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#223067 - 05/06/11 05:47 PM Alternate transportation issues
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 890
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
One of the things that I recently encountered was the requirement for alternate means of transportation. My vehicle was t-boned the other day and while I argue with the insurance company about whether it should be "totalled" or not, I am presently without transportation.

My choices are
a) Rent a vehicle; but given the uncertainty of whether my vehicle will be totalled or not has an impact on whether the insurance company will pay for this rental.
b) Walking/bycycling
c) Catching a ride with friends
d) Public transport

I am opting for a combination of the above. The bus system introduced a new method of payment last year - it is a chip card that when read by an e-reader in each bus will automatically debit either the daily fare or the monthly pass. I think I will keep one of these cards loaded and ready for interim use (one more in the BOB) if I ever need to use alternate transporation again. It's convenient and never expires and more likely to be used in case I can never find any change in my pocket! It carries no personal information only the fares and the route numbers.

PS: I am really getting sick and tired of people hitting me! This is the 4th time in seven years I've been hit by somebody else (I'm never the cause). I've had one vehicle totalled and one about to be. This just grinds at me and I am beginning to lose my temper with these idiots other drivers. [Rant off!]

On a side note: the cops who attended the accident were highly amused when I emptied my vehicle contents into the awaiting taxi. There was my high-vis hard hat; high-vis vest, car kit, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, shovel, blanket, water bottles and bungee cords. Quite the armfull! They probably never saw anybody so SAFE! I incurred a bit of whiplash that didn't present itself until yesterday so I am nursing that for a while.

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#223068 - 05/06/11 05:54 PM Re: Alternate transportation issues [Re: Roarmeister]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2928
Loc: USA
What I've done in the past is call the offending motorist's insurance company, inform them calmly that I'm filing a claim, and tell them (not ask) that I'll be billing them for a rental. That has worked very well for me.

I had one threaten to refuse the rental. "No problem," I said. "You can pay for the rental, for my time to fight this, and my attorney's fees. Unless there's anything else, I need to call my lawyer now." They backed down and paid the rental.

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#223077 - 05/06/11 09:33 PM Re: Alternate transportation issues [Re: Roarmeister]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Sorry to hear about your accidnet. Glad you're okay. FYI, A lot of public buses have fold out bike racks on the front of the bus. Just flip it down and load the bike. Good luck with the insurance co.

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#223079 - 05/06/11 10:25 PM Re: Alternate transportation issues [Re: Roarmeister]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Sorry to hear about the accident. I hope the whiplash heals up completely.

We're such a car-centric society, things like mechanical breakdowns or accidents can really seriously affect your daily living significantly. Actually, you're quite lucky that you can use public transit or pedal-power to get around. So many communities are so spread out, and so many of our jobs are in far away places, that no car = a very tough existence.

That comment about all your safety gear made me chuckle. It's like the cliche in any number of movies where the hero is required to turn in his weapons before going someplace, and then proceeds to pull a ridiculous number of weapons from various pockets and hiding places on their person and lays them on the table one by one.

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#223082 - 05/07/11 12:00 AM Re: Alternate transportation issues [Re: chaosmagnet]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
What I've done in the past is call the offending motorist's insurance company, inform them calmly that I'm filing a claim, and tell them (not ask) that I'll be billing them for a rental. That has worked very well for me.


That will work but you better be dead sure the policy in fact includes such coverage. If it doesn't and you force the issue you may find they simply bill you for being the third-party payer for a rental car they obtained as an amenity, and bill you with a substantial markup. Failure to pay them then goes to a collection agency that adds 'collection fees' to the bill the insurance company already marked up. Those sorts of bills can easily double or triple the original cost. And if they get batted back and forth, bills are assets that can be traded, the sky is the limit for how high they can go.

Walking is good for short distances in fair weather. Biking opens up that short horizon to ten miles or more. Unfortunately some areas, like much of LA co, are not set up for fast, safe or easy transport by bike or shoe leather. You're taking your life in your hands trying to walk or bike. Makes you wonder how the poor people do it. Generally they do it very carefully.

Public transport is a good option but public transport in most of the US is a bad joke. Most of NYC has a good system, LA is getting better, but most cities are miserable failures in this area.

Rides with family/friends are good but this gets old and can wear of both sides. If you have a existing relationship of sharing and trading rides it all gets easier. Paying for gas can help or hurt.

Conventional rentals are good but the cost can add up. Used to be a company caller Rent-a-wreck that rented older cars at much lower prices.

Another option, along the same lines, might be check with local garages. Some garages keep a couple mechanically sound clunkers on hand to loan out to people getting their cars repaired. This might be done as an amenity or for a nominal rental rate. Work your time calling and asking. And even if the place you call doesn't do it they may know someone who might.

