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Help! Insurance wants to total my 87 Westy
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Margalo13
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject: Help! Insurance wants to total my 87 Westy Reply with quote

A sad tale indeed. My 87 Westy Full Camper was in for a routine tune-up. On the final test drive a 90+ year old pulled in front of the van. Low speed but repair estimate is 10K. The guys insurance company has offered me 7K so far (we're talking). I refuse to total this van and take the 9K offered--it is fixable and I've owned and maintained it for 15 years.
Any advice is sought and appreciated--thanks! If I can show the insurance company it's worth more than they think, there's hope for getting a better settlement.
Kathy
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howdyhoss
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should direct them to the prices that GoWesty is getting for theirs. This may add some value to the calculated value of the van.

rg
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kathy, Welcome and Sorry for your damages.
man I drive my vanagon Soo dang defensively.. just can't imagine your dismay..

Heres a Good read on the www.vanagon.com mailing list website for Insurances
http://gerry.vanagon.com/files/auto-insurance-madness.html

also do a search here on the samba for the same (Search: Insurance)

theres been a few threads in recent months, though these are for Totals, you can buy back and repair with the settlement, they DO NOT need to KEEP you vanagon or send to a crusher..
1st and foremost it is YOUR van, and they OWE you reparations to satisfy (that may be interpretive).
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=278445&highlight=insurance+claim

and

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=270063&highlight=insurance+claim
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samba classified ads, Completed Ebay auctions, print them out and show them to the insurance company, show them you can't replace your van with what they are offering.

Your insurance is supposed to make you "whole" again.
Not in better shape, and not in worse shape but in the same shape as before.
The insurance company is not your friend, they want to get away with paying as little as possible, but legally they can't leave you in worse shape, unless you let them.
Settle on an amount the is fair to you and then buy the van back.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a few posts on this subject. Do a search for insurance. You're best bet is to total the van, buy it back, then pay for the repairs by doing some of the work yourself, finding used parts, or knowing someone at a body shop, etc. Body shops will often work for less on a non insurance job.

Whatever you do, don't settle on an amount until you're happy. Ask if they will hire an independant appraiser to place a value on the van. Collect similar ads, show receipts and make sure you get what it's worth.

My van was wrecked two years ago, it was appraised at $16,500 and I bought it back for salvage value of $900. It was done by an independant appraiser.

You can also just settle with the insurance for a cash value of the repair. Take the 9K, keep the van and go get it fixed.

Good Luck!
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Margalo13
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. You all are incredible, thanks so much for the replies. I will look into the links.

The suggestion to Total it and buy it back isn't working. I don't know if it's state by state (I'm in Texas), but if the insurance company takes possession, they turn it over to IAA, an auto auction place and I can't even bid on it if I'm not a "registered buyer." So that seems risky (even if I could find someone to bid on my behalf).

I really appreciate all the support and will not give up on this van.

Kathy
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who's your insurance company?
I could have bought my Honda back when It was totaled, it went to auction, it's also not hard to register to bid on auctions.
I'm in Dallas.
When I was in the Army a few smart Sargents told me about the Sh**house lawyers.
Or that all kinds of well intentioned people will give you legal advice for free, about what happened to them in a simular situation.
But you are not in their shoes you are in yours, and you need a real lawyer.
Find a lawyer that specializes in insurance, let them read your policy and advise you of your options.
Don't take what the insurance company people tell you on the phone as gospel, very few are well trained and are wrong a lot of the time.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also something I'm curious about, were you driving the van when it was totaled or was it in a mechanics care at the time of the accident?
Because you really need a lawyer if you took it to a shop and it got totaled in their care, they should have insurance.
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Margalo13
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The van was in the care of the garage doing the tune-up (on it's last test drive!). They do have insurance, but I have chosen to go through the company of the old guy that hit it--Progressive. They actually sound like they're trying to work with me on this and I just need to line up the information to support a higher number. The garage has been great, too. That's the good news. I still need $3,000. Checked into litigation--it's really not worth it by the time I pay fees, court costs, etc.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OF course they are great they screwed up bad.
I wasn't talking about litigation, I was talking about legal advice.
This is how the little guy gets screwed all the time, they belive what they are told and they let it happen by not wanting to pay a little bit up front.
If you had to go to litigation, you would not have to pay any fees if you won, or for your lawyer for that matter.
Why do you need $3,000.00?
You should only be out the cost of the tune up.
If I took my van for a tune-up and came back to find it totaled there would be hell to pay, and I wouldn't be doing any of the leg work.
have you contacted your insurance company?
I had progressive and I could have bought back my honda.
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Margalo13
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need 3K because the repair estimate is 10K and Progressive has offered 7K if I keep the van.

