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Discussion Starter #1
I just settled with Allstate on diminishment of value claim. For reference, see the thread http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46267

The accident occurred on 9/28/2007. I incurred expenses for boarding and transportation -- accident was in Colorado and I needed to get back to Arizona.

My car was shipped from Colorado to Arizona for repairs. I got my car back from the shop 7 weeks later. Up to this point, I had been reimbursed for travel and boarding expenses and the shop was paid for repairs.

I contacted Collision Claim Associates, Inc., (www.CollisionClaims.com) to get advice on filing a diminished value claim and set up an appraisal as soon as I had my Elise back.

I got the appraiser's report on 12/4/2007 and sent a letter to the Allstate claims adjuster. I sent the letter Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested. I requested a response within 15 days. I allowed extra time because of the hollidays. I called the adjuster early in January and she denied having ever seeing my mail (it was mailed to a PO Box and signed for by someone else). She said my claim was being handed over to another individual as she did not handle DOV claims.

I received a letter several days later from a "Sr. Staff Claim Service Analyst" (SCA) acknowledging my "inquiry regarding diminishment in value". That letter included the following statement:

"This obligation includes neither diminution in value resulting from a market psychology, nor that resulting from the minute physical imperfections that are inherent to any repair, so long as repairs have been completed to industry standard and the vehicle is returned to pre-accident condition."

... that's BS

I sent another copy of the appraisal, a copy of my 1st letter, and an additional cover letter the same day I received that BS response. Again, it was sent Certified Mail with Return Receipt requested. The same 3rd party signed as before. After 15 days, I had not received a response.

I tried calling the SCA... his voice mail said he was on special assignment and would not be back in the office until the 1st of April. :wallbang:

After multiple attempts, I finally got a telephone call from the SCA. He read through the list of items on the appraiser's report and discounted everything except, "possibly" the replacement clam. He said... normally, Allstate does not cover diminished value except for high dollar vehicles, and this is a high dollar vehicle. He offered $1000. My claim was for slightly more than $5000. At one point, he said my claim was "absurd". I refused to back down and he stood fast. I asked that he send the offer in writing along with justification for the amount.

I waited 3 more weeks... still no response.

I wrote a 3rd letter. Since I had declined a rental car for the time my Elise was in the shop, I decided I should claim loss of use. I added that amount to my claim plus my postage expenses. I increased my claim by an additional $1265. I also said that if I did not receive a written response withing 15 days, I would contact an atorney.

I also got on the internet and found where to file a formal complaint to the Insurance Commisioner of Colorado, the state where the accident and the location of the Allstate office I was working with. My formal complaint included a history of correspondence. I also included a few phrases that are taken very seriously by state departments of insurance -- "failure to put forth a good faith effort" and "unfair claim practices".

A few hours after I mailed my 3rd letter to Allstate, I recieved a written response from the SCA... he did not provided any justification, simply an offer of $1000 plus $500 for my appraisal expenses.

I soon received a copy of a letter sent from the State of Colorado, Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), Division of Insurance to Allstate. It basically demanded that Allstate respond to DORA for an explanation of what was going on in regard to my claim, with penaly of a fine if they did not respond to DORA in writing within 20 days.

The very next day, I got a call from the initial claims adjuster. They cut a check for loss of use and had it in the mail that day.

The next day, I got a call from the SCA with a new offer. Since their insured client only had $15,000 property damage coverage, he made me an offer that brought Allstate's payout to the full $15,000 amount. That was still about $2000 short of my final demand. I decided that would be acceptable.

The SCA's attitude was different during that final phone call. It was "game over" and he had submitted to defeat. He wasn't such an A$$hole any more. He said, as a consumer, he would have done the same thing as I had.
 

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I read your other thread. So basically you got $15k - $9k repair bills = $6k Diminished Value Claim net value. Am I reading it right?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I read your other thread. So basically you got $15k - $9k repair bills = $6k Diminished Value Claim net value. Am I reading it right?
My claim was for $4975 diminished value plus $345 appraiser fees, or $5320.

I added $1250 for loss of use plus $15 for postage in my final demand letter.

I got $1225 for loss of use plus $2757.68 DOV, or ~ $4000 total.