In a pinch I also been known to buy a $200 clunker. If it runs it's worth $500. I had one $200 car that lasted for three years. It ran on day one but was rough and smoked something serious. Still good enough to get to work and buy groceries. Took a weekend of spinning a wrench doing minor repairs to make it run right. I installed all new vacuum hoses, installed a half-dozen bolts that were missing, replaced all the filters, and repaired a transmission cooler line that sprayed fluid onto the exhaust manifold when the trany warmed up. New tires and shocks after a bit. Best $200 I've ever spent.

After a few months I got a better car but held onto that clunker. Ugly as sin I never locked it. I loaned it out to anyone who needed a car, a friend's daughter learned to drive in it, I'd drive it like rented mule over dirt roads, and take it to the beach and drive in the surf. Worse for wear, but still chugging along, I gave it to a couple down the street who had lost their jobs and were evicted.

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#223086 - 05/07/11 12:49 AM Re: Alternate transportation issues [Re: Art_in_FL]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6538
Loc: southern Cal
I am a real fan of bike commuting, having done it habitually since the early 70s, at round trip distances ranging form 9 to 21 miles. A lot depends on the availability of reasonable biking routes, which are often present in non bike friendly locales. Even more important is the presence of washing facilities at work.

If you can do it, I recommend it highly. I am more energetic at work, I have the fundamentals of an exercise program accomplished by the time I get to the job, and coming home is just plain fun.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#223092 - 05/07/11 02:07 AM Re: Alternate transportation issues [Re: Roarmeister]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
> "I am really getting sick and tired of people hitting me! This is the 4th time in seven years I've been hit by somebody else..."

Here in WA I was hit 11 times in the first 10 yrs, rear-ended 9 times, backed into twice. None my fault.

Read your insurance policy. Just take the time and wade through it.

I don't know if you're in Canada or Alaska. If Alaska, and you don't think the ins. co. is playing fair (they're in the premium-collection business, NOT the claim-paying business), before you contact an expensive attorney, call your state Insurance Commissioner. You will get a receptionist, so just give the bare bones in a couple of sentences. They will usually send you a form where you can put all the details. Remember that the Ins. Comm. works for YOU, and the insurance companies can operate in your state only by their grace. Ins. cos. are very careful when dealing with them, and you may well win if your argument falls into a grey area.

Don't know about Canada.

Sue

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#223093 - 05/07/11 02:16 AM Re: Alternate transportation issues [Re: Roarmeister]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3599
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I'm in a similar boat. My DH was recently t-boned. Both vehicles were w/o but, other than bumps and bruises, everyone's ok. Because his truck written-off, we're down to one vehicle. (Lesson: taking the cheaper insurance option, so you don't pay more every year than your vehicle is worth, means you're on the hook when things go south.)

He got shipped out of town for work soon after the accident, and his conpany sprang for a rental, so things have been managable so far, because there's only been one driver at home. (Childcare is another issue entirely.). In a few days he'll be home and we'll only have one vehicle. (We bought an old pick-up but, given that I was unemployed for a few months, it'll be a while before she's on the road.)

I've been thinking about a combo of public transit and riding my bike. (No slight on him. Because of our schedules, he'll have to pick-up our son from school, which means I need to be more flexible than him.) I have to admit that I hate the thought. There seems to be an issue with the PT around here at least weekly. On the upside, it would improve my health and save money. (Right now, I spend about the same in gas every week as a transit pass and price seems to go up every week. Not taking transit Means driving him to work, which would bump up our weekly fuel consumption from my solo runs.) It's also good practice for a real" have to hoof it" situation. Me, my office kit and my bike, making the commute to and from work every day is a pretty good test and will, no doubt, offer some good learnings.

I'm undecided. The truth is that I'm just not so committed to the cause that I want to be away from home any longer than I need to be, and my car works best for that.


Edited by bacpacjac (05/07/11 02:28 AM)
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#223094 - 05/07/11 02:22 AM Re: Alternate transportation issues [Re: Art_in_FL]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2928
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
That will work but you better be dead sure the policy in fact includes such coverage. If it doesn't and you force the issue you may find they simply bill you for being the third-party payer for a rental car they obtained as an amenity, and bill you with a substantial markup. Failure to pay them then goes to a collection agency that adds 'collection fees' to the bill the insurance company already marked up. Those sorts of bills can easily double or triple the original cost. And if they get batted back and forth, bills are assets that can be traded, the sky is the limit for how high they can go.


That doesn't sound anything like how car insurance works anywhere I've lived. If the offending motorist has liability insurance, it's part of his liability to pay for your rental car for a reasonable period between when he wrecked yours and you get it back, or it's totaled and you get the money from it.

Whether his insurance covers his rental car is completely unrelated to what he (and therefore his insurance company) owes you for wrecking your car.

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#223097 - 05/07/11 03:37 AM Re: Alternate transportation issues [Re: Roarmeister]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2705
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Make sure you have a physician check out the whiplash thing ASAP. It often takes a day or two after an accident to exhibit symptoms. This isn't about cynical lawsuit stuff at all. Insurance companies will pay for physiotherapy and other reasonable treatments given a medical diagnosis.

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