By: Amy E
**** Update 7/9/15 Safety Insurance decided 2 years later to drop me as an insured driver after more than 7 years of loyalty despite no issues with my driving record. They refused to tell me the reason why, but upon further investigation and off the record conversations we found out this was due to the at fault driver being underinsured and as a result they are dropping me. I DO NOT ENDORSE SAFETY INSURANCE ANYMORE. We will NOT support any businesses that treat their customers this way and then refuse to give an answer. We find them to be rude and inepy. We strongly suggest you find your insurance elsewhere. We are currently searching for a new provider who will appreciate customer loyalty, especially loyalty from consumers who have EXCELLENT records who do nothing but pay thousands of $$$ every year!
I recently got into a bad car accident. Thankfully no one lost any limbs, suffered from uncontrolled bleeding
etc. I have been getting back to normal and recovering from my injuries, though it has been slow going. Another thankful thing was that there were no children involved in the actual accident. My Tiny One was happily at daycare when the accident took place and for that I am very thankful.
The insurance companies determined fault to be with the other driver who had broad sided me after passing a vehicle in front of her on the right at an intersection. Murray & MacDonald as well as Safety Insurance on my side were very quick and supportive and responsive to me as their client. Unfortunately on the other side of things USAA was not helpful, have dragged their feet & continue to do so. I believe the reason for this to be due to the extremely low coverage the other driver (from New Jersey) had- $5,000 in property damage coverage and less than the state MA minimum on Injury coverage. Because of this, USAA has been very difficult to deal with.
After the accident, one of my primary concerns was my child’s car seat. I had purchased a Britax marathon when my child transitioned from an infant carrier. I have to tell you I have been beyond happy with the purchase and the peace of mind it brings me in knowing my child is safe. Car seats are NOT a cheap investment by any means. Also as many of you may already know, if a car seat is in a car when an accident happens then the seat must almost usually be replaced. This is true whether a child is actually in the seat or not at the time of the accident. My accident in particular definitely met the standards to be replaced.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as the seat manufacturers take the position that the seat
Unfortunately the adjustors (plural as we had to go thru several to get results) at USAA were unhelpful in the car seat area. Technically they should replace the car seat since their insured was at fault. They kept claiming that depending on the coverage issue they could reimburse me; however I don’t have $300 extra bucks lying around to replace my car seat and then cross my fingers and hope that there is money left to reimburse me. USAA just didn’t care. Agent S.T. even tried to tell me he “understands how I am feeling,” as I sat crying on the phone when he explained about the coverage issue. No I’m sorry S.T., you do NOT understand in any way shape or form. You are not a single mother who was in a car crash and out of work who has to pay for childcare regardless of having an accident or unpaid week from work. You are not sitting here worrying about whether if we are in a subsequent crash if we would actually survive. You are sitting in some office someplace else and I am just another person on this planet with billions. But I do understand you are just doing your job albeit a bad job, as you really did nothing to resolve the issue quickly and just continually made excuses because of the low coverage on your insured’s end. It is seriously insulting to my intelligence to patronize me S.T.
Thankfully my local insurance company, Murray & MacDonald, and agent had my back EVERY STEP OF THE WAY! My agent from Murray & MacDonald, Sara was AMAZING. She worked nonstop with Safety & USAA (and still is) on my claim, trying to get things resolved, trying to get me back into a safe vehicle and
trying to get my child back into a safe car seat. But USAA would not budge on the car seat and kept delaying responses to paying for the car seat until they “knew the total damage and cost to fix my car.” I particularly loved the line that agent, S.T., gave to us where he stated, “Well we have to protect our insured.” Um yea, well your insured is at fault for not paying attention, being impatient and passing on the right at an intersection, and by the way who is protecting my child?! You would think that USAA, which does A LOT of business with military families in this country, would be more empathetic to situations that involved children or families, but they were not.
