Nightmare with Economical Car Insurance Continues! Day 9 Still with No Assistance! No Answer from CEO Karen Gavan

dead mercCFN – I know it’s my first real experience in a car crash but this Ontario insurance industry seems totally insane!    If I’m understanding what my insurance company, Economical, is trying to float is that I’m responsible for hitting the car in front of me, even though no charges were filed against me by the police.   The car that slammed into me is responsible for hitting me.

My damage occurred when the car that hit me from behind smashed me into the front car.  If you look at the damage to car A&C they clearly didn’t suffer as mine did and I personally watched my hood collapse after being smashed into car A by car C.

My insurance company says that they are on the hook for only 50% of rental fees and 50% of what they are wanting to do which is write off my car even though it could be repaired.  Their theory is that it would cost too much and they are correct; it will cost a lot.

But I can’t buy another car of equal value even if they gave me 100% of the ridiculous amount they have valued my car for.  If a driver is 100% responsible for hitting someone from behind regardless of what occurred then the car that hit me from behind should be 100% responsible for damage it inflicted. No?

Their appraiser compared my beautiful vintage Mercedes with 94KM with one with 202KM.  For that difference in life span they added $160 in value.

I did a head gasket job this year that cost over $1,000 which really improved the performance of my car.   The appraiser called this receipt a Tune up and added $100 to the value of my car.

I installed a brand new $170 battery the day before the accident.   The insurance company added $50 to the value of the car.

It’s boggling and as a consumer I feel I’ve been left out to dry while being lambasted not with laws or what’s right or wrong, but industry jargon and gobbly gook.

I feel like the only option is to ask the Ontario Ombudsman for assistance as I won’t be bullied by this appraiser to agree to some low ball appraisal of my car and low ball settlement.

Maybe we all need to start to look at how Car insurance is conducted in Ontario.   Nobody should have to go to lawyers and ombudsman to get help when they need it; isn’t that what insurance is for after all?  To be there when you need it?   Is this just Economical Insurance?

Right now I’m car less and no matter what happens I will not be made whole and that’s just not right.

You can post your insurance Lemons or Laurels below.

Flowers Cornwall



  1. What is most scary is that I have Economical also

  2. Shop around every two years for home and auto insurance and make sure you judge them on their claims paying ability and take into your decision making process their consumer ranking.
    An initial consultation with a lawyer versed in auto accident claims could be fruitful and the cost is minimal. Good Luck my heart goes out to you.

  3. Economical insurance – that name keeps coming up but mostly where they refuse to pay injured claimants. Lately they’ve paid just weeks before a hearing after years of not paying their legitimately injured policyholders, trying to starve people out of making a claim. Count yourself lucky that you weren’t injured and have to wait 6-8 years to get income replacement or rehabilitation. Check out the Fair Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform to see how insurers in Ontario are putting their policy-holders through a nightmare when they are injured and try to collect the benefits they were promised. Our government should be ashamed of the callous treatment of their citizens by insurers – yet they turn a blind eye and pocket campaign contributions. It’s disgusting.

  4. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, you get what you pay for. Yes other insurance companies like State Farm have higher premiums but they deliver when you need them without quibbling. The “Economical” in the insurance company’s name means it’s economical for them, not the policy holders.

  5. Did it happen in Cornwall? My son was hit in August.And the Police wouldn’t come we were told to go to the station to file a report.The insurance and police said he was at fault.He was turning left on a green light(granted).The car that hit him must have been flying cause he couldn’t stop and hit my vehicle behind the rear door.and almost tipped it over.I have had people pull out mere feet in front of me and I was able to stop. My vehicle was a write off too and my insurance sky rocketed.The appraisal was really low and there also was no way I could replace my vehicle with what I was given.Although I had rental coverage they wouldn’t give me a rental for some lame reason luckily my parents are retired and let me use their car,otherwise I couldn’t have gone to work.My insurance is now more than my mortgage payment was.

  6. State Farm does the same thing… Made a home claim and after 5 months got sick and tired of waiting.I have come to learn being in the towing industry that you have to stand your ground !! Tell them the way it is.

    Insurance companies are a business so it is in there best interests to scam you blind lol

  7. Sorry to hear about your terrible experiences.. I have GP Home and Auto (Grey Power, even though I’m only 33), and their claim service was fantastic when I had a claim. I may pay a little more than some companies but the great claim service is worth it! Hope you get your issues sorted out!

