angst

I just accidentally heard a message from the insurance company informing me I was at fault in the car accident that totaled my car last year.  I’d never heard it, or I would have called them back and am currently annoyed at my husband for not telling me about it.

But mostly just so annoyed.  I could have plowed into car #3 when it spun in front of me.  I honestly think that would have resulted in at least injury, possibly death, for the driver of that vehicle, and possibly injury or death for me, too.  Had I done so, yes, it’s true car #5 wouldn’t have collided with me.  (I pulled in front of car #5 to avoid car #3.)  It just seems so unfair to have done what I think was right and to be penalized for it.

I feel like I went through the process in good faith and got screwed over.  I wasn’t looking out for myself, just trying to honestly and transparently answer whatever I was asked by whomever.  I did an interview with Car #5’s insurance company, which I shouldn’t have done, in hindsight.  They lied to me during that conversation and said they wouldn’t go after me.  Fuck them.  I’m glad that I don’t tell lies for a living, whatever else my failings may be.

I keep telling myself that it doesn’t matter.  We have plenty of money to pay the increased insurance, and what’s important is that no one was hurt.  By paying attention and being a good driver, maybe I saved someone’s life or health.  Or maybe I didn’t – we’ll never know.

But I’m still pissed.  It’s the principle of the thing.  If we hadn’t had that wedding in the Bahamas immediately afterwards and I hadn’t been dealing with the process of leaving my job and everything else, if maybe I had known about the message, maybe I could have contested it.  Just grumpy about the whole thing.  H pays our insurance, and I’m afraid to even ask about the cost.

2 thoughts on “angst

  1. Becca

    Its not too late to contest it, but I don’t think it will do any good. The insurance companies get together and apportion damage. Even if they hadn’t decided it was your fault completely, they might have decided something like it was 90-10 (e.g. still 10% your fault) which is pretty common if its not 100% clear it was one person’s fault. Your insurance, as I understand it, will raise your rate even if they pay out $1 of a fault claim, they don’t consider the value of the claim so much as the existence of the claim, so getting it switched from 100% your fault to 90-10 or whatever, only really saves your insurance company money it doesn’t do you any good.

    I totaled my car a few years ago, in 2013. It was entirely my fault. Me vs. telephone pole (did you know those cost $30k to repair when you knock one down?). To make matters worse just a month prior I scratched another car in the parking lot, it was a teenage driver and his mom, and I asked if they could just send me a body shop bill and have me pay it, but they insisted on filing with my insurance company, it was a $500 claim, but it counted as a second incident in the same year! Anyway, everything said and done, our insurance went up about $750/year for 3 years (Byron had a speeding ticket during that time too). The only other issue was when we decided to switch companies just this last year, some companies counted the accident for 3 years (and it was gone) some for 5 years (which was still in the window at the time we were switching) and that was annoying, but now we’re back down to pre-accident rates.

    What I hope you did do is negotiate the claim. Insurance companies super low-ball you when they total your car (“we’re prepared to send you a check this very minute if you just agree to this amount right now!!”). If you’re going to pay increased rates, you might as well get maximum payout value for your car. With my car, they offered me $15k. I had only bought the car 3 months before the accident for $22k (used, not new so no big depreciation right after purchase or anything like that). I eventually got $23k out of them, but it took about 2 months of back and forths.

    Anyway, its not as terrible as you think it is. Plus you’re safe and sound and you’re getting a new car.

  2. admin Post author

    Hey Becca – yeah, things could be worse. Love the new car and I think I got a very good deal on it. I thought their offer for our totaled car was very fair, so we did not negotiate. I guess we should have!

    Next time something like this happens to me, you will be my first phone call. 🙂

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