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Old 08-28-2008, 09:10 PM
NoSparkNeeded's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 509
Insurance Problems I see

I've been reading the threads on the latest insurance problems from
forum members. This freaked me out a bit. Even with comprehensive
if they value the car at "book" you LOSE. I only have PLPD on the TD. I did a "stated value" of 10K on my old truck with a 1k deductable, but I'm sure they would contest even that until you could "prove" value. Be sure to take many pics of your rig. Now that I have 5200.00 in my TD, I'm going down to State Farm in the morning to do a "stated value" policy on the TD. Cripes I saw that nice
CD in the forums that is now TOTALED and they want to pay out 1800.00
bucks!! Intact I'd have paid at least 3000.00 for a low mileage CD. So folks, ask about a "stated value" policy. I'm sure even in that case the insurance companies will weasel out, but at least you can maximise your chance of fairness if your car gets whacked by the negligent cellphone idiot. I'm going to my agent in the morning to assess this, I'll report back.
85 300TD FED-Daily
84 300SD-Wife's
86 XJS-Sunday
66 GMC-Work- Given to my stepson
83 BMW Airhead- Given to my stepson
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:43 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 50
Auto Insurance, totals, adjusters, etc.

I hesitate to jump in here, but guess I'll just do it. I've been reading lots of posts over the last year or so, but rarely post anything myself. I've found that most everything I run into can be solved with a quick search, etc. This happens to be one subject that I know something about though, so I guess I'll comment...

I am one of the dreaded, lowly adjusters so many have commented on. Yep, I handle auto claims for a living--both property damage and injury claims. One interesting thing about this forum is that we're from every different state in the union. Insurance laws are all so different from state to state that many general statements don't apply in all situations. Liability laws all vary--some are pure comparative, some are modified comparative, some are no-fault (poor people in Michigan paying double the rates I pay...), etc. Total loss thresholds all vary by state also. So what applies to one state may not apply in another. Some states have lots of latitute on how much they can pay to repair a vehicle versus totalling it out, etc. Others have strict percentages which can't be exceeded by the cost of repairs with out branding the title.

One thing that is definitely true that many have said relates to value. Insurance companies (mine included) pay based off book values--the most common being NADA. Some use blue book etc. but all use some form of book value. While they are pretty good for most cars, and even generous for some, they don't always do justice to cars such as the MBs we all know and love. You also have to keep in mind that most adjusters aren't car people at all--you may have to educate them on what you have. Keeping in mind that EVERYBODY'S cars are MINT when they are totalled... Some really are, but for the that one that is, there are a 100 that are pieces of crap just like every other Focus or Malibu on the road... It does help to provide documentation as to what improvements have been made and of comparable vehicles. Focusing on selling prices, not on asking prices... Ultimately, most companies will honor an appraisal process. In my opinion, people should take advantage of this more than they do. Usually you pay for the appraisal, which doesn't cost as much as you would think ($100-$150 in most cases around here) and the ins. company may or may not pay for one of their own. Having a third party provide an opinion on the value really helps.

I will also second what has been said earlier. If you really, honestly have something that you will not feel adequately compensated by a standard book value, you really should talk to your agent about a stated value policy. They make it so much easier when a loss ocurrs. In our case, unless something has been altered or changed since the value was agreed, we simply pay the value and move on. Very easy from my point of view and everyone is happy. When I handled total losses for katrina, those were the best claims to pay--look at the value, make sure nothing has been changed, like anything parted out, rusted to the ground, etc. and issue payment. Done.

Anyway, there's a ton I could comment on, but even "outing" myself like this probably puts me at risk for hate mail as it is! LOL... Being sort of a car person myself, I see the frustration from both sides. Accidents suck. Especially to cars like ours that are just plain better.
Ty H.
'87 300E 135K Miles
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:08 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: DFW area (north side)
Posts: 1,288
I for one appreciate your response and insights!

I'd have to say that I have been able to negotiate with every appraiser I've had to deal with and feel like in the end I was very fairly treated. I've also served as a 3rd party arbitrator (or appraiser) a few times (not for cars however).
1983 300D, bought new, 215k+ miles, donated to Purple Hearts veterans charity but I have parts for sale:
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 708
Thanks for the insight. I'm sure you see the other end of the specktrum ,too. A piece of junk getting big bucks. When I lived in Tulsa, a friend of a friend worked on car on the side. One he was working on was a Early 70's Station wagon, not in good shape. From memory the guy didn't want to put any money in it so it sat in my friends yard. Finally, he told the owner to get it out of his yard. The owner towed it down to some parking lot. A Pepsi or Coke truck backed into it. They gave the owner $1,800 for the piece of junk.
I own an '88 Jeep Comanche and some South Bend lathes. Placeing a value on them can be rough. Once someone gets a 'good' (st)deal on one, they set the price at that. I also wonder about the condition of some of the lower priced stuff. On the South Bend lathes, dealers are parting them out, while they can get a lot more for the parts than for the whole lathe. Usually two to three parts makes up what someone wants to pay for a good to very good machine.
Also, I can see the point from the guy who owned the coupe. It looked in very good condition. As with most items, ones in excellent to virtually new can bring 3-4 times the amount, than one in good to very good condition.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:08 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,326
I thought if J-lo can insure her ass for $1 Million, you could insure anything you want for whatever amount you want. As long as you are willing to pay the premium.
1982 300CD Petrol/Black Leather
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:35 PM
Stevo's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NW WA
Posts: 6,286
I had both my five spd 240Ds insured for collision with "Hagerty" for over two years for 6 and 7 K. I'm thinking if one of them gets 'creamed' those "Hagerty" reciepts will come in handy as I no longer have collision insurance.

1985 Euro 300TD 5 spd 220K
1985 Euro 240D 5 spd 130K
1979 240D 5 spd, 40K on engine rebuild
1994 Dodge/Cummins, 5 spd, 121K
1964 Allice Chalmers D15 tractor
2014 Kubota L3800 tractor
1964 VW bug

"Lifes too short to drive a boring car"
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