Tag Archives: insurance

I Ordered A Volvo XC60 Through Their New, All-Inclusive Subscription Program, ‘Care By Volvo’.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access more details on this subscription program.


This very well could become the new way of car ownership for the likes of I.

I was going to LEASE a car in the first place; originally a ‘Genesis G70‘ before I worked out that with ‘Rowen‘, who will grow to be at least 130lbs, I am going to need something with a large backend.

Leasing works out for me. I have leased cars going back 30-years. That I have nothing to show for all my payments after 3-years really does not bother I. Why? Because I understand what I am getting into. Yes, of course, I can afford to buy a car outright or finance it. But, with financing I have to put ‘more’ money down. Well, as some of you have worked out, I am an investment addict — especially when it comes to stock option trading. Basically, in my case, I can make enough to pay for a lease by keeping the money invested. Hence, the attraction. Anybody seriously into investing, & especially option trading, will understand.

The mileage allowance USUALLY works out, BUT if I have to pay for extra mileage, so be it in that it would be no different to I renting a car from Enterprise for a trip. Given that my car can sit idle, unused, for 10-days, if not more, at a time has to help. I definitely don’t drive everyday. Haven’t for over two decades. I do my 8- to 9-miles of WALKING EVERY DAY, but other than that don’t go out much. SMILE. So, it should work out.

So, I was looking at leasing & had already started the numbers for a traditional 3-year, 1,000-miles/month lease & was talking, regularly, to the very congenial, courteous & ultra-competent General Manager at ‘Lovering Volvo Cars‘ in Concord (NH). Then, today’s Social Media Targeted Advertising kicked-in. I got a ‘Care by Volvo’ ad. on my Facebook Timeline. I read it & was intrigued.

I loved the convenience. I pay for convenience.

The 4-month opt-out option was compelling. I haven’t owned a Volvo in 20-years. I haven’t owned a new car in a LONG TIME. I drive old Jags — one of which does NOT even have cup holders. I have not owned a car with GPS maps, cameras, Bluetooth, blind-spot detection etc. Yes, of course, I have rented plenty. But, that is NOT the same as owning one. So, this will give me a chance to see what I like, what works for I & what others rave about.

Lovering was happy for me to order online as long as I specified them as the dealer. That is what ‘we’ did this evening — ‘we’ in that Teischan double-checked the order to make sure I hadn’t screwed up. It is going to be our car; car for Rowen, her & I. SMILE. Things I do for dogs. Yes, it will be their second car.

Well, I will keep you posted.


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by Anura Guruge

‘Preferred Warranties Inc’ (PWI) Delivered, In Full, On Their Promise To Pay For Car Repairs. I Am Delighted.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and savor. Their Website: http://www.warrantys.com/


Click here to access the PWI Website @ warrantys.com 


Click to ENLARGE. The check.


They paid, per their promise — less the $100 deductible.

The check came within ‘the week’ of us filing in the paperwork.

They provided towing, as promised.

That is all I was expecting. And they lived up to my expectations.


When I bought the 2008 Ford Taurus from Heath England (the proprietor) at ‘Autofinders‘ (in Laconia, NH) it came with 3-months of ‘Preferred Warranties Inc‘ (PWI) coverage. Heath, from what I know, typically includes that with most of his cars. I liked Heath and I got talking to him while my 18-year old daughter test drove the Taurus — though the car wasn’t for her.

Heath assured me that PWI actually delivers. I, a professional cynic, was skeptical. But, he was adamant. Said that it was one of the few warranties that truly worked. I asked him to give me some local garages that accept PWI. He wrote down two names. I asked him IF I could get additional coverage — beyond 3-months. He said ‘Of course, but it will cost ya‘. Well, I was born a long time ago. I ended up agreeing on a 2-year warranty and Heath nominally deducted the 3-months that was previously included. It was NOT cheap. It cost me over $800.

But, I believe in insurance. I understand insurance. I know how insurance works. You buy insurance for the peace of mind. To cover costs in EXCESS of what you are willing to tackle.

