Expediting appraisal process and payment

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:31 am   Post subject: Expediting appraisal process and payment  

My 2009 Nissan Sentra was totally destroyed by an alleged Drunk Driver at 2:00 in the morning in my Driveway where it was parked safely. The driver also destroyed my neighbor’s property during the process. From the Police Report I found that the driver who hit my car was not insured. She is a state welfare recipient (food stamp, wic, etc.) and driving an unregistered and uninsured car. There is no way that we (my insurance co or I) are going to get anything from her. This is a typical inner-city scenario. I have a full coverage insurance including uninsured motorist property damage. I paid an exorbitantly higher premium because I rent an apartment in the inner city and that my car was new. Now the car is totally demolished from the rear end. I know for sure it is totaled.

My concern / question are these: the incident happened on May 07, 2011. The Insurance Adjuster or the Appraiser has only scheduled an appointment for May 12, 2011. When I asked why so long, he simply answered that his schedule was tight. At this ratio I am sure my payment will be delayed. My demolished car still sits in my driveway mocking the aesthetics in the neighborhood. Can I put more pressure to my Insurance Co by taking the car to an Impounding Co. or an Auto Body Shop? I live in Rhode Island which allows liberty to choose our own Auto Body shop. But I just wanted my Insurance Adjuster or Appraiser to come and take a look before I took it to the towing co. Another question, how can I make sure that I am offered a Fair Market Value on my car? My car is relatively new and I owe only couple of thousands in Loan. My Fair Market Price on car is far more that what I owe to the Nissan Motor Acceptance Co. In what way I can make sure that I am offered a reasonable price on my car? How can I be indemnified? How to put pressure on Insurance co. to expedite my payment? Please help. I need it. Thanks in advance.

pramesharyal
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:49 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Please help. I need it.




Yes, you certainly do need some help. CHILL OUT!



Quote:
the incident happened on May 07, 2011. The Insurance Adjuster or the Appraiser has only scheduled an appointment for May 12, 2011




Excuse me? You think 5 days is an unreasonable delay?

The accident happened on a Saturday, the 7th. You notified the insurance company when? On Monday, the 9th? And the adjuster will be there on Thursday, the 12th. Whoa! Back up the bus! Three days is unreasonable?



Please! Have you tried calling your doctor to get an appointment for a physical lately? Average wait time is more than 20 days in most states. In your neighboring state of Massachusetts, where there is a requirement to have health insurance, appointment wait times INCREASED from 21 days to 40. Good thing you don't live there, isn't it?

Quote:


My demolished car still sits in my driveway mocking the aesthetics in the neighborhood.




Do you write dime novels for a living? "Mocking the aesthetics"? Get real! If you think this is a problem, have your car towed to a repair shop and let it sit beside all the other unrepaired vehicles there. That should not offend your sense of aesthetics.

Quote:


I live in Rhode Island which allows liberty to choose our own Auto Body shop.




Welcome to the USA. All the other states allow people to use whatever repair shop they wish to use, too.

Quote:


Can I put more pressure to my Insurance Co by taking the car to an Impounding Co. or an Auto Body Shop?




NO.



Quote:
How can I be indemnified? How to put pressure on Insurance co. to expedite my payment?




And whose claims do you want set aside for yours to be "expedited". What makes you so special?



I don't mean to be (too) sarcastic or demeaning, but you are living in a fantasy world that you expect to come to a halt at your beck and call. You have no such right. Not even Lindsay Lohann has that right, although she seems to get the special treatment that such a spoiled child as she demands.



Your insurance company will, most likely, settle your claim judiciously and promptly. State law probably gives them 40 days or more to pay your claim. If that's too long for you, oh well. Vote for legislators who will change the law just for you.



Or simply rely on your state's 136-year-old motto: Hope.



Small state, small motto, narrow minds. I guess it all goes together. Shouldn't take three days to get an adjuster out to see your car in such a confined space as Rhode Island.



In the meantime, I'm sure you have better things to do and worry about.


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:37 am   Post subject:   

I guess you provided your insurer with all the necessary information and received a file number after you filed your claim. That's probably all you could have done to get your claim processed.



Insurance claims process may take some time depending on how your adjuster looks at it, and in the meantime you'll need to hold on to your patience!

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:40 am   Post subject: Expediting appraisal process and payment  

The point of view you are taking is skewed towards Insurance System. Your view can be reflected from the line, “Your insurance company will, most likely, settle your claim judiciously and promptly. State law probably gives them 40 days or more to pay your claim”. After haggling and noting millions of comments and grievances like the one I posted above, it is but natural for an Insurance Professional to respond in adjudicating but biased viewpoint. There are thousands of people who take a view that big companies, especially when it comes to laws and regulations, have natural tendencies to wrong do. I am just trying to get more information on how this process goes.

I can clearly see that you take great offense in reading biased commentaries/ essays about insurance claims processes like the one I posted above. About your response on ‘small states and narrow mind’, I will restrict my commentary because I realized my own quote about my state’s welfare economics & inner city characteristics was not well-meaning either.

