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Anybody have experience negotiating a total loss claim with auto insurance adjuster?

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  • Anybody have experience negotiating a total loss claim with auto insurance adjuster?

    Somebody hit my parked truck last week and her insurance company has declared it a total loss. I received the valuation report from the insurance company and it is better than I expected, but still too low. The truck has a camper shell that the insurance company valued at $92. It costs about $1500 to replace with a new one. I can't find any comparable used shells for sale. I have searched for the same year, make and model of truck and without the camper shell the trucks are being sold in my area at about what the insurance company is offering. So far, I have found very few trucks with camper shells and the ones that have them are newer, more expensive models or are 4 wheel drive, have V6 engines and/or automatic transmissions. All things my truck didn' thave and I don't want because of lower gas mileage and/or higher maintenance expenses. So, I need to convince the adjuster that he needs to increase the settlement by $1500 so we can get a camper shell.

    Any one have any advice on negotiating with the adjuster? This is not my insurance company, but the offending driver's company. I didn't have collission insurance because the premium didn't make sense for a 14 year old vehicle. So, my insurance company is not involved in the negotiations.

    The letter from the adjuster says that if I can't find a comparable vehicle for the settlement amount within 30 days, they will reopen a claim. Does anyone have any experience with that process?
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

  • #2
    I am so sorry to read that this has happened. If it isn't one thing.....

    By chance did you keep receipts regarding the original camper shell? Or was it already on the truck when you got it?

    If you have the receipts, I would think that you could take those, and two or three estimates for replacements and dicker with the insurance adjuster about the $92.00 being woefully inadequate.

    'Hub has had a bit more experience in these matters than I have, but he is on the road up to his brother's house. When he settles in for the night, I'll ask him to look at this thread.
    Last edited by AngelinaCat; 09-25-2013, 05:46 PM.
    "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

    "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, AC!

      We do have the receipt from the purchase of the shell that I plan to submit. I fear they will say that we don't get the new value. But, just getting them to meet me half way would satisfy me.

      Will be going through the "Toyota Tacoma" file and scanning receipts tonight. We also had a completely new exhaust system installed 7 years ago after somebody sawed off the catalytic converter. So, the exhaust system is only half as old as the truck. Not sure how much that would bring up the value though.
      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

      Comment


      • #4
        There was the time that my Mother's car caught a drunk driver!

        This was an older Chrysler that I inherited from my mother. The transmission was failing and would not go into reverse. So rather than pull it into the yard and go through the trouble of not being able to go into reverse, I parked it on the street in front of the house. Then 'Hub and I went away for the New Year's weekend. While we were gone at about 11:45 New Year's Eve, a drunk driver plowed into it, demolishing his car and seriously damaging mine. This was about 26 years ago, when the insurance and the DUI/DWI laws were not as strict.

        The offending party had no insurance, so mine had to take care of it. It was totaled. The KBB guide that the insurance (State Farm) used at the time, only wanted to give me about $700.00. But I went in with the car's file containing every single receipt for service since the car was purchased new 20 years before--including the new paint job I had recently had done. The insurance agent looked at the file, looked at me, and said: "Let's see if we can do something better for you." I ended up with a check for a little over $1000.00.

        Good luck to you!
        Last edited by AngelinaCat; 09-25-2013, 07:24 PM.
        "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

        "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes L in R, AC is correct and the insurance company has a responsibility to "MAKE YOU WHOLE". In fact they are obligated to pay for a rental car, any items damage inside or put on the truck. Your inconvenience is worth something as well as any time you lost due to this inconvenience.

          It is their job not to pay what is due, just collect premiums. In fact, if they annoy you further, you might just remind them that your legal costs to get you what you deserve will be billed to them as well. They really don't want a law suit do they? 'Hub
          If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you both for your suggestions!

            I just sent an email to the adjuster with the receipt for our shell and 2 estimates for new comparable shells. I also included links to craigslist ads for used camper shells, none of which have the customized features ours does. The closest doesn't fit our truck and the seller is asking $900. I pointed out that ours was a custom shell with paint to match the truck and other custom features. I also pointed out that none of the comps they used included a camper shell and many other features our truck has (there were value adjustments, but that does no good if I can't find a replacement). 2 of the 4 comps were 150 miles and 300 miles away. There are very few comparable trucks in our area. I told him that more than 100 is not a reasonable distance and the rarity increases the value.