[All that said above, I do NOT have life insurance on myself or anybody else. Never bought a life policy. Never will. SMILE. But, car/property/health insurance is different.]

Well, I (and to an extent Heath) lucked out on that Taurus. One full year with NO issues — though it has to be noted that we put a grand total of “3,800” miles on it!

Then pretty close to its one-year anniversary the brakes went. We were just on our way to Maine, though we were only taking the Taurus as far as the kennels where we board the dogs.

When we got back we took the Taurus to a new mechanic in Rochester — that came recommended from the dog kennels.

But, prior to taking it in we called and filed a CLAIM. They immediately stepped up with towing. That was nice. We didn’t need it. We pay top dollar for AAA ‘Premier’. Remember, I said I believe in insurance. But, we used their towing — which was prompt and good enough. [We wanted to give AAA a break. They have their hands full towing my Jags. SMILE.]

The mechanic did call PWI and give them his costs etc. But, he wasn’t willing to deal with them. He wanted to be paid by us, in full, by check. We kind of suspected that too.

We paid. Got the bill, from the mechanic, stating that we paid and then sent that to PWI via e-mail.

I called a few days later to check on the status. They said the check had already been cut!

The check came today. I am delighted.

Now there are those that will argue that I am still $500 in the hole. I do NOT see it like that.

For a start there is still 11-months left on the warranty. We might need other work. Plus, this ‘job’ could have been more expensive. That is why I have insurance.


So, Heath England was right. PWI does deliver and for the record so does Heath. SMILE. You can call him at 603-527-0055.


Bottom line here. I am telling you that PWI delivered — at least in this instance.


Click to ENLARGE. Their paperwork.


Click to access my original ‘Autofinders’ post from a year ago.


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by Anura Guruge

It Is Greedy & Unscrupulous Indians Like This, Seema Verma, That Gets All Of Us Brown Folks A Bad Rap.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the ‘Daily Beast’ original.


Click for the U.K. “Daily Mail” version of the story.


This is such a shame and travesty. Why?

Just so, so uncalled for. Yes, it is easy to have property stolen in San Francisco these days. We had our rental car broken into, and bags stolen, in San Francisco in 2016. But, we ‘played the white man‘! We claimed on our insurance. We didn’t try to rip off anyone.

This is so typically Indian — I am sorry to say. Avarice.

One trip to S.F. with $47,000 of luggage?

One item does make sense. $325 for moisturizer. Yep, that I believe. Indians love their lubricants.

Just distressed I. Why? Can’t folks do the right thing?

It just gets all of us brown folks a bad rap. I know. People take for granted that brown folks are always on the make — Apu to the lead.


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by Anura Guruge

Physical Therapy: The Most Expensive BUT Most Useless Part Of My Knee Surgery Saga.

by Anura Guruge



Click to access my post.



I had my quadriceps tendon repair surgery,
at ‘
Frisbie Memorial Hospital‘ —
performed by Dr. Charles Blitzer
of ‘Seacoast Orthopedics
on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

There was no pain to talk about
— throughout, from surgery to now.


I was supposed to do a TON of physical therapy post week 6 of my knee surgery. I went to the first session. I was totally underwhelmed, somewhat aggrieved and felt that I had been FLEECED. I never went back. I did my own and I am delighted to say as week 13 approaches my knee is pretty much back to normal!

No pain. I now, as I did in the past, BOUND (yes, BOUND) up the four staircases we have in this house. Last Thursday, I ran 3-miles carrying 11 pounds of weights — up a hill. I am also doing 23-minutes of cycling on a stationary bike. I have NO PAIN.

Physical therapy is NOT for I. I do not need some kid, who is probably NOT as fit as I am (even when I was on crutches), telling me how to exercise. I exercise more than most and don’t need motivation, encouragement or threats. I just need time. I would exercise more if I had the time.

