Friday, July 25, 2008

That’s What Insurance Is For

A couple of months ago, Amber had the pleasure of introducing the front of our Civic to the front of someone else’s car. She was crossing an intersection on a green light and the other driver turned across the intersection from the opposite direction without a green arrow. Apparently a large truck in another lane blocked Amber from his view so he drove his vehicle into the middle of a four way intersection to get a better view. Luckily no one was injured. The police made a report. The other driver was at fault. Insurance information was exchanged. No problem, that’s what insurance is for. However, the other driver had the kind of insurance that comes as a prize in a Happy Meal. This news was like a ray of sunshine bringing joy to all involved. Of course the true fulfillment of joy didn’t occur until we finally received the return phone call from the McInsurance Company explaining that McCrashy hadn’t been paying his bills and therefore his insurance had McLapsed. So, I guess that’s what our insurance is for.

I had a real struggle with this. The other driver was driving a beat up car, was not dressed like money, lived in a low end neighborhood and obviously was having budget issues since he wasn’t able to keep up with his McPayments. On the one side, that’s why we have insurance so even if it’s not our fault we don’t lose out…or at least no more than our $500 deductable. On the other side, you broke my stuff…you fix my stuff. It’s quite simple, black and white, no need for discussion. Since this did not happen, I have every right to turn him in to the authorities for not having insurance which will in turn strip him of his driver’s license and possible land him a fine and/or some jail time. Will this help me in collecting any of the money…no. Will it make me feel any better…that’s the struggle.

I really would find no joy in bringing extra hardship on this guy. However, I do believe he should be responsible to pay for the repair of my vehicle. And, in my mind, anyone that is not willing to even attempt to right their wrong deserves no mercy and showing mercy would only further instill in them the mindset of “just worry about yourself and if something bad happens you don’t need to feel responsible…someone else will bail you out.”

Mercy prevailed, I didn’t get the law involved. Allstate, my insurance company that doesn’t sell their insurance as part of a meal deal and who I pay in full every six months to protect not only myself and my family but anyone else who we may accidently cause undue harm, took care of the repair bill for us and is pursuing the reimbursement of the funds from the other driver. How they pursue it is their business. I’m over it and on with my life.

This past Friday (July 18th at 9:30am – this information will become important in just a moment), two weeks after we finally got the Civic back from the body shop, I was sitting at a red light in said Civic when I looked in my rear view mirror to see a full size Yukon Denali bearing down on me at highway speeds. She didn’t realize that neither I nor the vehicles in front of me were moving until my vehicle stopped hers from moving.

She was in Nurse’s attire on her way to work. Her husband later showed up to make sure she was alright (he’s a salesman for the local Cadillac dealership). They’re driving a very nice SUV. They both have good paying jobs. These are the kind of people that have good insurance. Our vehicle will be fixed in no time and at no cost to us and we’ll likely have a rental car provided to us while it’s in the shop.

Wait, what’s that? Cracker Jacks gives insurance away as prizes as well? I did not know that. All this time I’ve been spending my hard earned money on good insurance to protect others and I could have been paying (or better yet not paying) for el cheapo insurance and been dodging my responsibility as a law abiding American citizen. So Cracker Jack, Inc. calls me this morning to inform me that their client (the one that parked her Yukon Denali in my trunk) had not paid their insurance and it lapsed on July 16th. They did, however, call in a payment to catch their insurance up on July 18th at 9:37am…yes, 9:37am on July 18th…precisely 7 minutes after their Yukon informed my Civic that it was heading back to the body shop.

I’m not calling my insurance yet. If this guy doesn’t pay cash to repair the car and forces me to call my insurance, that phone call will be immediately followed by a call to the local police department.

Can I have fries with that?