LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I was insured by AAA a few years ago-however after my accident and the way AAA handled it-I'd never use them again nor refer anyone to them ever. I was hit by a vehicle while parked in my car, which totaled my car. The officer at the scene deemed it was not my fault-and the other driver admitted it was their fault at the scene of the accident. I am grateful to be alive-but I have suffered. When I reported the accident-AAA had no out of pocket expenses, I had volunteered and chosen GAP insurance which paid for my totaled car-my medical insurance paid for all my medical bills. I had the car 6 months before the accident. AAA denied my insurance claim...and it didn't help that they also gave my personal information in error to some address 50 miles from my home-that I never received-even now two years later-I've never received my own information from AAA. There's more...
California has a proposition 213-which was enforced for many years now-which means no person shall receive or derive pain and suffering if they do not have insurance-and I believe in this proposition. However, you can claim estimated economical losses. This was an insult to my injuries that AAA got out of insuring me.
AAA confused me with another AAA member-with the same first name, middle initial, and last name as mine-who drove at one time the same make and model car that I had but different year on my AAA policy and at the same time both of us had children born the same year and month on our policies as well. We also lived in the same city/town in California. Errors like this are rare if ever happen-however it happened to me and AAA mixed me up with this AAA member and said it was my fault. It was my fault to use AAA as my insurance company.
I had purchased a car two years ago and put it on AAA policy-I went down to my local AAA branch office where I did business-close to my home. The Sales Agent who helped me that day was new and filling in for the day-my regular sales agent had left the company. The Sales Agent wrote up my info on the computer then wrote down the policy number on a piece of paper for me and said I would receive my new insurance cards for my car and declaration page in a week or so-I had recently traded my car for my new car and I threw out my old insurance cards. I waited for my insurance cards and declaration page-it never came. I kept calling AAA using my name and the policy number the sales agent originally gave me-on the phone AAA didn't ask for anything else except for my policy number and I was told either they were sent or they were sorry and would be sending them again. Each time I called AAA-I used the policy number that the sales agent originally gave me. I was on a work assignment in Europe and New York City the middle part of the year in question 3 months before the accident happened-so I was at the mercy of AAA's experts. Two years later AAA gave the state insurance office who wrote to me and told me my insurance cards and declaration page had been sent to a wrong address to a town 50 miles away from my town-I never lived at this address. I have proof I never lived at this residence. I never received my insurance cards for my new car or my declaration page for that car. AAA had sent my personal information to an address I never lived at-and this area is not a very good part of Los Angeles-unfortunately this is a heartbreaking part of town-there are many drug dealers and it is a dangerous area where my insurance cards and declaration page that AAA sent to this address.
I reported the accident the day after the accident to AAA and the sales agent asked me if I reported the accident yet, when I said no, not yet, then he said he would report the accident to the DMV-which he said was called an SR1. I was never told at this time I was not insured. I have this in writing by AAA that I called the day after my accident.
When AAA reported my accident-they reported it on the other AAA member with the same name as mine which 2 years later came back to haunt me when I renewed my license with the DMV-they kept insisting I wasn't me-which I was, but I had to give them more proof-I did straighten everything out with the DMV. It was a horrific ordeal.
18 months later and after my serious surgery when I needed my declaration page-AAA sent me the other person with the same name as mine- and all their information-I have all the documentation in writing from AAA-who kept mixing us up. I saw that the same policy number was on this declaration page-but my car wasn't. I never knew there was a problem with AAA until 2 years later-when I needed my declaration page for my car. At this time I saw there was a mix up-I received the other person's cars and(3) different addresses on the declaration pages and all their private information in faxes. I kept receiving faxes with different addresses with the same policy number I had with my name on them, but not my car. I have record of all of this. In toll I received 12 faxes from AAA for another person at three addresses without my car on them-and none of these addresses were mine. I called AAA and explained that my car wasn't on the faxes they kept sending me-that is when a sales agent asked for my Social Security #-AAA doesn't usually ask for Social Security #'s this sales agent told me. I was then told I had 2 other policy numbers-under my name and I was told it was AAA 'error' (which I have in writing) and that they would underwrite me a new policy-I was told this by the sales agent I was working with at that time. The next day I got a call from the same sales agent and she told me that AAA was very upset with her and that she might lose her job and this wasn't the first time that she was worried about losing her job, she told me that AAA wanted to fire her because she wouldn't try to sell home owners insurance after talking to each client (she said it has since made AAA customer's unhappy so AAA stopped this), they put her on probation for 6 months for not trying to upsell home insurance while talking to new and or old customers called for their auto insurance. I felt badly for this sales agent but, why was she telling me all this and not helping me? Again, she said-that she shouldn't have told me that they were going to underwrite a new policy-this sales agent told me to speak to her Supervisor-I called him and he was not very nice...I told him he didn't have to be so gruff towards me-he became accusing of me-telling me it wasn't AAA's fault-that it was mine-he told me AAA was the best and that other insurance companies pale in comparison-but I didn't know what was yet to come nor what this Supervisor meant at the time. The Supervisor did state that all the problems were coming from his team-and I didn't know what that meant at the time. This Supervisors team was sending me all the faxes and telling me that it was AAA's error-needless to say he wasn't happy. This Supervisor told me that I actually had 2 other policy numbers...and that he would get to the bottom of it-because he is a Virgo and Virgo's are perfectionists he said-I felt I was in a very poor position with an Astrologist not a AAA Supervisor Specialist. He said he would call me the next day, he never did. I called him 2 days later and he said that yes, AAA mixed me up with someone else and that I had policies out under other names (which I didn't of course) and that my policy was cancelled-when I asked him to send me that information-he didn't-and to top it all off the Supervisor said it was my fault. It started to get worse...
