Keep a Trail to Save Your Tail

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The dilemma

We called our insurance company to suspend coverage on our car for the 6 months we’d be in Canada for my husband’s temporary job assignment. Instead of suspending coverage, the insurance agent  recommended we simply put the car on “storage insurance” in case something happened while it was sitting in my parent’s driveway. We obliged and agreed to the cost of $5 per month. Fast forward 5 months (one month before we move back home) and we receive a bill in the mail that totals the amount for 6 months of full coverage.

No paper trail

We called our insurance company and learned that our car was never placed on storage. Since all communication was done over the phone before we moved, the receptionist had no paper record of us requesting to switch to storage. Since we still had a month left before our move-back-home date, she kindly offered to switch the car insurance to storage for the last month and change the bill appropriately. Thirty dollars definitely beats a bill for over $300!

Try again

I called the company back a couple days later and explained our frustration with the circumstance. We were originally going to drop the insurance altogether but now we are expected to pay the full amount all because we agreed to this “storage insurance” they recommended to us but never activated. Thankfully as I walked through rough dates of when we made calls to the office, the receptionist was able to dig deeper for us. Through a simple miscommunication, it was assumed that we wanted to change back to regular coverage only a month into our stay in Canada. The problem was corrected and we were sent a new bill with a new amount due that reflected 6 months of storage insurance.

Lesson learned

receiptMy husband and I aren’t very aggressive people. It’s likely due to my desire to please people, but I have a really hard time speaking up and being assertive when I’m screwed over. I’m working on it, but I still like having hard evidence like a paper trail to present when defending my point. This type of paper trail saved us a significant amount we were promised to have taken off our closing costs when we bought our home but the mortgage representative simply forgot to do. I know the company we opened Roth IRAs with keeps notes of every phone and email conversation, but this obviously wasn’t the case with the car insurance company. My plan is to request an email confirmation regarding any decision made over the phone that way my butt is covered next time!

Have you even been screwed over by not keeping a paper trail of records?

This has been a guest post from Jessica. She is a Registered Dietitian and shares practical, useful tips on food, fitness, and finance. Be sure to subscribe to her blog, Budget For Health.

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13 comments to Keep a Trail to Save Your Tail

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