Laws Written by Insurance Companies


Laws Written by Insurance Companies

I bought a 20 year old BMW 7 series. It cost $2500 and had 100,000 miles. Seemed like a good deal. I knew I would have to put a few bucks into it to bring it up to snuff, but even so, I would have a good, solid car we could use to bang around town. $ 4 grand later (radiator, alternator, all hoses and belts, brakes, etc) It’s a winner.

Last Saturday I was driving down the street minding my own business when a fellow backed out if his driveway and smashed the right front fender and passenger door. He laughed and said “That’s what Insurance is for.” I was dubious.

Got a call from triple A on Monday – his insurance company. They said to take the car in to their repair shop a few blocks from my house and all would be taken care of. Heh.

So they looked at my car, got a $4000 esitmate and said, sorry but we are going to salvage your car and give your $2700. Huh. I can’t replace the car for that. Well that’s the law. Of course you can sue the other driver for the rest.

So I now have a crunched car – a check for $2700 and no recouse except for small claims court.

The insurance company was nice enough to send me a copy of the law that said they could do what they did.

It comes down to – insurance should cost more, so that when cars are broken, they can be fixed. I suggest that a deductable be put in place for collision coverage so that if the number is over a certain amount, it kicks in and the driver of the offending car has to pay the difference. Whether or not a car is to be salvaged should be the decision of the owner of the car, not of a faceless insurance company looking out for its own best interests.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. John
    A lot of times when there is a disagreement of value you can request arbritration. A third party will evaluate the car(s)and determine a fair market value. I know people have done it with their own insurance companies, I presume you could do it with someone elses. Probably too late but maybe it will help if there is a next time
    Just my thoughts

  2. Similiar experience happened to a friend. She had $1,200 in recent repairs and after 4 phone calls and receipt faxing, they bumped up her check by $1,000. Got to go call my agent now and see what my $900 premium buys when my 20yr old MB bites it.

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