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"It's Totaled"


JPL

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All I found out today, after 7 weeks, that our 2015 43' Mesa Ridge has been totaled. On the 8th of July the 2 rear trailer tires went off the edge of the road and boy did I mess it up. I had no clue the amount of damage that was done in those few seconds.Between the frame work and the interior work the quote was over 45K. But now we start the next phase with the insurance people. I hope to hear from them Monday and we will go from there. We bought the 5er new with plans on doing more traveling. Hopefully we will be able to get this done quick. We have a 35 day trip to the keys planned for the end of Sept. The big question now is "Can we make it?" I have never made a "Total" claim to a insurance company so this process should be interesting. Our insurance company is National General from Good Sams. Anybody had any dealings with them? Will keep all updated. Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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Essentially, as soon as the insurance company declares it "Totaled", they own it. They will want all your possessions removed as soon as possible, so they can move forward to the disposal. The quick turn-over also minimizes their exposure to further claims, should anyone get hurt working on or around it. They will already have a value in mind, so it falls on you to prove increased value from any additions or upgrades that exist. Once you agree to a value, they'll cut a cheque, and it's now up to you to find a suitable replacement. They don't care if the replacement is the same, older, newer, or a beach house in Mexico. Once the replacement is located, insurance will need to be secured again. Hopefully this incident is deemed "No Fault", to avoid sticker shock on the replacement insurance cost.

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I have never made a "Total" claim to a insurance company so this process should be interesting.

 

Hi Pat, I see this incident like you do, very happy nobody was hurt and reaffirmed in your HDT decision. We can assume there was no ptsd, judging by your ability to put 3 or more words in a row down to share your experience.

 

Our insurance experience follows: another driver totaled the mini van my wife was driving. When the insurance company called with their dollar offer, I contested their offer. The adjuster/agent just said ok and the claim went to arbitration. Maybe a week or 3 went by and we got a much better offer.

 

I think the first agent was prepared to endure any complaint I made but he would stick to the first number. UNLESS I SAID THE RIGHT WORDS such as I contest the number, or I want arbitration, or something like that.

 

I think the arbitration is by an independent company? So at first they hope you will just take their offer and walk. Try for that second offer is my advice.

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OK, here's the deal on that. The "arbitration clause" in YOUR policy is that if you can't reach an agreement, you both designate an arbitrator. Those 2 then pick a third, and when any 2 of them agree that's the number. Either party can invoke it. (There is no such thing in being hit by another party, that's called "suit").

I would gather any info on upgrades to your unit since purchased that may not be easily visible (like in a total fire) that would add to the value, NOT repairs done.

While we are on the subject, if your rig is an HDT or anything else you have made major upgrades to (solar panels, add a generator, etc) I strongly suggest you hire an appraiser & pay him to evaluate you rig, with pictures. You may not think this is worth it because you feel the insurance Co will play fair. Maybe they will, but how about in the event of a total theft? Or major fire? They won't pay for what you can't PROVE, an appraisal does that.

Final note- if you feel you're hitting the wall w/ your ins co, start using phrases like "unfair claims law" and "insurance commissioner". The first basically says they're bullying you because they have you over a barrel, and they react pretty quick to that.

And- good luck, let us know how you make out.

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Pat, I agree with Sculptor. You have a contract with the insurance company and that gives you the right of negotiations unless you gave up that right in your insurance contract. I do know, however, from my brother, who is an independent insurance adjuster, they have software that estimates the cost to repair every area of damage on housing (don't know about RVs but bet it's the same). It will take into account all the materials and labor, etc. and give a base estimate. What I didn't know after a major claim with our house was you have the right to choose who you want to repair and if they are above the insurance estimate negotiate that. You don't have to accept the insurance's preferred provider unless stated in your contract.

I would caution everyone any claim you make to an insurance company goes to a reporting agency called CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) so that every company has access. You may become uninsurable by any company based on that exchanges reports. In your case, it's obviously an insurance issue but be careful reporting multiple small claims like scratches, window breakage Etc.

