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Posted by tonyb on May 09, 2001 at 15:08:57:
Last year my '95 Ford Windstar was involved in a front end collision that was said by the repair shop to total over $13,000 in repairs. Two problems that have resulted:
1. I feel and repeatedly expressed that the van should have been 'totalled'. Yet the additional costs and itemizations were kept from me by my insurance company and the repair shop, all I have is the word of the auto repair facility. The original estimate was only $7900 and I have not received any supplemental information (I know for sure that at least the dashboard
was replaced in addition to the estimate). Is it legal for them to do this ?
^Did you file a proof of loss and did it state that you made a claim for total loss? Claim filing information is at: How to Get What You Deserve You will find all you need to file and adjust your claim. Did you sign a repair authorization? If so, you may have given your consent to repairs. The insurance company does have the option to take, repair or replace your vehicle, if they give you proper notice. They almost never exercise that option though without the policyholder's consent, because of jeopardy for them.
2. The cruise control has not worked and there are a number of nuisances such as noises and a bent sliding door that leaks. The air conditioning stopped working a few weeks after they returned the van to me. I am having a second repair shop itemize all these and other more
serious problems such as the ABS and horns not mounted AT ALL, missing, stripped and loose bolts and mechanisms, bad welds, crumpled frame members etc.
What can I do about all this ? The expenses last year were hundreds of dollars and I don't know what this will cost, adding to the fact that the original repair shop complained about all the things that went wrong after the accident and ignored (I even took them on a test ride and pointed some of these things out) my claims.
Please advise what actions can be taken as I do not want an unsafe vehicle that will continue to cause more problems from all this.
^It is difficult to regain control at the other end of a claim. However, if filing the proof of loss (formal claim) is still an open option, then I would suggest you document your claim with estimates or opinions that support your claim of total loss (perhaps written opinion from a dealer). The Appraisal process may also be an option that is available to you. However, many property policies have now eliminated that as a means to resolve amount of loss disputes. If it turns out that you do want to file for Appraisal, we offer forms and sample letters in a book we publish at:
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