            My husband got an estimate to paint the shell in case we decide to suggest we keep the existing shell and they pay the $700 to repaint it whatever color the replacement truck is, but I'm holding on to that for the next round after we see what his response is.

            ETA: They are paying for a rental car, but they say that ends on Tuesday. We can easily do without the car. The truck is a second car and since my husband works at home, we don't use it much. But, once we find a replacement, I do plan to go after them for loss of use. I have no problem going to small claims court if I have to.
            LadyInTheRed is in the black!
            Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
            $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

            Comment


            • #7
              Good luck! Let us know what happens!
              "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

              "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't forget the labor charge to install it. I agree the insurance company should make you whole, you didn't cause it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  first sorry to hear about losing your truck. ironically, not a few weeks ago someone hit our son in law parked at a red light at 50 plus miles an hour, unfortunately, he was also hurt . dh being retired state police and our son in laws dad being retired police all had different ideas and opinions of what to do and how to do it, but, this is what played out with all the advice put together.

                  first it was clearly the other persons fault, as in your case. the other persons insurance co. also did exactly the same thing, made a reasonable offer for the truck itself, but in my son in laws situation they did not include any of the extra costly items such as your shell. refusing the offer, he got back to them with the list of items. they came back with another offer and of course low balled him on everything to the point of ridiculous, such as your case with the shell. my husband suggests to you as he did to our son in law did, tell the insurance company you don't really mind their evaluation of the shell, you just want it replaced and you will be more than willing to let them find one for you since they know where they got that $92 value. you will accept one in the exact same condition as all you are asking is to be made whole nothing more nothing less. of course, and unfortunately, much of this will depend on how your policy reads.

                  of course that insurance company knew it was impossible to replace those items with what they were offering, they also knew there was nothing to force or make them accept their offer. the following week they upped the offer 2k and they settled. what a shame tho oct. was their final payment

                  sorry once again this happened. it's so terrible when things like this happen and we have no control. on the lighter side, i'm really trying in my minds eye to imagine you getting into that truck without ripping your dress
                  8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My car just got totaled and I had to fight for that. I got hit by an elderly woman who pulled out into traffic without looking. Honestly, this is just my personal opinion, but you should have your insurance company handling this. That is what you pay them for anyway and they really should be fighting for you if it was entirely the other drivers fault. I think you'd likely get a better settlement. I'm not so sure my vehicle would have been totaled if my insurance hadn't been involved. I know a lot of people feel differently on this, but I know it helped me and I did have to lay into my insurance company and threaten to drop them if they didn't get it worked out, but somehow that seemed to get their attention. I know I would not have had the same outcome just going through her company on my own.

                    You may have to go outside your comparable area for the camper shell. They had to do this with my car. Yours sounds like somewhat of a similar situation. Since mine was such an unusual situation they widened the comparable area to find another car similar to mine. I don't see a lot of camper shells in my area so I'm not sure how common they are anymore, but you may have to do the same. Sadly I don't believe a new exhaust system would make a difference.

                    My insurance company told me to let them know if I missed any work. You should be reimbursed for any of that. Plus a rental car. Even if it was an extra vehicle, you were still inconvenienced. Plus they don't need to know that. I didn't have any problems with these issues, but I think that was because I went through my own insurance company. Although when her adjuster called me I did mention I had plans to sue. That's another option for you, small claims court. I know it's a hassle, but from what I researched it's sometimes the way to go. I found lots of advice and examples of other cases online. From what I saw most insurance companies settled rather than see their insured get sued.

