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Posted by tonyb on May 23, 2000 at 14:38:08:
In Reply to: On-going auto claims posted by D. Landrum on May 22, 2000 at 10:32:12:
It is most difficult to regain control of a claim, so long a time after it is has been relinquished. If the repairs were done with your signature giving authorization, as opposed to the insurance company exercising its option to repair, you may have unknowingly compromised your leverage. An insurance claim is a business transaction and as such, leverage and bargaining power rule.
That having been said, you may still file your claim independently from your insurance company: by asking for a written extension of time in which to file the Proof of Loss form, substantiating your claim for total loss (less salvage value), if that is what you believe represents your loss (an estimate is usually sufficient to support a claim if the policyholder believes it represents the amount of loss), file your "claim" by filing the Proof of Loss form, and if not settled amicably, request the Appraisal process as the means to have your claim resolved. The amount of repairs you may have already authorized, is deducted from the Appraisal award.
If demand is made under the Appraisal portion of the policy as a means to resolve the amount of damage and loss, the insurance company owes its appraiser's fee and 1/2 the umpire fee if the umpire is needed to agree with one of the appraisers...the policyholder is responsible for a like share. The exact form, demand letter, and details are available in a book we publish, if you consider this option.
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