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Auto Insurance Claims/Third Party Property Claims

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Question
Hello Jane,

Players:
Driver 1, John (J), driving 2010 Armada, SUV, (V1) Carrier: Liberty Mutual, Coverage limits: 100/300/50. NO BALLOON POLICY, THAT WE KNOW OF- AFFIDAVIT COMING FROM LM.

DRIVER 2, Melissa (M), driving 2010 Honda Fit, (V2) Carrier:
State Farm, Coverage limits: Identical- 100/300/50.

Facts: John hit Melissa broadside (T-bone) approx. speed: 25 mph accelerating, no indication of any breaking, after running stop sign while trying to "beat oncoming traffic"- didn't see Honda "ahead of oncoming crowd of cars coming from his left. John cited by local PD at scene for failure to yield.

Liability: LM has assumed 100% liability for prop damage #Honda vehicle #which belongs to Melissa's MOTHER: Antoinette. Has been with SF for 36 years#. Melissa, PERFECT driving record, NOT negligent, visiting from Texas, borrowed Mom's car to go to movies with friend. 0% fault ascribed to Melissa. No negligence on Antoinette in loaning car to Melissa. 0 liability. policy provides for loaning car to family or friend- not at issue.

Police Report: fault: 100% John.

Prior history: John, unknown. Melissa, NO tickets, 0#in life#, no accidents, no ER, only visit to Dr. for annual check ups. Most serious injury in life, cut finger at age 5, helping mommy in kitchen: treatment: Band-Aid. Healthy, active 31 year old single woman, very active outdoors #person#, hiking, camping, backpacking, skiing, snowboarding, river rafting, avid driver on cross country road trips, 2-X per year, 1000-3000 miles.

Melissa suffered serious injuries to back, hip, neck, serious back, neck, hip, and psychological. CANNOT DRIVE CAR. LM is going to pay limit on policy $100,000 for Melissa's injuries. NO DISPUTE.

QUESTION 1: IS THERE ANYWHERE ELSE WE CAN RECOVER $50,000 - $100,000 INJURIES? Homeowners: NO. Other Insurance: UNKNOWN.

OTHER ISSUES: STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IS APPROACHING QUICKLY. Aug 16, 2014. We do not want to secure attorney to sue LM- WE ALREADY HAVE LM AGREEMENT TO PAY 100% OF POLICY: $100,000 TOWARD INJURIES.

PROPERTY DAMAGE: 2010 HONDA Fit belongs to Melissa's mother. Was on a lease, at 2% interest, $235.00 payment, with 8 payments left, and residual of only $10,800.00. Antoinette purchased car for far below dealers cost #in 2010, to only year Honda ever took a loss in their 85 year history- Honda America loss 34%! Toyota Loss: $30%. #NO US GOVT TO BUY THEM OUT IN BANKRUPTCY LIKE GM AND OTHERS#- however, ALL AUTOMAKERS WERE STUCK WITH 1000'S OF 2010 CARS AS THE 2011'S WERE RELEASED- HONDA ADDED 1000-2000 CASH BACK ALLOWANCES, 0-2% INTEREST UP TO 60 MONTHS, FREE EXTENDED WARRANTIES, FREE MAINTENANCE FOR LIFE OF CAR, YUADA TADA YADA. SUFFICE IT TO SAY, Antoinette's 2010 Honda was a "Gold Mine" of a car, crowned #1 subcompact in America for 3 years, top selling same years, most reliable same years, and in 2014 Consumer Reports #April 2014# THE 2008-2012 HONDA FIT #BASE MODEL# WAS STILL RANKED AS THE BEST USED SUBCOMPACT CAR IN AMERICA, SELLING USED FOR ANYWHERE UNDER $25,000! THERE ARE STILL ADS FOR 2010 HONDA FIT CARS WITH 50,000 MILES SELLING IN SO CAL FOR $15,000 TO $18,000!@!

