My name’s Hope. I’m 33 and I work in finance. When the pandemic started, I thought to myself: this is a stressful time, but hey, at least I can work from home. No commute, I can save on gasoline, and I won’t be getting into any collisions any time soon.
The good news? I didn’t get into any collisions during the pandemic. The bad news? I’d forgotten I live in Alberta, where occasionally hailstones the size of tennis balls drop out of the sky.
My car was parked out on the street on Saturday, June 13th, 2020, when all of a sudden the fourth costliest natural disaster in Canada’s history rolled into town. My car – like everyone else’s – took a huge pounding. The windows were shattered, and there were dents all over the roof and hood. The funny thing was, I didn’t think it was that bad at first. How much could it cost to replace the windows and straighten out the bodywork? Surely, my insurance had me covered, right?
To my surprise, my insurance company declared the car a write-off.
See, what I didn’t know before was that due to issues with the supply chain, replacing even ‘simple’ parts is now extremely costly. All kinds of systems I didn’t know about had been damaged, too, such as the sensors mounted on my windshield used for lane keeping. It would cost more to pay for the replacements than to simply pay me off for the value of the car at the time of the storm, so that’s what my insurance company did.
So there I was – I hadn’t driven anywhere further than to the grocery store in months, and now my car was officially totaled.
Here’s the really bad part: I’d only bought the car last year, and I still owed a ton on it. The figure the insurance company offered me for the write-off wouldn’t even cover that amount, let alone buy me a new car. I tried arguing, but the insurers didn’t budge. I even ended up forwarding their letters to the Ministry of Transport, because I couldn’t believe what was happening. The bottom line: when your neck’s out, you discover who’s actually on your side. Clearly, my insurance company wasn’t.
But here’s where the story turns good. I had grabbed Optiom’s Total Loss Benefit when I bought my car. I just had… I don’t want to say a hunch. It was intuitive, but it was more of a cover-your-butt thing. Like I said, I just knew my insurance provider wasn’t going to cut it. I just didn’t know how bad the cut would be – or how bad it might have been if not for Optiom.
My short-term thoughts to sign on with Optiom had and will have long-term payoffs. For one, Optiom’s Total Loss Benefit covered me – total losses aren’t just collisions! Two, Optiom then closed the gap my insurer wouldn’t provide; I was compensated for the difference between my vehicle’s value and what I still owed.
I had never felt lower, until Optiom stepped in, ready to pick me back up again. Their team worked so hard. Telling my story was the least I could do for them. I looked into it – their policy covers vehicles up to seven years old, in certain rate classes. It’s easy to qualify. I’ve told my friends. Now, I’m telling you. It’s just worth having.
Life is unpredictable – you don’t know when the next hailstorm will happen. Optiom did its best to stand by my side when it happened to me. That’s really hard to find these days, and believe me, you’ll appreciate it.
Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart.