Insurance & experiences incl. extended warranties


Capt. Mike

Moderator
I've started this thread to allow posts of information and experiences, good & bad, regarding insurance and insurance companies. I chose this "Suppliers" forum because it is a service we all use. -- Capt. Mike"
 
Last edited:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Antique Westies & Insurance

For those of us you have 'antique' Westies, you should be aware of special antique car insurance. Antique insurance is generally available on vehicles 25 years old or older that are used primarily for show, parades and limited personal use. All are going to forbid any use for work or school, usually even as a "backup". Most will have limits on mileage. Each company's requirements vary.

In many states, there is a special antique rates through your regular policy. In almost all instances, the agents either don't know or don't suggest it because it cuts premiums and thus their commission. You have to demand it. Consult your state Insurance Commission to see if such rates are approved. Companies don't have to offer it, but most will have it tucked away in the rate book if it's in the Utilities Commission rate structure.

Another consideration is 'declared value' coverage. This is where you establish (through appraisals) a value and pay the premium accordingly. This insures they don't 'total out' your Westy for some unreasonable average value out of the book when something happens. Since most states require a company to total out a vehicle when the repair exceeds a certain percentage of market value, you may find yourself totaled out even when the repairs are below market value. Again, company requirements will vary.

There are a number of specialty companies. Most of these underwrite at a rate well below regular companies. Pick up a copy of Hemmings Motor News and there will be many agents and underwriters listed in the "Services" section. Grundy and Taylor are two of the biggest.

Each will also have their own requirements and standards. Some are show & parade use only. Most have a mileage restriction, typically 2,500 miles per year. Many will demand appraisals and photos.

Not all will be licensed to provide coverage in your state, and many will be licensed only to provide comprehensive & collision, not liability. State requirements to underwrite liability are very difficult and some companies or agents will decide it's not worth the effort. In these cases you may be able to place your liability with your regular carrier and your collision & comprehensive with the specialty carrier.

Is it worth while? For some, especially those that are restoring a Westy and will use it only for limited events. I currently pay about one-fourth the premium for my 3 antiques through Grundy than for my 3 drivers even though the insured value of the antiques is higher than the 3 drivers.

My own Westy is too new ('90) and too high a mileage per year for antique coverage; I also use it for purposes that would probably be outside the "limited personal use" category. But the old VW Bug ('69) is under antique coverage as its mileage is limited and never gets used for restricted uses. Although it's a future project for restoration, right now it's still 'unrestored driver' class.

This might be a way to get at least comprehensive (fire/theft & vandalism) coverage on a project Westy in storage for a reasonable rate.
 
Last edited:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Integon Insurance Co.

Well, the trial is over -- me vs. Integon Insurance. We won. About triple the amount of outstanding unpaid damages. They were abley represented by a one-man law firm whose office was a converted condo and shares a fax machine with a guy down the hall. I mean the guys socks didn't even match. Scruffy half-soled shoes and briefcase falling apart. The only thing I didn't get was the lost time which I only put in to PO them after they became such horses asses. The lawyer might be #101 but I bet he's OJ's Johnny Cockroach when they finish with the billing hours. I did my own since it was in Magistrate's Court.

For those that missed it in the chat room, I got rear-ended while making a right-hand turn with signals on, broad daylight. I was driving Redneck Pickemup Truck, a Dodge Ram 2500HD diesel. My exhaust pipe did a cookie-cutter through his grill. I got a bent bumper and trailer hitch, dent in the RR quarter rocker, and a busted back-up light. The guy that hit me was totaled; he basically ran up underneath.

Integon left out several items, I'm sure intentionally, when the UNLICENSED appraiser did her estimate. They also specified non-standard aftermarket parts despite the numerous court rulings that this practice is illegal. Refused to pay for the accessories and temporary repairs. When I complained, they told me to sue them. So I did.

After I filed the suit, they paid for some more repairs, but still not all. Come the day before trial, at 4:35PM, they asked for a continuance without notifying me. Fortunately, I had an in at the courthouse who told me. Second trial was today, March 13th, 2000.