That they wanted a $45 copay when I only pay $35 to my surgeon genuinely UPSET I. The surgeon’s magic and care cannot be duplicated. Physical therapy — I could watch on YouTube.

They also did NOT have a long-handled shoe horn in the premises. That impressed me none. That is beyond ignorant.

I see that they charged my insurance $345 for a 40-minute session. That is criminal. I am glad I did NOT go back.

I am good. My knee is good. Physical therapy was NOT good.

So, you know the score. But, I fully appreciate that I AM STRANGE. So, factor that in.


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by Anura Guruge

Canyon de Chelly: Horseback Riding With “Justin’s Horse Rental”.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE the Pictures & Map.












From 2015 When We Did A 2-Hour Ride.


Horseback riding in the Canyon is magical. It is so quiet and peaceful. We did a 2-hour ride 3-years ago (in 2015) and loved it. So, we were definitely going to do it again. And we did. Except this time we made it a 3-hour ride.

In 2015 we went with “Tso’s Horse Tours” — the first ‘compound’ you come to when you enter the Navajo area at the mouth of the Canyon. That worked out quite well for us and we went back to them. They are NOT doing horse tours this year.

Appears that in 2018 the ONLY company, permitted by the Park Service, to conduct horseback tours is Justin’s! Has to do with ‘insurance’ and the lack thereof.

All the Navajos are ‘related’ and Justin is supposedly an uncle of “Tso’s”.

We had no trouble with Justin or the guide he provided us, 29-year old, local Urwin Yazzie. We got a 2:50 minute tour for $140 and my horse ONLY try to roll over me ONCE! But, I was too quick for it. Luckily it was in DEEP sand so there was no damage and I kept kicking it away so it would not roll any further onto my body. It could have been serious, but it was not and I was cool.

The next day, Teischan and I did a 4-hour 6-wheel ‘Jeep’ tour with ’40-year’ old Daniel Draper. He knew much, much more about the Canyon. So, between the two tours we learnt a lot.

Definitely recommend horseback riding in the Canyon. All tours into the Canyon are expensive. Given a choice I would do horseback THOUGH, of course, you see (and learn) much less.


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by Anura Guruge

Sorry, I Do NOT Buy The Kim Kardashian Paris Robbery Story — I Think It Was A Cheap Publicity Stunt!

by Anura Guruge


kim

From CNN. Click image to access CNN coverage. Google for millions more.


Sorry, as some of you know I am a professional cynic.

I only know of ‘her’ vicariously. Wouldn’t know her if I woke up next to her — though I am sure it would give me quite the start.

All I know is that she is synonymous with ‘cheap publicity’. Is she Paris Hilton reincarnated? I wouldn’t know.

Remember, remember Ryan Lochte? Yes?

Wow. This was a lot of publicity. Now, if I was ‘Drumpf’ I would start talking about how insurance … etc. But, I won’t.

I just believe that this was a put-up job. A publicity stunt.

Just remember where you read this first. {SMILE} Trust me, it is NOT easy being a professional cynic.


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by Anura Guruge

MMG Insurance — One Heck Of A Company, The Best Of The Best.

by Anura Guruge


mmg11

MMG Insurance homepage. Click image to access.


mmgIIIaa

In business 118 years — and MMG stood for MAINE Mutual Group, and they are indeed located in Maine. On the history page of their Website (above) under “About Us”.


It is so uplifting, reassuring and pleasant to come across an insurance company that, from the minute you make a claim, is nothing but 100% responsive, cordial, helpful and PROMPT. WOW.

I have only been with MMG since last September, but I plan to be with them for a long time to come (breaking my habit of shopping for the best rates every year, if not two). That is a given. As some of you know by now I tend to be very loyal to companies that treat me even halfway decent. And MMG has treated us right royally of late. Thank you. Bravo and kudos.

