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Insurance quandry - need advice


aziamaiza
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Our 5th is due for repair within a week or so. The damage is cosmetic imo, however the repairs will in all likelihood exceed $8k. The original estimate appears woefully short of the mark ($3k approx). At one point (when we notified the insurer of an estimate of $15k - granted just off the photo evidence) the insurer was considering totalling it at $21k.

We like our RV. It 's eleven years old but has all we need for creature comforts. However it is a large, heavy mass and I do not enjoy driving it, especially down steep grades or in stop go city traffic.

If given the choice, I would far prefer to install new tires and disc brakes (possibly 4-5k) rather than spend 50% and up of it's resale price on making it look new and prettier than the duct tape and crumpled ladder currently at the back.

Do you think it's possible to broach a deal to the insurer such that I can use a lower payoff for a different improvement?

By the way, the date of the accident was early May 2018. We were in a national park and, lets say, there have been communication issues along the way. 

 

TIA

 

 

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58 minutes ago, aziamaiza said:

Our 5th is due for repair within a week or so. The damage is cosmetic imo, however the repairs will in all likelihood exceed $8k. The original estimate appears woefully short of the mark ($3k approx). At one point (when we notified the insurer of an estimate of $15k - granted just off the photo evidence) the insurer was considering totalling it at $21k.

We like our RV. It 's eleven years old but has all we need for creature comforts. However it is a large, heavy mass and I do not enjoy driving it, especially down steep grades or in stop go city traffic.

If given the choice, I would far prefer to install new tires and disc brakes (possibly 4-5k) rather than spend 50% and up of it's resale price on making it look new and prettier than the duct tape and crumpled ladder currently at the back.

Do you think it's possible to broach a deal to the insurer such that I can use a lower payoff for a different improvement?

By the way, the date of the accident was early May 2018. We were in a national park and, lets say, there have been communication issues along the way. 

 

TIA

 

 

Lower payoff?  Do you mean If they total the rig?  If that is the case then you can buy it back from them with a salvage title.  The rig would not be eligible for for coverage as it has been totaled.  Just liability insurance.  

Or do you mean not to fix everything that was damaged and take some of the insurance money for other items you want to repair/improve?  Are they writing you a check or the repair facility?  Will they need proof that the rig has been completely repaired from the damage to insure you for full coverage?

Edited by rynosback
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As the above post says you can have your ineurance company total the rig and then buy it back for salvage value. You end up keeping the vehicle and accepting a payment form the insurance company for less than the total amount. They usually subtract about 20% from the payoff and give you the difference leaving about $16,800 in your hand on a value of $21,000.  But then you have a salvage title. If it were me I would take the $21,000and use it as a down payment on a new or used rig. 

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Based on the previous replies, I suggest that you call your agent and discuss your options.

Not all insurance companies will let you buy back your rig if they total it.  I know because mine (State Farm) would not let me.

Some insurance companies will indeed let you buy full coverage insurance on a salvage titled vehicle.  I know because mine (State Farm) has for me.

Don't listen to me either.  The internet is a great source of information, but it's not always appropriate to your situation.  Insurance is a good example, it is very State and local specific.

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Hmmm, interesting!

My insurance is Geico. I'm reluctant to total it and I doubt Geico would approve that. 

Geico though won't even look at it until it's in the shop, and their adjuster here in Lake Havasu weighs in. The original 3k estimate was given by a non Geico adjustor agent who happened to be closest to the incident at the time. It looks like I'll have to wait until the adjustor and body shop come up with a realistic estimate.

I will call Geico tomorrow to see what they say. It's the first time in my life that I've been involved in an auto claim so I'm unaware of my options and wasn't sure if it was a wise move to tip my hand.

The adjustor did tell me that coming up with a repair estimate for an RV, particularly one that's over seven years old is infinitely more art than science. I took that to mean that they just toss a bunch of numbers in the air, do some kind of voodoo ceremony and return straight faced from the cow shed.

 

M

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, chirakawa said:

Based on the previous replies, I suggest that you call your agent and discuss your options.

Not all insurance companies will let you buy back your rig if they total it.  I know because mine (State Farm) would not let me.

Some insurance companies will indeed let you buy full coverage insurance on a salvage titled vehicle.  I know because mine (State Farm) has for me.

Don't listen to me either.  The internet is a great source of information, but it's not always appropriate to your situation.  Insurance is a good example, it is very State and local specific.

That is messed up.  Your insurance company will not let you buy your totaled vehicle.  But will offer you full coverage on a totaled one.

Edited by rynosback
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r to

2 hours ago, aziamaiza said:

Hmmm, interesting!

My insurance is Geico. I'm reluctant to total it and I doubt Geico would approve that. 

Geico though won't even look at it until it's in the shop, and their adjuster here in Lake Havasu weighs in. The original 3k estimate was given by a non Geico adjustor agent who happened to be closest to the incident at the time. It looks like I'll have to wait until the adjustor and body shop come up with a realistic estimate.

