Jaime T

Insurance Means Justice

As a 17 year old girl this summer, I was focused on things like working three jobs, spending time with my friends, and going to the beach every second of my spare time. I had no idea that insurance was about to play a huge role in my life.

Insurance to me means justice. Right before I turned 18, a stranger thrust open his car door into my car and made a huge dent in the side of my car. This was my first car, and I had worked since I was 14 years old to make enough money to buy a used 2000 Toyota Rav 4. This past summer alone, I had 3 jobs and worked 10-14 hours every day. So when the man jumped out of his brand new Audi and yelled at me to stay in my car, of course I got out to see the damage. This man and his friend were both older and very intimidating, and I had no time to think. With neither of my parents answering their phones, I felt forced to agree to his terms. He told me not to call the police and that he would pay cash for the damage if I went to the body shop where he knew the owner. I followed his rules and got an estimate of $600, but when I went to get my money, the man refused to pay. He said it wasn’t his fault and tried to blame the accident on me; and insulted me and my car. It was obvious that he had enough money to pay for the dent, but did not want to spend it.

Even though I had an older car that had a few dents in it already, I was tired of being taken advantage of and pushed around by rich people, which happened at my

jobs every day, and I wanted to fight back, which is what insurance helped me do. For three months, I fought this man through his liability insurance. The lies were endless; he first claimed that I drove into his door, and then that there was no accident at all, and even provided a false name and phone number for his insurance company. He fixed the damage on his car to throw off the photographers from his insurance company, and even tried to pay off a repairman to fix the $600 dent for $100. Next, the man and his friend tried threatening my dad and almost assaulted him after finding out that we were not giving up. His liability insurance denied our first claim, telling me off the record that their hands were tied since he was their customer and put a lot of money into the community. However I was not ready to give up. I appealed the denial of my claim and compiled a list of all the lies and deceit, and finally after three months of fighting, his liability insurance agreed to pay 85% of the damage.

Car insurance has not only given me justice, but also given me back time and freedom. I worked three jobs this summer; potentially losing $600 was losing almost three weeks of working every day; three weeks of grueling lifeguarding shifts on the beach followed by late night closing shifts at a busy frozen yogurt store as the shift supervisor. This was three weeks of passing out on my bed the second I got home because I was so exhausted and barely got any days off, and three weeks of barely seeing my friends because I had to work so much. This was $600 out of my college fund, money that I could not afford to lose. The only time that I don’t work is in the winter when I join my school’s competitive swim team, so if it hadn’t been for insurance I would have had to get another job to make back the money. I am very thankful for car

insurance, because it showed me that justice is justice, regardless of the condition or age of my car. It didn’t matter than his car was worth 40 times what my car was worth, or that he was bigger, louder, older, and richer than me. I worked long and hard for what I have, and car insurance showed me that no one can take that away from me. It showed me that if someone hits your car, there are no exceptions when it comes to paying for the damage, no matter how rich you are or how much you try to cover it up. Now that his insurance company has made things right, I can focus on applying for colleges and looking ahead to my future.

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