We have our proof of what the car was and is worth- BUT, once it was totaled, Antoinette had to pay $790 for sticker transportation #she had already paid for her 2010#, dealer prep at $500 #already paid once, NOW AGAIN??#, Lease Acquisition Fee of $595 #a "just because fee in all leases#, her 2% interest rate went to 4.5% #not due to her credit- she has an 800 fico-- just due to changes in the market!#, Her new payment is $100 more than the 2010 Honda, she has had to spend $2500 to reinstall a new navigation system #SF would not let her take it off the old 2010 in the body shop# #they would not even allow her to take the WeatherTech floor mats #$200# for front, $200 for rear#, NOTHING COULD BE REMOVED FROM CAR #IN SOME CASES EVEN WHERE SF DID NOT COMPENSATE HER FOR THE ITEM, LIKE THE REAR CARGO COVER $150 OPTION FROM DEALER IN 2010, $0 FROM SF, BUT SHE COULD NOT TAKE IT EVEN THOUGH IT FIT PERFECTLY IN THE NEW 2013 SHE LEASED#---SIDE NOTE: THE COST OF THE 2013 HONDA FIT, WAS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE PRICE FOR THE 2010- DIFFERENCE: $50#.

ANTOINETTE INTENDED TO EXERCISE HER OPTION #AND NOTIFIED HONDA BEFORE THE ACCIDENT# THAT SHE WANTED TO PAY THE RESIDUAL AND KEEP THE CAR FOR THE $10,800 THAT WAS LEFT TO PAY IT OFF!! SHE COULD NOT DO THAT, BECAUSE HER 2010 WAS TOTALED.

CAN SHE REQUIRE LM, AS THE 3RD PARTY CARRIER, WHO MUST PUT HER BACK INTO THE SAME POSITION FINANCIALLY THAT SHE WAS IN BEFORE THE ACCIDENT...YES??  no??

All in all, she is losing more than $10,000 including the EQUITY #Yes, she had build up equity in the lease by making double payments, so that when she finished the lease, she would only owe about $6000 to pay off the residual #61%#.

What can Antoinette do?

She has LOST more than $12,000 due to this accident, an has a Honda Fit that has a $18,000 residual #in spite of the fact that she put down nearly $5000 AT TIME OF LEASE SIGNING AND THE TWO LEASES ARE IDENTICAL HONDA AMERICA LEASES, THE AMOUNTS LEASED ARE ALMOST IDENTICAL, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT HER HONDA 2010 LEASE WAS AT 0.000233 LEASE FACTOR #ABOUT 2.33%# AND THE LEASE ON HER REPLACEMENT HONDA FIT IS AT 0.000466 #ABOUT 4.66%# DOUBLE WHAT HER FIRST LEASE WAS AT, AND HER CREDIT AT THE TIME OF THE SECOND LEASE WAS ACTUALLY HIGHER, AND HER DEBT TO INCOME RATIO WAS MUCH LOWER, MEANING THAT SHE WAS A MUCH BETTER RISK FOR HONDA....AND SHE WAS NOW A HONDA GOLD VIP LESSEE #NEVER ONE LATE PAYMENT ON THE FIRST LEASE#...OR THE SECOND ONE FOR THAT MATTER.

I ONLY HAVE A FEW DAY TO SUBMIT THE CLAIM, AND I NEED TO KNOW IF THERE IS A MANNER, OR A WAY, THAT I CAN PRESENT IT SO THAT LM SEES THAT SHE IS ACTUALLY PAYING FEES---THE SAME FEES, SUCH AS TRANSPORTATION AND SHIPPING FROM JAPAN #$760 ON THE 2010 STICKER, AND $790 ON THE 2013 STICKER#AND SHOULD ONLY BE HAVING TO PAY FOR 0NE #1# SHIPPING FEE---AND SHE IS GETTING HIT FOR THESE KINDS OF FEES ALL OVER THE PLACE!!