I was very concerned and asked for the President of AAA #-this Supervisor would NOT give me the President's #-I could tell he was fibbing when he said he already contacted the President and that he would get back to me-he said that there was nothing I could do anyway-because it was my fault-even though it was AAA's error. I needed to find out what was going on.
I called the President of AAA (AAA has a few Presidents depending where you are)---his assistant never heard of me-so the Supervisor who was a perfectionis wasn't honest with me. The President's assistant was very nice, considerate and treated me with respect and dignity she turned me onto an analyst-she was more than frustrated with the whole matter and I felt she didn't want to deal with it or me...she admitted it was AAA's error and would get back to me-she did 2 weeks later. She wrote me a long letter that was full of lame excuses and more fibs-she said that AAA cashed my premium check but that because it wasn't enough to pay the premium so what did they do? They put it towards earned credit and later I was told by the state insurance that AAA put the $ towards owed credit points-I think this is a stipulation in AAA policy that if something goes wrong and it will sometimes they can put your money in their bank account and call it something special-just because they can and that is what they did...In that same letter in communication AAA said that they sent me U.S. mail that my policy indeed was cancelled. Remember they sent my declaration page and insurance cards to the wrong address in the first place 50 miles away from my town so I never received anything from them-ever. This analyst states I did call AAA offices many times but in that documentation they use the word 'assume' a lot. Someone else had my insurance cards and declaration page...so someone out there has my personal information-because AAA gave it to them in the U.S. mail-which is documented. To this day I never received my insurance cards or declaration page.
I then wrote to the state insurance in California, I was really trying to get some answers-and they said they needed to side with AAA-but kept the case open in case I could convince them I was right and AAA wasn't-what a bunch of nonsense. I always think, when things go wrong, something is behind the motive of wrong-so this is my 3 cents: I figure if word got out that there was a AAA problem or an identity switcharoo-AAA would have their hands full of people claiming that they too had problems perhaps via the same problems as I had-especially in a state where Proposition 213 is in effect-and so many folks are driving without insurance in Los Angeles, California-however, I didn't drive without insurance, and it's not because I am better than anyone else or smarter, it is because I like to do the right thing and follow the laws of the state. I did document everything from AAA and all the different theories they told me. I am suffering from AAA's negligences-and my personal information was given to who knows who? I trusted AAA experts-and they didn't have a handle on any of this and or my situation. It was up to me to figure out what they did wrong-and I didn't have access to my file-and AAA wasn't going to give it to me. AAA offered no solice-in fact they blamed me for all of their error's in writing-stating their error was my fault to the state insurance. I have all documents, faxes, and in each communication things differ. Early on AAA said that they would not speak to me if I involved a lawyer-because they felt we could straighten this out-so I didn't go the lawyer route...I thought I could work it out with AAA-and if I did bring in a lawyer early on, I'd never have the inside information I have now-to help others. What they did to me is wrong, I know it, now you know it-and this is what they don't want to get out-but I am going to get the word out in all the media mediums; radio, television, internet, print, posters, blogs, everywhere I can-so that people can be aware. For over 2 years I tried to work it out with AAA-then I wrote to the state insurance office who in fact did help me by turning my documents over to the agency who they thought would help me-the state claims commission states that in their communication with the AAA that they made a mistake but that it was my fault because I couldn't remember my address, now that is new-I found out more mistakes that had been made that were recently disclosed after 2 years.
I've never driven without insurance-at the time of my accident I was insured by two medical insurances...and I had another car insurance for my two other vehicles-and since I had AAA I didn't put my car on it before the accident on the policy because my policy was in effect and the premium was paid... Many people were affected by this-the other person with the same name as my own and her sibbling-myself and my sibbling that was on the policy. My sibbling also had their personal information given to another address. And my information that was sent to the wrong address 50 miles away from my own town. I feel from the get go-AAA had me mixed up. I am not an isolated incidence-I am sure as I read here there are many mistakes AAA made...I have all the documation to back me up which makes a difference. When I tell people what had happened to me-or I show them what had happened they said they are mad at AAA and won't use them because of what transpired with me and how they tried to blame me for their error and how they put me in a position that my personal information, my siblings personal information is at risk. More than the fact that I will never receive pain and suffering-having my personal information at risk causes me much grief. I think we should trust our insurance companies...and yes, I realize that errors happen however, this was huge negligence and error on AAA's part that hurt me personally. I am a Journalist and I don't like to sue anyone. Since I am in the Media and I have everything to back me up-I want to help others-I've become an expert in AAA errors and what they won't do to help those who have been loyal to them. I plan to take this situation on-and bring what happened to me to the Media in every faucet of the media-because money doesn't sate principle...I believe that by writing about what happened to me might help and educate others so that it may prevent it from happening to them. If you use AAA insurance may God help you if you are ever in an identity mix up as I was in their system-which cost me $. This has been an act of indentity fraud and a cover up-and I realize now how it can happen and it has happened to me. It has been suggested that I will now have to take steps in changing my name and Social Security # as well as my sibling will need to do-which will hurt me in business... Thanks, this is my 3 cents.