What to do when you hit a Cadillac Escalade.

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Fitts Agency

The day didn't start very well for Cynthia.  She didn't hear the alarm going off, the kids weren't up getting ready for school, and she had thirty minutes to get them all dressed, fed, and loaded into her Explorer.

Rushed is an understatement.

She swore that the light was yellow when she stepped on the gas to beat the red.  It felt like slow motion watching the driver's panicked face as the front of her Explorer crushed his white Cadillac Escalade like a beer can.  One witness said that the Escalade rolled twice, but it only looked that way.  It only rolled once. That was enough to render the Miller's new Escalade useless forever, along with Josh Miller's future as a very successful medical equipment salesman.

The day before the accident, Cynthia got a letter from an insurance company saying that it could save her 15% on her auto insurance, and the phone call was free.  The person behind the phone was very polite, and in a matter of minutes, Cynthia saved $200 a year.  All of this in fifteen minutes - perfect for an on-the-go, suburban soccer mom.  Her husband, Carl, a successful physician, relied on her to manage the finances, and he always told her that every penny counts.

Cynthia had never seen Carl cry, at least not like he did that day. The verdict from the jury was excessive, she was sure.  They would have to sell their beautiful five bedroom home in order to pay the monthly amount demanded from them.  Two million dollars was a lot of money to pay for just running a red light.

No one on that fifteen minute call asked her about her life and family, or told her what she and her family might lose by not having the correct coverage on her insurance.  No one on that call asked her about all that they owned, or about their future, or about all they had worked so hard for since she put Carl through medical school ten years ago.  Certainly, no one explained all those terms like liability coverage, med pay, etc.

Cynthia did save $200 a year, but she lost $2 million because she was in a hurry, one hectic morning.

This is a true story - the names changed, of course.  You see, we've been suckered into thinking that auto insurance is just a commodity.  Something you can buy off the shelf like a can of tuna.  Cynthia certainly doesn't think like this anymore.

Had I talked to Cynthia, before she purchased her auto insurance, it would have taken more than 15 minutes.  I would have known everything they stood to lose in the event of an accident like the one she was involved in.  I would've explained, in simple terms, what all those numbers meant, and recommended a plan to protect all that she and Carl had worked so hard for.

So what do you do in case you hit a Cadillac Escalade?  Make sure you have the proper coverages.

By-the-way, on top of the verdict, Cynthia and Carl had to pay an additional $40,000 because their "property damage" coverage on the liability part of their auto insurance would only pay $25,000 for the damage to Josh's $65,000 vehicle.  (Proper coverage would have only cost her $32 a year more, and saved them $40 grand.)

To this day, Cynthia can tell you the worst 15 minutes of her life.

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Rainmaker
458,353
Alexander Harb
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing
Knights Investing

I agree with Lenn here everyone.....

If Cynthia did NOT run the yellow light, she would NOT have hit the other car in the first place.

The whole story would be MOOT and Cynthia would still be saving $200.00 per year.

Safe driving is a NEEDED lifestyle choice to make.

 

 

May 08, 2010 05:57 PM
Rainmaker
351,418
Damon Gettier
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert

Todd, I am to the point that I insist my buyer clients sit down and meet, face to face, with an insurance agent.  I also make sure that the agent I send them to actually quotes what they need.

This past week a client got two quotes from two different Erie Agents, one mine and one from the phone book.  Mine quoted a policy $148 more per year.  The first agent quoted a replacement value that would not replace the house, no septic/sewer backup amongst other things. Mine quoted an all encompassing policy. 

Saving tens of dollars can cost tens of thousands.

I have a $14,000 lawsuit sitting on my desk against one of my agents because of sewer backup.....sad thing for the buyer that they signed a form telling them that our agent and our company suggest septic/sewer backup.

Great post.

May 09, 2010 01:54 AM
Anonymous #64
Anonymous
Todd Murphy

Alexander, if you have ever, and I mean ever, run a red light, failed to completely stop at a stop sign, used your cell phone while driving, exceeded the speed limit, or had an at-fault accident, you are no better than Cynthia.

I make the assumption that my clients aren't perfect, and I build a programs with that in mind.  It seems to work better for me that way, since I know I'm not perfect.

By the way, let's assume that the other guy ran the red light and didn't have insurance.  With the same coverage that Cynthia had, she would have received no monetary help for injuries.

I completely don't agree with your opinion.  But then again, we all have opinions.

May 09, 2010 07:38 AM
Rainmaker
1,281,486
Joan Cox
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373

My only accident in 54 years I caused was when I had clients in my car.     The car had to be towed, and these clients called the very next day in hopes of hitting the bricks again that day.   I had to have one day off out of my car!

May 10, 2010 11:07 AM
Rainmaker
813,509
Joyce Kelley
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc

This was funny till I saw the "it's a true story" I had my first accident after 50 years of driving and my insurance went through the roof.

September 30, 2011 10:46 PM
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Rainer
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Todd Murphy

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