Finally, sorry to hear about the loss and hope all works out. Any questions you need me to ask my brother just email at ecrcarl@gmail.com and I will try to help. Mind you he just does real estate not autos or RVs.

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The big question now is "Can we make it?" I have never made a "Total" claim to a insurance company so this process should be interesting. Our insurance company is National General from Good Sams. Anybody had any dealings with them? Will keep all updated. Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

It depends on the insurance company. I don't have experience with National General.

I totaled my first camper. Insurance was for replacement value - meaning for the current used value of the camper. Not a "new" like kind.

Insurance paid quickly, and we were also scheduled for a long trip.

Finding a used replacement camper took longer than anything.

If you end up in that boat, looking for a used replacement, then you might very seriously think about Plan B for your travel plans.

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Pat, my experience recently was with a 2005 Custom Teton that was top of the line when it was built.

Insurance company was, and still is, Blue Sky. The real problem was the appraisal company that apparently most ins. co's use. That company is CCC. They really were comparing apples to oranges. Even when I caught them in comparison errors, they still refused to budge. So did I! I wouldn't let them come and pick up the unit until we had an agreement on value. It took a couple of months. Not a problem, I could still live in the rig after doing some quick "sealing up" of leaking areas, that my DW and good friend Rick did (I was a few weeks out of knee replacement surgery).

Long story short:

Value was finally increased by 43%, and I was happy with that.

Joe, our adjuster, went above and beyond by sending our build sheet to 3 dealers to have them put a value to our rig. They understood what we had and their numbers were just above what we settled for.

I did have to get "higher ups" involved with my complaint regarding CCC working for the ins. co. and not for me, but it was soon settled. I was emailing everyone!

 

Upon insuring the "new to us" 3 month old rig, I did discover that the increasing replacement value for coverage is only available to original purchaser. My new policy is more of an agreed value which is much higher than we paid for the rig.

 

Do your homework and search to see what your rig is listed for on various sites. That won't give you sales price, but will put you in the market area for replacement cost and might help you argue for higher amount. Since your rig is fairly new, you may not have any problems. Hope that's the case.

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Pat, my experience recently was with a 2005 Custom Teton that was top of the line when it was built.

Insurance company was, and still is, Blue Sky. The real problem was the appraisal company that apparently most ins. co's use. That company is CCC. They really were comparing apples to oranges. Even when I caught them in comparison errors, they still refused to budge. So did I! I wouldn't let them come and pick up the unit until we had an agreement on value. It took a couple of months. Not a problem, I could still live in the rig after doing some quick "sealing up" of leaking areas, that my DW and good friend Rick did (I was a few weeks out of knee replacement surgery).

Long story short:

Value was finally increased by 43%, and I was happy with that.

Joe, our adjuster, went above and beyond by sending our build sheet to 3 dealers to have them put a value to our rig. They understood what we had and their numbers were just above what we settled for.

I did have to get "higher ups" involved with my complaint regarding CCC working for the ins. co. and not for me, but it was soon settled. I was emailing everyone!

 

Upon insuring the "new to us" 3 month old rig, I did discover that the increasing replacement value for coverage is only available to original purchaser. My new policy is more of an agreed value which is much higher than we paid for the rig.

 

Do your homework and search to see what your rig is listed for on various sites. That won't give you sales price, but will put you in the market area for replacement cost and might help you argue for higher amount. Since your rig is fairly new, you may not have any problems. Hope that's the case.

You better be sure you got what you think. There are 2 terms, "agreed value" and "stated value". Lots of people, even agents get the 2 mixed up. Read section D of your policy, "what we will do in the event of a loss" . Agreed value many times will say " we will pay the LESSER of agreed value or ACV" (actual cash value= book value)

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...2015 43' Mesa Ridge has been totaled. ... I have never made a "Total" claim to a insurance company so this process should be interesting.

