Auto Insurance Claims/Recovered Theft Auto
QUESTION: My truck was stolen 2/26/14 it was or recovered a few days later, stripped. Allstate has been giving me the run around from day ONE. I was told by the my claims rep that if she doesn't call it means she has no new information. How can weeks go by with No new info? I have complied with every request. From sending in affidavit to recorded statement. I'm coming upon 60 days in a fee weeks.. I no longer have rental. I am.basically stuck. This to me is bad faith. I was reading about a demand letter is there any template or advice you could provide? Is there some sort of time frame they have to pay or deny my claim? They haven't done either! Thanks in advance.
I'm in GA.
ANSWER: Hello M. Hodges ...
So sorry for the delay. I've been dealing with a server crash.
First, let me say it is very difficult for me to thoroughly assess your problem without benefit of an actual consultation. Thus, I will answer based solely on my experience with these types of problems.
"No new information"? What does that mean? Does the rep somehow think that the insurer has to "solve the crime" in order to pay you your benefits? If that is the case, they are completely out of line. It is the police's job to solve crimes - not insurance companies.
When a vehicle is recovered stripped, that generally means that professionals took it to re-sell the parts. Usually this kind of a claim is a no-brainer. In other words - pay it! But suppose keys were found in the vehicle. Then, unfortunately, insurance companies immediately begin to focus on their insured. If this happened in your claim, that could be the problem.
Or perhaps they are perceiving some other type of a problem with your claim. Usually those "problems" include casting blame on the insured.
Here's the point. Problems or not, perceptions of problems or not, ALWAYS the insurance company needs to ACTUALLY INVESTIGATE the claim PROMPTLY and then make a sound, factual, and fair decision. In reality, theft claims in particular too frequently get lost in a cycle of blame and stalling where no one is actually investigating. In these situations, solid investigation is replaced by a pattern of attempting to implicate the insured. In the end, nothing is done in anticipation that something will come along that will cast doubt on the insured. When this happens, the claim is often denied.
Is this bad faith? As I have described it, yes. Insurance companies have a duty to investigate fairly and in a timely manner. They also have a fiduciary responsibility to their insured. If there is no evidence to implicate an insured, they cannot engage in a pattern where evidence is manufactured or selected with bias in order to deny the claim. And, of course, in all cases, the claim must be investigated promptly. Anything less is unacceptable.
Too frequently, insurance companies will apply investigative bias to a claim that involves a new or other expensive vehicle. Could this be your case?
Obviously I cannot give you a definitive answer based on the lack of information. For a specific answer to your particular circumstances, we would need a consultation. Nonetheless, I hope I have pointed you in the right direction.
If you have not contacted the Claims Supervisor, do so immediately - by phone and in writing. Demand answers for the delay in your claim. Ask for the SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES that are delaying your claim. If they will not answer you, ask why. Ask if the claim is in SIU (Special Investigations Unit). Ask for the contact information for the Investigator. Expect that you will be stonewalled, but continue to be persistent. If you apply enough pressure, there is a better likelihood that they will pay the claim. Unless, of course, they have - or think they have - evidence that implicates you in the theft. If that occurs, you need legal representation.
There are additional articles on my websites that deal directly with these issues. sEE THE FIRST TWO LISTED. I encourage you to browse. All of the articles are free.
Again, sorry for the delay.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you very much for your answer. I have demanded answers..still nothing! I would feel better if they told me anything at this point. If they deny the claim will they give me my truck back? I'm so weary about all of this.
Absolutely they have to give you your truck back!!! It's your truck!
I strongly suggest you speak to an attorney. Almost always, when an attorney gets involved, even just to make a call, write a short demand ... the claim is paid. Unless, there is solid evidence, such as fraud, to justify a valid denial. Note I said solid evidence. That does not include innuendos or fabricated evidence.
An attorney may be your only hope at this point. Sad but true.