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Insurance Company sent car to Salvage without my permission

Discussion in 'Automobile & Car Insurance' started by Boomer1, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Boomer1

    Boomer1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I am in desperate need of some advice:

    I hit a deer on December 14, 2016. I was driving a 2006 Jaguar S Type. The damage to my car was a dented fender, the hood was slightly buckled and there were some scratches and a dent on the passenger side door. I attempted to use State Farm’s Pocket Estimate to submit damage information to the insurance company as I was in a very rural area and there was not a preferred shop in my area. The pictures were rejected as the car is black and they said it was too difficult to assess the damage from the photos. I then made arrangements to have the vehicle towed to a local body shop. The body shop received the vehicle on January 2, 2017.

    The body shop submitted an estimate to State Farm on January 5, 2017 and the decision was made to total the vehicle. I spoke to the insurance company that following week and was told that someone would be in touch to discuss next steps. I received a phone call on January 14, 2017 (a Saturday) and was asked what I wished to do with the vehicle. I asked at that time what the salvage value of the vehicle would be and was told that that information was not readily available because it was a weekend. The gentleman told me that someone would contact me the following week to complete the process. I was finally advised of the salvage value of my vehicle on January 18 and was shocked to find that said value was very low (less than $500). I told the State Farm representative at that time that I would like to retain ownership of the vehicle and was advised that the salvage value would be deducted from my final settlement. I then proceeded to contact the Body Shop to arrange to pick up the vehicle. Much to my shock and surprise, I learned that the vehicle had been picked up as salvage by Insurance Auto Auctions, a State Farm Vendor, two days before. I immediately contacted State Farm who then immediately contacted Insurance Auto Auctions and had the car returned to me. I received delivery of the car on January 19. The car was returned to me in complete disrepair. It was missing the entire front bumper, grill, the undercarriage directly beneath the bumper and the headlight apparatus. My car, which was completely drivable with some dents and scratches when it was towed away, was returned to me a complete wreck.

    Sorry for the long winded email, but my question is this: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? I want my car back to the condition it was when released to the body shop, but no one wants to accept responsibility. I would sincerely appreciate any and all advice you could offer. The accident happened in New Mexico and the car was insured in Oklahoma.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    For a car car worth $500 what you want doesn't matter.
    No one knows who damaged the car.
    The best you can do is that State Farm owes you $500 which will be offset by your deductible.
    If its over $500, you take nothing.
    If its $200, you'll get $300.
    Read your policy, the WHYS are buried among the thousands of words in your policy.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Army Judge might be mistaking salvage value with Actual Cash Value.

    For example, the ACV of your car before the accident might have been $7000 (that's just for the example - might vary when other factors are known.

    For the car to be a total loss the repair cost would have to be at least 75% or more of the ACV (varies by company).

    You would then get the ACV less your deductible and the insurance company would own your car.

    The insurance company would then sell the damaged vehicle to a salvage company for about 10% of the ACV, give or take. While $500 is a bit low, it's not out of line.

    Then your option is to sue everybody involved. You are welcome to sue the insurance company and the salvage company and see how far you get. But, as a practical matter, you'll spend thousands on a lawyer, take many months to litigate while your damaged car is of no use to you.

    You're still entitled to your settlement. Might be a good idea to just accept that somebody goofed, take your money, and be done with it.

    Like George Carlin always said: "Shit happens."
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes, technically you are correct.
    But, for a car that the insurance company offered $500 to the insured to settle their responsibility, I don't think its worth discussing. LOL
    Sheesh, the bees that get all up in some peoples bonnet.


    I didn't think the big insurance companies were that dumb, even the smaller ones, to allow their insureds to sue them, mate. LOL

    Most insureds must go to arbitration, or mediation, rather than litigate their differences.

    More properly put, an insured can EVENTUALLY sue his/her insurer, but not before the insured has jumped through several imposing hoops, first! LOL
    ...
    ...
    Can I sue my auto insurance company?
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That's not what happened.

    The OP learned that the "salvage value" was $500. He said nothing about the ACV or any dollar amount offered.

    My bonnet is reserved for bees who draw erroneous conclusions. ;)

    Well, that part you got right.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I only dive that deep when I'm charging $500 (or more) an hour to dispense legal advice or represent a client with a signed retainer and the agreed upon payment to initiate my work.

    I'm not uncomfortable with approximation over accuracy when I'm volunteering.

    Everyone knows, or should know, that you get what you pay for; not a penny more.

    My baker occasionally throws in a lagniappe here and there, but I don't expect it every visit. I'm always appreciative when he chooses toss in a extra pastry now and again. LOL
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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