Why would a company send a lawyer from out-of-town to defend a case smaller than the lawyer's fee that they have almost no chance of winning? I mean the guy that hit me got two tickets and he was a deputy sheriff! Do they figure most people will give up and they'll come out ahead in the long run? I know the driver was so PO'ed at his own insurance company, he's changing companies. He didn't like getting named as co-defendent in a suit that's his own company's fault.

So, if you're insured by Integon, please don't hit me. [FYI: Integon is one of the GMAC insurance companies.] :(
 
Last edited:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred from another post to consolidate similar topics.

Insurance in Mexico for 1981 or older Westy

Jane Junior Member # 2049 posted 09-18-2001 09:48 AM

I have discovered that I can only purchase liability insurance for my 1974 Westfalia when driving in Mexico because it is more than 20 years old and is not listed in the Kelley Blue Book. I am very concerned about this and not sure if I will even go down any more (after extensive planning!!) Does anyone have any suggestions for what they have done in similar situations or any experiences with this matter? Any advice is much appreciated. janevthomson@hotmail.com

9-19-01 Addendum: I just wanted to clarify that my insurance agent for Canada and the US is not the problem (I live in Canada). They have an adjuster figure out fair market price and definately do not use the Kelley Blue Book. The problem is
insurance for Mexico. Any Canadian or American insurance package is not valid when you cross the border to Mexico. You have to have Mexican insurance. It is through these Mexican insurance agents that I have not been able to find anything more than liability insurance. I'm wondering if anyone has actually insured their VW in Mexico for driving there? I am planning a 2 month camping trip through Baja and some mainland.
 
Last edited:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
I think there is some failure to disclose the normal border crossing scenario. It's not logical that that NO American or Canadian company can underwrite Mexico travel. Hundreds of thousands cross the border daily and I doubt the regulars are "uninsured." Probably, like entering Canada, you have to take out a supplement or obtain proof of meeting Mexican law, but get it through your agent or broker.

Insurance for other than liability, i.e. collision and comprehensive, is based on the value of the vehicle. Kelly Blue Book is NOT the only valuation book and is not even accepted much outside the late-model dealer network. In fact, I bet if your insurance company did not want to insure you, they'd find some other book doesn't carry it.

The site has good discussions of valuation and the use of these books elsewhere. Read them. Old Car Price Guide DOES carry your older Westy with not just a valuation, but a graded SET of valuations based on condition. Further, it is accepted by many states (for taxes), insurance companies and the courts.

You may have to get a fair market appraisel done, but even then I suspect your insurance company will find some other excuse. Furthermore, all insurance companies have a 'declared value' rate where you pay based upon an agreed and established valuation, such as the professional appraisals. Some have an antique auto rate, though that often brings mileage and travel restrictions. That they are hiding the many options indicates they have some other motive.

If your agent says that he can only insure vehicles in the Kelly Blue Book, take him a copy of Old Car Price Guide (when you fire him & company) showing him the value of a '74 Westy is between $700 (junker only good for parts stripping) and $17,500 for a show-condition restoration. And remind him that OCPG is conservative -- most pull higher than their graded value. Something he can verify by scanning any of the VW specialty classifieds or Hemming Motor News.

I'd also file a complaint with your state or province's insurance commission. It won't do any good in the sense the insurance company has the right to refuse to insure whoever they chose, but it builds a file of arbitrary service and discrimination against them and makes them respond and justify their actions on record. Since it's the company brass that has to respond, they may not like having to cover for an idiot agent or district underwriter.

Back to whoever is claiming they won't underwrite you in Mexico, please give us the name so that the rest of us may know of and hopefully not use such a company. I don't plan any trips to Mexico, but I sure expect my company to underwrite coverage.
 
Last edited:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
NC Farm Bureau Insurance Co.

In a nutshell, DON'T. Crooked as a snake.

I was cleaning the office the other day and moving some ancient files into long-term storage. One was a NC Insurance Commission complaint with NC Farm Bureau Insurance.

First: Ethics. They were quick to sell me insurance. Only AFTER I had bought the policy, did they inform me that I also had to join the Farm Bureau -- a dues requiring organization. Left over from the days when they were primarily farm insurers, I'm sure, but now that they sell more non-farm policies, they sort of 'forget' to tell the customers.

Second: I had one claim. I was parked, left side to the curb, when someone struck the upper left quarter panel about 3½ feet above the ground with something made of wood. A pretty clear cut case of vandalism. That it was in an area of high kid traffic adds to the assumption. Several where seen with wooden objects by dozens of people.

They refused to pay, claiming that the accident was a "collision between two objects," and would then come under collision where I have a $500 deductible, instead of under comprehensive (fire/theft/vandalism) where I didn't have a deductible. When I refused to accept their position, they then fabricated -- about 2 months after the incident -- a report stating the damage was apparently from running into something and my fault. The report writer never said a thing ON TAPE during the investigation. This was a WITNESSED event where witnesses saw the vehicle without damage with no movement in between.

They also cancelled my policy because I was a trouble-maker, not that I'd want to do business with a company that lies through its teeth anyway. Obviously, I then cancelled the homeowners, umbrella liability, antique/jewelry and other policies. They saved $550 in claims; they lost 3 thousand a year in premiums. Never found time to haul their butts into court but I sure won't do business with them and if you're ever hit by a policy holder, put everything on tape, in writing AND have it checked by a lawyer.
 
Last edited:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Service Contracts & Extended Warranties

The extended warranties & service contracts on new vehicles, and even used, are insurance contracts. And subject to the same considerations, exclusions and procedures.

There are two basic types, the manufacturer's and a dealer or aftermarket. The manufacturer's will usually be serviced by authorized dealers. The aftermarket is typically limited to the seller's facilities and those with which he has a contract or otherwise 'pre-approves.'

You will often find dealers that will strongly push their own or private contracts because of the huge profit margin. I had one of the Rick Hendricks (huge chain) dealerships REFUSE to sell me the factory warranty. They would only sell their Mickey Mouse 'house' warranty.

The fine print and exclusions are many and I strongly suggest you understand ALL of them. Few honor what is covered by any other procedures such as new car warranty or federal recalls. Thus you may be in a fight between the two.

Most attempt to exclude almost everything that are wear or appearance items. Thus these items must be found and repaired under the new car warranty as the extended warranties don't kick in until all other resources are exhausted and will NOT pick up what the new car warranty SHOULD have covered but didn't get done.

Coverage is only as good as the servicing dealer and recourses are even fewer than with a new car. Most states have Lemon Laws to help with a new car, but they do not apply to extended warranties. You are almost always stuck with the hassle of solving conflicts through your state's Consumer Protection Division or in Court.

Since most repairs will fall under the Small Claims limits, this is a viable option and does not require an attorney. But it does require you know & understand the contract and exclusions. It will also demand a strong burden of proof -- repair orders, letters, photos of the before & after of repairs and witnesses. I suggest you write out your repair requests and attach them to the RO rather than let the dealer 'write up' what he wants. When you sign, write in "Per Attached."

If you don't get reasonable attention and attempts to diagnose, get a shop manual and mark the items to see if they have even followed shop procedures. A little dab of paint on a screw or catch will tell you if they even opened the item in question up for examination. Record the mileage in & out (using 10th feature on the trip odometer). You may find they didn't even bother to test drive the vehicle for diagnosis or after to test repairs.

A common 'defense' is that you didn't give them opportunity. Check your state's Lemon Law and duplicate the clauses there. Courts are likely to look on that favorably as to reasonable attempts. (Our's requires 3 visits or 15 days after formal notification.) Also notify the contract issuer via certified letter, return reciept, in the manner your Lemon Law requires. Often the contract does not accept notifying the dealer as proper notification.

Check for arbitration clauses. They can be an advantage, but on the other hand, mandatory arbitration may also be a stumbling block to getting on to Court. Filing small claims is typically in the $50 range, but some arbitration has buried costs. Again, read the fine print!

I'm not a big fan of extended warranties. Like most insurance, it preys on the poor. If you can't afford to underwrite a big repair or loss, then you may be forced to pay the smaller and spaced out 'premium' cost. If you can afford a major repair, then the extended warranties are rarely cost effective. Yes, there are people who get a $4,000 reman engine under a $2,000 policy. But for every one of those, there are dozens that had nothing more than a collection of little repairs that totaled less than half the premium.

