Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

Have a CLS500 and I am Insured with Geico. They recently wrote to me stating that the DMV does not have my VIN No??? Apparently when agreeing on the premium, about 6 weeks ago, someone at Geico took down one digit incorrectly. I therefore emailed them the corrcet VIN No. and thought that would be the end of it. I received a reply stating that my circumstances had changed and I would therefore have to pay an extra $150.00 per year..I wrote back to them, basically telling them to stuff it and I would look elsewhere as I can't stand this practise of increasing premiums when they feel like it.....this is their response.................

"I apologize for the confusion regarding your policy, and I hope the following explanation helps. I attempted to call the number provided in the previous email after 1:00pm, but you were unavailable to speak to.

Every vehicle is rated for using information from actuaries regarding accident statistics. It appears that we had one letter incorrect in the Vehicle Identification Number which was providing a lower damage symbol, meaning that we were rating your vehicle incorrectly since we were rating for the wrong model on the policy. When we updated the VIN number, the model of your vehicle changed to a higher damage symbol, which means that the vehicle we are rating for now is statistically more expensive to insure.. This may be that the vehicle you have is more expensive to repair or replace if totaled or stolen, or that this vehicle may be statistically more prone to being in more accidents. This is not your fault and nothing that you could have controlled."

The first 4 Digits of my Vin No. are WDDD....they had WDDV. So my question is for those of you out there who understand exactly what each letter signify...................Is this BS? Would appreciate your comments and would like to know, what the V and the D mean.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 04:34 PM
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RE: Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

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branmin - 7/16/2005 4:45 PM

Have a CLS500 and I am Insured with Geico. They recently wrote to me stating that the DMV does not have my VIN No??? Apparently when agreeing on the premium, about 6 weeks ago, someone at Geico took down one digit incorrectly. I therefore emailed them the corrcet VIN No. and thought that would be the end of it. I received a reply stating that my circumstances had changed and I would therefore have to pay an extra $150.00 per year..I wrote back to them, basically telling them to stuff it and I would look elsewhere as I can't stand this practise of increasing premiums when they feel like it.....this is their response.................

"I apologize for the confusion regarding your policy, and I hope the following explanation helps. I attempted to call the number provided in the previous email after 1:00pm, but you were unavailable to speak to.

Every vehicle is rated for using information from actuaries regarding accident statistics. It appears that we had one letter incorrect in the Vehicle Identification Number which was providing a lower damage symbol, meaning that we were rating your vehicle incorrectly since we were rating for the wrong model on the policy. When we updated the VIN number, the model of your vehicle changed to a higher damage symbol, which means that the vehicle we are rating for now is statistically more expensive to insure.. This may be that the vehicle you have is more expensive to repair or replace if totaled or stolen, or that this vehicle may be statistically more prone to being in more accidents. This is not your fault and nothing that you could have controlled."

The first 4 Digits of my Vin No. are WDDD....they had WDDV. So my question is for those of you out there who understand exactly what each letter signify...................Is this BS? Would appreciate your comments and would like to know, what the V and the D mean.
As a recovering insurance agent, I would like to answer your question. What they're telling you about the VIN is not BS. When the policy is written, the company needs a way to know that your car is what you say it is. The ONLY way for them to do this is by checking the VIN. Given that the VIN they originally had was invalid, the quote they gave you was inaccurate.

HOWEVER....

Since this was THEIR error and not yours, in my opinion, the right thing for them to do from customer service standpoint would have been to discount your policy to match the original quote especially given that the difference is only $150 a year, which really isn't much for them or, I suspect, for you, who is bothered by this mostly on principle as well you should be.

The second, third and fourth letter of the VIN are manufacturers code. Benzes are usually DBA, DBB, DDD and some others. Bimmers are BAD, BSD etc. DDV is probably invalid, hence the FUBAR.