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:11 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I can clearly see that you take great offense in reading biased commentaries/ essays about insurance claims processes like the one I posted above.




You have not read enough of my posts on topics such as yours. Your post is also not biased, it's uninformed.



I am among the first to CHASTISE insurance companies and agents when it comes to marketing products and paying claims. I am not in this business to abuse people, and I take great offense when people HAVE been abused by agents and insurers, because I try very hard not to do that, and I go to great lengths to assist clients and others to get their claims resolved.



I have assisted numerous persons through these forums to get better claims results, simply by telling them what to write or say, or in one case, by creating an Excel spreadsheet to use to demonstrate to an insurance adjuster how I thought the claim should be resolved -- and that's exactly what the insured received, more than $10,000 above what the insurance company's previous "best" offer had been.



So don't characterize me as having a bias (in favor of insurance companies). What I was commenting on was your insistence that the process was too slow or that you were not going to be treated fairly by the insurance company.



This is obviously the first experience you are having with a claim, and you fear the worst. Why? Who do you know personally that has been taken advantage of by an insurance company? Or are you speculating based on anecdotal evidence?



Many people come to this forum to report that they can't seem to get their claim resolved. Far more than come here to report that all went well and without any hassles. But the fact of the matter is that insurance companies do a pretty good job of handling claims. Do they make mistakes? Of course, anything involving human beings is prone to mistakes.



Until things happen in your case, give the insurance company the benefit of the doubt. If things don't go well, come back for real advice, and I'll be among the first to give it to you.



Quote:
I am just trying to get more information on how this process goes.




Take a moment to re-read your original post and see if that's what you communicated. I don't think it was, and I know that if it had been, my response would have been entirely different.



Here's the process. You were involved in a traffic collision (even though your car was parked in your driveway). The police came, probably arrested the drunk driver on the spot, and wrote a report. You should get a copy of the report. The adjuster may ask you for it.



So then you notified your insurance company. Even if you notified them within minutes of the collision on Saturday morning or sometime on Sunday, nothing was really going to begin to happen until Monday at the earliest.



You are not the only insured who was involved in a collision over that weekend. Your insurance company may contract with independent adjusters who also represent other insurance companies. They do the best they can to schedule appointments as quickly as possible. Because they want to get paid, too.



But even after the adjuster assesses your loss, don't expect him/her to write the report at that moment,or write you a check on the spot (not all adjusters have that authority). The report might not get written until that night, the next day, or even the following week. If he's working on six or seven or ten new claims this week, that would not be unusual. But he's also got other claims in process that need to be worked on, too. You have to allow a reasonable amount of time for all the pieces to fall into place.



In the meantime, if your vehicle is drivable (it's probably not, which is another reason it could be totalled), you could take it to a repair shop for an estimate of the cost to repair the vehicle. If it's really a total loss, you can get an idea of it's value by going to this website: http://www.nadaguides.com/



It's the same one many adjusters use to come up with their valuation assessments.



Your claim will not be settled based on Fair Market Value, it will be settled on the basis of ACTUAL CASH VALUE -- which is defined as its Replacement Cost MINUS Depreciation up to the moment before the loss. To be indemnified in such an instance is to be made whole financially to that point in time and under those restriction. It's stated in your policy.



You will not get enough money to pay off what you owe the lender AND be able to buy a similar make/model new car with the remainder. In fact, if the vehicle is totalled, the claim check you receive will likely be made out to both you and your lender. Or the lender will get one check to erase what you owe, and you'll get a check for the difference between that and the ACV.



There would be no problem for the insurer to pay the claim now or 40 days from now.



And if you dispute the adjuster's estimate, you don't have to accept it. You keep negotiating until all of you come to an impasse. Then you might need an attorney.


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 3:31 pm   Post subject: Continuity of Insurance Policy post total-loss  

I am looking for one more advice. My insurance was for a 6 month period 11/15/2010 – 05/15/2011. It is on an automatic recurring payment plan through my debit card. Since I am waiting for the differential check (ACV minus outstanding loan value) and do not have a car now (I declined rental coverage), could I cancel my Insurance on 05/15/2011? The new policy (everything remaining the same) starts from 05/15/2011 to 11/15/2011. Will that affect my claim procedures? Please advice.

Regards.

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:40 pm   Post subject:   

I have a vehicle in my shop that I have paid 595.00 in storage and tow from the wrecker service which dropped it off. I have been waiting for an appraiser to contact the owner or myself for an estimate which I have prepared for two weeks. I can empathize with your anxiety over the seemingly lack of urgency with which your insurer is moving on the claim.

In the downsized world of insurance claims processing there are far too few trained or experienced appraisers hired by insurers to investigate claims and to determine the indemnification or loss. If your company uses independent or contract appraisers, they are paid a minimum to drive to and investigate your loss. They typically wait until they have several in an area to investigate to conserve mileage.



