Friday, June 03, 2011

The dirty hands of Allstate

Lost Glove by mdt1960
Lost Glove, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
Allstate Insurance Company steals cars... really they do.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine living and teaching in Yuma, Arizona was involved in a head-on car collision that resulted in the demolition of his 1995 Honda Civic—his only reliable transportation. The incident unfolded as an elderly gentleman turned left in front of him as my friend’s Honda entered an intersection under normal circumstances. My friend was on his way to play a celebratory round of golf following the end of the academic year. Although he attempted to avoid the collision, there simply wasn’t enough time and his day at the links was lost along with his car. Thankfully no one was seriously injured.

The other driver was cited and admitted on the scene to police and others that he was completely at fault.

Done deal, right?

Not so fast.

A couple days after the accident, the other driver’s insurance company, Allstate, balked about the incident and indicated that they were not satisfied with the initial reports and questioned whether or not their client was truly at fault.

Today, my friend received an official email from Allstate that they will dispute his claim and therefore, not compensate him for his losses. I’m hard pressed to find a greater example of maliciousness and ill will in the news these days.

My friend’s insurance company, Geico, hasn’t been much help either up to this point, but I’m not quite ready to lump them in there with the ilk of Allstate.

And so, here we have the essence of what is so very wrong with this country. It begins with operations like Allstate who are clearly more interested in turning a dollar rather than righting a wrong—especially when it comes to someone like this friend who is making his way through this world without any kind of safety net or nest egg to fall back on.

In good faith, I made the 1,200 mile journey to Yuma to bring him back to this part of the country where a summer job awaited him. Nevermind that he lost two weeks of full-time pay while he waited (also in good faith) for this matter to settle quickly and fairly. I too was not worried about the expenses out of my pocket knowing he would be reimbursed for the loss of his car, transportation expenses back to Montana and whatever lost wages he suffered.

Instead, the diabolical “good hands” of Allstate Insurance don’t see it that way. Not even remotely. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear one day not too far down the road that insurance companies like Allstate are in the business of stealing cars because that’s what happened to my friend. Simply put, Allstate Insurance stole his car.

As big business executives and board members grow richer while the little folk like us become poorer and trampled by this prolific and rampant self-centered corporate greed, I’m sadly beginning to understand more each day why a person grabs a gun and decides to fly off the deep end and take several others with him/her.


Knut said...

Unfortunately I've seen this before. Even if companies such as Allstate know they will eventually pay up, they stall off the payment as long as possible to get that extra bit of interest on money that is stashed away. A few years back I ran across some information about the true cash wealth in this country. Many of the major corporations at the time, if traced back, were subsidiaries of (insert drum roll here) insurance conglomerates. I don't remember the exact number regarding cash wealth but it was well over 50%—70% comes to mind.

Final thought—Insurance is a wonderful thing. It gives you piece of mind, right up until you make a claim.

Wayne Thomas said...

There might be some possible courses of action to try. Let me know if I can help.

mdt1960 said...

After months of waiting for his case to go to the court in Yuma, the civil court judge threw out this case for reasons unknown... my friend decided he couldn't afford to hang around Yuma all summer for the Yuma kangaroo court date to arrive. Perhaps if he'd been there, things might have come out differently, but it's doubtful.

My faith in this country takes another drubbing.

So, it's official. Allstate does indeed steal cars. Return the favor if you can. First of all, don't insure anything via Allstate. And if you know of a car that is insured by Allstate... key it.

Anne said...

Sorry to chime in so late (had a little Dissidence-catching-up to do). As the original owner of the poor Honda Civic and a good friend of the current owner, I felt I had some vested interest in this situation and checked around. Upon asking the advice of a lawyer, it seems that the case was thrown out because there wasn't enough evidence to prove the old guy was CRIMINALLY liable for the accident. He could, however, be sued in CIVIL court for damages and the evidence would likely stand up to that standard. That is, if one had the means and inclination to go back to Yuma to fight about this and could find a lawyer willing to take on a "measly" car accident in which nobody was badly hurt (and so there aren't tens of thousands in damages at stake).