Insurance Saga

On January 29th, I had a very minor car accident with a motorcycle, luckily we found a good lawyer specialized for this at the blase inzina injury attorneys. Due to a fresh fall of snow and ungritted roads, my little Clio decided that despite my turning the wheel to the right it would keep going in a straight line. I bashed into a high kerb onto some grass where I finally gained some traction, but in the process damaged the wheel and steering. In addition the driver’s seat airbag went off (check resources like StephenBabcock.com for the expert review of the case).

No other vehicles, no damage to anything or anyone and a simple job to quote for. Easy-peasy.

Unfortunately I was driving a car insured by Saga Insurance (my folks are in the age bracket where they can use this bunch of incompetent buffoons) so instead of being a simple claim, this turned into a marathon. At a certain point, I even wanted to sell my car as a scrap vehicle (find out more at SCRAPMYCAROTTAWA.COM if you need to get rid of unwanted car).

In brief, the car went at first to my cousin’s garage where they looked at it, diagnosed the mechanical trouble and told me it would be around £300 to fix it (no labour charge for family). However, he couldn’t repair the seats, seatbelt tensioners and airbag. For that it would have to go to the coachworks next door.

That quote came to over £2000 so it went from a quick fix to an insurance issue. An thus the fun began. Saga were contacted with the details on Monday February 1st and given the details of the problem. Remember, this is as simple as it gets. They had a quote ready for them and no third parties to worry about. It was a simple case of “is the car worth repairing or is it a write-off?”

After two weeks we started to nudge them again. Yes. TWO WEEKS. Apparently they were, and I quote “busy”. As if that’s our problem. Where I stay, the public transport sucks more than Dyson’s finest and the lack of a car was taking its toll on both my personal life and my educational one. A 30 minute drive to college equates to 2 1/2 hours using buses and trains.

After a further week or so we received a request for copies of all the drivers’ licenses. No reason why, or why it had taken three weeks for this request to come through. As far as we could figure it was another excuse for them to drag the claim out more to avoid coughing up.

At the end of the month my dad rang them and pretty much said if they didn’t get their thumbs out of their collective arses and make a decision one way or the other, he’d be taking his insurance elsewhere. My folks don’t just have their car insurance (two cars) with them, they also have the house, possessions and so forth. All of their insurance policies, basically.

By some amazing coincidence, the garage were contacted the next day and told to go ahead with repairs. Time since accident: almost 5 weeks.

Thankfully the garage were swift, and swifter still as a favour to my cousin especially when they heard about the death of my gran. Only a shame I couldn’t have had the car back much sooner so that I could have perhaps seen her a little more often just before she died.

And on to today, March 13th.

My dad got home late this afternoon to a letter from the insurance company dated March 5th. Note that this is after Saga told us to get the car fixed.

The letter states that they will contact us soon after they have made their decision as to whether the car is economically repairable or not. Erm. OK.

Further, as I seem to be the main user of the vehicle and I’m not meant to be (I’m a named driver) they have decided that they no longer wish to insure the car. Therefore as of 14 days from the date on the letter, which would be next Friday, the policy will become null and void and we have to go elsewhere.

Which is strange. If they wanted to null the policy on the basis I shouldn’t have been driving the car then surely they could have used that as an excuse to refuse a payout four weeks earlier. At which point I could have arranged to have the car repaired privately and had the damn thing on the road within a fortnight.

Essentially it looks like a case of left hand/right hand/no idea.

What worries me most is that this is a company that aims its product at the higher end of the age scale, and therefore one of the more vulnerable markets. A lot of over 60’s will freak if they get badgered by insurance people and may well give up or avoid claims as a result. Thankfully my dad’s not one of them, but I hate to think how many other policyholders would put up with this crap.

Needless to say, we’re shifting my car insurance ASAP… along with all the other policies. Saga have just lost as much business as one person can possibly give them. But look at it from my parents’ point of view – if the company can make this much of a mess from the simplest of vehicular claims, would they really want them handling a house fire or flood damage? You’d better consult Singleton Law Firm and give them a call after a fire.

Hell, no.

It’s all well and good looking for the cheapest quote. But if that quote will get you abysmal service when what you need is help then it’s not worth the saving. And I’ve not even gone into the time spent on hold, the non-returned calls, the insistence on details being faxed rather than emailed and so forth.

Saga Insurance. Avoid. They are, in every respect as far as our experience is concerned, complete and utter ****.

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