate is still much less than anywhere else.

Now I'm going to check if I can get it even cheaper for being a government employee.

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Belle
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That's good to hear, katharina. I wasn't trying to do a commercial for them, and since we've had them for a total of 2 days now I don't know much about them.

They told my hubby that we received discounts because he's a firefighter and I'm a teacher - I'm assuming there would be similar discounts for other govt. employees. Definitely check it out!

rivka, I think it's three years, so we still have two to go. I think the arbitration said 50% her fault, which is ridiculous, the accident report clearly stated she had the right of way and the other lady pulled out into her lane! [Mad]

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rivka
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That's just obnoxious. [Razz]
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Stephan
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Belle -

For the future in most states you can go to the state insurance administration and complain about a rate increase like that one. The company then has to put off your rate increase until your claim has been examined.

In this case it worked out anyways as you are now paying lower rates. Just to be sure, did you tell Geico about the at fault on her record? If they find it later without having known about it they can retroactively increase the rate.

When I used to sell Erie Auto I could always beat Geico for people with great records. Allstate was 50/50, if it was a government employee I didn't even bother quoting them most of the time. Allstate does offer a discount for people coming from Geico though.

Tip: Stick with your same carrier for 3 - 5 years if you can before shopping around. Many carriers offer higher discounts for customers that have been with prior carriers longer AND had prior high libaility.

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Geraine
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I had the same type of issue when I was involved in an accident about 6 years ago. The other insurance agency started to dispute who was at fault. Luckily I have quite a few family friends that practice law, so one did me a favor and called the insurance company and spoke to them. I had a check a week later for twelve grand.
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Belle
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Stephan, we absolutely disclosed the accident and the 50% at fault ruling to Geico. They know about it. [Smile]
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The Rabbit
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Even though you've worked out the insurance issue for now, you might want to go to the state insurance administration to try to get the at fault accident off your daughters record.
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MattP
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Would there be any public record of that if the insurance companies decided that between themselves in arbitration?
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scifibum
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So, I don't mean to imply that your daughter was at all in fault in this case.

However, in general, I can understand why insurance companies raise rates after accidents even when the insured is not at fault. Defensive drivers are less likely to get in accidents even when others are at fault; getting in any kind of accident would correlate to some extent to non-defensive driving habits.

From an actuarial point of view, not being at fault doesn't mean an accident isn't an indicator of higher risk. (triple negative bonus)

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capaxinfiniti
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Defensive drivers are less likely to get in accidents even when others are at fault; getting in any kind of accident would correlate to some extent to non-defensive driving habits.

i dont think the correlation is signficant. for example, rear-end collisions are a very common accident and are hard to avoid. drivers dont stare in the rear-view watching approaching cars and if you did notice a car approaching too fast, attempting to avoid the collision could result in an even more deadly crash, such as turning into oncoming traffic, or could create a series of accidents for which you would be cited.

rear-ends, blind driveways, corners etc, black ice, debris in the road, running red lights; there are many hazards on the road. defensive driving alone cant protect you from inattentive and just plain stupid drivers.

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BlackBlade
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This precise thing happen to my brother. A deaf girl was pulling out of Arbys, and trying to fetch something out of the bottom of her cabin while pulling out. We stopped our car and honked for something like 5 seconds before she plowed into us.

The cop indicated it was clearly her fault, unless there's a way we could have attacked her car with the side of ours. We should have gotten her statement of fault at the scene because it went to arbitration, and they decided both drivers were at fault. It was really lame.

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Just a major plug for Geico. I love them - lowest rates every time I check (once a year for the past ten years) and impeccable service. The last time I totaled my car, I had a check in my hands within 24 hours, and it WAS my fault. And my rate is still much less than anywhere else.

Now I'm going to check if I can get it even cheaper for being a government employee.

It must be where you live, because every time I check they are really high. We have no accidents on our records either.

I have heard a lot of great things about them, and several of my out of state friends use them because they agree with you. Not trying to bash the company or anything, I just always find how they calculate these things very weird. There is just so much variance....

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