You also have to consider the mileage/time ratio. If you are a high mileage driver, you'll run out of mileage long before time. In the Dodge, I hit the 100,000 mile limit with a good 2 years to go. On the other hand, if you are a low mileage driver, the chances of a defect occuring drop considerably so you may run out of time before you get into the high risk miles.

Remember, it is insurance. They are gambling you will not require major covered repairs (or will void the contract) before it expires. And for this gamble, they will expect premiums that exceed payouts -- probably by the insurance industry average of 40-60%! With the huge commissions & markup in the auto industry, I'd expect it to exceed the 100% range. All the while also earning even more money by investing your premiums. So please examine your own finances, reserves, alternatives and ability to absorb a major repair. Also look at your car-buying pattern. If you trade often, the riskier late periods of an extended warranty may never kick in. Spending the money on a very dilgent maintenance program may pay a better dividend. See the maintenance check-off list I use for my Vanagon as an example -- posted on the tech drawings link.

:mad: I can tell you one that has proven not worth the paper it's printed on. A Daimler-Chrysler factory extended service contract. We did the full round in court; they lost! I eventually got a full refund of the entire premium. But they played the stall game with me, denying repairs assuming I wouldn't take them to court. Even told me to go ahead and sue when I did the formal certified letter to the CEO. (Wish granted, lady!) They gambled I wouldn't and lost. But for every one that will fight them, there are dozens more that won't or can't.

:confused: I'd presume that applies to all of their other subsidiaries and partners, too. Daimler-Benz (We know!), Freightliner, Mistubishi and Hyundai. But IF you feel you can't risk not having the extended warranty, you'd still probably be better off with the manufacturer's.

Do remember, prices are negotiable. There is a huge dealer profit margin & commission built-in. You typically have a period after purchase of a new car to obtain one, so shop around between dealers. Not buying with the new car may convince them you're going to be a hard sell and make them more willing to negotiate. ;)
 
Last edited:

ronwolffjr

New member
I use American Collectors Insurance Inc. in Cherry Hill, NJ 856-779-7212.

They are brokers of: American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida
(305) 253-2244.

You need to show proof of a primary vehicle. Deep discount for 20 yr. old vehicles, deeper discounts for 25+ vehicles. Both vehicles are insured for 20K each. Photos necessary.

Allows for trips to shows, events, educational purposes, exhibition. I believe both vehicles cost under $150.00 for the year, very cheap for NJ. (not each, all together!)

Not sure where this is available, but they have been good over the past 10 years.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same topic.

Pat Generic Member posted July 07, 2002 07:55 PM

Maybe someone could point us in the right direction or refer us to some archived info? We were concerned that the "book value" of our '89 Westy camper would be too low if (gasp!)something really bad happened to our "baby", so we called our insurance lady about increasing coverage. She suggested we start with an appraisal, then said we would probably qualify for "antique" rates since the camper style like ours is no longer made. I thought an auto had to be at least 25 years old for antique status, but maybe I was wrong. Is there anyone out there with some info on this, along with any ideas regarding having the van appraised? Thanks for your help.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
alexdolpp Junior Member posted October 08, 2002 11:59 PM

I just bought my first 1990 vanagon camper today! Yeah!

Can I insure the bus as a RV, does it make it cheaper? Advantages / Disadvantages?

Please send me a mail (alexdolpp@aol.com) if you can help me.

Thanks

powderhippie Junior Member posted October 09, 2002 01:48 AM

Try AAA!

Check AAA if your in California - cheapest I've ever seen anywhere and great service too. I only had $275 a year liability coverage on my old 83.5 Westy when my drivers side rear tire flew off North of San Francisco on the 101 flying into the Southbound lanes causing a horrible accident (mechanic forgot to properly secure axle nut and no cotter pin), yet AAA covered all of them and my rates never increased! Welcome to the community! Tom.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same topic.

gerardwing Junior Member posted December 12, 2002 07:16 PM

Hello all, this is my first post. Apologies for any mistakes in protocol that I make. I have heard many horror stories about insurance companies paying Westy owners squat for Westys that their owners have paid significantly more for. I thought my recent experiences with an insurance company would be usefull to all Westfalia.org members.