My agent, Sara and Shirley (From Safety) were my hero’s! They
kept on fighting for me despite having calls ignored by USAA, threatened to be hung up on, and other delay tactics. Eventually it came to a point where I couldn’t sleep one night because of
the car seat issue. I kept having nightmares that we would be in a subsequent crash and the seat would fail and my child would be hurt. I know it is a mother’s fears, some may even think I was overreacting however I was not okay with leaving my son’s safety up to chance. At 3am one day I sat down and sent an email to Shirley and Sara and explained just how upset I was about the car seat situation. Seeing as how USAA was dragging their feet, I asked Shirley to request a signed letter from USAA stating that they would be liable for my child if the car seat failed to protect him in a subsequent crash. After seeing just how upset I was (and believe me she was just as frustrated with USAA as we were. She had even specifically told them don't worry about the repairs to the car we will cover it just get Amy a new car seat and get her into a rental so she and her son can be safe-but USAA just didn't care), Shirley immediately got in touch with me early in the morning and told me that they would take care of my car seat and replace it because they did not want me to be upset and frustrated. I had to send my original receipt of purchase to them as well as research the current prices and deals on getting the new seat. I sent all the documentation to her and shortly thereafter Shirley emailed me back saying she had cut a check and sent it to me. I received the check and immediately purchased a new car seat which has arrived and is already installed in the car I am temporarily in! I feel so much better now-even though I don’t have the car back yet, I know my son is safe!
The saga is still far from over. Right now the car is still being fixed. USAA’s response to finding out Safety had helped with the seat: “oh we see Safety helped you with the seat, that’s nice.” Thanks USAA, thanks for absolutely nothing! Thanks for ignoring messages left for you, thanks for transferring the claim from one person to another to delay it, thanks for not advising your insured to get better coverage upon moving to Massachusetts. Thanks for your nasty snide comments about the witness: “oh I don’t know how reliable 14 year old’s are.” Probably about as reliable as your 22 year old underinsured driver… just a thought. Maybe other people have had positive experiences with USAA before but I am not one of them. I WILL NEVER USE YOU AS AN INSURANCE COMPANY OR REFER ANYONE TO YOU. In fact I would advise people who have you to make sure that when you move from state to state with USAA insurance, that you should check the state minimum’s and make sure USAA adjusts your policy accordingly because USAA certainly is not going to do it for you. After dealing with them it doesn't seem to me like they have their client's best interests in mind.
Thankfully Sara though was by my side. I was out of work for a bit immediately after the accident but Sara was such an asset and I felt s me obtain great coverage on my car so that when things like this happen the car can get fixed. It was comforting knowing she had my back and I could focus on feeling better. Every day she worked hard at making sure everyone had the proper paperwork, that people had the pictures of the scene, that liability was being determined…. Seriously this girl did not stop, I don’t know if she slept either! I know she is also a working mom, so I think she understood how frustrated I was. I definitely did not have the energy to deal with process or some of the people on the other insured’s end. Sometimes after trying to talk to USAA, my headaches would increase from all the stress from just dealing with uncooperative people. But Sara had unending patience and kept persevering despite USAA blocking us every step of the way.
When the other driver failed to leave any insurance information at the scene of the accident or with the police officer, it was Sara who helped track down the owner of the other vehicle and get their insurance information. I could barely function after the accident so having Sara take care of everything for me between Safety and USAA was amazing. She copied me on every single email they went out and gave me daily calls and updates to get things settled. I don’t think I can even express how grateful I was to have someone fighting for me and my son. I truly felt like I was her priority and that she cared about the situation.
Sara and Murray& MacDonald have been my local agents for about 5 years now and I have never once been disappointed. And this recent situation was no different. Within an hour of the accident, Sara was already preparing paperwork to send to the proper people and checking on me while I was in the Emergency Room.
Because of Murray MacDonald’s hands on approach and service they have earned a customer for life!
Technically I could probably go through Safety myself directly however having a local insurance agent really makes a difference when the unexpected happens! Having a local agent helps ensure the fact that they actually know YOU and YOUR situation. They are invested in their community and their clients. I truly felt like I was family in this situation and that they, Sara in particular fought as hard as a mother Bear would for her children. And she did it for me and my family. Now that is AMAZING service!
I want to thank Murray & MacDonald for their amazing support in dealing with such a difficult situation. I
would recommend them to anyone! And if you don’t use them then I definitely recommend finding a local company that will have your back!
I want to thank Shirley from Safety Insurance for working with Sara and me so diligently. Also thank you for understanding my situation and making sure my son was going to be safe.
And I want to thank Sara most of all though, without her I would still be trying to navigate the system and trying to get back to normal. Thank you Sara, thank you for fighting for me, thank you for caring, thank you for not letting it go until things have been made right and thank you most of all for protecting me and my son. Accidents happen but having such a supportive person in your corner makes all the difference!
Do you use a local insurance company? Have you had a great experience where you felt they fought hard for you! I'd love to hear about other local companies who are really invested in their clients!
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