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Help! How Do I Prove My Westy's Value To Insurance Company?!
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Der-ak
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:41 pm    Post subject: Help! How Do I Prove My Westy's Value To Insurance Company?! Reply with quote

Sad news!

I was rear ended today and I am going to have to speak with my insurance company tomorrow. The van may be a write off and I'd like to make sure that I get a fair dollar value for her.

I remember hearing some horror stories over the years of people having epic battles with their insurance companies. Any suggestions, helpful hints or words of wisdom for me?

The van is an '88 Dove Blue Westy with 188,000km (117,000 miles) Good condition, my daily driver until the cold weather hit about a month ago. I believe the motor was rebuilt by the p.o. Various upgrades, including my sweet Gary Lee rear rack that was damaged in the accident as well. Sad It looks as though the motor was shoved forward and she wouldn't start for me after being hit.

Please help!

Thanks in advance!

Derek & Suzie
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carterzest
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Help! How Do I Prove My Westy's Value To Insurance Compa Reply with quote

Der-ak wrote:
Sad news!

I was rear ended today and I am going to have to speak with my insurance company tomorrow. The van may be a write off and I'd like to make sure that I get a fair dollar value for her.

I remember hearing some horror stories over the years of people having epic battles with their insurance companies. Any suggestions, helpful hints or words of wisdom for me?

The van is an '88 Dove Blue Westy with 188,000km (117,000 miles) Good condition, my daily driver until the cold weather hit about a month ago. I believe the motor was rebuilt by the p.o. Various upgrades, including my sweet Gary Lee rear rack that was damaged in the accident as well. Sad It looks as though the motor was shoved forward and she wouldn't start for me after being hit.

Please help!

Thanks in advance!

Derek & Suzie

Lots of great info here in Ricks thread with links to a bunch of others.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=175672&start=0
Good luck man. Been there.


Laughing just noticed you have immortalized me in your sigline.
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing that insurance companies will pay out any notable money for is injury. If you are sore anywhere at all make sure the insurance company knows about it ASAP. It is their job to pay you as little as they possibly can.

If you are dealing with USAA insurance (I really hope you are not) they will have their "independent" appraisal company (CCC valuescope) significantly undervalue your vehicle so when they give you your payout their out of pocket is minimized, they then give a kick back to CCC valuescope for assigning an artificially low value to your car. 20 months later it still makes me mad as hell.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure the adjuster uses Go Westy restored van prices to help show value and use VW dealer retail pricing for replacement parts.
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GWTWTLW
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have sAid, they will try and pay you as little as possible and make you feel like [email protected] in the process. Be patient, don't take it personally and don't accept a bad offer. If you can, invoke your independent appraisal clause. That is what made the difference for me (by about $12k).

Sorry for your loss. Glad everybody is ok.
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Tram
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Current eBay auctions:
http://motors.shop.ebay.com/Cars-Trucks-/6001/i.ht...amp;_rdc=1

Closed eBay auctions:
http://motors.completed.shop.ebay.com/Cars-Trucks-...Complete=1

What you'll want to do is to use this info along with whatever else has been linked to above to convince your insurance people what it will cost you to replace it.

Keep in mind that I'm saying this not knowing if there are huge differences in how insurance works in Canada as opposed to here in the USA. Here, I've gone to court for customers, or even just talked to their insurance agents for them armed with eBay information. The "completed listings" show EXACTLY what people are paying for similar vehicles- or maybe even similar vehicles a little older, and maybe not quite in as nice of condition, more miles, without certain features yours might have, etc. Showing info like this defeats their "Yes, but that's just the asking price" argument right out of the gate. They know full well that a judge or a jury won't buy the "but the car is only worth XXX according to NADA". Bullshit. You tell them that all you want to do is make yourself whole again by replacing what you lost- and current eBay and asking price issues will show exactly how far apart this is. Get down to the nitty- gritty and specifics, e.g. "I can't even buy a 1970s model for what you're offering me on my 1988, which is a whole different generation of Westfalia"- and list all the differences.

As an aside, I think that calling your Baywindow a "Vanagon" is just as lame as taking your Mercedes 560SL and calling it an "SL560". You're not fooling anyone, and you look like a tool. When I do an eBay search for "Vanagon Westfalia", and half the returned results are Bays, it's annoying.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tram wrote:
Current eBay auctions:
http://motors.shop.ebay.com/Cars-Trucks-/6001/i.ht...amp;_rdc=1

Closed eBay auctions:
http://motors.completed.shop.ebay.com/Cars-Trucks-...Complete=1

What you'll want to do is to use this info along with whatever else has been linked to above to convince your insurance people what it will cost you to replace it.

