Your Friends Are Pulling Your Leg
Title is what I wanted to say to two callers on two separate occasions.
Characters are me (Me) and Poor Sap 1 (PS1) and Poor Sap 2 (PS2)
I work in an inbound call center for a major insurance company in the US in the auto and property policy services department. These two instances happened right around the six-month mark in my career working with them (as of writing this post, I’m still there)
First guy calls in, says he want to add a bike to his car policy. Now, the company that I work for has some very tight restrictions about insuring motorcycles in most states. I check which state he’s in, and he doesn’t live in one of the states with somewhat looser regulations. So, I start to give him the spiel about how I can’t add his motorbike to his policy in his state and will have to transfer to a partnership, when he says that “bike”… means bicycle. Yes, bicycle, as in “ching-ching, ching-ching” I had to pause for a moment.
Me: “Sir, you want to add a non-motorized vehicle… to your auto policy?
PS1: “Yeah, my friend told me to make sure I did that before I went out riding it!”
Me: “To make sure I understand the situation, your friend told you to add a pedal bicycle to your auto policy?”
PS1: “Yeah, since it’s such a nice bike, he said to make sure I put coverage on it in case someone else hits it, or I run into someone else! Told me to check and see if my auto policy can do that!”
Fortunately, it was actually pretty easy to convince him that we do not put bicycles on an auto policy, mostly due to lack of a VIN, and that a personal property policy that he may have would be the coverage he would put on that bike. I did feel bad for him, because he didn’t sound stupid, he was just sounding like he was trying to do the right thing and make sure that he was properly covered in case something happened.
I was so confused as to why his friend may have told him to put a bicycle on an auto policy. Little did I know that that wasn’t the first time I would get a call from someone who, I’m convinced, had been pranked by a friend.
Me: (finishing my typical greeting) “How can I help you today?”
PS2: “One of my crown molars came loose and I swallowed it. My friend told me to check and see if my property policy covers that.”
It has literally been exactly a week since Mr. Bicycle (aka PS1), and I start having flashbacks as soon as he says “my friend”
Me: “You’re calling to see if your property policy will cover a crown molar coming loose and you swallowing it?”
PS2: “Yeah, my friend told me to check with my property insurance before calling my dental.”
Now, under normal conditions, whenever a loss or any type of damage has been reported, policy services cannot speak to any type of coverages or what their deductibles are and have to get them over to claims (THIS goes over well when the caller is already escalated!), but this is a bit of a different story.
Me: “Sir, I’m no claims expert, but I can already guarantee that this is something you’re going to want to contact your dental insurance provider about.”
I had to take a moment after that call and just laugh. I was seriously considering asking my supervisor that, if I got another situation like that, I could say that I thought their friend was pulling a prank on them, but I ended up not asking. To date, I have yet to get another call like that, though.