Car buyers beware PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 12:16

LOOKING IN

BY ROD BALBON

It’s nice hear car companies offering promos to entice prospective buyers to buy their products such as giving free registration of the cars for three years and the payment of the car insurance.

But in the choice of the insurance company, however, one cannot have his choice unless one buys the car in cash.

Usually, the car company would already have their chosen car insurance company and the prospective buyer will only have to accede to the car dealer’s choice, knowing that this insurance company will anyhow shoulder the expenses when the car sustains or suffers damages and has to be repaired or fixed as provided for in the agreed manual.

But this kind of agreement has raised many complaints since the insurance companies, which are located in Manila, would take a longer time to approve the insurance claims of car owners thus causing a great delay in the repair or fixing of the car.

I experienced this kind of problem when the new car I bought—the 2018 model Suzuki Dzire, sustained scratches which needed to be repaired. I bought this brand new car on installment basis, payable for five (5) years through the BDO.

Three employees went to my residence to take pictures of the damage and a xeroxed copy of my driver’s license and requested for an affidavit alleging the incident and the time of its occurrence, and the official receipt of the car’s down payment. Thereafter, they drove the car to Suzuki’s “casa” at Veterans Avenue where the repair works will accordingly be made. The requirements for the approval of my insurance claim were completed and submitted on the following day, October 5, 2018.

The papers were then allegedly sent to my designated car insurance company—Standard Insurance Main Office.

Accordingly, the repair of the car will only take about one or two weeks to be finished but I will first have to wait for the approval of my insurance claim which will be made by the Standard Kalibo, Aklan Main Office. Why in Kalibo, Aklan, I don’t know.

But unfortunately, for more than a month now since October 5, 2018, November 13, 2018, no action has been taken by the Kalibo, Aklan Standard Insurance Office. I called up, many times, the person at Suzuki Zamboanga who is in-charge for following up this claim but he could hardly be contacted. His cellphone would ring but he won’t answer my calls. Last week he called me that my insurance claim has not yet been approved by the Standard Kalibo, Aklan Office.

Aggrieved and exasperated, I was thinking of burning my bridges and file a case for mandamus and demand payment for actual, moral, and exemplary damages as I was already paying my installment payments for the car but am being deprived of its use and comfort. Since they gave me a problem, I assiverated that I will also return them the favor by filing a suit for their inconvenience and for them to spend for their lawyer’s professional fees, billetings, and fares to come to this city for the hearing of the case. But my lawyer advised me that we should first write them a demand letter to inquire why up to now they have not acted upon my claim. I went to the local

Standard Insurance Office to get the name of the over-all head of said office and his office address. But one of its kind and worthy employee, Art Pardillo, allotted enough of his time to listen to my woes and inquired me about my problem. He offered to call the Standard Kalibo Office to inquire about the status of my claim. He told me it’s just a small problem and a case of miscommunication. He was told by their Kalibo Office that it only received the claim requirements only on October 31, 2018. He told me that I should not worry and he promised to help me to have it facilitated within the week. Such claim would have been promptly acted upon if their local insurance office has been chosen as the insurer of my car, he said. He further revealed that this Kalibo Office is serving three kinds of car dealers in Zamboanga City—the Suzuki, Hyundai, and Chevrolet and many have experienced the same kind of problem like me. He says that in buying a car, it would be prudent to choose a local car insurance company to avoid such kind of unreasonable delays when such kind of problem arises. A local insurance company, like the Standard Insurance, will promptly take action on our insurance problems as it can be immediately contacted and is just operating right here in the city. We don’t have to wait for months to have our claims facilitated and approved. What the Standard Kalibo Office did, coupled with Suzuki Zamboanga’s neglect, is clearly a case of insensitivity and lack of kindness.

So to prospective car buyers, choose a local insurance company as the insurer of your car insurance. Never choose an insurance company where the necessary approval of our insurance claim is processed in Manila or elsewhere. And I’m very sure that Standard Insurance Zamboanga located at the Jasmine Towers can solve such kind of problem very promptly.