Keep in mind that I'm saying this not knowing if there are huge differences in how insurance works in Canada as opposed to here in the USA. Here, I've gone to court for customers, or even just talked to their insurance agents for them armed with eBay information. The "completed listings" show EXACTLY what people are paying for similar vehicles- or maybe even similar vehicles a little older, and maybe not quite in as nice of condition, more miles, without certain features yours might have, etc. Showing info like this defeats their "Yes, but that's just the asking price" argument right out of the gate. They know full well that a judge or a jury won't buy the "but the car is only worth XXX according to NADA". Bullshit. You tell them that all you want to do is make yourself whole again by replacing what you lost- and current eBay and asking price issues will show exactly how far apart this is. Get down to the nitty- gritty and specifics, e.g. "I can't even buy a 1970s model for what you're offering me on my 1988, which is a whole different generation of Westfalia"- and list all the differences.

As an aside, I think that calling your Baywindow a "Vanagon" is just as lame as taking your Mercedes 560SL and calling it an "SL560". You're not fooling anyone, and you look like a tool. When I do an eBay search for "Vanagon Westfalia", and half the returned results are Bays, it's annoying.


Wow Tram, that was an excellent post. Nice to see you visit the Vanagon forum. For those who do not know Tram, he is the guy that restored my SCab, link in my sigline, and he is a GOD in the type 3 forums Cool .
Just got on my home computer and found a couple other threads that may also help. I posted from my iphone and chose the wrong thread to link above. It is a lot to read, but, take your time and immerse yourself, Do not take the first offer. DO your homework, and, post up here. There is a lot of shared experiences in this group. I got totally HOSED by USAA on my 91 Vanagon Westy in 1997 and finally gave up and took a lowball offer, then, traded the van off. I never should have done that, but, I had no choice at the time.
Keep us posted.
carterzest wrote:
dixoncj wrote:
Humble suggestion for mods. Create a 'sticky' forum for Vanagon Safety Posts - or put- The "Real Life Crash Test" in the "Best Links" area. It is such a great resource.
Rick's thread(PDXWesty)"Real Life Crash Test",
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=175672&start=0

is a good one indeed, but there are quite a few more that are equally as good.

BTW. there are two threads with that same title...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=466273&start=0

Here are a couple others about insurance issues that relate to Vanagon Safety.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=304941&start=0

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3...otal+westy

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=301989&start=0

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=281006&start=0

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RBEmerson
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bummer on being rear-ended. If the impact shoved the engine package out of place... not the best of news. Crying or Very sad

To your initial question of establishing the value of a Westy as being more than "some 23 year old clunker", document, document, document. Use sold vehicles (e.g., the GoWesty sales list), not asking prices. Tie your vehicle as closely as possible to the sold vehicles in terms of comparable features. Of course, GW prices are US prices, and making that information work in a Canadian setting may be a challenge.

If the accident is found to be solely the fault of the other driver, it's their problem to make you whole. In that sense, you're in a better situation than where your insurance carries the load of dealing with the loss. At least that's how it works in the US. You really need help from those with experience with Canadian law and insurance practice.
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fredn
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ontario has no fault insurance. This means you deal with your own company only. Brief overview at the link below.

http://www.ibc.ca/en/car_insurance/on/no_fault.asp
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pioneer1
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Ontario Ins. company required a professional appraisal before they would insure such an old vehicle-to prove that it wasn't a piece of junk or a liability to them. However, the adjuster has the final say as to value.He/she will concider the market value,condition,etc. If you disagree with the valuation I've heard the appraiser will testify to the worth if it goes to court .
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Wellington
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why does this come up so often? Sorry for your accident, but what value was your Vanagon insured for?
I have a 1975 Beetle, full blown cal look, simply mint trailer queen, insured for 20K. My Westfalia is insured for 15K. This is a value agreed upon by myself and insurance company and my premiums reflect it!!
It is nice to call for insurance, get a low ball premium but expect top dollar if an unfortunate incident occurs.
I hate insurance companies as much as everyone else, but why would you expect to collect top $$ if under insured??
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crukab
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hit head on driving the wifes '97 Jetta in '09 , totaled the car,the other car owners Insr. co. -geiko- tried to give me $1200, NOT, they said they don't go by Blue Book, they go with prices of similar year/model Jettas that are for sale on line , in news papers ect. I told them I wanted $3000, the guy chuckled, I finally got them to pay up after telling them they could line up all the Jettas they wanted, since I owned the car for x years & did all work -- and was a VW fanatic , I could pick apart their car, & show/tell them every reason why mine was in better shape & worth more. They gave in & Paid. You really have to be a DICK to them, so they don't DICK you.
Is'nt Major Woody a insr. guy ? Someone here is and I remember them saying Insr. Co. have a office full of people whose job is to screw you into as little $$ as possible, which sounds about right........... Evil or Very Mad
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless your prearranged for an "agreed value" rider on your policy ahead of time then your insurance company is only obligated to pay "book value". You see your insurance premium was based on the book value and if you had an "agreed value" rider they would of charged you more since since their risk of payout would of been more.

