by Paul McKinney
Let’s see, where did I leave off? Oh, right! It’s now the end of September and I picked my still damaged car up to start my 1,400-mile trip to Florida.
Twelve weeks ago I was in that nasty fender bender and I have been driving a rental car ever since then.
The trip south went without a hitch as long as you don’t count the anxiety level of wondering if the rear end might fall off at 70 mph.
The day after returning safely, I called my insurance agent to find out who he would recommend to have the audio system repaired.
During our 20-minute discussion, the topic came up of totaling the car. I once again expressed my concern that the damages now totaled $20,000, the car rental was approaching $5,000, and the car was still not complete.
It was at this point that the most bizarre thing happened. When I asked him to explain the formula for a totaled car, he stood up from behind his desk and announced, “Mr. Kinney, your appointment time is up. I have other customers waiting to see me.” I seldom am at a snag to find words, however, this time, I was speechless. Mad, oh yes, I was “mad as a wet hen.” I left his office and sat outside in my broken car for a few minutes not wanting to drive.
The next day, I did what any red-blooded American consumer would do. I contacted my insurance company and registered a formal complaint. I then contacted the BBB and did the same.
A few days later, I received a call from the area insurance manager, a nice guy, who listened politely to my saga, apologized profusely, and assured me that this should have not been the case.
He told me that he would be completing a report on my behalf and that I would be hearing from him within a few days. I never heard from him again! My phone calls were never returned! Nothing!
The BBB did a complete report, at which time Mr. Florida insurance agent wrote a rebuttal that was full of half-truths. In other words, he lied. After a couple of weeks, the BBB dropped the case as unresolved.
In between all of this, I took my car to a local insurance-qualified collision shop.
After an inspection, the manager verified that the audio system was damaged. However, he also was concerned about any other possible issues so he requested that MIC do an additional inspection.
Two days later, I returned to his shop to find that they had found a hairline crack in the passenger’s side door. In order to repair it correctly, the seam would need to be filled, thus causing both the front and rear doors to be repainted. So off I went to rent another car.
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