Beware of the “Betterment” Fees

On the last day of February 2022, I had a car accident.  I was parked on the street in front of Schif And The City,  in Edmonton.  I got into my car, put my purse on the passenger side, pushed the start button, put my seat belt on, and then looked over my left shoulder to see if there were any cars coming.  There was none, so I put my left blinker on and eased out of the parked position. And BANG, I was hit by another vehicle going about 45 km, yes it hurt and yes, I was told that I was at fault.  Fortunately, neither the driver of the other car nor I were not seriously injured.

I notified my insurance and brought my car into their repair shop that was close to home.  My jeep, I lovingly call her Karma, was in the shop for a week or so.  When I received the call that she was ready to go home, the person on the phone shared,

“There is a betterment charge of $132.00, you’re good with that right?

First of all, when we – all of us pay for insurance and that insurance is to financially protect us in the event of an accident, which is clearly my case, why would anyone want to or be o.k. with an additional betterment charge?

Until this happened to me, this is the first I had ever heard about a betterment charge.  I called my insurance company and I was told that because they had to put a new replacement tire on Karma, they needed to charge me for the betterment portion. This made no sense to me in that I pay for insurance and that is what it is for. I was told it was because the new tire put Karma in a better position than it was before, therefore the $132.00 was a portion of the new tire they installed.

I bluntly told the insurance agent that there was no way I was going to pay for a ridiculous “betterment” fee and I shared that it was just another kind of “money grab” – shame on the insurance companies for taking advantage of people when they need help and when they are most vulnerable.

It was a time-consuming hassle and I had to be blunt and spoke to the supervisor who followed up with me a few days later. I told her that I was not going to pay for this because it was wrong and made no logical sense.

The outcome – I was reimbursed the $132.00 about three weeks later.  For me, it was about the principle. 

Our newest Cub Brand Ambassador, Brianna MacLean shares more about Betterment fees in this issue. 

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