It's like under insuring your home and expecting the insurance company to pay replacement value after a fire.

You can fight them all you want but they know what they are doing, have teams of lawyers that do this all day long and will win in the end.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tram wrote:

What you'll want to do is to use this info along with whatever else has been linked to above to convince your insurance people what it will cost you to replace it.


I tried this route with USAA and it was extremely unsuccessful, their response was, "We are not required to replace your vehicle, only to reimburse you for its value."
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Der-ak. Bummer. Did you keep a file of all repairs, upgrades, etc....? Before I renew my Ontario insurance this spring, I am going to have my van professionally appraised which in itself is going to cost but with all the new systems and upgrades and the excellent body condition, it will be worth it. I had to submit pictures of all 4 sides for this coverage and yet I don't remember that being needed on my previous Westy.

If you have lots of pictures, documents go for it. No fault insurance bugs the crap out of me but be firm and take them on. They make their money on the people who just go along.

Four years ago in a non vehicle settlement, I was offered $3500, I got up and left the room. Two years later the final settlement was like 20 times that. Both my lawyers and myself had to be real tough and it took 2 years but we pushed and pushed and pushed and I simply told them that the longer they took, the more it was costing them. Dealing with insurance companies can create it's own pain but you gotta do what you can. Be prepared and go for it.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So sorry this happended to you! If you put the comps in front of them ASAP (ebay, craigslist, GoWesty) you're in much better negotiating position at the start which I think is the most important step. Be ready to rattle off the upgrades you have done too.

[/url]http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=436698&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=wrecked+westy&start=20
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

I have posted this link before, and sadly I post it again.

Derek Drew, an occasional poster here and generally renowned VW expert, wrote an excellent story about his insurance adventures. I'd say it's required reading for anyone who's had an accident. He give a lot of useful insights.

Read it it here:

AUTO INSURANCE MADNESS
http://gerry.vanagon.com/files/auto-insurance-madness.html

Also, here's a related thread:

They say my van is totalled
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=408549

-CJ
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Der-ak
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, A huge thank-you to everyone for their support. I'm so grateful to hear from some of the members that have been an inspiration to me on these forums over the years. You guys are awesome. And yes, carterzest, that quote of yours in my signature is from ages ago. I laughed my ass off when I saw it and thought that it deserved some sort of tribute, however humble it may be. Smile

Time to call my insurance company. It looks like at the very least, I have some homework to do.

Here are some pictures from last night. You can see in the one underneath that the motor mount has been broken off. Also, my sweet new Gary Lee rack was twisted and my Thule tray was snapped off. The tray actually tried to defend my van and as it was hit, swung down and shattered the offending car's windshield.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


...And here's what the other guy looked like, thanks to the vigilant efforts of my poor Thule tray (RIP, buddy).

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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'88 Westy, 2.1L WBX, MT, Dove Blue - "Suzie": Rear ended and written off. Sad
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GBA 88West LA
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

market value and actual cash value are two entirely diff things here, what other people pay for similar vehicles wont fly, what you need to do is prove that your acv should be higher, receipts, receipts receipts....comparison market values helps a little, but they wont pay market value they will pay acv if you didnt do an appraisal, actual cash value is different for every vanagon out there, it basically accounts what the vehicle was worth the exact day it had the incident ...good luck and take your time dont jump and you always have the state ins dept if you cant find satisfaction
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, Canadian insurance seems to be completely different than US insurance. At least it is in BC. Not sure if much of the advice applies here.
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