As I have mentioned in passing in a couple of my posts we had a mishap on our April vacation trip to Yosemite. On the last night, a few hours ahead of our early-morning flight, our rental car, a AWD Nissan Pathfinder from Budget, got broken into at “Fisherman’s Wharf” — right opposite the Sheraton. They broke both passenger side windows and grabbed three backpacks — those belonging to Deanna, Devanee and Teischan. But they left a whole bunch of stuff behind like all of our other luggage. Deanna and the kids were devastated. This was something new. Not something we think about in New Hampshire. Teischan lost nearly all her electronics and Devanee a zoom lens to her Canon T3i. Teischan and Deanna both lost their glasses and Devanee a gift card and a small amount of money. But it could have been much worse. They never touched my bag that had my pad and all the travel documents.

Teischan (10), within minutes, still sobbing asked me “is our house going to be OK?” That confused me. We were in San Francisco and our house was 3,300 miles East. Took me a minute or so to work out WHAT she was thinking. She had an APP on her stolen pad that allowed her to access our security cameras. It was not password protected. She was worried that they would start accessing the cameras! She is 10. Anyway I assured them that everything that could be replaced with money would be replaced. Teischan lost some birthday presents she had received a month earlier. Those could not be replaced. Neither some of the mementos she had picked up — including her 4th grade National Park Pass.

I didn’t even think about insurance. Never occurred to me that my homeowners policy covered stuff stolen from a rental car. I had assumed that the broken windows would be covered by my Citi AAdvantage card (that I had used for the rental) — since rental car insurance was one of their many claims. I WAS WRONG ON THAT.

We got home Saturday and by Monday afternoon I had ordered — from Amazon, of course — nearly 90% of the stolen items. The prescription glasses would require a trip to Walmart. It was AFTER I had ordered all this that it occurred to me that I should put a call through to my local insurance agent (not MMG, but an independent agency). 36 hours later I got a call. They said that they THOUGHT that I would be covered. They filed a claim, on my behalf, and said I would hear from an MMG Claims Adjuster.

And I sure did. Wow. It was magical. So helpful from the start. No messing around. No evasion. No prevaricating. Told me the list of documents she needed — and they all made sense. I could even e-mail them to her. It took me some time to complete the claim. We didn’t make it to Walmart for nearly 10 days to order the glasses, the opticians having been closed the first time we visited on a Sunday. Deanna and the kids kept on discovering small things that were in the backpacks. I had to amend the SF police report to include the latest items. Finally two weeks after I first spoke with the MMG claims adjuster I sent her the final batch of paperwork and said “that is it”. I am done. Within a week I had a check. I was amazed. It was for a goodly amount too. I never added up the amount of everything we lost and I claimed. But the check seemed very fair. I was happy. I made the decision then that I liked MMG and was sticking with them.

[P.S., Found a few more things I had not claimed. Teischan had lost a $13 library book from school. The librarian told Teischan that she did NOT have to replace it given the circumstances. But I insisted and replaced it. I changed the password on the security camera DVR as soon as we got home. Teischan also wanted all her passwords changed. The thought of a stranger accessing her stuff really spooked her. I did some checking via Google Play Store on the Android pad and with Chrome. As far as I could tell Teischan’s pad was never used after it was stolen! Maybe they reinstall the software right away. This was not a random breakin. This was organized crime. I have since discovered that there is an ongoing epidemic of car breakins in SF.]


On May 14 just as I was wrapping up with MMG I got a bill from Budget for $403 for the two broken windows. My credit card, the Citi AAdvantage, was going to be charged that within the week. I immediately called up Citi AAdvantage. They transferred me to a claims department. They asked me to e-mail them a bunch of documents. I did. They confirmed receipt of those and then asked for a copy of the original Budget rental agreement. I didn’t have that. Requested a copy, electronically, from Budget. Got that the next day and submitted that via e-mail (again). Got a confirmation that they received that too. A week later with the $403 now on my credit card I called the claims department to ask how my claim was going. They said it would take 14 business days. I waited. I called. They said it was still being processed. I waited another week. Called. Nothing. Then I called again on June 14. They said that they had sent me a letter requesting further documents. I never got a letter. It transpired that it was NEVER sent. The Citi claim was being handled by ‘Virginia Surety’ — a company that seems to have difficulty understanding what dealing in good faith is all about. That is why I reported Citi AAdvantage to the ‘Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’ (CFPB) yesterday. 

