“They Can’t Do Anything But Say No”

We’ve al been in situations where we have to ask for something but at the same time, doubting whether we’ll get what we want. And the only way to justify asking is to rationalize the request by thinking that we’ll never get what we want without asking. So, we inevitably conclude that “they can’t do anything but say no”. The same thing happens when people submit claims to their insurance carrier. You have to put your claim in someone else’s hands and wait for them to decide whether you have a valid claim. Usually, it boils down to a settlement between the carrier and insured. However, there are those instances that arise when damage occurs and the insured feels that it should be covered but, it likely is not. A case in point recently arose when an insured driver hit a plastic five gallon container with his car and filed a claim alleging damage to the transmission oil cooler. Upon investigation, it was also learned that the drainage of transmission fluid, which the driver claimed never to have noticed, resulted in the complete destruction of the transmission. For those that are not aware of the location of a transmission oil cooler, it is usually located in the radiator/condenser area, in the front of the vehicle, where air can come in contact. Knowing that the plastic container would have had to enter the air opening in order to contact the cooler, the bumper and grille areas were examined for damage and none was found. In addition, the air opening was much too small to allow even a part of the container to enter and make contact with the cooler. Furthermore, none of the cooling fins or tubes that were part of the cooler were damaged by anything external to the vehicle. Needless to say, the claim was denied much to the disappointment of the insured.

The message here is if you, as the insured, know that there is element of uncertainty in your explanation, then don’t be surprised if your claim is denied. That is not to say that all claims have to have a reasonable explanation. There are times when only an expert can explain the circumstances that are not obvious to a layman. But, when the explanation is bordering on the absurd, it’s time to reconsider your claim. Remember, you can submit your claim because they can’t do anything but say no.

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More Throttle Trouble

Ford and Mazda have announced recalls for thousands of their vehicles involving a sticking throttle.  In both of these vehicles, the throttle has a tendency to stick in the wide open position because of a clearance problem between the  engine cover and a cable connector.  As a result, when the driver tries to slow down  by releasing pressure on the accelerator pedal, the vehicular speed will not decrease.  Furthermore,  it may be difficult to stop the vehicle and could result in a crash.  The vehicles that are involved in this recall are 2001-2004 Ford Escape and 2001-2006 Mazda Tribute.  It seems odd that Ford and Mazda should have the same recall but, Ford apparently contributed to the manufacture of the Tribute.  It should be noted that Ford issued a recall for the same problem a few years ago.  Their solution was to replace the cable.  However, it appears that their solution was inadequate.  Now, the problem is still in existence and over 600,000 vehicles have to be repaired.  In the meantime, drivers and their passengers are at risk for serious injury if they lose control because of this defect.

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