I incurred expenses staying in a B&B two nights in Colorado, towing charges to Ferrari of Denver for an initial estimate, car rental to get to FoD and the Denver airport, shipping from FoD to Scottsdale, and airfare back to Phoenix. Repair costs plus my expenses account for the other $11K.
 

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Having done appraisal and many DV claims, I will say Allstate is one of the hardest to get money out of, so you did good there. Taking what you was the right move otherwise you are just making your insurance pay you the extra amount. I have never understood carring min on insurance. When in I lived in NOVA it would not be uncommon to be in situations where I could easily be involved in an accident with $250,000 cars, just believe in the CYA policy.
 

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Well, I'm glad to hear your success, but I now worry because I too am an Allstate customer. My area is fairly limited with respect to the number of car insurance carriers, and most wouldn't insure my V6 Eclipse, let alone my Elise. So, I'm a bit stuck with Allstate. Thanks for your post.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I'm glad to hear your success, but I now worry because I too am an Allstate customer. My area is fairly limited with respect to the number of car insurance carriers, and most wouldn't insure my V6 Eclipse, let alone my Elise. So, I'm a bit stuck with Allstate. Thanks for your post.
I did a little research on Allstate and DOV claims. They have been fighting paying DOV to their own insureds for years. They have been rewording policies to strengthen their position. There are (or have been) several class action lawsuits against them.

This is not unique to Allstate.
 

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Being sued is not unique to any well- known insurance carrier. Allstate,State Farm , Farmers get sued on a regular basis when they try to offer you as little as possible- or tell you it it not covered under the terms of the policy. They are counting on you to not know your rights and to become intimidated and go away quietly.

Write the Dept Of Insurance of Insurance in your state and use the term "unfair claim practice'. It scares the **** out of them ( fines can be as high as 10,000 for a violation). I know- I have worked for all the above companies at one time or another- "You are not in good hands with Allstate" "State Farm is not like a Good neighbor". If you think you have been treated unfairly, raise hell and bring your state's Dept. of Insurance in on it. The insurance company will roll over on it's back 9 times out of 10.
 

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Being sued is not unique to any well- known insurance carrier. Allstate,State Farm , Farmers get sued on a regular basis when they try to offer you as little as possible- or tell you it it not covered under the terms of the policy. They are counting on you to not know your rights and to become intimidated and go away quietly.

Write the Dept Of Insurance of Insurance in your state and use the term "unfair claim practice'. It scares the **** out of them ( fines can be as high as 10,000 for a violation). I know- I have worked for all the above companies at one time or another- "You are not in good hands with Allstate" "State Farm is not like a Good neighbor". If you think you have been treated unfairly, raise hell and bring your state's Dept. of Insurance in on it. The insurance company will roll over on it's back 9 times out of 10.
I disagree with your position on this. If the insurer is right in its actions and the policy backs up its position, why would it rollover when one threatens to call the State?

Based on my experience, what an insured may perceive to be unfair on the part of the company is, in reality, exactly how a situation should go down in the first place. As such, the insurer knows that anyone kicking and screaming about such a thing has no clue about the situation and probably hasn't read or understood their policy. In the end, the insurer would be vindicated in the eyes of the State and the insured would have wasted a bunch of energy in the process.

Personally, I'd recommend that all insureds read their policies before a loss occurs, not after (which is usually what happens and why they're ticked when they find out something is not covered). And when initially purchasing a policy, one shouldn't shop solely on price, which everyone seems to be conditioned to do nowadays, but rather on coverage and on the expertise of the agent. A highly-skilled agent would be able to advise as to how to properly handle such a situation. The last thing a good agent would do is recommend that an insured contact the State; and, only then, it would likely be because even the agent had no success in getting the company to honor its policy contract.
 

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I disagree with your position on this. If the insurer is right in its actions and the policy backs up its position, why would it rollover when one threatens to call the State?

Pretty big assumptions you have there.

Remember, strictly from a cost-benefit point of view, it is almost always in the interest of the insurance company to initially deny a claim, and then if forced/litigated, pay later. The amount of money it will save from average joes walking off empty-handed greatly outweighs the few extra dollars it will pay if the case is litigated (but usually, it will be settled before it actually gets to the point... hence the insurance company will achieve its goal without really having any extra cost). Sometimes the state or various statutes will help to counteract this otherwise unlevel playing field.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I disagree with your position on this. If the insurer is right in its actions and the policy backs up its position, why would it rollover when one threatens to call the State?