It's sometimes a lot different picture than what they advertise with their feel good commercials and expediency of settling claims. I would be using this time as Max suggests to appraise the value of your loss yourself by finding comparable vehicles for sale in your area and looking online from sites such as autotrader.com and cars.com. Be cautious to look for similar mileage and options. Call and confirm that those cars are available. Be sure to write the date, time, and person’s name to whom you spoke with and ask what price the vehicle could be purchased for today. Insurers looking for comps often ask for a take price. That is the least amount a dealer might take for a vehicle but not what you may possibly be able to purchase it for. It is a speculative price that is pure conjecture and not based on what the vehicle was actually sold for. If the vehicle was sold, recently ask the amount that it was sold for.



When evaluating your own vehicle, be honest with yourself as to the condition. There is a lot of difference in price between excellent, good, fair, and average. Sometimes the difference between good and excellent is a detail job of 200.00 that might raise the value considerably. Having these figures when they begin to negotiate with you on the settlement amount will ensure that you have done your diligence in proving your loss. If they state that the amount they are offering is final, step up to their supervisor and renegotiate your loss or accept the payment in dispute to settle the loss and invoke your right to appraisal on the settlement amount so that you can move forward. Most states provide that if you are unable to purchase a like, kind, and quality auto for the amount of the settlement, you can demand they reopen the claim.



Educated and resourceful policy holders, usually obtain higher settlement amounts simply because they have prepared in advance for the negotiation process. If they provide you with a computer generated value listing 10 to 20 comps, be prepared to weed out the comps that are not at all like your car. Data providers that sell these programs to insurers make claims of the insurers’ ability to settle for the least amount possible therefore saving insurers money. It’s funny how they are not sold on the basis of offering the most realistic acv prices enabling insurers to pay the most equitable value for their policy holders.

Good luck,



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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:36 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I can empathize with your anxiety over the seemingly lack of urgency with which your insurer is moving on the claim.




Mike . . . three business days to get the adjuster to look at the vehicle is a "seemingly lack of urgency". Come on, now. They ordered the appraisal the day the claim came in. I think that shows a pretty good effort on their part.



Two weeks, two months. Those are different stories entirely.



Did you ever tell a customer that repairs would begin on a particular day, only to not be able to start because parts were not available, a vehicle was still in a repair bay unexpectedly, or some other matter beyond your control?


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 12:57 pm   Post subject:   

I believe this is a customer service issue. I hear one thing over and over from policy holders. When the insurer wants your money they want it now, but try getting a check for your loss within a reasonable time is another matter. That being said, I understand the mechanisms of the claims process, I just don't think insurers spend enough time realistically explaining the process to their insureds. We've seen the commercial where the statefarm agent finds an identical replacement car for his policy holder and delivers it to her house. This is the perception of service sold to the public when in reality it is nothing even close.



There are companies that are notoriously slow in claims and some that are very quick. You would be amazed at how fast they move when they want to get a vehicle out of storage at a body shop that doesn't believe it is their job to warehouse and protect insurance company total losses.



I had dinner with an agent of a top ten insurer in my state last evening and he shared my sentiments that there is little he can do to expedite the claims procedure and that was his policy holders biggest complaint and the ones they fear most because people tend to switch companies at renewal when they no longer feel their company cares about their plight.



The truth in the matter is that insurers have had to downsize their staffing to compete with online companies that hire third party scrubbers and auditors that do everything from a cubicle. Announcements were made this week about insurers reducing workforces in Illinois to the tune of 1400 jobs. Customer service and promptness is the first thing that seems to be affected with this mentallity of running a company. But don't hold back spending all that money on tv ads promising about how much they care.



I also learned about 1977 to not make a promise to a customer that you may not be able to deliver on. Failing to deliver is the quickest way to lose a customer and their friends business forever. It hasn't happened since. I don't make promises I know I can't or may not deliver.



If anyone wants to read a good confession on the life of a typical claims adjuster, type in a google search for "confessions of an auto claims adjuster" and Edmunds auto website hosts a very good article written by a former claims adjuster indicating the stress and exceedingly high number of claims that they must deal with daily because of understaffing. He also reveals good advice on how to increase your total loss evaluation setttlement and how to negotiate the claim to a fair end for both insurer and policyholder or claimant.



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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 2:10 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I just don't think insurers spend enough time realistically explaining the process to their insureds. We've seen the commercial where the statefarm agent finds an identical replacement car for his policy holder and delivers it to her house. This is the perception of service sold to the public when in reality it is nothing even close.




This is true across all forms of insurance. HMOs and PPOs get plenty of complaints from subscribers who don't know how to use the system. And, most of the time, it's the HMO's or PPO's fault for not educating their clients on the process.



Quote:
I also learned about 1977 to not make a promise to a customer that you may not be able to deliver on. Failing to deliver is the quickest way to lose a customer and their friends business forever. It hasn't happened since. I don't make promises I know I can't or may not deliver.




Another way to state this is: Underpromise and overdeliver. I, too, learned that maxim a long time ago.



Thanks for a well-reasoned post! Great advice on the Google search.


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