Re: [DML] Insurance, stated value, daily drivers
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Re: [DML] Insurance, stated value, daily drivers

Thank you to all for the replies.

> Motor News. Most importantly, build a relationship with your agent. Take
> the car to their office. Offer them and their staff rides. Let them know
> when
> you have made an improvement to the car. Don't be a stranger.
> If something happens, you are a person who is proud of their car and not
> just a policy number.
Here's the problem I've found - and maybe this is isolated to State Farm,
but I'm betting it's not.

I am relatively close with my agent. I've been with them for over a decade,
my folks have been with them for over twice that long. They know me by my
first name when I walk in the door. Unfortunately, their hands are
completely tied when you have a claim - or so they say.

Other than a towing incident here and there, the only claim I've ever had
was a totalled Fiero (not my fault, there's a long story, suffice it to say
my insurance had to pay for it anyway). I was sent to a claims department
and treated like dirt. I was offered less than a grand; high book was over
$4,000 and I had recent (just a couple of months old) high quality pictures
all around the car, receipts of work, etc. The car had a lot of custom work
(I had receipts) including a 3.1l engine transplant (replaced the stock 2.8),
etc. It was going to cost me $4,000-$5,000 to replace.

I realized getting replacement value was a losing battle. So I dropped my
"demands" to $3,500. They wouldn't budge. I printed out over 50 ads for
similar vehicles that showed asking prices between $4,000 and $8,000 for
comparible veihcles. They said "Those don't count because they're only
asking prices, not selling prices." (How do you get selling prices on older,
custom vehicles that are almost exclusively traded between private
parties?!). I called my agent. I begged them to intervene. They were very
nice to me but I was told there was nothing they could do, they were just
the agent, claims had all the power.

I dragged this out for a long time. I started nice, but firm. As the weeks
went on, I became even more firm. Then I became irate. Then mean. Then I
threatened legal action. I was able to talk them up to somewhere around
$3,000. Legal action would have been unprofitable and I had to settle.

If, God forbid, something happened to my DeLorean, I know they'd play the
same game. They'd offer me $5k and generally jerk me up one side and down
the other. And I know that all insurance companies are going to pull the
same crap, because that's how they remain profitable. A stated or agreed
upon value is the only way we can guarantee fair treatment. Unfortunately,
at least in this area, I can't seem to get that in a "regular" insurance

- Ryan - Store your bookmarks. On every computer.

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