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Me v. DC cabbie

October 16, 2010

Guess who won?

Yeah, that’s me not winning that match up if you couldn’t guess. Fucker. So I’m all minding my own business just gaining some speed after being stopped at a light and as soon as I come up on the intersection. Bam! Crunch! Break! Screech. Silence.

My window is down, as it’s a super nice day out, and I now find myself a few short feet from the face of a DC cabbie.

Me:  “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?”

Cabbie: ” … ”

Me: “I MEAN WHAT IN THE FUCK DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?”

Cabbie: ” … ”

Me: “No, really, what in the hell did you think was going to happen when you tried making that right from THE GOD DAMN MIDDLE LANE?”

Cabbie: [Pounds fist into steering wheel] “UUNGH!”

So yeah. Last Sunday, after driving close to 249 miles starting at 4am, I was now within a mile (like, exactly one freaking mile) from home when idiot taxi driver makes a right hand turn into the front of my car…from my left. MY LEFT! WTF! How do I avoid that?  Asshole.

Do you know when the last time I was the driver in an accident? Like, ANY accident? Hmmm…maybe 19 years ago. Seriously. The last I remember I was a teenager and I rear ended someone at a stop light. I freaked out and made him mail me an estimate to my house so I could pay him cash and skip reporting it to my insurance agency. I think it cost something like $150.

Me v DC Cabbie occurred late afternoon on Sunday, this is how the rest of the week went:

Sunday evening: I call Laura and Buggie after researching the cabbie’s insurance company on the internet. They do not have a website. This is not going to go well and now I want company as I drown my sorrows (here is where I disclose that the reason I had driven nearly 250 miles that day is because I dropped my family off at the Richmond airport so they could attend a funeral), it’s been a bad week.  We down two bottles of wine and eat lemon cous cous salad.

Monday morning: I call Geico in hopes they can help me. They are more than willing to help me as soon as I fork over my $500 deductible that they will attempt to recover from the at-fault driver. Key word: attempt. I decline that offer and they say they will help me in trying to file the claim with Amalgamated Casualty.

Monday afternoon: Amalgamated is closed. It’s Columbus Day. 24-hour service is not on the table here.

Tuesday morning: Talk to Amalgamated. They tell me it could take up to a week to just get things started and I should go ahead and fix my car and then seek reimbursement. Yeah, right. I am not that stupid. I call 5 times pushing them to start a claim.  This should not be hard, the driver was cited at the scene for being at fault and was issued a ticket.

Wednesday morning: I call first thing for the status of the claim. I get bounced around, end up talking to manager who tells me they can’t help me, they don’t “operate that way” (“that way” being servicing a claim in less than 7 days) and then hangs up on me on purpose. I end up in tears about an hour later. Straw. Camel. Ugh. This is now day 3 of no car.

Wednesday later: I talk to Geico, explain the rudeness and ask them to help me as much as possible in moving this along. I weigh my options with an underwriter to see what happens if I have to use Geico to fix my car afterall.

Thursday morning: Amalgamated has moved to step 2! It only took four days! They are now planning to assign an adjustor to the case.  Key word “planning”.  Double ugh.  Day 4 of no car, I don’t understand how is this happening when I have a police report!

Thursday later: Geico and I decide that if we can present Amalgamated with an estimate there is a chance they will  just  claim liability on the case to get rid of us — essentially promising to pay the damages. Geico assigns a claims adjustor and OMG, he calls me later that day and schedules something for morning. What? Moving.too.fast. Or rather at the speed in which an insurance agency should when presented  with an open/shut accident.

Friday morning: Meet with Geico. Car will cost $3000 to fix.

Friday afternoon (early): Send estimate to Amalgamated. Call to confirm they received it. They try to claim they were sending an adjustor. “When?” I ask. They admit it would probably be Monday. Not good enough. I tell them to issue a check for the damages. They tell me they can’t, they have not finished their investigation. I don’t understand what they need to investigate, there is a police report. They admit they haven’t even talked to their driver, still…5 days later. Idiots. After explaining how none of that is my problem, I am the victim, and unless I can swing by the office to pick up a check for $500 in the next 10 minutes I will keep calling every 30 minutes to check on the status of the claim. They tell me I should just file through Geico. I tell them if they give me the $500 for my deducible I will. They tell me they don’t have $500 dollars. I tell them that what do you know, neither do I!!!  I say fine, just tell Geico you are responsible for the damages and I’ll leave you alone. “Have Geico call us” they say.

Friday afternoon (minutes later): I call Geiceo, give them the update and ask them to call Amalgamated. They are more than happy to do so.  They call me back twice, they have left two messages over the past 40 minutes and called three times — no one is answering. This too has been my experience this week, I have just been relentless in leaving messages, up to 10 in one day. On multiple phone lines. So I start again. Calling every ten minutes. Finally they pick up. “Geico has been trying to get a hold of you” I tell them.  “Really? No one has called” they say. I ask  “Really? Because I’ve left 5 messages in the past hour and I know they’ve left at least two. We’ve been calling”.  “Oh.”

Mutherfucker, oh? Yes, we’ve been calling. They offer to call Geico back after they listen to the voice mail. I say there is no need, give them the number and what to say and I hang up and wait. It’s close to 4pm and I know Amalgamated is going to close up shop for the weekend any time now, so I give them 10 minutes before I call Geico to see if they have called. As soon as I reach for the phone, it rings. It’s Geico. They have them on the line and Geico is confused. Amalgamated is talking circles to them. I tell Geico what’s up, how Amalgamated has treated me, and fill this new person in on the plan hatched to get them to accept liability.  Geico circles me on the call with them. After some legal mumbo jumbo spewed from the Geico operator, they admit liability on the phone, Geico waives my deductible and we send Amalgamated on their merry way.

And hour on the phone with Geico and I have a body shop to fix my car, a tow scheduled for 9pm later in the evening and a rental car pick up for the morning.

Current status: Car was sadly towed away a few hours ago but am happy about being a free (to drive) woman this weekend.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Eduardo permalink
    February 23, 2011 3:11 pm

    Caramba. I am dealing now with this insurance company & it is not easy.

    My car was parked and was hit by a taxi insured by Amalgamated. Actually the taxi hit a parked car that moved, hit a 2nd car, which hit my car, that was 3rd.

    There’s a police report describing the incident. This happened Feb 9, while I was away on travel.

    I faxed them the claim & police report on Thurs Feb 17.

    To date, almost a week later, no claim number, no claims adjustor assigned, no assuming of fault despite the clarity of the police report.

    If the continue stalling, it seems to me that easiest will be to fix the car and then take the driver to small claims court. What’s the downside of this course of action?

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