Not long after the accident, I was shocked to receive a letter from Dick’s insurance company. They blamed me for the accident and planned to collect on the damages to his vehicle. (Makes sense, right!?!) After all, the police report clearly stated he was at fault for reckless driving. The letter, however, stated their investigation revealed that I “may be legally responsible for this loss.”
According to my car Insurance Company, it would have been an open shut case if I had renters insurance, but I didn’t. (Confused the hell out of me too.) With no insurance company on my side Dick’s insurance was after me personally for full reimbursement in the amount of $6, 500.39.
Usually when push comes to shove, I suck up my pride and back down. Not in this case. I was the victim. This had to be resolved, and I wasn’t going down without a fight. So, I called the number listed at the bottom of the letter. (Big mistake! Only communicate with insurance companies in writing.) The lady handling my case sounded like she hated her job and her life. Monotone, and unmoved, the wench informed me that it wasn’t her problem.
I remained adamant not to pay after receiving several threats of sending the claim to collections, garnishing my wages, and ruining my credit. BULLSHIT!
- I had no credit.
- Minnesota state law requires a court ruling before sending claims to collections and garnishing wages.
My odds seemed pretty decent, so I called her on the bluff.
The next day, I showed my boss the letter. When finished, he wrote down a list of what my next steps should be.
- Get police report
- Call a lawyer (they wouldn’t take my case since I had no desire to sue)
- Drag this out as long as possible
- Ask for proof of damages
- Make an itemized list of MY damages
- Only communicate with the insurance company IN WRITING
- Give them deadlines to respond like they did to me
- Pay the extra buck at the post office to request a signature upon delivery to certify letters were received
Armed with information, I wrote to Dick’s insurance company demanding proof of the damages I had caused.
They sent this photo, along with a new due date for the money they felt I owed. They also called twice a day, every day.
I waited one week before sending my brief but direct response. I disputed the claim, based on legal counsel, due to the fact that the police report placed the driver of the car at fault. At the bottom of an itemized list of injuries that I suffered and expenses incurred due to those injuries, I informed them they owed me… wait for it… a whopping $6, 346.72! In closing, I gave them 30 days to respond. If they didn’t, I would assume the case had been closed.
To my surprise, the letter actually worked. All communication stopped the day they received my letter and none of the threats were acted upon.
If you are ever in a situation like this, just keep your cool (easier said than done). Protect yourself, but also be polite, be respectful, and always be courteous.
- Get renters insurance
- Stressful situations are more enjoyable when you make it into a game