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Auto Insurance Claims/Collector car totaled by transport company


(Continuation to your dialog on 2/15/13) Hello again Jane! It is more than 2 months since the incident and we are still not settled. Progressive Ins. (P.I.) agrees the car is a total loss, and hired an appraiser to determine value from photos. The appraised value was fair. To proceed on the claim, P.I. insisted we register the car and have it titled in our names- we did, costing several thousand dollars.

Issue #1) the settlement contains no provision to recover the registration/tax/licensing we were forced to pay, OR on the proposed settlement ACV amount! When I asked for it, they stated "cargo claims" are not obligated to pay such fees...

Issue #2) The appraisal contained $0 dollar for upgrades present and noted on the car. So we asked to have a chance to buy the salvage car back (so we could transfer said upgrade to our replacement car) - to which they replied "The salvage is ours, and is not being offered to you." When I queried them more, the rep. simply stated, "We retain the right to salvage, period. We choose who we want to work with on it, and it isn't you." I was flabbergasted…

In closing to our conversation, the P.I. rep stated, "If you are looking for any other outcome or dollar amount - you can try your luck in court."

RE: Are they legally able to simply opt out of these two responsible actions? Do we not have any rights without having to resort to retaining a lawyer and going to court? I have a query into the CA D.O.I. to see if they can help, but still very interested in your legal professional opinion. –Thank you!

 Hello Gene,

What they can and cannot do with regard to "cargo claims" is a matter of CA law.  I'm a bit perplexed as to why you had to register and title the car in the first place?  Was it not legally your car?  Why was this not discussed when you arranged for the transport in the first place.  If it is merely "cargo" why is titling necessary?

With regard to the upgrades, again, I am perplexed.  If the appraised value was fair it must have included the upgrades.

As far as salvage is concerned and who has the "right" to buy it back, that would rest solely in CA law.  Who knows if the adjuster is well versed in that.  Probably not.

You need an attorney.  It appears you have been met with complete uncooperation, and it's anyone's guess if the adjuster has any idea about what he or she is talking about.  Further, I doubt DOI will be able to answer all these questions.  

This is a myriad of legal issues.  If you want to protect your investment, you must hire an attorney to represent you.  Sorry, but I see no other alternative.

Good luck,


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Jane Pytel


I can answer questions related to auto accidents, auto damage, auto theft claims, or personal injury claims. I am specifically suited to answer questions concerning insurance investigations and the effects of those investigations such as claim delays, claim denials, examinations under oath, or the special investigations unit. I can answer most any question that relates to proper claims investigations, or claims handling procedures and processes. I have authored several ebooks which provide claim guidance for consumers. Those books are available on Amazon Kindle: Power To Profit - will provide you with the knowledge you need to overcome the patterned obstacles that insurance companies will use to delay, devalue, or deny your valid insurance claim. The No Nonsense Guide to Accident Settlement - Teaches you how to manage your claim, how to identify the precise tactics likely to be used against you, and how you must respond.


12 years of experience with 3 major insurance companies. I hold an all lines adjusters license in Florida. I am well versed in claims handling, claims investigations, and industry standards related to both. The bulk of my experience stems from my 10 years as a police officer / detective. Building on that investigative experience, I became an SIU (Special Investigations Unit) Investigator. Accordingly, my unique expertise lies in the investigation of claims. What is necessary and related, what is not necessary and related? What constitutes a fair claims investigation? What recourse is available for consumers who suspect they are experiencing unfair claims delays? During the course of my experience, I became a certified trainer, instructing adjusters and investigators proper techniques for claims investigation and claims handling.

B.A., Communications, University of Miami 350 credit hours of intense investigative training, Miami Dade Police 80 hours of investigative training, various Federal Agencies, Miami, Fl Intensive Accident Reconstruction and Pedestrian Injury Analysis, NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, Oklahoma City, OK 2 weeks Auto Damage Appraisal, Winston Salem, NC Legal Principles Claim Specialist, AEI

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