mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I could have sworn I parked here...

The NY Times has an interesting article on the people in NY who had a wall fall on their parked cars on Riverside Drive. It's a bad situation for the people who were parked there - their cars are buried, and their insurance companies won't pay until the cars can be unburied, because otherwise they can't prove that their cars were destroyed. It's like trying to prosecute a murder without a body...

I feel bad for these people - I can't imagine what I would do without my car for a year. The times it has been in the shop for a day or two have been a pain. Not having it for a year would be both a financial and logistical nightmear.

Then again, I can understand where the insurance companies are coming from. When I was in college, I spent two summers working in the mailroom of a large insurance company whose name rymes with "hate parm". I saw some crazy stuff, my favorite being a guy who claimed his car (which was involved in a hit-and-run where the license plate was left at the scene) was stolen. He later admitted he traded the car for crack.

So insurance companies do have to be careful for fraud. But mostly this illustrates the problem with standard policies and procedures. Most of the time when you have a car accident, getting the VIN number and the car is easy. Even stolen cars are frequently recovered within the 30 days that insurance companies wait before paying (although they are usually missing some parts or extra-crispy after being set on fire). When you have an exception like this and follow the standard rules, customers end up losing out.

Of course, living and working in a city, I bet the first thing they thought of when they parked their cars there was "man, I got lucky and got a great parking spot..."


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