While my phone calls with Virginia Surety was going on last week, somebody told me I should try my car insurance policy. Never thought of that. Assumed that my credit card, as promised, would take care of it. But I called my local agency. Yet again they said they will file a claim with MMG. Last Friday I got a call from a different MMG adjustor. She already had a bunch of documents forwarded to her by my agency. She just needed the credit card statement showing the $403 charge. I e-mailed that to her. That was Friday. On Wednesday I had a check for the whole $403! That is brilliant. I am so happy. This is great. This what insurance is meant to be.

Nothing but good words. Such a stark contrast with Citi and Virginia Surety. I, being who I am, kind of feel bad! As far as I am concerned Citi should have paid for this. Never mind. I will sort out Citi in my own way.

For now REJOICE that there still are companies like MMG.


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by Anura Guruge


‘Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’ (CFPB) Definitely Has Teeth — Made Citi AAdvantage Take Notice.

by Anura Guruge


cfbpawesome

Click to access the Government “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” (CFPB) Website at ‘consumerfinance.gov’.


June 14, 2016, I filed this cfpb complaint against Citi AAdvantage credit card
about them NOT honoring their promised ‘Car Rental Insurance Benefit’.

citiaacomplaint

Click to ENLARGE and read.


This is what Citi AAdvantage credit card promises.
But from what I can see they deliver NOTHING. A scam.
citifraud111

Click to ENLARGE and read here. I will not direct you to their Website since that will be a DISSERVICE to YOU.


If you enlarge and read my cfpb complaint above it should be pretty clear.

I did NOT get supplemental rental insurance from Budget Car Rental because Citi AAdvantage credit card was very specific that I did not need to. Then, in San Francisco, we had the rental car broken into. Budget billed the credit card, Citi AAdvantage, $403 for the windows. Nearly a month later NOTHING from Citi AAdvantage.

Kind of scary. I have been exceptionally lucky over the decades. I worked out that I must have, since 1976 (when I rented my first car), rented at least 700 cars — during 1985 – 1986 & 1992 – 2000, when I was travelling (on work) three to four days/week, typically renting at least one car a week, but most likely two (in two different cities). During all those rental I never had to make a single claim! That amazes me. Yes, I had one flat tire, in Arizona. That was the sum total — until this last rental, in April, when we went to Yosemite (during school vacation).

I had made 6 calls about this claim nothing. Filed a complaint at Citi. Nothing.

Then I filed this cfpb complaint. 4 hours later I get a call from Citi! That is impressive.

Huge kudos to cfpb. A Government agency that can get things done fast. Bravo.


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by Anura Guruge


My Illustrious Paternal Grandfather — S.W.P. Guruge, J.P.

by Anura Guruge


siya
Click to ENLARGE.


This is my adoptive father’s father. My grandfather — the only one I knew since my adoptive mother’s father, a Railway Station Master, died of a heart attack, while shaving, when I was 4 months old.

One of my cousin’s just posted a bunch of old pictures of Facebook. This was among them. I was glad to see it. It is a picture I remember well. My grandparents had it in their extremely modest, ‘tenement house’ in Kandy. We also had a copy at our house.

This was when my grandfather a postman — who walked and SWAM his route — was made a Justice of the Peace by the British. So this would have been prior to 1948. He is dressed in the Regelia provided, by the British, to denote his new office. Yes, there is a SWORD there on his left waist though you can’t see it that well in this picture. I, as a child, wanted that sword so bad! Right after this picture was taken, he not a rich man then (though he would go onto be one), and extremely pragmatic, sold the sword and everything else — but the jacket. He knew that he didn’t need the regalia to be a J.P.