...

Personally, I'd recommend that all insureds read their policies before a loss occurs, not after (which is usually what happens and why they're ticked when they find out something is not covered).....
Just to clear things up a bit here, my claim was a 3rd party claim. The other driver was at fault and he was insured by Allstate. My insurance company was not involved.

I suffered a loss of value as a result of the accident so I had reason to pursue compensation. The other driver had a contract Allstate to protect him from law suits for personal property damage.

Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to "play games" to hold on to those profits... as long as they can get away with it. They often get away with it by misleading statements -- that's why you need to get everything in writing as they can always deny statements made in verbal conversations.

I agree with you 100% on your second point.
 

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Pretty big assumptions you have there.

Remember, strictly from a cost-benefit point of view, it is almost always in the interest of the insurance company to initially deny a claim, and then if forced/litigated, pay later. The amount of money it will save from average joes walking off empty-handed greatly outweighs the few extra dollars it will pay if the case is litigated (but usually, it will be settled before it actually gets to the point... hence the insurance company will achieve its goal without really having any extra cost). Sometimes the state or various statutes will help to counteract this otherwise unlevel playing field.
Not sure if you grasped my point: What an insured perceives and what is reality are often two different things. An insurer initially denying a claim for the sake of denial is not 'right' now, is it? It may happen more often than it should, but it is not 'right', which is why I said what I said in such a manner.

To underscore: If an insurer denies a claim and the policy states that such a claim is excluded, why should/would they rollover when the insured contacts the State? Again, perception and reality are not the same. I think you read things into my post that either weren't intended or that weren't there.
 

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Just to clear things up a bit here, my claim was a 3rd party claim. The other driver was at fault and he was insured by Allstate. My insurance company was not involved.

I suffered a loss of value as a result of the accident so I had reason to pursue compensation. The other driver had a contract Allstate to protect him from law suits for personal property damage.

Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to "play games" to hold on to those profits... as long as they can get away with it. They often get away with it by misleading statements -- that's why you need to get everything in writing as they can always deny statements made in verbal conversations.

I agree with you 100% on your second point.
I wasn't referring to your situation and I completely understand it. You went about things the right way. Rather, I was specifically addressing Trainwreck's post.
 

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First the post:

Being sued is not unique to any well- known insurance carrier. Allstate,State Farm , Farmers get sued on a regular basis when they try to offer you as little as possible- or tell you it it not covered under the terms of the policy. They are counting on you to not know your rights and to become intimidated and go away quietly.

Write the Dept Of Insurance of Insurance in your state and use the term "unfair claim practice'. It scares the **** out of them ( fines can be as high as 10,000 for a violation). I know- I have worked for all the above companies at one time or another- "You are not in good hands with Allstate" "State Farm is not like a Good neighbor". If you think you have been treated unfairly, raise hell and bring your state's Dept. of Insurance in on it. The insurance company will roll over on it's back 9 times out of 10.
Then your response:

I disagree with your position on this. If the insurer is right in its actions and the policy backs up its position, why would it rollover when one threatens to call the State?

Based on my experience, what an insured may perceive to be unfair on the part of the company is, in reality, exactly how a situation should go down in the first place. As such, the insurer knows that anyone kicking and screaming about such a thing has no clue about the situation and probably hasn't read or understood their policy. In the end, the insurer would be vindicated in the eyes of the State and the insured would have wasted a bunch of energy in the process.
Then my post, pointing out that you made some pretty big assumptions, which you did. (i.e., (1)insurer is right and (2) police backs up its position)
Pretty big assumptions you have there.


Now your current post:
Not sure if you grasped my point: What an insured perceives and what is reality are often two different things. An insurer initially denying a claim for the sake of denial is not 'right' now, is it? It may happen more often than it should, but it is not 'right', which is why I said what I said in such a manner.

To underscore: If an insurer denies a claim and the policy states that such a claim is excluded, why should/would they rollover when the insured contacts the State? Again, perception and reality are not the same. I think you read things into my post that either weren't intended or that weren't there.
(1) I don't know how anything I posted implied that I did not grasp your post. I simply pointed out that you made two huge assumptions.

