The Insurance Day
Just about the time we bought our pomegranate pyaturka, liability insurance became mandatory for all vehicles on Russia’s roads, at a fixed cost of around 3,100 rubles regardless of insurer. We also bought kacko, the Russian version of collision insurance, despite the fact that I couldn’t imagine that a Russian insurance company would actually pay a claim. I just didn’t know how the game would play out; that is until March 1, when a mobile phone distracted driver of an Audi A6 rammed his car into the back of our little beauty by the Kempinski Baltschug. The blow pushed us into the back of a black BMW 745, and broke out the driver’s seat from the frame.
Day 1 – “Sorry, sorry,” cried the Audi driver as we all stood on the street blocking traffic and waiting for the GAI to arrive. An hour later, the officers completed their work and informed us we should show up March 17 at 10am, for the razborka, when a statement of fault would be issued. From the offender’s insurance agent I heard we could not repair our car until after the razborka, and we had five days to make a claim with our insurer.
Day 5 – The Agent. My wife and I sat about for two hours, then our agent confirmed that, despite our purchase of kasko, we had to wait. To even drive our baby, I had to lodge the spare tire behind the driver’s seat to brace it. With bumpers front and back dented in and broken headlamps, we were the scourge of the road.
Day 17 – The Razborka. We arrived early, but the BMW driver had already inquired about procedure. We had to wait for the Audi driver; if he didn’t show, we would come back next week. The BMW driver found the Audi’s mobile number, “he has no reason to show up, they will just write him a fine.” He finally showed after 11. We got our spravka from the GAI and were off to our agent again. “We’ll send someone out to look at the car in a week to determine the damages. The Audi driver has to be given the chance to attend.”
Day 24 – The Adjuster. I get a call in the morning from the adjuster, “How do I get to your apartment by public transport?” He shows, takes photos, and writes it up. The Audi driver doesn’t show of course, but we had to wait the mandatory half hour. “Call your agent in a week for the results,” he says walking off to the bus stop.
Day 31 – The Payout? A another trip across town to pick up documents. “Do I want money or to send the car to an approved repairer (our dealer). We call for a repair appointment. “Bring it in next week, we’re booked up.”
Day 38 – Repair Shop. I find out what actually is included in the insurance payout and what is not; I get to pay the difference. It will be ready April 20 (day 51).