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Re: total loss or fixable?MORE ????

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Posted by tonyb on August 08, 2001 at 17:37:39:

In Reply to: Re: total loss or fixable?MORE ???? posted by R. White on August 08, 2001 at 06:56:15:

: OK, now the repair cost for the car is $16,000. I paid $21,000 for this car 8 months ago and the adjustor says it is NOT totalled because the cash value of the car is $22,800. He says he can arrange for ME to sell it to a salvage company he knows. In order to do this, I have to pay the car off and get the title. Ins company will pay me the $16,000, but I owe %19,000, so I have to come up with the difference. Adjustor also says that he is the final word, my only choices are to fix the car or take this deal. Any suggestions?

If you expect to make a claim for something more than the insurance adjuster is offering, you need to collect the information to support your claim, i.e., all of the damage estimated including open items (it is important to compare scope of work and parts of more than one opinion), if the damage is anywhere near the market value of your vehicle then salvage bids (actual bids for the salvage of your vehicle) establish salvage value. If you deduct the salvage value from your claim for total loss (claiming the net amount after deducting salvage value), the company may have a problem controlling that part of your property that is not part of your claim. Please notice the word "your" seem to be relying on the insurance company to calculate, prepare and file your claim. If the company adjuster maintains your vehicle is not a total loss why would he suggest you sell the salvage to his recommended salvage company? That sounds as if he is making an argument against his own position of repairable vehicle. Another option you may have is to request Appraisal (a simplified arbitration process)..if it is in your policy conditions. Many policies have eliminated it, forcing court instead. Short of being able to do this for yourself, you may want to hire a public adjuster. They are listed in most major cities phone books, under "Adjusters." Also, you should be reminded again: many policies still have a 60 day requirement to file a formal claim (proof of loss form). Make sure, if that requirement is in your policy, you have been given a written extension of time if you go over that time limit.

In the event the insurance company decides to exercise it's option to repair or take your vehicle without your authorization, please be aware of the following information: the insurance company has the option to take, repair or replace the insured property with other of like kind and quality
within a reasonable time on giving thirty day notice after receiving the proof of loss. However, this section has seldom been enforced because of all the problems and questions it creates. Just to name a few: when the insurance company assumes the role of guarantor (when one party promises to make another secure in the possession, continued enjoyment, or the like, of something), it runs the risk and burden of policyholder satisfaction. This can become very difficult if after repair or replacement the policyholder is not satisfied. The complaint of dissatisfaction is with the insurance company, instead of with the repair or replacement firms had the company settled directly with the policyholder. How does the company ever convince the policyholder of satisfaction? Does the company's right to possession wipe out the rights of ownership of the policyholder? If the policyholder doesn't have the right to abandon the property, and doesn't have the right to keep the property, at what price insurance?

Where a loss occurs and the insurance company authorizes repairs, the contract to pay the loss is superseded by the contract to repair, and the one year time limit for the policyholder to sue the insurance company would not apply: Lee v.
Safeco Insurance Co., 241 S.E. 2d 627 Ga. Ct. App., 1978.

You may want to speak with an attorney if this becomes the case.

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