Auto Insurance Claims/DV


Hi Richard
We were setting stopped and hit by three vehicles behind us. The #4 car back was ticketed and charged with the accident. The driver had Gieko insurance. Gieko is saying the driver only has $15000 insurance and not enough to pay us DV on our 2011 Fusion with 5000 miles - less than a year old. Due to Gieko stalling, we actually went thru our own insurance, State Farm, to get our vehicle fixed.  My question is can Gieko not pay DV because the insurer apparently was not carrying enough coverage?


Hi Jack,

An insurance company will only pay out based on the amount of coverage that was purchased. If a person causes more damage than the amount of coverage they purchased then they are personally responsible for the balance. So in this case you need to instruct State Farm not ot sign a release form as part of their subrogation process until after you have sued the at fault driver for your diminished value.

You would need to file suit in small claims court against the at-fault driver driver and the owner of the car if they are different. If you are successfull in court you will receive a judgement for the amount of the diminishid value. It will then be up to you to seek payment of the judgement directly from the at fault person through wage garnishment or placing leins against any property he owns. This of course assumes that he does not have the money to just pay you after the court case.

You should assume that State Farm will argue about not signing a release. It is up to you to convince them that you have the right to be made whole that takes priority over their right to subrogate.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbaugh  

Auto Insurance Claims

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Richard Hixenbaugh


Auto insurance claims procedure, auto coverage, liability issues, auto damage questions, how to deal with the insurance company, loss of use and diminished value.


I have been involved in the insurance industry for over 25 years. I have experience in underwriting, sales, claims adjusting, auto damage estimating, auto value appraising and diminished value appraising. I have testified as an expert witness over 35 times.

Society of Certified Auto Appraisers

Completed all required courses for the Florida Property-Casualty agents license and the Florida claims adjusters license. I have attended various courses on auto damage estmating, vehicle appraising and am ASE certified in collision damage analysis.

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My company has done work for consumers nationwide.

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