I sure could be guilty of being too nice, but the accident wasn't their fault. I know nice guys finish last, but I'm trying to be fair and civil with all this--also patient and relentless. I simply want my fixable Westy back.

I appreciate all your suggestions, keep'em coming.
Kathy
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the repair is estimated at $10k, hold out and insist on that amount. You may also be able to get funds from the repair shops insurance as well. I would persue both claims and settle for the best one.
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Margalo13
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. What I understand at this point is that I have to work with one at a time--I can choose the best offer, but need to get to the end point with the first company (meaning, reject their offer) before proceeding with the garage's company. Hope that makes sense.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margalo13 wrote:
I sure could be guilty of being too nice, but the accident wasn't their fault.


YES IT WAS!
You expected a tune up and trusted them to do so, what you got was a totaled van.
It's called liability, they are liable, that's why they have insurance.
If you had insurance of any kind you need to contact them now, and tell them what happened, your rates will not go up, don't be afarid of anyone you are paying.
Progressive was the old guys insurance they are looking out for his best intrests not yours.
They want to get rid of you as quickly and cheaply as possible.
From what you are telling us you have an open and shut case.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margalo13 wrote:
Thanks. What I understand at this point is that I have to work with one at a time--I can choose the best offer, but need to get to the end point with the first company (meaning, reject their offer) before proceeding with the garage's company. Hope that makes sense.


Yes that makes perfect sence, that's how it works except you shouldn't be doing the work, you contact your insurance company, they don't want to pay so they go after the next guy in line, and so on, until someone pays.
It doen't matter who pays you should be whole again in the end.
Nobody wants to pay that's why you get the run around.
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RCB
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings, I would never think of steping on a post by Mightyart but he pointed out one very important point that I would like you to consider.
THE LAW, not the insurance company, DICTATES that you be made WHOLE.
It is VERY important that you realize that prior to making your complete decision because once you have ....theirs no turning back.
Stick to your guns and dont be swayed by your emotions. Do however be swayed by reality.....................RCB circa 2008
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Margalo13
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you RCB--which law says I need to be made whole? Seems to me insurance is regulated by state government and I'm in TX--you're in a more enlightened part of the country . . . . maybe I should find a lawyer, hmmm.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may have information that might help you. It also contains some 800 numbers to call with questions.

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/rules/pdf/bor-auto-english.pdf

If you're unhappy using their insurance, you can use your own and your insurance company will then try to regain their loss. It will have no effect on you. You shouldn't have to do or pay for anything.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll show this to my wife when she gets home, she's an isurance agent, here in Texas.
She doesn't do auto insurance, she does business, like selling policies to the auto place that you took your car to.
She lives for this kind of thing.
Think of this if nothing else, forget about the accident, how it happened, how sorry they are ect.
This is why they are at fault:
Your van would be fine if you haden't taken it there for a tune-up.
Yes contact a lawyer, talking to them is free, if they think you have a ligitimate case they will jump on it (which it sure sounds like to me).
The insurance might even cover any costs you inccur from the lawyer I don't know, but again you wouldn't have incured any lawer fees if your van wouldn't have been totaled.
Not your fault, you shouldn't profit from it, but you also shouldn't suffer any loss.
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WM971252
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as "buy back" I believe there is no law saying you can't do that. I am not sure why they want to keep it and auction it, I used to haul totaled cars for IAA and I doubt they will make any money after all the charges they will have to pay for it. Oh and unless you are a dealer and register you will not be able to buy anything at the auction.

Yes you will have to battle with the insurance company. It is the game they do to stick it to the "dumb" owner. We just battled over 2 totaled Jettas last year and know the routine too well. Progressive can be real dumb sometimes and usually in favor to you not them...

Is it at a body shop??? If you know of one that you trust that will help a lot. Both of mine went right to the shop and they battled in defense of us.
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