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Posted by tonyb on July 10, 2002 at 05:59:54:

In Reply to: HELP PLEASE posted by E. Luther on July 09, 2002 at 17:42:08:

One of the well known trainers of insurance representatives teaches what you seem to be experiencing: "The Assumptive Technique." Company adjusters are taught many tactics in their "Aim to Win...." However, your vehicle and claim for damages ARE still both yours. You may want to be careful of the $4,000 check (usually draft with release language when signed). Here are some references that you may want to consider:

The company adjuster allegedly pressured the policyholder to have damages repaired by a particular repair company that later defaulted on the repairs. The court found that the policyholder could not recover from the company adjuster because there was no contract between the adjuster and the policyholder. The court also found that the policyholder had endorsed the insurance draft (type of check) that had been made payable to the policyholder and the repair company. The draft contained release language that became enacted once it was endorsed. The policyholder claimed $10,500 in damage not repaired by the repair company and $8,000 in legal fees. However, the policyholder was denied recovery for those losses: Larkin v. First of Georgia Underwriters, 466 So. 2d 655, 1985.

Because the policyholder had signed a proof of loss that the insurance company had prepared, it did not matter that the policyholder typed on the insurance check "this check accepted as partial payment" before cashing. The insurance company did not have to make any further payment: Sharpe v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 302 S.E. 2d 893 N.C. App., 1983.

Because a policyholder retained an insurance company draft after a loss did not mean that the policyholder agreed or was satisfied with the amount that had been paid. The insurance company not only did not make it clear that the draft was to be in full satisfaction of the claim, but also implied that it was not: Angle v. U.S. Fidelity & Guar. Co., 20 Cal. Rptr. 391, 1962.

In a nutshell a total loss is one where the estimated repair cost, less the salvage value, exceeds the value of the vehicle. You may want to have a hand in establishing those three factors. If in the end you decide to accept a settlement based on total loss, you may want to do a search on this site for "total loss" for several references and rules on total losses. Have you filed a formal claim? You may want to look at:

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