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Need advice on an auto theft claim when adjuster is suggesting fraud

Discussion in 'Automobile & Car Insurance' started by Pandamainium, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. Pandamainium

    Pandamainium Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    My vehicle was stolen in Philadelphia approximately a month ago. Immediately after the incident, I reported the car stolen to the police, and called insurance. A video footage was available (that I requested from the owner of the building where I was parked) but it was never made available to me by either the owner or the police. The police also took 2 weeks to get back to me or answer my calls regarding retrieving the video evidence. While waiting for all that and hoping my car gets found- I am trying to comply with the adjuster required information and submitted them hoping for a speedy resolution as it seemed very straightforward.

    Today I get a call from the adjuster that she spoke to an investigator and that they saw the video evidence and says something to the effect that it did not appear to be a random incident (suggesting targeted). My car is a bright Yellow Porsche 911 that has a full body kit, parked in a dark alley- one would assume it is usually not just randomly targeted. Adjuster also comments that it happened very quickly. Information just surfaced today from a call to my ex that he placed my extra key in the console when my car was shipped, which would explain the quick driveaway. Thief probably tried to find some cheaper things to take and ended up with a whole car. After she explains this, she says I can choose to cancel my claim and there will be no questions asked. I asked her to explain the statement clearly to which, it seemed, they insinuated there was some sort of inside job... Yeah ok. I say absolutely not. Not only is my car gone, my baby- but now my dignity is in shreds. She said they will proceed but need more documents. Bank statements, records of shipping the car, etc. Not a problem. They also want the affidavit and the keys.

    As you can imagine, I am very untrusting of them at this point. Do I need an attorney to pursue this claim before I a) get sued for fraud I did not commit b) get screwed over on payout c) am denied the claim. I also do not feel comfortable handing my keys or filling out any forms at this point.

    cliffnotes: car insurance claim adjuster suggests car theft was inside job. Offers for me to cancel my claim and walking away no questions asked. I refuse. They want more info. I am afraid to give my keys or more info now that they have gone this route of intimidation. Do I need an attorney?

    Thank you!!!
     
  2. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    One question at this point. How did the thief get into the car? Did they break a window, use a jimmy bar, or was the car unlocked? Do you know if the video shows how they gained entry?
     
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I think an attorney is premature. Your insurance company is willing to proceed with investigating the claim, so why would you not cooperate with the investigation? Dropping the claim now reeks of fraud.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  4. Pandamainium

    Pandamainium Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The car was most likely unlocked. I have not seen the video but the police described it to me during a phone call as if he just opened the door without much effort.
     
  5. Pandamainium

    Pandamainium Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am not dropping the investigation. I chose to continue because I have nothing to hide. I am more concerned that they already have this bias and now my claim is compromised no matter what. Maybe I watch too many legal shows and crime drama?
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Stick to the topic folks. I deleted the tiresome arguments about the decade. :p
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You parked your high-value, high-visibility car in a dark alley in Philly, leaving it unlocked with the key in the console, and you expect the insurance to NOT investigate?

    I'm going to correct my earlier post. You may indeed want to speak to an attorney...a criminal defense attorney. Perhaps pay a retainer now just to have him (or her) available when/if you need their services.
     
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  8. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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  9. Pandamainium

    Pandamainium Law Topic Starter New Member

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    OK thank you.

    And as crazy as that sounds, it is not an impossibility that people forget to lock their car or in my case, use my key fob and 50% of the time it does not lock on the first try. It is also not a high value car, it was a car that I bought as an auto enthusiast, not a collector and status symbol. Which makes it all the more ridiculous imo because I make more money sitting at a desk than I ever would getting money by supposesly finagling something like this.
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    It's not that. It's how a suspicious auto theft claim is handled by every insurance company (and yours is the classic definition of suspicious). Your policy (contract) requires your cooperation during the investigation. You'll be put through the wringer and likely sit for an Examination Under Oath (like a deposition). The purpose is to determine whether or not you had an incentive to have your own car stolen.

    Understand that, as long as you cooperate, the onus is on the insurance company to pay the claim or deny it. Insurance companies rarely deny auto theft claims without a smoking gun due to the fear of being sued for bad faith.

    If you balk at any of their requirements all they have to do is close the claim due to lack of cooperation. Very safe for the insurance company because it's not a denial of the claim.

    It certainly works in your favor that you can show a significantly positive financial position. One of the key elements in a suspicious auto theft claim is the claimant's need for money. Provide all the financial information requested and show that the value of the car was not significant compared to your financial position. That should go a long way toward getting the claim resolved despite the circumstances.
     
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  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    In my youth, I always made sure to lock my Pinto when parked on a brightly lit street in a good area of town in So. Cal. This was over 3 decades ago. Now, I make sure to lock my "run of the mill" car whenever I park it anywhere. Yeah, it sounds crazy to me to not secure a parked vehicle...but I do know that it happens. I have close friends and even family who do this.