QUESTION 2: SF paid out absolute MINIMUM under terms of policy- did not cover ANYWAY NEAR THE VALUE OR COSTS OF HONDA FIT- PAID "MARKET VALUE" FOR BASE MODEL #ANTOINETTE'S FIT WAS A SPORT ,MODEL, WITH GPS, NAVIGATION, ETC#, AND THE ONLY OBJECTIVE REPORTING AGENCY IN THE US, CONSUMERS UNION  #THE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION WHO ACCEPTS NO ADVERTISING FROM ANYONE, EVER, IN ITS 75 YEAR HISTORY, AND THEY ARE THE PUBLISHERS OF CONSUMER REPORTS, THE MONTHLY MAGAZINE THAT HAS AN EXCLUSIVE CAR ISSUE EVERY APRIL#.  CONSUMER REPORTS VALUED ANTOINETTE'S 2010 FIT IN THE BASE VERSION AT $23,000 #ADDING $2000 FOR THE SPORT VERSION#, PLUS FACTORY OPTIONS, DIO, AND AFTER-MARKET OPTIONS VALUED AT APPROX $5000. SF USED COMPUTERIZED MITCHELL EVALUATION MACHINE, SELECTING LOWEST PRICED HONDA FIT CARS SELLING ANYWHERE IN CALIF, ONE COMP EVEN FROM OKLAHOMA-- SF CHERRY PICKED LOWEST PRICED CARS THAT CAME CLOSE TO INSURED'S VEHICLE. PAYOUT: $18,000. MARKET VALUE: $23,000. #Using LOCAL comps, from within 10 miles of location of accident, and same for owner. BY THE WAY, ALL OF THE COMPS WE GOT FROM AROUND OUR LOCAL AREA, WERE CERTIFIED USED HONDA CARS WITH GUARANTEED CLEAN CARFAX REPORTS, VIN NUMBERS ATTACHED TO THE ADD #NO BAIT AND SWITCH#, AND THE FURTHEST DEALER WAS ONLY 10 MILES AWAY. EVEN THE PRIVATE PARTY SALES WERE IN THE SAME BALL PARK AS THE DEALERS, AND THE MILEAGE WERE ALL CLOSE TO ANTOINETTE'S MILEAGE OF 19,000 MI. LESS THAN 10,000 MI, PER YEAR!

CAN ANTOINETTE RECOVER HER LOSSES FROM LM??

PLEASE CALL ME IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, OR NEED FURTHER FACTS-

DANA PEREAU
(MELISSA'S DAD)

Jane, Feel free to leave the question in, but please take out the names Antoinette, Melissa, and Dana and use some other mane for these- as for the Insurance Companies, leave them as they are if you can.

Answer
Hello Dana,

You have asked for a complete analysis of these claims.  Unfortunately, that is not the purpose here, even with all the details you have provided.  I can, however, provide a few pointers.

Property damage is what it is.  There are limits. The carrier is not liable for excesses above the limits.  Apparently the limits are 50K. You should be able to negotiate all of your losses within those limits.  A balloon takes effect when there are excess damages on the primary claim.  That would not appear to be the case here.  There is no such thing as a "minimum limit", only a maximum limit.

It would seem that the greater issue is her injuries.  It appears there is a likelihood of permanent pain and suffering.  That to me is the greater issue.  Since the responsible policy is paying the BI limits, you would need to search for additional coverage.  If Uninsured Motorist is available, that would be the first option.  Certainly she is a candidate for that coverage. Clearly she has suffered beyond the medical bills.

A balloon policy would far more applicable for her injuries than for the PD, which does not appear to be excess.

I understand you are not interested in an attorney, however, the much larger issue here in my opinion is her long term injuries.  You have not indicated the date of loss, and I'm not certain why you are down to the final days as statutes of limitations last for years depending on the state. I strongly suggest you at least consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.  There may be other coverages available which an attorney could find - such as a balloon or other coverage.  And, if UM is available, I would not suggest attempting to negotiate that alone if the limits are substantial, such as a second 100K.

As for your specific question must the carrier "PUT HER BACK INTO THE SAME POSITION FINANCIALLY THAT SHE WAS IN BEFORE THE ACCIDENT?"  As for the property damages, they have an obligation to restore her to her pre-accident state, if that's what you mean by "financially".  She cannot "profit" from a claim.

As for the injuries, she is entitled to compensation for pain and suffering and a variety of other factors.  If there are other coverages available beyond the 100K, she would be entitled to compensation for her losses.  In my opinion, negotiation of those losses should be negotiated by an experienced attorney.

I wish you well.

Jane

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Jane Pytel

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
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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