I will call Geico tomorrow to see what they say. It's the first time in my life that I've been involved in an auto claim so I'm unaware of my options and wasn't sure if it was a wise move to tip my hand.

The adjustor did tell me that coming up with a repair estimate for an RV, particularly one that's over seven years old is infinitely more art than science. I took that to mean that they just toss a bunch of numbers in the air, do some kind of voodoo ceremony and return straight faced from the cow shed.

 

M

 

 

 

 

 

Accidents get adjusted/revised all the time.  Once they get things apart they can see the full damage.

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Pls understand the ins co is not"'repairing" your vehicle. They are "compensating you for the value of your loss". Neither can they insist you take it to a specific shop. The reason they are doing this in this case, is the person inside has NO IDEA what your damage is, and someone in the field just may have a clue. Not always the case, they rely on the shop to tell them what they need (greed?). Take it to their shop and let their guy see it but do **NOT** authorize any repairs,,  no not even disassembly. Then you will know what you are working with $ wise & make the decision . At that point I'd take it to a second shop for a look see. If you decide to use some of the $ for something else, that's your call. However, they may want to see it again before they insure it so they don't pay for any unrepaired damage again. If you want a new rig, advertise yours as a "bodyman's special", take the check & the sale $ & get what you want. They cannot force a repair.

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10 hours ago, aziamaiza said:

The adjustor did tell me that coming up with a repair estimate for an RV, particularly one that's over seven years old is infinitely more art than science.

The reason that he told you this is that most RV manufacturers do not keep making body parts once the exterior design has changed. In your case it looks like the rear cap has been damaged and a cap that is no longer in production means that the old one must either be repaired or a custom one built. There is no standard in the RV industry for how long body parts will be kept available. 

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8 hours ago, rynosback said:

That is messed up.  Your insurance company will not let you buy your totaled vehicle.  But will offer you full coverage on a totaled one.

I can't argue that with you.  When the adjuster totaled my car, I asked to buy it back.  He told me that SF didn't allow that, something about preventing adjusters from making deals with owners.  I would think it would be easier for an adjuster to make a side deal with salvage companies than individuals.

I bought a salvage title vehicle and SF sold me full coverage on it.  They did require me to bring it in and let them inspect it to make sure it had been fully rebuilt, but had no problem insuring it.

My whole point was that the OP shouldn't expect insurance advice from individuals on a bulletin board.  Most of it, like mine, will just be anecdotal.  That's why I always buy insurance through an agent I trust, so I have someone to go to for help in such situations.

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American Family also will not let you buy back salvage.  Our Jeep was totaled a few years ago, and I knew I could make big cash selling parts from it compared to the stated salvage value, but they said no way.  I have also insured a salvage title vehicle, no problem as long as it passed the state inspection for fixed salvage and I provided photos from all sides.

Bottom line, as noted by chirakawa, every company will be different, PLUS different rules for each state.

 

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Thanx to everyone who responded with wise words indeed.

Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of waiting for two or three days - or maybe longer - in order to discover what needs to be done and for how much, and then to get a second opinion. We have commitments in Texas and beyond. Our plan was to return to LHC in late March and pick up the trailer en route to YNP.

 

 

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Strange how insurance varies, I bought back my totaled Expedition from State Farm. They asked me if I wanted to buy it? 

I hadn’t even thought about it until then. Best car deal I ever made! Drove it 6 more years and sold it for high KBB 

ps it was hail damage and in Missouri a vehicle totaled for hail doesn’t require a salvage title 

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EIGHT MONTHS and you are still trying to get it fixed? I think you may want to talk to the State Insurance Commissioner's office and maybe an attorney.

As for repairs to an end cap, you might want to call the manufacturer of your trailer and see if they have the molds. Not all companies keep them, but some do. Foretravel keep everything, and more than one Foretraveler has gotten the factory to make a new end cap. Yes, it may take a week or two, but it would be exactly right.

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Actually nine months to the day. A long story....backed into a snowbank at Yellowstone. An agent eventually came out about a month later probably because our neighbor who had totalled his vehicle - and unfortunately the buffalo he collided with - was also with Geico. 

As we were in a national park for the summer and living in the trailer, repairing it then was not a viable option.

Geico haven't exactly covered themselves in glory but I also contributed to the delay.

 

Apparently there is some kind of statute on the books such that automobile manufacturers are obligated to produce parts for ten years after the model year has concluded. It's just seven years for RV's and neither Forest River nor their subsiduaries have any end caps.

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3 hours ago, aziamaiza said:

 

 

Apparently there is some kind of statute on the books such that automobile manufacturers are obligated to produce parts for ten years after the model year has concluded. It's just seven years for RV's and neither Forest River nor their subsiduaries have any end caps.

You might check some of the RV salvage yards for decent used end caps . 

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