    Having said that, please take my posts as those of a "devil's advocate". I don't believe (nor disbelieve) that you conspired to commit insurance fraud. I have no opinion either way. I am simply trying to make you understand how this may look to the insurance company as well as to the police (if they get involved any further).
     
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  12. Pandamainium

    Pandamainium Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for this explanation. From my recollection, this is my first and maybe only major claim in many years as a car owner. I've owned several high performance cars over the past 12 years and have never made a single claim, not even glass. So as you can imagine, this is not only an insult but is laughable lthat someone would assume this (from my perspective and everyone who knows me) but I guess it's... their job? So maybe I'm taking it a bit too personally. I'm just worried that this would be a case where they try to twist things to avoid paying a claim and then go after me for something I didn't do.
     
  13. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    Why does this surprise you, if I was in your shoes I would expect it. Insurance companies are the worse, they lobby for favorable legislation which they get and then they act like you are the robber when you file claims against them. IMO, Insurance companies that have a fiduciary duty to pay valid and legitimate claims should do so in a timely and efficient manner. If they provide insurance to customers then they should not be allowed to be publicly traded with shareholders. This creates a duty to provide shareholder return over paying claims to their insured. As a matter of fact the best insurance companies are the ones that obtain account holder premiums and holds them for payouts and don't lump them into investment opportunities. I too have owned lots of high performance cars over the years and the cheapest or lowest provider of insurance is very seldom the best when it comes to claims. It is the trade off you make for lower insurance premiums. It is not hard to take personally, it becomes and they make it very personal.

    Deny, delay and stall that is the MO for most all publicly traded insurance companies.
     
  14. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    And I've been 8 years claim free with my auto insurance yet my premium went from 1200 to 1800 for the upcoming renewal. Sure, I'm pissed but I'm also sure that the rate increase was company wide.

    Yes, it's their job. Do you have any idea how much insurance fraud costs the insurance industry? Look it up.

    You are.

    Yes, it could turn out that way. And it could turn out the other way, too.

    Oil companies are the worst and shouldn't be allowed to make a profit due to high gasoline prices.

    Utility companies are the worst and shouldn't be allowed to make a profit due to high prices on electricity.

    Cable TV and internet companies are the worst and shouldn't be allowed to make a profit due to high prices on service.

    All gun owners should be heavily regulated and limited as to firearm ownership due to the gun violence of a few criminals and crazies. (You don't like that one, do you, Redemptionman?) But that's what you are doing, painting an entire industry as evil because of a relatively few (statistically) bad stories that make the rounds.

    I'm sure you work for, or own, a profit making company. Are you willing to give up part of your salary or earnings because your customers don't care for how you run your business?

    I have no particular love for the insurance industry and I'm no toady to it. I'm always happy to give somebody the inside scoop if it helps with a claim or other issue. The insurance buying public is mostly clueless so I'm not surprised that you think the way you do.
     
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  15. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    I am pretty sure that the above companies you mentioned are for profit but don't make that profit off of peoples trust and faith that they would take care of them when they need them to be made whole again? I wish I only paid 1800 dollars for insurance as I have several vehicles that I do not drive and that sit for extended periods of time. I keep premium high grade membership insurance on the daily drivers but keep regular stuff on the vehicles that sit. I am not going to get caught needing an asset protected by an insurance carrier concerned more about their bottom line and shareholders than replacing or making their insured whole.

    I have thought about using ROOT or some sort of pay per use for the vehicles that sit and get driven once or twice a month as the money thrown away on them adds up. @adjusterjack, I realize that you were an insurance adjuster of some sort with lots of experience and the replies and responses you make are spot on. However, insurance companies spend many millions of dollars on advertising misrepresenting the way they do business. They are NOT your neighbor, friend or even care about you in the least. They love to take your money but want to pay out as little as possible to those who file claims. Kind of unique to all those businesses you have listed to compare to modern insurance company. The only good thing about the insurance industry is you can FIRE them and move on to another company that treats you better.

    Which I would imagine the OP will do once he has this settled as well.
     
  16. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Companies advertise.
    I compare advertising to people "puffing" on a resume or job interview.
    In my view, advertisers "puff" and "blow their own horn" everyday.
    I avoid watching advertisements.
    I know they're lying to me.
    I buy products based on what I prove ot myself about the product, not what the purveyor or manufacturer touts.

    That said, I live by these two words: "caveat emptor".

    A fool and his money are soon parted.
    I've been called miserly, heck some have even said I'm a miser.
    I don't care, because I'm the only one that chooses when I spend my money.
    That choice is never based on a puff, tout, or an advertisement.
     

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