For the love of a wasp

28 Nov

Yesterday I cried like a toddler. Vexed tears of hurt and frustration. My Zen state evaporating like rain on a hot tin roof. My meltdown was triggered by a phone conversation with yet another junior outsourced functionary of a major insurance company I’ve been wrangling with for three weeks. Hell, why not name and shame. Suncorp.

I should have learnt my lesson after Suncorp’s dilatory, inept handling of our house and contents claim post the January 2010 river flood. That painful process was managed patiently by Stuart and took five months to conclude. This time it was my beloved cream Piaggio Vespa 125cc scooter. I bought the Vespa new in 2001 to commute to work, called her Principessa, and loved her passionately and carefully. Every time I ride her I go on a little Roman holiday.

Unfortunately she came to grief on the evening of November 1 when Stuart, riding solo, crashed into an intersection curb he hadn’t seen. He can tell you the long and rather amusing story of that debacle, complete with the ‘Ello ello, what have we ‘ere’, police officer, if you ask him. Suffice to say both he and Principessa were damaged. She more superficially than he. Photos of his quadriceps haematoma have been archived to embarrass him at a future date.

Simple matter to claim on my Suncorp insurance and have Principessa repaired, no? No. The repair bill for the damage to the bodywork, lights and indicator would be just under $3000 and I had foolishly only insured her for $1500.

After much back and forth and hours on hold Suncorp made me their best offer. They would write the scooter off and pay me $1500. Using all arguments I could muster came to nothing. I either accepted their offer or I would have to pay the full repair cost myself. I said I was not happy (understatement) and asked to have a more senior assessor call me then hung up and sobbed. I know it’s silly to be attached to a machine but she represents my very first two motorised wheels of my own and I had planned to keep her forever. I was briefly inconsolable.

Today the senior assessor, Glen, called and offered me a third option (the second option was to bear the full cost of the repair myself). Suncorp would classify it as an economic repairable write-off and return it to me minus the salvage cost. They’d quoted $300-$400 for the salvage cost but as Glen was a nice guy who could tell I was upset at losing my scooter he would bring it down to $100. I was momentarily elated. Then he slipped in a ‘but’. The ‘but’ was a big one, ‘But since it will be a written off vehicle it will need to have a Queensland Transport Department safety inspection’. Glen let me call the Transport Department to check the cost of that myself – $350….

So here I am looking at paying $1950 plus several hours more of my time to put my scooter back on the road. Sigh… A few more tears later I have asked Stuart to call Glen to tell him I give up, Suncorp can have Principessa.

I know from the scooter garage guy that she will be auctioned for $1500 and end up being repaired and resold. There is some comfort in knowing someone somewhere will be riding her with the wind in their face. Arrivaderci mia Principessa bella!

(PS Vespa is Wasp in Italian)

Here she is after I had serviced and reregistered and reinsured her following my gap year.

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