MY INSURANCE EXPERIENCE
So, I crashed my Goldwing November 18, 2017 and I won’t get it back until first week in February 2018. That sucks! Therefore, I’d like to “blog” about my experience with “insurance”.
About 4 years ago we reluctantly left a popular insurance company; a company where you had an insurance agent, someone you call if you would ever have an incident that required a claim on your insurance. All of my adult life I have had an insurance agent. And in 40 years only called my agent twice for claims.
After doing some research, I discovered that I could save about $1,300 a year if I switched to GEICO. That is significant money to save. I dove deeper into the possibility of switching to an insurance carrier where there didn’t seem to be a person that would be my agent. My concerns were the following: I won’t have a personal agent, who will I call? Second, GEICO seems to be all internet based, will I be able to sign up? Last and very simply will GEICO be able to perform?
I called GEICO and the person on the phone was VERY helpful in answering all my questions. On that conversation I decided to move 3 cars and my house to GEICO. The savings was the motivating factor. Up until November 18, 2017 I never needed to call GEICO. The bills came to my email account and I paid with a credit card. When I bought a motorcycle in May of 2017, I added it to my GEICO policy. Pretty simple.
Now, let’s go back to November 18, 2017 when me and my Goldwing hit the ice. Read “NTSB Report: Stupid Pilot” a few posts ago. This will give you the situation I was in. My motorcycle was just crushed by a late model Tahoe and was unable to be ridden. After a few minutes of letting the mayhem settle down I walked to the side of the road, pulled out my phone and opened the GEICO app.
This was the beginning of actually going through a claims process with GEICO. I must say now, my experience with GEICO has been fantastic … not sure how it could be better. However, I think it’s best if I go through some of the details so you can see for yourself. GEICO has been unbelievable and I would like to describe some of the highlights of my experience with you. A special note: GEICO has not paid me or endorsed or knows anything of my blog and what I am writing about.
Once I collected myself after the accident I pulled out my phone and touched the GEICO app. Once opened I touched the menu button that called GEICO. The lady on the other side of the phone answered with a pleasant voice and said, “How can I assist you?” I told her that I had been involved in an accident and needed my motorcycle towed. Here first response was, “Are you okay?”. I thought that was a good question from this huge insurance company. She asked a second time, “Are you sure you’re okay?”. Again, she was very nice and personable; sounded concerned about my wellbeing. I said I was fine again. She then said she had called the tow truck company and they should be to me in about 45 minutes. She then asked what had happened. After my description she again said she was glad no one was hurt and asked if there was anything else she could do. We concluded our conversation.
The next day I was home and again called GEICO. They had my accident information. My question was where do I take the bike for repairs. The answer; anywhere I choose. On Monday I get a call from my GEICO claims adjuster, Jon. We arranged a time to meet at the repair shop. (Note: I took the bike to Fred Cummings Motorsports(FC) in Bakersfield, CA and will blog about my experience there as well … it was great!).
I towed the bike to FC on Tuesday and meet Jon. He took time to explain the process and what to expect. Again, a very personable young man that has been very patient with my questions (sometimes a lot of questions) throughout the entire process. Jon begins looking at the bike and comparing broken parts to a parts list on his tablet. He spends about 40 minutes going over the bike and entering information. This is the first estimate and there will be additions as the bike is repaired and more parts are discovered needing replacement.
Jon tells me he’ll be right back as he goes to his car. He comes back with an estimate for FC and a parts list. The last thing he provides is a check to FC for the initial repair list. FC is paid and they can begin work. Again, Jon was great in sharing with me the process and what to expect.
A few days later FC needs approval from GEICO as there are more parts needed after the tear down of the Goldwing. Jon goes to FC and discusses the need for more parts. Jon takes some additional pictures. He goes to his car and comes back with a revised part list and another check. Jon called me and told me all of this and continues to answer my never list of sometimes irrelevant questions. Again, Jon has been great throughout this process.
About a week later I get a call from GEICOs liability guy, Mark. Mark’s responsibility is liability issues; who is at fault and who pays. Mark, like the other folks at GEICO, was very good at explaining what he does and proceeded to ask me about the accident. He asked several questions and then said he’d like to record my statement. He seemed to think that based on my statement and the police report that the driver of the car that hit the Goldwing would be at fault. This means that their insurance company would end up paying for the repairs and the $500 deductible.
Mark told me that the other drivers insurance company would be calling for a statement as well. A couple of days later the other insurance liability guy called. He was not friendly and the entire recording took about 2 minutes and a quick goodbye.
A few more days later I get a call from GEICOs payment recovery person, Rita. Again, amazing customer service. Her responsibility was to collect the money from the other insurance company. Rita explained to me that the other insurance company has refused responsibility and now the claim goes to arbitration. Rita shared that this is very common and that the facts lend to the ruling being in our favor. Rita says she will keep me in the loop but the process will take about 90 days.
My take aways so far: 1) All of the people I spoke with at GEICO thus far treated me as a “friend” not a “number”. 2) All of the people I have spoken with at GEICO were great in answering my questions. 3) Every time I asked a question through the website I received a call within a very short amount of time! And last, I feel like I have “my personal team” striving to get the best possible outcome for my “STUPID” accident.
Where are we today?
My accident was on November 18, 2016 and today is January 11, 2018. It will be another 3 weeks to get my bike back. That’s nearly two and half months! What’s the problem?
There are 3 parts the GW needs. These parts are nowhere to be found in the USA. They have had to be “manufactured” and shipped. This means that the bike won’t be fixed until the end of January. So, I called my adjuster, Jon. My question was, in a effort to speed the process up, if I went out and found the parts needed could they be used? Jon called FC to determine their ideas. Jon said as long as they are OEM parts FC would use the parts. I called and talked to 4 parts suppliers around the country. The same message, out of stock and they have to be manufactured. Then I called Jon back and asked if I could pay for expedited shipping … he kindly said, the parts are coming from Honda JAPAN! He said that it would be impractical to do. I agreed.
So where are we now?
All the parts are in except for one. This one part is on a container ship on it’s way to FC. They should receive the part near the end of January and then 16 hours of labor. I hope to get the bike back by the first of February.
GEICO’s website is amazing. It’s super intuitive and easy to use. From the mobile app to the website, it’s really simple to use. I switched to GEICO a few years ago with some uneasiness. Now, after working with my “team” I’m absolutely convinced moving to GEICO was great. I would suggest that if you are not with GEICO, consider GEICO … from my experience I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.