My run in with a meat van

This past Friday, January 21st, a stupid meat van ran into the side of my van.  It happened in my neighborhood.  Yes.  I’m okay.  My van isn’t.  Have to deal with the hassle of getting it fixed now.  It was a van driven by those guys you see in neighborhoods selling meat from door to door.  They were trying to turn around in the middle of the road to go left back into the neighborhood and were doing a three point turn thing.

I was going past them and it looked like they were going to stop backing up, but they didn’t.  They hit me so hard. my van got knocked up on the curb.

The van that hit me had minor damage on their rear bumper.  As you can see from the dent, they hit me pretty hard.  I was going close to 30 mph when the van backed into me.

The driver was a 20-year-old kid.  When the police arrived, he looked at the driver’s partner and asked, “Haven’t I see  you before?”  The guy smiled and said. “Yes sir.  You’ve arrested my brother before and I have also been in jail.”  Sound good huh?  I did get in touch with the meat delivery’s insurance company (Nationwide) that night and got a claim number.

Yesterday, a Nationwide representative who is in charge of the case called me.  She gathered some information and then recorded my statement.  When I hung up, I was mad.  Nationwide won’t allow repairs until the driver and his boss are interviewed in order to determine liability.  WTF?.  The driver got the citation.   So it could be weeks until I get my van into the Toyota body shop to get the damage on the driver side door & sliding door fixed.  As a result of my conversation with Nationwide, I called my insurance company USAA to let them know what was up.  If Nationwide gives me problems, they’ll help me.  Good to know.

Update 1/28/2011

I called Nationwide again this past Wednesday (1/26/11) and spoke with the lady who is responsible for the claim.  She told me she has talked with the driver.  However, since the driver is a subcontractor and not the policy owner, she still needs to speak with the person at Capital Meats who owns the policy.  I immediately started getting angry, but held my cool.  I asked her why it is taking so long to speak with someone at Capital Meats.  She got in touch with me the Monday after the accident.  Her response was that Capital Meats is a company and they are busy.  This is strange because the driver’s boss was on the phone trying to talk to me at the time of the accident, but I refused to talk with him.  The driver said his boss wanted to try and settle things without insurance involvement and that he could give me cash.  I told them no.  I also asked the Nationwide representative why she’s still trying to determine liability when the driver was issued the citation.  She just repeated she needed to speak with the policy owner.  This is not good enough.  I want my van fixed.

Update 1/31/2011

I took my van to the Rice Toyota Collision Center in Greensboro, NC.  The USAA representative did an estimate of the damages.  It’s going to be a little over $4,000!  OMG!  However, he said before I contact Nationwide to let them know I need to get the $250 deductible for them,  he has to send the estimate paperwork to USAA.  It seems there is a little law that states if the damage to a vehicle exceeds 75% of the actual cash value, the car is considered a total loss.  I was floored.  The van runs fine.  As a matter of fact, the adjusters couldn’t believe how clean the car was inside and how good of shape the engine was in considering it was a 2001 vehicle.  I take really good care of my cars.  So, since my van is in such excellent condition, the adjuster said USAA should approve of the $4000 cost to fix it.  That cost will be sent to Nationwide for them to pay.  At this point in time, I’m waiting for the adjuster to call me back with the okay.  He’ll then order the new driver side door and sliding door.  After the parts are ordered, I need to contact Nationwide and tell them they should pay me the $250 deductible before my van is finished being fixed (which should be fun) and I’ll contact Enterprise Car Rental and have them deliver my rental on the day I drop my van off.

Update 2/07/11

I just got off the phone with my insurance company USAA.  I’m having a tough time time dealing with the insurance company (my own company USAA) about my van damage.  They want to total it!

My van runs perfectly.  I just need a new drivers side door & sliding door.  USAA told me the car has to be totaled.  They want to give me $5576.83 and then take my car away.  It just doesn’t make sense.  USAA is willing to give me $5576.83 for my totaled car, but aren’t willing to give me the $4000 to fix both doors?

I can’t afford a car payment.  I can’t afford to get another car.  My current car runs fine.  This is insane.  I’m going to call Nationwide back and see if I can strike a deal with the policy owner.  It seems I should have initially stuck to pursuing my case through Nationwide.  I should have only gone through my own insurance company as a last result.  At the time, it felt like a last resort since things were not moving fast enough for me.

I bet a lot of people are going through similar experiences.  More people are keeping their cars past 10 years now because of the economy.  I’m willing to bet there are currently lots of pissed off people who had their cars damaged in the last big snow storm.

Update 2/29/11

Long story made short.  Nationwide couldn’t get in touch with the policy owner at Capital Meats.  Nationwide sent me out to meet their adjuster at Rice Toyota.  Like USAA, Nationwide totaled the van.  The cost of fixing the driver’s side door and sliding door cost more than the actual van was worth.  Nationwide offered me a little over $5100.00.  I decided to go with the USAA option, because it was a little more money, and just collect the $250 deductible from Nationwide which I amazingly have already received.  The Copart salvage company in China Grove, NC sent over a person to collect our green van this past Friday.  So sad to see it go.  I got a car loan through USAA and found a well taken care of 2003 Toyota Sienna Symphony LE with leather interior at a Toyota dealership in Rock Hill, S.C.  According to the Carfax report, the timing belt had been changed, the tires were fairly new, and the van in general had been well cared for.  On Saturday, Carolyn and I drove down to Rock Hill, which is not too far from Carowinds, and bought the van.  With 3% NC sales tax and cost for registration, the van cost us a little over $9.000.  As a result, we ended up paying $4,000 our of our own pocket.  $4,000 which we really don’t have.  Thanks Capital Meats!


2 thoughts on “My run in with a meat van

  1. Sorry to hear about your van. It totally sucks that Nationwide is giving you grief. In addition to all of the actual costs for getting your van repaired, be sure to make them compensate you for the time and aggravation. When I was in an accident several years ago, the other guy’s insurance company didn’t flinch when I asked for $500 to cover the hassle. I’m sure I could have asked for, and received, more. In my case, it was great, ’cause it helped cover for the time I was away from work getting my motorcycle to the shop, getting x-rays, and whatnot. (My accident was property damage only, but I got my foot x-rayed just in case — a pickup truck drove over it after sideswiping me.)

    And USAA is totally awesome. They’ll definitely get involved and take care of you if they need to. I love USAA.

  2. As a former insurance rep, I couldn’t help but be interested in your ordeal. Good to hear that no one was hurt.

    Don’t get too mad at the Nationwide representative. She’s completely correct in holding off on issuing payment before liability (and most importantly, coverage) has been determined. The way policies are written, there’s all sorts of Ts to cross and Is to dot before a check can be cut, even when it’s clearly evident that the other party is at fault.

    Don’t sweat the total loss part either. SC has the same 75% law and if your vehicle is declared a total loss, you can still keep it if you so desire. You may not be able to put comp/collision back on your vehicle, it depends on how things run in NC. On the bright side, in NC, a salvaged title looks just like a normal one, so if the vehicle is ever sold no one will know that it is/was a total loss unless they do some research.

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