OK. If you are wondering about the swimming — the swimming postman. He did NOT have to swim. But there was a river in the village where he had to deliver mail. I could be WRONG on this but I think it was ‘Baddegama‘, in the southwest, just east of Hikkaduwa. He, per the British style, rode a bicycle to deliver the mail. There was only one bridge in the village — and it was in the MIDDLE of the village. He had to deliver on both sides of the river. As the story goes, rather than backpedal to bridge, once he got to the end on one side, he, a very strong man all his life, would hoist the bicycle, with the mail, above his shoulder and then swim across to the other side. THIS WAS BEFORE MY TIME. But I grew up on this story of my swimming grandfather.

He lived to be 92 and died in the late 1980s. I last met him in 1983. He was in his mid-80s. He had walked 4 miles to the hotel that I was staying to meet him. He thought nothing of it. He walked everywhere — and died, on the side of the road, walking.

He was made a JP because he was a Community Activist. Helped the less educated with paperwork, claims, rights etc. He also fostered or adopted one child. He was very well known in Kandy — where he moved to. Upon retiring — now with a very famous son (my adoptive father) — he went onto sell insurance, and did extremely well.

I didn’t see him that often. We lived 72 miles apart, we in Colombo, he is Kandy. He visited quite often and we went to Kandy a few times a year. But they were all visits. I never spent that much time with him. Though he could read English, a requirement to be a postman, he refused to speak it though he understood English, perfectly. In 1983 when I had lost my knack to speak Sinhalese he and I spoke, for long periods of time, in this Sinhalese-English ‘transliteration’. I would speak in English. He understood what I was saying/asking. He would then reply in Sinhalese. I understood Sinhalese, it having been my other tongue. I would then reply in English and he would respond in Sinhalese. Most natural thing in the world and not that uncommon in Sri Lanka where, at least in my time, we spoke Sinhalese and English interchangeably.

This is my Grandmother. She had some Chinese in her, as you can see. She was very diabetic. Lovely lady.

archi

I was brought up by my maternal grandmother — who was the most important person in my life, growing up. As a result and because of those 72-miles, this grandmother always played a very, very distant second fiddle. Looking back it was strange. My life revolved around my mother’s family — who all lived close by. I am NOT even sure whether my grandparents from Kandy came to my lavish birthday parties! 

But, I wanted to share.


by Anura Guruge

I Sold My Sony RX100 MkII On eBay For A Decent Price.

by Anura Guruge


sonysoldebayfeb4


I listed it as a 5-day auction, finishing around 2:30pm on Thursday, February 4, 2016 — Sri Lanka Independence Day.

I offered it to you folks for $320. I listed it on eBay with a start price of $305 & $14.75 for shipping (and shipping with $300 insurance came to $16.60).

Some 120 odd people (and some were very odd indeed) looked at it (per eBay statistics) and by Thursday morning 11 were watching it. But no bids. Then the first bid came in from a first time eBay buyer — with ‘0’ feedback. That scared me. Didn’t like the idea of shipping a $350 camera to a person unknown to eBay. I was even thinking of refusing to ship if that person won. Well all the action was in the last few minutes! I guess this was always the case with eBay. The new buyer tried valiantly but was beaten out much to my relief.

The lady who bought it, from California, paid at once. That is always encouraging. I did the shipping label through PayPal. PayPal likes it — and I am an eBay & PayPal shareholder. So I have to support these companies. I am happy. I would rather have sold it locally. Something else that was nice and PayPal told me this. Camera in its box fits in, with tons of space to spare, in a USPS 2-day, Flat-Rate Medium Size box — and the weight limit is 70 pounds. The camera and the book was less than 2 pounds. So this was easy. I am even sending her the printed manuals though I did not include them in the eBay listing. Might as well.

Now come the ‘fun’ part. Looking for a NEW camera. My 5th in since September 2015! I told you. This is why I avoided cameras for 30 years. I like them too much. REALLY going to try to standardize on Fuji. Fuji and I are very compatible — emphasis on still photography rather than video and LOTS of control wheels/buttons. Stay tuned. 


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by Anura Guruge