My dad served in the Navy during the Vietnam war. He was really excited to get us access to join USAA, and the money that I saved on home owners and car insurance really came in handy as I was trying to start a family. I work as a contractor for the Navy, and many of my friends had USAA and let me know how great the rates and service was.
A long 250 days ago my wife called me on a Sunday morning to say she had been rear-ended with our son in the car on the way to our son's weekly class. Apparently a delivery driver had rearended her while she was making her turn, she felt awful about it because the girl was crying so hard, and the driver behind her had stopped to yell at her for driving like a maniac. She decided we would do this quietly as possible so that young lady could keep her job and I respected her for that, her heart is so big.
The main issue is that since I did not have rental coverage and I have a $1000 deductible, USAA could not cover my rental car during repairs and I would be out $1000. From talking with my brother and others, I found out a repair can take up to 4-5 weeks for something as simple as a taillight. So we definitely needed the other insurance to handle things.
The car was driveable, and the lights worked, just the running light was plastic was smashed, so we drove the car around waiting for USAA to figure things. See noone was answering their phones, the young woman ignored all the calls and had a full mailbox. The Freight company that handled delivery ignored all of the calls. I started to feel as though work was being done each time I called in to check status. In March I figured it would be a good idea just to get the car inspected so you guys had an idea of the damage, and at this point my original claim was marked closed. I found out my claim was being closed via the website, and not via a phone call or anything human. As I did not have rental insurance, we continued to drive our car and wait for USAA to locate the other insured party.
Finally one of your smarter reps used a database to figure out the young woman's insurance. She was with Esurance but with no active policy, at this point we started working with Enterprise to step in to cover the loss.
Finally, on 4/19/2018 Jaime of Utica National, reached out to me, and I figured man we are almost done. It took until June 1st for USAA and Utica to get on the same page thanks to a lot of work by myself, and at this point Utica was prepared to cover my rental but only at 90% and USAA would handle the repairs at 100%. I was uncomfortable with this and that is when USAA said not to worry, they were going to cover it at 100%, and to make sure that we contacted them and them only.
We dropped our car off on the 8th, and got into a rental, and I thought, it is finally over. Never that lucky, that is when the body shop had to make a supplementary call, the original estimate performed by an authorized and preferred USAA repair shop had left out repairs to the quarter panel and rear body panel. The estimate doubled, and we were going to have to wait for a third party to come out and check things out.
The company that came out to assess our car gave it a value much less than what my car was worth. I was also surprised to see "previous damage" listed but with no explanation. It took some time but we found out the original person had seen the Porrecca estimate, and removed 10% of my cars value as previous damage. Also the provided estimates with my car included craigslist ads, and a multitude of other vehicles from nondealership sources. For the very worst ad, I located and found the seller of that car on facebook. He stated that his family was in need of some funds and had put there car up in order to move it quickly, but ended up finding another way out of their troubles and did not have to sell it. Basically he posted it at Carmax trade-in + $500.
CCC one reevaluted our vehicle, and the price increased a few hundred dollars. At this point I was able to research some of the listings and point to the amount of dents present on one of the vehicles included in the comp. Around the same time I realized that the trimline for my car was listed incorrectly, and did not include upgrades present, they were using a base model. Unfortunately since CCC one's system is corrupt, upgrading the baseline had no change to their offer. At this point they manually added $500 dollars to the offer, and at my wife's request, on 7/16/2018 I agreed to their price on a Monday night.
I was glad to have it over, even if we were unable to find a car for sale at what they offered us, I figured we could buy something a little nicer and have a car payment, and just get on with our lives. On 7/18/2018 I received a weird post saying that I was responsible for any storage fees from 7/19 and follow, and that my claim could not move forward. I had the title signed and ready to drop off at UPS that weekend, and stood by and waited for my "claim to progress" again. Apparently there was a disagreement over storage costs that needed to be resolved between USAA and the body shop, so we waited patiently.
After EST close of business on 7/25/2018 I heard that they had settled on the storage fees and I put the title in the mail in the next day for 7/26 and I started the 5 day timer to get out of the rental. I had been told repeatedly that I had an extra 5 days from when the "total claim" was resolved in order to get out of the rental, so my wife and I had been shopping since that 16th phone call. Take a guess how well it goes when you have to purchase a car in less than a week. You are going to pay top dollar. There was a car we could afford more easily but it was a 2006 and we did not have cash on hand to purchase the older model. We paid $15K for the car -$500 for being CostCo members and -$495 worth of pity for the giant 6 inch crack in the bumper. That is probably the hardest part to get over. Oh well, the new one is nice. Wife is happy, kids like it. We bought the car on 7/31, and as it had not been worked on at all (that's right, had to buy a car as-is!) we got into a dealer loaner and I thought, man we are done!
On 8/3 I found out since my wife and I had gotten married since purchasing the car USAA needed our marriage license, I provided it the same day and on 8/9 the check finally cleared. I paid off the car rental bill, and downpayment for the car that I had on my credit card ($5500 with CC interest for 9 days, ouch.)
Today is the 17th, you are probably wondering why I am still typing. The one part of this story that I was the most careful about, and the reason I waited so long to repair my car in the first place? The rental! Well I still did not have rental on my policy, USAA had taken a really long time doing their job regarding the whole total loss, and so the rental had taken 55 days. I realized why USAA did not care about taking 4 or 5 days to get back to me, because the entire time they had no plans to pay me out on the rental and then deal with Utica on my behalf. Admittedly I believe USAA is only responsible for 54 days, but I figured they might cover the whole thing.
I heard last night that USAA wants me to contact Utica and negotiate my rental charges on my own. I called Utica today, they are not agreeing to pay anything. She said even if they do decide to pay, the max they would be willing to cover on any claim is 30 days, and just because she could, this hypothetical payout for me would be only at 90%.
I asked USAA to step in and fight for me, by paying me out and then going after Utica themselves. My guys manager said no.
So here is where we stand. You guys have abandoned me. You are leaving me to fend for myself against this despicable Utica National company. I feel as though I have no options, and not a caring soul at the company to take stock in what I have experienced, and to do the right thing. I have spent 250 days really angry, and the last three weeks after the dealership took their body blows left me kind of distraught with how much rage I have. I am looking for a therapist, that can help me with that, so I can get over this. I keep reminding myself it is only money, but when noone takes a stand, corporations like yourselves start to walk over the little guys. I am sick and tired of being walked on, by that freight company that ignored my calls, by Enterprise that turned a blind eye to the problem, by the CCC one software package that cheats analytics to devalue vehicles, by Enterprise again when they snuck a bunch of fees and taxes onto the rate we agreed, by the car dealership that had me right where they wanted me, and now again by the one group of guys that I thought would have my back.
I am just so sad and angry and there is noone to yell at, and nothing to be done. I like everyone I talked to while I was going through the claim, Craig on your team is a good guy, and he is just following policy and doing what he can. That's all any of us are doing really. Just what we can. Craig's manager is just following policy, probably not his fault someone promised something they could not actually do. I have been crying here at work during the last paragraph, I am just so tired of feeling this way, and I know you guys are not going to do anything, and I need to figure out where I am going to come up with 55 days for this car rental.
Please do the right thing.
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