Welcome to Volume 1 in our first installment of ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Insurance Adjuster’. This is an attempt to chronicle the pitfalls of ‘saving a few dollars’ on car insurance. Be wary, friends and neighbors, the boogy man is in the details.
Indirectly, be advised that this is in no way intended to be technically enlightening (as ‘He Almost Bought a Challenger’ was); rather, it is a social experiment – nix that – a social commentary on what seems to have become the accepted standard of service within the automotive insurance industry. Yes, industry – it’s big business; didn’t you know? Insurance companies pad the piggy-bank by taking the lump sums ‘invested’ by their subscribers and re-investing them in various capital projects / funds / ventures / bonds / stocks / etc… etc… etc… While, to the average person, the exterior and posterior of said insurance companies is simply that of a money-weeping Fatima in time of despair, the flip side is that she’s running a Casino out of the wash room and kitchen pantry – one where the house always seems to win.
Now, that’s not a bad thing; you should want your insurance company or carrier to do well financially – such that they’ll be able to deliver upon the assurances promised within your policy, should you ever (unfortunately or otherwise) need to do avail yourself of that service. On the other hand, one might wish that the insurance company did well due to shrewd investments and solid long term planning for capital funds, rather than nickel-and-diming their subscribers / investors in the form of overly zealous claims adjustments.
Did you ever wonder why the position is titled Claims “Adjuster” – they’re adjusting reality to fit into the tiny slice of psycosis within which insurance company penny-pinchers live. That is, obviously, sardonic. However, it is very much a spirited exaggeration of reality – Claims Adjusters indirectly influence automobile owners to accept fewer repairs than they would otherwise choose, lower quality replacement parts and components than they would otherwise choose, and lower quality service personnel than they would otherwise choose to deal with. While the money paid out on a claim is ultimately your own to do with as you choose, any right-minded individual facing the dillema of repairing their vehicle is also faced with another dillema … you can’t utilize the services of your trusted and respected long-time mechanic for your repairs because he charges “too much” for the insurance company’s check to cover the claim. Instead, you have to choose between a host of “lowest bidders” and under or un-qualified semi-professionals, just chomping at the bit to jump ship to the parts counter at your local auto-themed shopping-plaza boutique.
What’s the alternative? Do it yourself. If you start counting the pennies and avoid tripping over any dollars, you may be able to get all the parts you need for the job in the form of name-brand top-quality components, and get the whole job done for right around or just a little above what the insurance company’s adjuster has so generously granted your unworthy soul. Of course, this won’t include compensation for any of your own labor time, or any of the time you spent tracking down big dollar parts for low dollar prices on the World-Wide-Super-Highway. Nor will it include cleanup and maintenance fees for your backyard / garage / shade-tree, and you’ll probably end up with several busted knuckles and sore-dirty knees.
What you’ll need?
Simple – a computer with internet access to highly rated vendors (such as SummitRacing.com / RockAuto.com / and everyone’s favorite for hard to find miscellaneous items – eBay.com).
What’s it look like? – well that’s the point of this little tirade… and here’s part one for your enjoyment…