What do you mean you’re not married? Not even a blood relative?

Written by admin on October 22, 2011 – 1:22 pm -

Hello 2011 — Do insurance companies understand this is a whole new world and not everyone chooses to get married or legally can? Apparently not; at least in the case of Geico.

This is really not a complaint about customer service. The company has tried its hardest and has been more than responsive in communicating about my car that is somewhere in Maryland, three hours from Washington, DC.

The car and a deer collided on a lovely country road and the deer is no longer. My friend and I survived. But the car will cost nearly $6,000 to repair and it’s anticipated it will take 14 working days before the car is operational.

Geico tried its hardest to get us back to D.C., but most car rental companies in this part of the world, are closed on Sundays. The few that were open, didn’t have any cars for rent. If we could have found our way to an Amtrakstation, Mr. Murray, Geico’s damage adjuster, informed us all of the seats were reserved. Thank goodness, someone, who shall be nominated for sainthood, spent six hours (round trip) and drove us to D.C.

Our only alternative would have been taking a taxi to the Nation’s Capital and that didn’t appear to be an option. This company has insured my cars for more than six years and has never had to pay a dime.

This was not a day in the country nor a jog in the park; and when the thermometer hit 105 degrees F, everyone was cranky.

When I received an email advising me a rental car would be awaiting me the next day, I was delighted. However, when I went to pick up the car, I was given a car that’s too big to fit in the garage and was advised to keep calling back to check whether or not a smaller car had been turned in. So much for Enterprise’s customer service. The Enterprise rental agency’s personnel couldn’t call me and instructed me to continue calling since they couldn’t anticipate when/if cars would be returned to that office. The idea of transferring a car from another center or having me pick one up was beyond their comprehension. Hey – DC isn’t exactly the end of the world … but, so be it.

The issue that got me the most was I was not permitted to add an additional driver to the rental policy because Geico was paying for the rental car. After calling Geico more than a few times, the reality was that unless the person was a legal partner or a blood relative, there was no way the company was going to allow me to designate another person to be a second driver, even if I paid the premium.

Which caused me to think and think again. In spite of the fact that Geico’s headquarters are in Maryland, which doesn’t recognize same sex marriages, that was too bad. If a step-parent or step child wanted to drive the car, too darn bad. Only blood and marriage? Excuse me — but isn’t this a civil liberties violation? After repeated calls and being told no and no again as I went up the management ladder, I started seeing red, not green geckos. What is wrong with this picture?

Accidents happen and that’s life, in what happened to be the slow lane, since we were traveling less that 30 miles per hour when the deer jutted out of the woods. On the other hand, what gives an insurance company the right to stipulate a client can’t designate a secondary driver on a rental car? When a woman handling the claim said (ever so calmly) I should have read the small print of the policy, obscene thoughts entered my mind.

So — if you happen to live an “alternative” life-style, should you insure with companies that refuse to allow someone who’s not related to be placed on a rental policy even if you’re willing to buy additional insurance? That’s worth pondering since it includes step-children, step-parents and significant others (or even a friend) if your relationship hasn’t been sanctioned by a state.

Good news: I just call Enterprise with the saga that the SUV I had wasn’t safe (for me) to drive on congested streets. They had another much smaller car but they still refused to allow me to buy insurance for a second driver. Do other people’s hearts palpitate in situations such as this?

This is when I suffer extreme culture shock. The perception that everything is so easy in the U.S. is precisely that. If you think I would consider getting married if this were to (please not) occur again, think again. Are others outraged over what could be perceived as discrimination of so many types? Let’s hear your reactions.

Posted in Consumer Traveler |