So like Hawaii, Brasil is a no-fault state.. i.e. you have to have insurance and you have to pay for everything 100%. My husband (thinking how bad could it be) signed up for a 2k deductible. SOOO re-thinking that decision now. See a car rear ended another car a few weeks ago, followed by the next car in line, and then my husband slammed on the breaks and slid through the Brasilian rain into the car in front of him. It was a small fender bender, or in our case the hood is now bent down– possibly permanently locking our hood shut.
So of course with an accident the Brasilian jeito has really come out. Because my husband was last in line, everyone wanted him to take the fall. The guy my husband hit doesn’t have insurance to cover himself, just those he hits, so he doesn’t want to cover things. The first guy obviously doesn’t want to pay for anything, and the girl who hit him, well she didn’t hit my husband, so doesn’t have to pay for our damages. It’s no-fault remember. Of course, my husband wasn’t going to go down for a 4 car accident, and reported what happened to the police exactly as it happened.
Jeito is stronger than reality however, and so the insurance agent of the woman called my husband..
“um can you take full responsibility for everything and have your insurance pay it?”
Of course, even though I’m married to an American, the jeito is even stronger with my husband (the stories I have of him and his jeito… well they can’t be published for obvious reasons). My husband told the agent he would be happy to take full responsibility and make his insurance pay, if the other cars cover our deductible. The agent told him he’d think about it, and then the answer turned out to be no. No biggie for us in the end, just would have been nice.
Then a few days later the call came from the agent again.
“Hey can we take you up on that offer, where we pay your deductible?”
At this point my husband had already filed with the insurance company, as he was anticipating an after the fact move where the female driver’s agent tried to pin it on my husband anyway. So we said no, too late already file.
And that’s when the threats began.
“We’ll lie. We will make the other drivers say you did it, as then they’re off the hook for paying for damages too, and it’s in their incentive to help us.”
You can see how we could have been on the line for everything right? Oh yeah, did I mention the girl’s dad is a lawyer? Hubby called the driver he hit (the one without insurance) and explained that with my husband’s insurance report, his statement and my husband’s statements to the police it was likely that our insurance would call foul, not believe the lies, and then the tricky girl would then blame the whole accident on this guy, since he was next in line and he didn’t have cool, awesome expat car insurance.
It worked, no more threatening calls, and it seems that our car that was already in an accident from the previous owner, will finally get the fixing up it needs. We won’t look so sad an pathetic driving the streets of Sao Paulo. Although I often tell myself, by having a crappy car we are less of a target for break ins and robberies (not that I’m really worried about that).