  8. Admin
    We dumped economical years ago for the same reason. It is necessary to have the insurance but pray tell if you need them. Are you with an agent> If so by pass them, we had so much trouble with Russ always telling what isn’t covered that we by passed him and went straight to the company. Better service that way thoug still not stellar with economical

  9. Author

    Hailey my broker at MLS was not of any assistance on this. I have been dealing with Economical. Not sure if this is the norm or not. I miss my old MLS agent Brenda. She was amazing.

  10. Admin this is your Mercedes. My husband bought one and all computerized and it was in an accident by the previous owner and we traded it in for a Toyota Camry and my husband misses that Mercedes something awful. It was a 2005 model with so many of the bells and whistles. Today he wants to trade in the Toyota 2009 for another Mercedes – this man never stops when it comes to cars. The Toyota salesman told us that nothing drives like a Mercedes.

    My son had so many accidents here in Ottawa that he can be crowned as the accident prone person of Ottawa – well almost that. My son used to be on my husband’s policy but no more he has to learn the hard way and is paying big time for his insurance now. I don’t know if you saw an accident at Heron Gate Mall at least a year or more ago on the news of CJOH – I haven’t seen it but some others did. Well my son had his Buick parked in the lot and an elderly man of 84 years old slammed into 3 cars and one was my son’s that he pushed up on the hill where the trees were. There were fire trucks sent there and a paramedic for the old man. That old man could have killed people in the parking lot. My son’s car (it was really my husband’s since my husband had another) and that was a write off. My son had an accident previously with that same car and they just fixed it and that happened. My son bought another car and another accident. Now he has a car in his name only on the insurance and he couldn’t get the same company and now he is with another company for high risk drivers and the car is a 2001 – hopefully he will learn from this but I do wonder a lot. Some people never learn. Here in Ottawa the drivers are literally nuts and if you follow what others do then you get into deep trouble. It is mighty insane to drive here in Ottawa. If you offered me a million dollars in my hand I would not drive in this insane city of Ottawa at all – for any amount of money. The people are literally nuts.

    All insurance companies are out to make money. They want to rake in the money but they won’t pay out. One lady who lives in the Glebe has a historical house and her house caught on fire from her credit card and bank machine card that she used as a second business. The insurance company did not pay anything for her to go to a motel and was at the mercy of friends to live with them. That woman’s taxes were like my rent and oh boy that is a doozy. Both she and her husband had excellent jobs and she did work on the side as well. I told her that you don’t really own the house and it is all a scam and she agreed with me and it is true you don’t own the land at all and that is why you pay taxes. The same with the car – it is only a privilege to drive and not a right and that is how the government and insurance companies see it and that is something that people are not aware of.

  11. Sounds like all three vehicles were in motion at the time, that would be the reason why you in the middle would be considered 50% at fault. Its based on fault determination rules:
    9. (1) This section applies with respect to an incident involving three or more automobiles that are
    travelling in the same direction and in the same lane (a “chain reaction”).
    (2) The degree of fault for each collision between two automobiles involved in the chain reaction is
    determined without reference to any related collisions involving either of the automobiles and
    another automobile.
    (3) If all automobiles involved in the incident are in motion and automobile “A” is the leading vehicle,
    automobile “B” is second and automobile “C” is the third vehicle,
    (a) in the collision between automobiles “A” and “B”, the driver of automobile “A” is not at fault
    and the driver of automobile “B” is 50 per cent at fault for the incident;
    (b) in the collision between automobiles “B” and “C”, the driver of automobile “B” is not at fault
    and the driver of automobile “C” is 100 per cent at fault for the incident.

  12. Author

    No Jeff. Car A+B were stopped when Car C hit car B which smashed B into A.

  13. admin
    I just had a similar accident today
    It was a 3 cars accident and I was the middle car being pushed to the first. The 3rd driver have been charged.
    Economical Insurance said I am at 50% fault blaming me for being too close.
    But I wasn’t close because I manage to stop before someone hit me from behind.
    They also want to write off my car without taking a look at it.
    I find the agent I was dealing was pretty rude as well.

    I am thinking of getting legal assistance.
    Did you manage to work out the issue with them at the end?
    Any suggestion or advice?