Summary: Don't let the insurance company tell you your vehicle has X amount of Kelley Blue Book Actual Market Value when the actual market all around us places a substantially higher value on your bus!

Several years ago, I was thrilled to buy a well cared for '84 Westy with only 42,000 miles on the clock, a bargain at $6200. A few years later, a young woman ran a red light and struck me in the van. If it were not for my passenger jumping out and IMMEDIATELY writing down the license plate of a witness' car, it would have been difficult to prove that the young woman had in fact run the red light. (Nearby policemen who took a report would not cite the woman, as they themselves did not witness the event, and our star witness suddenly left the scene. My insurance tracked down the fellow's address, and he telephoned in a statement.)

My insurance philosophy: I only carry liability and uninsured motorist insurance. If I'm at fault at an accident, I figure I ought to pay big time. That'll teach me! If they're at fault, I figure they ought to pay.

After being relieved that no-one was hurt, I feared that the woman's insurance would total my Westy and only pay $4000, the vehicle's Actual Market Value as established by the Kelley Blue Book. With such a low sum, it would be impossible for me to fix the damage on the Westy. It also would be impossible for me to buy a similar westy for that sum.

I had read an article on the net titled "Insurance Madness" suggesting that you could argue that the actual market value of your vehicle was more than that established by the Kelley Blue Book. You could do this by showing the adjustor or anyone who would listen that the actual market value was higher, and here are copies of ads to prove it. I figured I had nothing to lose.

Sure enough, the adjustor came, took some photos, looked at the odometer, pushed some buttons on a laptop and offered me $4000. I said I couldn't replace the vehicle for that little. He said, "Okay, I have to transfer the claim to another person. By the way, how much do you think it's worth?" I stated "Not quite twice that much. Between $6 and $7 thousand." the adjustor said "Good luck. I don't know where you're going to find ads like that."

I got onto AutoTrader.com, and I searched vehicles for sale on various Volkswagen websites. I printed out webpage ads for vehicles all over the country. The ads all showed that the $4K figure was too low. I intentionally focused on ads from owners who took exceptional care for their vehicles, and who were asking upwards of $11,900 for a 1983 Westy with less than 12K miles on it.

The second adjustor stated that he would only accept 2 of my ads which were for 1984 Westfalias, and that he would average those ads in with the puported $4K value of my Westy. The Actual Market Value then jumped $2500 to $6500. Just for kicks, I suggested I thought the value was still to low. The adjustor stated "Well, there's nothing I can do then. You'll have to settle with your own insurance company, or else... you'll have to fax in more ads." I answered, "Oh, well, I can do that."

I suppose that was the wrong thing to say. I faxed over another 7 ads for 1984 Westys, some high mileage units with reconditioned engines, Wolfsburg editions, some with elaborate stereo systems, new paint jobs, auxilliary batteries, etc. The adjustor called back and said "I got your ads, but I'm only accepting ads from California." This changed the vehicles whose values he was averaging to two other vehicles, but of similar values. The purported Actual Market Value increased by $100.

I called it quits then. I suppose I could have pressed further, as there was only 47,000 miles on the odometer, but my Westy did have some problems I did not divulge- an intermittent start, a mysterious overheating problem, a broken CB radio, and a broken heater. The first adjustor also mistakenly thought I had automatic transmission and air conditioning. Besides, with taxes, the sum rose to $7350, which was significantly more than what I paid for the vehicle 3 years ago.

Next van camper may be a weekender, maybe a pre-smog westy, may be a Ford Econoline passenger van with a pop top. Who knows. At least I have some money to shop around with.

I'd be happy to discuss others' insurance nightmares and give advice to the extent that a layperson like me can at gerardwing@netzero.com.

Great list, Capt Mike. Hope someone can benefit from my experiences.

Gerard Wing
 

colorado_baron

New member
This is a good letter. I had not thought about this area as of yet. I have the same thing to go through as in addition to a 82 Westy I also have a bike with a sidecar. Insurance companies do not want to insure my sidecar for the full replacement value either.

