Tales From The Trenches
Integrity Insurance Promises Not to Bargain on the Value of the Car
If you get hurt in a car accident, there are hundreds of things to be done. The last thing you want to do is fight with your own insurance company over the value of your car, but if you have to, we can help.
We have a client who was injured in a car crash. It was 100% the other driver's fault, totaling her car. Luckily, she had full coverage with her own company. She contacted Nick, the claims adjuster from Integrity, and learned that he was valuing the vehicle $2,000 less than the actual value of the car.
The client calls me and I agree to help her negotiate the value of the car. She sends me a bunch of used car ads for vehicles similar to hers. I send all of this information to Nick and he says, "Integrity does not negotiate the value of the car." It was clear that this was going to be a little more work than I thought, so I pull out the policy and show Nick the dispute section of the policy. He maintains that he is not moving off the value he put on the car. I then invoke the appraisal clause in the policy.
The appraisal clause requires you, the policy holder, to hire an automobile appraiser to come and appraise your car, and you must to pay for it. At the same time you are shelling out $500 for an appraisal, the insurance company is too. If the two appraisers cannot agree on a price, they hire an umpire, and guess who pays for that. Yep, you the policy holder whose car is totaled through no fault of your own. In any event, the umpire makes the final determination and you are finally paid.
In this particular case the car dealership was willing to help out and appraised the car at $14,500. The client's appraiser and the insurance appraiser agreed that the price should be $14,100. That should be the end of the story, right? Nope, Nick at Integrity Insurance, would not accept the agreed upon value of these appraisers because the people at the car dealership would not sign the form he required.
Since Integrity wanted to make things difficult, we brought in a second appraiser and him and the insurance company's appraiser agreed that the value of the car was $14,650. Integrity's hard ball tactics cost them over a $1,000 and a longtime customer.
The kicker in all of this is that the other driver has full coverage, so Integrity will pass the bill for my client's car to the at fault driver's insurance company. When dealing with insurance, it is easy for someone to try to take advantage of you. Let us make sure that does not happen.