 

If you purchased Total Replacement Value insurance when you bought your RV, the insurance company should replace your rig with a new one of the same brand and model. If you didn't have Total Replacement Value insurance on your new rig, then all you'll get is current book value.

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Agreed value is what pays an agreed value in the event of a total loss, while stated value is essentially a ceiling (where the policy pays the stated value or cash value, whichever is less). The latter is basically an underwriting tool, where the former gets you some certainty. From the resource guide: http://www.hhrvresource.com/sites/default/files/dfiles/Stated_vs_Agreed_Value.pdf

 

When I've shopped for agreed value policies, it's been my experience that purchase price is generally good enough to substantiate the value for a newly purchased car/RV. If it's been a while (2 years or more with my current insurer), or if you're wanting to raise the value on an existing policy, they'll generally require an appraisal.

 

Be very clear that regardless of what the insurance company wants to do, it's your trailer until you accept payment and sign the title over to them. You don't want to drag things out, as you might be incurring storage charges where it sits, but it's generally more to their advantage to settle quickly--before you've had a chance to really assess the value of the rig yourself or try to find a replacement. When you do sign it over, hang on to at least one document with the VIN--it would be interesting to see what it fetches at auction in its damaged state.

 

If I were in your shoes, considering how new it is, I would also be contacting the manufacturer. If I remember your earlier post correctly, you dropped the wheels off the pavement, and didn't hit anything so hard as to lose air pressure in the tires and didn't drag the axles on the pavement. While it may have been expected to make a mess inside, that's hardly the kind of event that should be compromising the trailer's structure. It may be common for such weak frames and connections between walls, roof, and frame, but that doesn't mean it's acceptable engineering. Think about a slightly more severe event, where those connections fail outright--what would have happened with a wall falling into an oncoming lane? I'm not suggesting they'll give you anything, but if I'd built a trailer that failed like this, I'd want to know about it.

 

Hopefully, you're treated fairly and on your way on the next trip soon.

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Thanks all for all of the post. The 5er is here at the house and will not leave until we have a acceptable offer from the insurance people. Thanks again for all of the info and any additional any additional help. I'll keep this updated. Hope it doesn't take long. Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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I hope to never have to use this information, but there seem to be a lot of good ideas and comments here. Is it worth putting in the Resource Guide? Not all of it, but many of the ideas and suggestions, and most certainly the outcome. Could add the info from Rocky's event too.

 

Rod

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A lot of good info has been noted here. I talked to the Insurance people today. He had the paper work and was sending it to the "review board". Will call him again tomorrow. I am that squeaking wheel! I wouldn't wish this on anybody but it would be nice to have a idea where to start. I think the main thing I'll take from this is to be sure that you review your policy and understand it. Make sure it says what you think it says. Since most of our coverage is done over the phone or via the Email/text review it with a passion! If this needs to be in the Resource Guide I'd help. Somebody just let me know. I'll keep this post up to date. Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update They towed the Mesa Ridge away yesterday. The insurance company took the quote for our new (2017) Mesa Ridge from our local dealer and told me it was the low bid so we will be getting a new one. The insurance company is taking care of everything. Hopefully we'll have it by next Friday. I hope I'm not dreaming Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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SIBERNUT, on 09 Sept 2016 - 12:56 PM, said:

1) Read the policy, especially section D "What we will do in the event of a loss"

2) Read it again

3) if you have to save $, take only the coll of a rig in storage, NEVER the comp. It's the cheapest part anyway.

 

Read the response #17, they are getting him a new trailer. I would think that would be good enough.

:)

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  • 2 weeks later...

All I picked the new 5er up Friday. Its taken 10 weeks since I had all of the problems but National General came thru and the new Mesa Ridge is sitting here at the house. I'm going to start a new post with some detail. So go see "Totaled: The Last Chapter". Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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