(2) "An insurer initially denying a claim for the sake of denial is not 'right' now, is it? It may happen more often than it should, but it is not 'right', which is why I said what I said in such a manner."

That depends on who you ask, and that depends on your definition of right and wrong (i.e., economically, morally, or legally "right"). So guess what, you're seemingly disclaimed verbage, which apparently is obvious to you, is still ambiguous-- much like most insurance contracts.

(3) "I think you read things into my post that either weren't intended or that weren't there."

Another assumption.
 

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First the post:



Then your response:



Then my post, pointing out that you made some pretty big assumptions, which you did. (i.e., (1)insurer is right and (2) police backs up its position)




Now your current post:


(1) I don't know how anything I posted implied that I did not grasp your post. I simply pointed out that you made two huge assumptions.

(2) "An insurer initially denying a claim for the sake of denial is not 'right' now, is it? It may happen more often than it should, but it is not 'right', which is why I said what I said in such a manner."

That depends on who you ask, and that depends on your definition of right and wrong (i.e., economically, morally, or legally "right"). So guess what, you're seemingly disclaimed verbage, which apparently is obvious to you, is still ambiguous-- much like most insurance contracts.

(3) "I think you read things into my post that either weren't intended or that weren't there."

Another assumption.
You are missing the point. Regardless of assumptions (yours or mine), why would an insurer rollover as Trainwreck states when threatened with filing a complaint with the State if they have abided by law and by the policy contract? That's my point. BTW, I tend to think my assumptions are valid since the actions of an insurer who fails to do those things would constitute bad faith, which is subject to treble damages and which serves as a subtantial disincentive to not pay a claim 'just because'. And they are certainly just as valid as and no bigger in scope than your assumptions that an insurer is not going to do those things in the first place, especially considering the fact that there's an enforceable contract in place.

An insurer cannot deny a claim without it being in writing and without citing specific policy verbiage; they cannot just do so on a whim for economic gain or loss mitigation as you've made it seem. So when I said denial for the sake of denial is not 'right', I was speaking in the legal sense - we are talking about a contract here. Clear enough? Or is that too big of an assumption? Must we then debate what the meaning of 'is' is, if you get my drift?

You state that most insurance contracts (and my posts:rolleyes:) are ambiguous. What is the basis for your assertion? It is in the company's best interest to make sure that is not the case since any ambiguities in the contract will ultimately be construed against the contract's drafter. Policy forms are revised from time to time because of this. Let's say a loss occurred that (spirit of the law) was intended to be excluded but, due to an ambiguity in the verbiage, (letter of the law) had to be paid. You'd better believe that they'll make sure that doesn't happen again by revising the policy language to get rid of the gray area.
 

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A little info on Allstate being suspended in Florida

This is happening to Allstate in various states across the country. Very interesting...I would stay far away from Allstate for my own insurance purposes and just hope that I don't get into an accident with someone with an Allstate policy.


http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/2008/04/07/daily13.html?q=allstate suspended


Just days after winning an appeal with a court in Tallahassee to suspend Allstate Corp. from writing new homeowners policies in Florida, Office of Insurance Regulation Commissioner Kevin McCarty is seeking to formalize the suspension once again until the insurance company complies with subpoenas issued by his office.

Following the First District Court of Appeals ruling on Friday , McCarty is seeking clarification from the court on exactly when the suspension can resume. Allstate (NYSE: ALL) told Bay News 9 in a statement following Friday's ruling that it could continue to write new policies until the court finalizes its position.

McCarty had suspended Allstate from writing new policies Jan. 16 , but an appellate court stayed the suspension two days later. McCarty had claimed that 40,000 pages of documents turned over by Allstate during a two-day hearing on the company's reinsurance program were inadequate. Allstate has maintained it has complied with the subpoenas.

"I remain seriously concerned with Allstate's continued failure to comply with our subpoenas," McCarty said in a release. "They have not been willing to explain to us their relationships with rating agencies, modeling companies and trade groups and how these relationships might have influenced the huge rate increases they requested in September."

McCarty said suspending Allstate from writing new policies was a necessary step since the company has been paying $25,000 per day to a Missouri court for not providing similar documents.

"It's obvious to me that it will take more than a monetary sanction to get them to comply with our subpoenas," he said.



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