                    Good luck. Glad you are okay. I know what a frustrating experience this can be. Hope it all works out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Toobee43, thanks for sharing your son-in-law's experience. The insurance company replied basically saying that is what they believe the shell is worth and said if I provided comps showing it was worth more, they would consider it. I already sent them links to comparable used shells. There just aren't any comparable trucks for sale with comparable shells. I do plan to ask them to show us where we can find a shell for $98 or a truck with a comparable shell. My husband is on his way to look at a truck that's a year newer than ours with extremely low miles. It's a 2000 with only 66K miles. Ours was a 1999 with 150K miles. The 2000 is an automatic. We prefer a manual, but I'm hoping my husband will like the automatic once he drives it. The truck is the same color as the old one and the only damage to the old shell is a scratch on the window. So, if we buy this truck, we'll just go take the shell off the old truck. We will have to pay about $4,000 above what our truck was worth. But, the low mileage is worth it.

                      ksgirl38, I'd love to have our insurance company negotiate for us. But, that is not an option because we did not have collission insurance on our truck. It didn't seem worth the premium given the value of the truck. I'm going to rethink that decision for the replacement truck.

                      The insurance company is covering a rental through tomorrow. If we don't get a new truck soon, I will ask for additional compensation for loss of use. I am fully prepared to file a small claims suit if necessary.
                      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        sorry to hear it LITR i can tell you loved your truck. funny i learned to drive on a truck and when i met my husband in college he couldn't believe how well i could use a clutch!

                        no, no, i didn't where you could find one for $98, i meant one exactly like yours was for that $98, which is impossible most likely. that way you can say see if you can't find one, how are we suppose to.

                        sil ended up with a newer car and lower mileage, not the same car tho, they settled for something else but are happy with it.

                        how did you husband make out on truck?? i was going to ask can he try and bargain with the price??
                        8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tobee43 View Post
                          no, no, i didn't where you could find one for $92, i meant one exactly like yours was for that $98, which is impossible most likely. that way you can say see if you can't find one, how are we suppose to.
                          Yes, it is impossible to find one. They adjuster said I had to prove that their value was not correct and that they could only use a comp for an exact match. Well, there are no comps!! Couldn't get him to budge. But, he did add on the cost of the full tank of gas the truck had.

                          We decided to get a newer truck. My husband is on the way home with a 2010 Tacoma. We shopped around a lot and got a really good idea of what the truck is worth. We think we got a good deal. My husband said the manager was grumbling that they only made a $65 profit. It may or may not be true, but it is possible. We paid significantly less than Kelley Blue Book and NADA values. I could see on the CarFax report that they have had the truck for over a month. So, we knew they would want to get rid of it. He had to travel a couple of hours, but it had more options than other trucks with the same asking price.

                          As a matter of principal, we told the insurance company we would keep the shell and they can keep their $92. The truck is in a salvage lot an hour away. We have a friend who has the same year truck and lives neard the salvage yard. He and my husband are going to go move the shell to his truck. He'll decide whether he wants a white shell on his green truck. If not, we have another friend who may want it. We'd rather give it to a friend than let the insurance company have it for $92.

                          We were planning on getting a new truck after I was done with my Chap 13. We just moved that up a couple of years. It's a stretch, but we'll be fine! Now to find a used camper shell to match! That may take some time. I'm looking for that $92 deal!
                          Last edited by LadyInTheRed; 10-07-2013, 11:30 PM.
                          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Lady:

                            Have you gotten your truck yet?
                            "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

                            "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AngelinaCat View Post
                              Hi Lady:

                              Have you gotten your truck yet?
                              Yes! It's like this one.



                              And the next day, when my husband was driving up to get the camper shell off the old truck, something fell off a garbage truck on the freeway and hit the windshield. What started as a small crack went across the entire windshield by the next morning. Good thing we have only a $100 deductible for comprehensive. Actually, the windshield wasn't in great shape anyway. So, getting a new one was nice.

                              The new one is a later generation body than the old one. I get a little sad when I see trucks like our old one. I never thought I would be so sentimental about the truck, or any vehicle for that matter.

                              Our friend really liked the camper shell. He thought we wanted to sell it for a few hundred dollars. I was ready to give it to him, but my husband got $92 for it. We're going to be patient finding a camper shell for the new truck. Watching Craig's list.

                              By the way, I was telling you in another thread that my home insurance company sent somebody to inspect our home and I was worried they were going to make us repair something. We got a letter yesterday saying they didn't find anything that affects our insurance. I guess this inspector wasn't as thorough as the one that came shortly after we bought the house. I figured they'd at least make us repair the loose rail on the front porch.
                              LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                              Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                              $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                              Comment

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