Colorado_Baron
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same topic.

mlamb Junior Member posted January 30, 2003 11:55 PM

Can anyone recommend a premium extended warranty program that they at least feel is legitimate & might be around in 10 years? Our dealer is selling Warrantech & 1SourceAutoWarranty.com is touted online. (With much trepidation I am inclined to try this since we will probably log about 100K miles in 10 yrs on our 2002 Eurovan Weekender, and our 1984 Vanagon Westy sure had expensive & endless repairs!)
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Has your ability to get a VW Extended Warranty expired? Many manufacturer's allow a full year to add their extended warranty. It doesn't cost anything to ask VW. Dealers try to sell aftermarket warranties over manufacturer's because they have higher profit margins. They are, after all, insurance and the 'commission' varies greatly between brands.
 

clholt

New member
I tried to go through American Collectors Insurance (through their tie-in with the Auto Club of SoCal). I got their written materials, visited their web site, and called several times to confirm the requirements. I sent in all the info and a picturem, as well as a check for $69. I thought $69 was cheap!
Within a week I received a rejection. My value was too low, the mileage was too high, and the bus had some surface rust.
My regular insurance is with Wawanesa, so I called them. Guess what? I now have full coverage insurance with much higher liability limits and no mileage restrictions. My net cost for the bus - $55. No inspection necessary. They asked me what it was worth and that is what they isured it for.
My purpose of this: check out your regular policy before trying the exotic carriers.
Good luck!

Larry in OB

Larry in OB
'69 Westy with rust

[Caution: American Collectors is what I consider 3rd tier as compared to Taylor, Hagerty or Grundy. First, they are not licensed in all states. In NC, they'll write my comprehensive & collision, but are not licensed for liability. I attended one of their seminars and they bad-mouthed the others and gave out false information. Their coverage has more personal use restrictions than most. And their premium for just the collision & comp wasn't competative. By forcing me back into street car insurance for liability, I'd be paying 3+ times what I pay Grundy. Street insurance charges by the car; some antique underwriters charge per driver, regardless of how many cars. Hey, you can only drive one at a time! All antique policies have limits. Be sure you understand yours. You'd hate to be driving home from a meet, get creamed when you stopped for donuts & coffee, and find out no coverage due to unauthorized use. -- Westy Tech.]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
I just helped Mom through an insurance claim on her Vanagon with Montgomery Insurance, a member of Liberty Mutual Group. We dealt with the Charlotte NC office.

:mad: I hate being lied to. I don't argue the repairs on Mom's Vanagon would border on the totaling criteria (75% of replacement value), and we sure weren't going to battle that route when a brand new Jetta TDI sat in the drive. But . . .

The adjusters came and -- though they didn't have the courtesy to tell me -- came up with a reasonable repair cost and didn't try to bad-mouth the shop I do business with in favor of the typical insurance company's 'recommended' bondo/chop special joint.

But, to justify totaling, they wanted to deduct every other nick & scratch as a major repair. The come up with $1,200 dollars on a parking lot dent Dent Wizard would have taken out for $75 and a bumper cover refurbish that I'd already priced for $100. Another $200 in a super detailing and she'd have sold for a good grand above the NADA.

Which brings me to big lie #2. The 'adjuster' who didn't know a door ding from a door, tried to tell me that Mom's insurance policy required the NADA book would be the absolute only value accepted.

It took a little spouting of the applicable law, other guides like Old Car Price Guide, market price listings, auction prices, copies of the many ads (including this site) and some major threats to bring her bosses and the Insurance Commission into the act before she finally agreed to the conservative value I was willing to recommend Mom settle for. Perhaps she decided she had overstepped a little when I told her to go get the actual policy -- that showed was lying when she said the policy stated NADA value. It didn't -- it stated "replacement value" and I wanted to talk to her boss.

"Out of the office until Monday" and 'I'd really like to settle this before he gets back!' So that she could get in the last word, we let her "beat us down" $22 from what I recommended day 1.

We also got one last laugh. The Salvage Co. she contracted with, SADISCO, made and then failed to show up for their appointment (and didn't call). As a result, the had to tow a locked vehicle and left the keys behind. For a vehicle that was fully driveable and will probably be sold for repairing, dumb move.

