Could you allow me space in your paper to comment on what I feel are some very serious problems with insurance in the residential and automobile sector in the province?
I want buyers to beware of the advertising from the companies and all the goodies they say they offer at cheaper rates. Cheaper rates are not always the best solution and, I might be quick to add, that a more expensive rate wouldn’t be any better.
I have had occasion to have had two insurance claims in the last four years, one for automobile insurance and one which I am currently in the process of pursuing for the complete loss of my residential property through a fire.
I am hesitant to comment in great detail on the one with my fire since it is ongoing and I don’t want to name names or get into the specifics of the claim.
Suffice it to say my purpose at this time is to make buyers aware of what the ads offer and the rates so you can decide for yourself on what to pursue by way of an insurance policy.
First, let’s look at my auto policy, which caused me a great deal of grief a few years ago when I had an auto accident.
I called the agent while I was at the accident scene and, while my car had almost $6,000 in damage, I could drive it home. I went to the RNC and gave a statement and they didn’t determine a cause and left it at that.
Next morning, while I was asleep, I got a call from the adjuster to give a statement.
I wasn’t in any shape to give a statement but she did ask me a few questions and indicated that I should take my vehicle to a certain garage for repairs as that was their preferred garage to have the work done. Says a lot about having a choice in where one can get their vehicle done.
Well, they provided me with a rental car with no mention that if I went over the days allocated for the rental, it was my responsibility to pay, even if it was the garage’s and or insurance company’s fault if it went over the allocated time.
In my case, it did, and they were going to take the rental vehicle away, since my car wasn’t repaired and some of the parts weren’t in. But to quote them, they “didn’t have any choice.”
Well, after many phone calls and some pretty heated conversations, they came to an arrangement to pay for the extra days. Needless to say I was never satisfied with the job they did and, after taking the vehicle back several times, I gave up with the minor problems.
Secondly, let’s go to my house fire. I had my house completely destroyed by fire in December 2012. With it one year later and still not settled, I want to make buyers aware of some of the things in policies that could cause you a lot of grief and affect your claim.
• Make sure if you have a house fire and you’re having problems, you file a statement of claim within one year of the date of the fire as the statue of limitations runs out within one year. In my case, we have the claim filed.
• Make sure when the agent advises you of your coverage, you get a clear and complete breakdown of what is included in your policy. In my case, I had the agent advise one thing and now a different light is trying to be shed on the matter. (Don’t believe the ads which promote insurers as cheaper.) Make sure you have it explained what will happen if you have a claim.
• Make sure house coverage contains guaranteed replacement coverage and also have it explained what has been ruled by the courts about what a cash settlement would be in comparison to replacement cost or fair market value. Don’t go by what they lead you to believe.
• Your personal contents and clothing are things they will fight you tooth and nail on. They pretty much want the serial number from everything you had in the house and where you bought it.
• Don’t think for one minute if you have what you think is a good coverage policy, that is what your going to get. They will try and drive you down as low as they can and it won’t be with the same quickness as when they take your monthly premium out of your bank account.
I am still fighting the good fight and if anyone out there would like more information and have had, or is in the process of, seeking a company, don’t hesitate to contact me. I can’t put in any more details as my case is in court, but I certainly can give you some guidance on where and how to proceed.
I may be contacted at 709-690-7783. Leave a message if you can’t reach me and I will return your call at the earliest opportunity.
More to come.
Ellsworth J. Penney writes
from Hickman’s Harbour.