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Jul 21 2006

Fun with insurance…

When you’re living abroad you just naturally come to expect that things aren’t always going to work the same way they do "back home" , so I was prepared for a few twists and turns with our insurance claim on my stolen bike.  Dr. Darling was little help since she had never made a claim before, but she’d heard several stories about how dictatorial insurance companies can about how benefits had to be used.

Because the bike was less than a year old, our insurance *should* have paid 100% of it’s value minus our deductible.  But since the exact same bike (a PEAK Port Adelaide) is still available for sale…though at a lower price because it’s now last year’s model…we received 100% of the current price rather than what it cost when we bought it.  So already I’ve got 1500 crowns less to spend than I think I should have.

Then, when the voucher arrived in the mail, it was actually made out to the store where we’d purchased the bike that was stolen, along woth instructions that we were to pay our deductible to the store (weird). Dr. Darling took this to mean that we had no choice but to get another 2005 Port Adelaide, which I thought was inviting bad karma…something I seem to have no shortage of lately.  And while I was surprised that we were forced to buy from a specific store, I honestly didn’t believe the insurance company cared which bicycle I bought.

We had checked the store’s website and knew they had a similar bike (a Port Frankin 2005) on sale for about 500 crowns cheaper than the Adelaide, but it would need a back rack and a kick-stand put on it…the addition of which would still be under the amount the insurance company gave us to spend. (Why anyone other than a competitive cyclist would want a bike without a kick-stand is beyond me, and believe it when I say no serious racer would ever buy this particular bike.)

So we rode out to the store earlier this last Monday and told the clerks what we wanted to do, assuming that they had plenty of experience handling these sorts of transactions. Wrong.  They weren’t sure the insurance company would cover the addition of the rack and the kick-stand, and the manager wasn’t there to ask. Great.

The next day I called the insurance company myself and the very helpful claims adjuster who was willing to speak English with me confirmed that I was permitted to use the money any way I wanted.  So we went back to the store when I got home from work last night and ordered the Port Franklin with an additional rack and kick-stand, and then…because I still hadn’t spent the full amount from insurance company, I got a new headlight, too. I get to pick it up next Wednesday.

Oddly enough, I dealt with the same clerks I talked to earlier in the week, and the manager was no where to be seen, yet they took my word about the insurance company.  I wish I’d just fibbed to them on Monday because I’d probably already have the bike by now.

Feed my ego!

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