So if you've got one of the Liberty Mutual Group policies, hold on to your oar; you might have have an upstream battle when you have a claim.
 
Last edited:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Allstate

I realize insurance companies are about 3 floors below telemarketers, but I'm experiencing another insurance company attempt at rip-off. A former foster child of ours was struck by another vehicle. Absolute no question on liability -- the jerk pulled out of a left turn only lane right into her. His insurance company was Allstate. Apparently thinking they had a young kid they could run over, they started spouting all sorts of garbage about what she would have to do in order to file a claim. They were a little taken back when she showed up with counsel (me under PoA). I caught their appraisor in half-dozen lies off the bat including the big one that they we HAD to use their parts vendors.

The vehicle was struck in the LF wheel sufficient to destory the hubcap and knock it out of alignment. It cut the tire, probably from the shattered fender liner. They are refusing to pay for the alignment and tire because "the tire was worn". Even after getting a certified tire tech to examine the tire from the inside and determine it was cut as a result of the accident. The other 3 tires had 40% of tread depth left.

They have dragged their feet on paying, even after acknowleding liability, and given her a royal run-around. 22 days later, still no payment. She had to pay the alignment & tire out of pocket to make the car driveable just to get it to the body shop (her model has the little donut spare). Can't get the repairs started until the check arrives. One of their excuses was the adjuster was on vacation. She's supposed to do without a car until the adjuster gets her butt back to work? I don't think so. I finally got to her boss, which at least started the paperwork.

We're starting the tired old routine. Since she isn't insured by Allstate, I have sent a certified mail, return receipt notice of claim to the policy holder/driver of the liable driver. Monday I'll file formal comlaint with the NC Insurance Commission. I'm quite prepared to take the driver to small claims court for the $185 due, assuming the body repair check finally arrives. On principle, not the money. One nice thing about accident liability, is the driver is the person to proceed against in court, not his insurance company. His insurance is a personal contract between him and his insurance company and the accident victim is not bound by the policy or their interpretation of liability, estimate or their 'rules'. Thus it's his name that will appear on the summons.

Will update as time goes on. In the mean time, if you're insured by Allstate, please don't hit me. :p

12/02/08: Filed complaint with NC Insurance Commission. Still no pmt. on claim, now 4 weeks.

12/15/08: Found out adjuster wasn't licensed; got all huffy when I asked. Told me to go ahead & sue them. Wish granted, lady!

12/20/08: After the complaint to the Insurance Commission, they agreed to (but did not pay until after the lawsuit was filed) part of the alignment but continue to refuse to pay for the tire. Lawsuit will go on.

12/29/08: Wish granted, Allstate. Suite filed for trial 16 February 2009. Wonder what the defendent will think of Allstate to see a lawsuit that Allstate could have settled for $185? Not to mention lost time from work.
 
Last edited:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Allstate loses!

Well, the trial was 16 February. Despite bringing in a rather nasty lawyer, conning the defendent into changing his story from the police report, and one of their own appraisors spouting an unsubstantiated 'poor maintenance' plea, they lost. The judge was a little smarter than that. He awarded the alignment, tire & court costs. Thus they paid more than the original invoice! This strikes me as real smart. :confused:

The defendent had to take ½ day off work; they lost the services of their hired witness for ½ day, and you wanna even guess what the lawyer is going to charge them? I've got friends who are lawyers and based on the witness count, amount of paperwork and court appearance, most say they couldn't get out for a $1,000 and $2,000 would be closer to the minimum.

So if you're insured by Allsate, please don't hit me! ;)
 

Attachments

Last edited:

petermcclean

New member
insurance

hi
new to this world, just bought a 1994 westfalia and live in vancouver. any suggestions who i should insure it through. any help would be appreciated.
thanks
peter:confused:
 

Mike Robinson

New member
Insurance in BC

ICBC - I mean who else would you insure it with, that paragon of efficiency and wonder! Ha Ha

I get the minimum from ICBC and go private for the rest. You can set an insured value and have it as an RV, pleasure use only ie not work. (Not that it makes a difference)

What can I say ... another Alberta advantage is the insurance companies there ... but on the good side we have spring.

Mike '82 Westy Diesel

[Moderator Note: ICBC = Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Top