6 Feb 2013

Half the cost?

So last week I was driving into an underground parking lot and didn’t see the overhanging sign must have come loose and was left hanging on an odd angle after a brutal wind storm we had last week. Only when I heard the terrifying screech of metal on metal, did I realize what had happened. It was a fluke and it was all about timing as I drove under the sign and heard that grinding noise kick in.  It pretty much peeled back a chunk of the metal on my roof, much like a can opener on a tin can. It was a pretty unusual experience and I was shocked it was even possible to happen to me or anybody. It was just a matter of chance.
I didn’t have time for a random accident like this, let alone time to call in an insurance claim, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  I called it in and they told me to take it to a specific auto repair shop on their list of recommended places. So in I went the very next day. Considering it’s been -17 degrees Celsius more often than not for the past two weeks, I figure this unwanted moon roof that doesn’t actually close is top priority and since it’s covered by insurance I’ll get it handled A.S.A.P.
So I dropped off my car so the auto repair shop could take a look at the damage and waited for a phone call at work.  They did call me toward the end of the day and told me the “damage.” They said my situation is kind of unusual because of where the metal sign started to tear up my car. On closer examination they noticed the metal landed along the windshield seal and damaged that, as well as chipping the top edge of my windshield glass, dragging along the roof and cutting that up. So I knew about the ruined roof, but to be told it also seriously damaged my windshield was a major double whammy. I have a deductible, but I expected my insurance provider would pay the remainder of the cost. No. My insurance company decided the quote to fix the damage was too high and wanted me to take the car to another recommended auto repair shop. Seriously? I’m a busy person.
But off I went to the next best place, according to the insurance company. They too quoted about the same cost to repair the damage.
Do you know what the insurance company told me…the insurance company I’ve been paying thousands of dollars to without a prior claim? They told me they can only cover the cost involved for one issue, not two issues. So I can either have the damaged window fixed to avoid leaks and long term damage or I can decide to fix the gaping hole in my roof. They told me I can choose to cover the remainder (not including the deductible I will also have to pay.)
How silly is that? It’s just not right, right?
So this leads me to fess up and tell you this story is not true, but I hope it makes a point...
The point being that for those of us who pay into Employment Insurance, often for many, many years without ever accessing it (thankfully), and for those of us who happen to become pregnant with twins, it would be reasonable to anticipate an extra boost of support to cover the costs and needs of two babies while a parent or both parents take a Parental Leave. Newborns do much of their development in their first year of life. This is the optimal time for parents to develop confidence in their ability to raise multiples, which is doubly harder to do when one parent is not there or has to go back to work more quickly than he or she had hoped.
Currently there is question as to why parents of multiples should have their Employment Insurance time away from work (Parental Leave) increased to compensate for the birth of more than one child at the same time. My answer is because it only makes sense. Would you want to drive around with a half fixed car because the insurance provider you paid into for years and years tells you they will only pay for half the costs? Driving around in a car with a chunk of its roof missing would be cold, uncomfortable, stressful, not to mention frustrating. Imagine how it can feel for parents who want to do nothing more than give their newborn twins equal attention, which they do deserve from day one, but instead one parent will have to separate themselves from these young babies two or three weeks after they come home? This scenario usually leaves mom to fend for these new little bundles of joy for long periods of time alone. It can be exhausting, stressful, uncomfortable and outright mentally and emotionally draining dividing your attention between two dependent babies.
What those who contest Bill C-464 may be overlooking is that those who pay into and qualify for Employment Insurance for parental benefit are receiving insurance monies, not tax payers’ dollars. There is a difference. They are two different things…just like twins.

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