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Insurance Law/Automobile Hub/Bearing Betterment charge by at fault party insurance


My car was t-boned (at rear quarter panel/door area) and other party's insurance admitted fault and is handling my car repairs. My car also needs to replace suspension parts, especially Hub/Bearing. My car has about 22,000 miles and little over two years of ownership. However, at-fault insurance (Farmers Insurance) is trying to charge me for betterment on the new OEM Hub/Bearing part.

First of all, I don't understand how they can charge for something that I have never ever replaced in my 20+ years of ownership in any vehicle. I usually change cars before it hits 100K miles and not once did any of my previous vehicles needed new Hub/Bearing part changed. Also, how is this consider betterment on my part? Is my car going to appreciate because of this part? I don't think so.

Second, they are forcing me to install new OEM part as they could not find any refurbished OEM nor safe after-market equivalent parts. It's not like I demand brand new OEM Hub/Bearing. If they can't find equivalent parts, it's their problem. It's their duty to put my vehicle back to where it was before the accident.  Tires and batteries I could understand, but asking betterment on part that could theoretically last 150K+ miles on my car that currently only has 22K miles? I don't think so... Please help.  Thank you.


Welcome to the "I got screwed by Farmers Insurance Club" ... of which I am a member also! (Rear-ended by Farmers driver which resulted in a totaling of my truck. Got paid pennies on the dollar. Especially insulting as I had done contract work as an expert for Farmers which saved them millions of dollars in property claims after Hurricane Ike.)

If the hub/bearings were damaged in the accident, then they must be replaced as part of the damage repairs. Your best argument is that only replacing a small portion of your car does NOT constitute a "betterment" as it will not increase the overall value of your car. In fact, the accident itself will diminish the end-value of the car, regardless of how well the repairs are done as it will always color the title. You may make the threat of a "diminution in value" claim against the other driver as you may be able to recover the difference in blue book value between what an un-damaged car has and what one that has been repaired would be.

Hope this helps.

Kevin Hromas
Kevin Hromas & Associates
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Kevin Hromas


I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies.


After a 20 year career as a General Contractor, I was employed by Allstate Insurance as an adjuster in Texas, holding various postitions within the property claims department. After leaving Allstate, I specialized in handling losses associated with major catastrophes through-out the country. (Hurricanes Isabel, Charlie, Wilma, Katrina, Ike, etc., hail storms, floods.) I am currently retained as an expert by multiple insurance defense firms in Texas for issues in litigation. I am also a certified Umpire for formal appraisals.

Member - Society of Registered Professional Adjusters Fellow - Council on Litigation Management Member - Property and Casualty Association Member - Texas Independent Insurances Adjusters Association Member - National Association of independent Insurance Adjusters Member - Houston Claims Association

Claims Magazine ( and then search 'Kevin Hromas' for a full listing of articles and quotes.),,

JD - University of Houston Law Center - 1992 BA - Southwest Texas State University - 1980 AA - South Plains College - 1977 PLCS - Personal Lines Coverage Specialist

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Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, Fulbright & Jaworski (Law Firm), Bracket & Ellis (Law Firm) Thamm & O'Briant (Law Firm) Sheehy, Ware & Pappas (Law Firm) Walker, Wilcox and Matousek (Law Firm) Financial Guarantee Underwriters

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