In summary, they're not lying, but they are wrong. They screwed up, it should come out of their pocket, not yours.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 12:04 AM
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RE: Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

This is interesting. The W means made in Germany and the DD (normally DB) means Daimler- Benz or maybe DD for Daimler Chrysler, I guess. The fourth digit would be the chassis (I noticed the VIN decoder on this site will not work with a WDDD but I confirmed the VIN for a CLS 500 starts with WDDD.

So

WDDD = German Daimler (Chrysler?) chassis code W219 i.e. a CLS 500

WDBD = German Daimler Benz W201 chassis (the venerable 190 class)

and

WDDV = nothing (no chassis code and DD is not recognized as the manufacturer).

Are you sure they didn't change the D to a B and transform you car into another? Regardless, I don't think this is a bait and switch...sounds more like an honest mistake. At the same time... Might as well get a quote from Allstate or State Farm...or maybe Progressive and then you can decide whether you saved a bunch of money on your car insurance. As for me... I'm USAA all the way.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 02:18 AM
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RE: Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

WDD refers to: Germany Daimler Chrysler
D refer to CLS class
V refer to means ths is a Maybach class. But this code is used with the world manufacturing code WDB and the V

It is still their error in writting down.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 04:02 AM
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RE: Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

well you want to know what sucks the worst about insurance?

Being 16. I am a 16 year old male, any car for me is at least $1,500 a year, and that is for a car that costs less then $1,500. I've done a lot of pricing, for an E55 AMG it would be $1,200 a month; as for my dad it would be $143. No car is cheap for me. Hell I could afford a car easily, I was looking at this nice 190E, but the insurance I cannot handle.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 07:34 AM
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RE: Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

See if your insurance company offers good student and driver's ed discounts. State Farm also has a program which lowers those rates by another 15%, if you watch a safety tape and your parents monitor your driving with a safety log. It's all a PIA, but how else can you save enough to be able to drive that AMG?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 07:37 AM
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RE: Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

well I was just using an E55 AMG as an example, cause that is what I did for a school project.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 06:42 PM
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RE: Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

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dahappybanana - 7/18/2005 5:02 AM

well you want to know what sucks the worst about insurance?

Being 16. I am a 16 year old male, any car for me is at least $1,500 a year, and that is for a car that costs less then $1,500. I've done a lot of pricing, for an E55 AMG it would be $1,200 a month; as for my dad it would be $143. No car is cheap for me. Hell I could afford a car easily, I was looking at this nice 190E, but the insurance I cannot handle.
I'm surprised, nay shocked, that you were even able to find a company willing to insure a 16yo male with an E55 at any price. Did they quote you on your own or on your parents policy?

I know, it's not much of a consolation, but the thing is it's all in the numbers. Teenage drivers present some of the highest risks out there (Though, in my opinion, they have been improving), the accident statistics continue to show very high damage numbers from accidents caused by new drivers. Look at it this way, $1500 a month is $18000 a year, but if you look at what Mercedes parts cost, you'll see that even a single-vehicle, injury-free accident with an E55 can easily exceed $18K. So the insurance company's exposure in this case is very large and, given that, they're not charities, you know. And if an accident results in injuries, the bills can run into millions very quickly.

The E55 is a very powerful car, too much so even for some more experienced drivers to handle and, because of that,2 if I were an insurance actuary, I'd probably decline coverage to a teenager with any vehicle of that type. It's just too risky.

On the other hand, I'd imagine that someone who, at 16, can afford an E55, can probably handle the insurance as well.

The advice some of the others here gave you about safe driver and good student discounts is definitely worth looking into. Drive safe, don't do anything stupid, and your rates will drop off sooner than you think.

Believe me, I feel your pain, we've all been there.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 06:44 PM
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RE: Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

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Tony_K - 7/18/2005 1:04 AM

As for me... I'm USAA all the way.
It should be mentioned that USAA doesn't sell to the general public. You must be a current or former US servicemember or a family member of a US servicemember.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 08:22 PM
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RE: Insurance BS Bait and Switch practice or true?

I understand how unexperienced motorist can be charged more based, and only based, on experience, but being male I am charged more then a female. Fuck statistics, that is discrination.
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