Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Insurance company IS NOT your friend

The windshield on my 2000 VW Golf cracked this weekend. So on Monday I looked into getting it fixed. I called one of the more well known places that repairs and replaces windshields and was quoted $330. I decided to call my Insurance company to inquire how much it would cost if I went through them. And because its the Insurance company, nothing is easy. I had to give them my policy number and then was told it would cost me $300 to go through them. The $300 was my deductible. The guy on the other end of the phone then suggested I do it myself and to call around as it would be cheaper. He then informs me that because I had called the Insurance company, he would have to put a note on my file indicating I had a damaged windshield and that my rates would go down $28 a month until I got it fixed. WTF?!
So, that same day, after calling around, I was able to get my windshield replaced out in Mississauga for $230. Done in an hour, home in two, saved myself $100. I call the Insurance company up when I get home and say the windshield has been replaced. They say great, now we need proof. Since I paid cash I know where this is headed. What kind of proof I ask? You can't take my word for it? No they say, we need a receipt. Now I am annoyed. Without proof they will not take that note they put on my policy off. Fine!
The next day I drive back out to Mississauga, pay some more money and get a receipt (not so much of a savings anymore!). When I get back home I call the Insurance company up and ask where can I e-mail a copy of my receipt. We only use fax machines they reply. What is this the 80's?! I convince them to give me an e-mail address and I send it off, glad to be finally done of this mess.
The phone rings, its the Insurance company. They now need to send an adjuster out to take a picture of my windshield as further proof. I lose it. Are you kidding me? I have to jump through all these hoops just because I called to ask a question? How utterly ridiculous! If I had just gotten the windshield repaired myself, payed for it out of my own pocket (which I did!) and had never called the Insurance company in the first place, I would of been sitting on the couch Monday afternoon enjoying a cold one. Instead, because I called the Insurance company up to ask a question I get mired in the bureaucracy that is the Insurance industry. You want to know why our rates are so high? Because of stupidity like this. Gimme a break, you are forced to pay all this money to "protect" yourself, and then avoid using it when you need the protection the most because you get penalized for using it. And in the end I finally convinced them they did not need to send someone out to check and to restore my policy to its original state. Two days of frustration! What a great system we have here! Its enough to make you pull out your hair!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lenin and friends

I'm tired of seeing snow covered landscapes, enough with winter already! Here's one of my favorite shots. Where do you think it was taken? Somewhere in Russia? Eastern Europe? How about Gerrard and Coxwell in Toronto. The bust of Lenin behind us is a movie prop sitting out on the sidewalk in front of a army surplus store. Even cooler is that this photo was taken Sept 9th, 2001! Wow where does the time go?!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pilar meets Gene Simmons

When Pilar worked for Canada AM she had the opportunity to produce a segment on the new book Gene Simmons had just wrote. (Gene is the bass guitarist for the rock band KISS.) And of course Pilar got to see Gene's tongue!