An Executive Email Carpet Bomb Saved Me From Insurance Hell

Daryl’s insurance company charged a closed checking account for a premium on a policy he’d already canceled, then tried to stick him with the bounced check fee.

He dropped an Executive Email Carpet Bomb on the insurance company to wipe away the charges, and now wants to know what he can do to protect himself from future victimization.

He writes:

I used your advice to send an EECB to an auto insurance company when they erroneously charged me a bounced check fee. To summarize, I canceled my renter’s insurance well before the policy renewal date and then switched banks (completely unrelated), closing the old checking account. The insurance company charged my old bank account for the renter’s insurance, which bounced. They then claimed I owed the bounced check fee. While speaking with the insurance company’s customer service department and letting them know I did not owe anything, they sent my matter to collections.

My EECB was a success in that after I placed a call to the insurance company and the collection agency I was told by both that the matter is closed and nothing is owed. But I had to call them to find this out and nothing is in writing (as I requested in my EECB). I still feel wary. What else should I do to protect myself and my credit?

What do you do to safeguard your credit?

Comments

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  1. tbax929 says:

    Monitor your credit report to make sure they don’t ding your credit. Also, if at all possible, get something in writing from them confirming that the matter is, indeed, closed.

  2. mandarynn says:

    Setup a credit monitoring service. I pay about $12 per month and it’s been worth every penny to get alerts and updates on anything involving my credit score. The service I use is CreditSecure which I found through my American Express credit card website.

  3. tugnutt says:

    Gah, is anyone else tired of articles where the author presents no actual advice? Comments are nice but I’m tired of “What did you do when you were in situation XYZ?” This is consumerist, not ask the interwebs!

  4. benh999 says:

    The bottom line is a lousy $25 (or whatever it is) bounced check fee will have near nil impact on your credit. I had $140 delinquent on my credit reports from Enterprise over damage to a rental car that I never knew about until a few years later when I had a collections agency calling me. I told them to pound sand and never heard anything else.

    It is still on my credit report and did not stop me from getting credit cards with huge limits or a mortgage.

    • jtheletter says:

      It didn’t stop you from getting a mortgage, but it potentially affected the rate you received.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        …and an open collection, regardless of how small can cause problems getting a mortgage.

        • benh999 says:

          Well… it did not cause any issues with getting a mortgage with a low interest rate (about as low as possible at the time).

  5. kc2idf says:

    Bother them nonstop until you have it in writing. That’s my thought, anyway. There needs to be a permanent record of this, a copy of which is controlled by you.

  6. quoterageous says:

    I bombarded GMAC with letters for 6 months before they dropped a fee they could not explain. Send 2 letters a week. I do not trust insurance companies, I keep a close eye on everything I get from my insurance company and call them once a month to check on my account.

  7. Grungo says:

    All of Phil’s posts seem to be of the form:

    “This dude emailed me and wrote (verbal diarrhea).

    What have other people done to protect themselves from diarrhea???

  8. FrankReality says:

    Aw gee, can’t they share the name of the insurance company with us?

    If the EECB doesn’t follow through, let’s sic the State Insurance Commissioner on them.

  9. tooluser says:

    Submit. You are a tool to those who wield power over you. Just submit. All will be well. Give them what they want. Submit. All who claim authority over you do indeed have that authority. Do what they say. Others know better than you. Submit. Do not fight. Just agree and everything will be all right. Submit. You are alone. All that you think and say and do is wrong. Follow others. Submit.

    Me? I want some bananas. And like, right now!