  14. Will…..for insurance purposes in most cases of 3-car accidents the middle guy is 50% at fault. It’s been that way for years. Their reasoning being that you should be in control of your car at all times, even when stopped. Their thinking (probably) is if you hit another car you aren’t in control of your car, even if you are stopped. The other 50% fault would fall on car #3.

  15. Same thing they playing me , even with a possesion of a video from the car behind, prooving a was not in motion at the time of impsct

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  17. All insurance companies are the same. They have rate charts that they use. It is rare that they will allow what they perceive as “upgrades” to be included in the car value if the car needs repairs or is to written off. And if it is written off the car belongs to them, not you. So, if the car is written off, get your stuff out quick.

  18. Every dollar you give to an insurance company is a dollar down the toilet.

  19. But would you own a vehicle or home without insurance? Nope!!

  20. For my vehicles, I’ve always bought the minimum coverage the law will allow. Been driving for fifty years and have never put in a claim.

  21. Furtz…a good concept unless you have a accident.

  22. Hugger, over my fifty years of driving, I’ve saved enough to buy several new vehicles by not purchasing fire/theft/collision coverage. I’ve also saved a small fortune by never buying a new car.

  23. Furtz….so you pay cash for your vehicles, no financing?

  24. Author

    I have for my last three Hugger.

  25. No financing requires no fire / theft / collision insurance coverage. Major $$ can be saved tat way.

  26. Author

    I had collision. My rates have doubled since my accident. It’s pretty insane. One half fault accident in over 30 years of driving that was two years ago.

  27. Well, they do have to recover what they paid out to repair your car. Repairs aren’t free.

  28. Author

    Hugger that would be built into my premiums in the first place. Insurance companies collected for over 30 years from me.

  29. Hugger, yup, cash only, and never newer than five years old. Bought a few new motorcycles when I was young and foolish.

  30. You actually believe that insurance companies don’t try to recover monies paid out for accidents covered after the accidents even though you’ve been accident free for 30 years?

  31. Because auto insurance is compulsory, it should be a publicly run service, as it is in BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

  32. Author

    ….and Quebec believe it or not….

  33. Agreed Furtz. Bu I don’t know if we’d want to go the way of the Quebec model.

  34. Quebec has a half-ass system where you still have to buy part of your coverage from a private company. When I lived in Manitoba in the seventies, the premiums were affordable, as was everything else.

  35. Author

    Furtz a lot of things were cheaper in the 70’s, and 80’s…and even the 90’s….

  36. The good old 70’s, and 80’s. I remember when my husband and I would go to a grocery store here in Ottawa and buy a back of groceries for $10. – those paper bags and with meat in that bag. Don’t forget the salaries in those days were lower as well and not the inflation that we have today and lots of jobs. I remember when I would leave one job here in Ottawa I would have another not long after even one half a day until I got called into the Public Service permanently which you don’t see today. Nobody likes their job anymore and everyone is frustrated and wants to quit. All the cost of living and yes car insurance, home insurance, apartment insurance, etc. is through the roof.

  37. Things were cheaper even five years ago. The “world economy” has thrown everything out of kilter.

  38. Yup, in 1972 a Big Mac cost 50 cents and a Canadian gallon of gas cost 40 cents. But back then, anyone who had a job could afford decent housing and food, unlike today.

  39. Author

    Furtz back then the % of single family earners was huge compared to today where couples working struggle to provide for their families…

  40. Jamie this summer the gas is going to skyrocket, food going up, dollar down. Things have changed like night and day. My daughter just came home about 40 minutes ago and a boy (now a man) recognized her from her grade 4 and 5 in the French school not far from here. He asked her are you ? from Mme Matte’s class and my daughter said yes and my daughter hasn’t changed much except fatter because of her condition. Can you imagine running into someone from your childhood days after 25 years – he was chequing out his groceries at her cash. Those were the good days folks in more ways than one. I have tears thinking about those days and I had so much fun with my children when they were little. How time flies.

  41. Another interesting factiod that I heard on the CBC radio today.. In 1975, the average house in Canada was 1000 sq ft and was occupied by 4.2 people. In 2010, the average house in Canada was 2000 sq ft and was occupied by 3.2 people.

  42. Not surprising gas will be going up, it always does in the summer driving season. Groceries?? Well, they’re always going up. When was the last time they went down?

    As for the house size and occupation rates the baby boom was over many moons ago.

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