Appraisal Clause: Deceptive Practices by USAA and other Insurance Companies

total loss dispute

Total Loss Disputes

If you’ve done some Googling because of a total loss dispute with your insurance company, you probably came across information explaining your right to appraisal (also called the invoking the appraisal clause).

Unfortunately, because auto total loss disputes are usually less than $10,000.00, it is an area that hasn’t traditionally attracted attorneys (but there are a few attorneys that will fight for you).

In fact, because the amounts in dispute are typically under $10,000.00, most insurance companies don’t even train their claims staff about the appraisal clause.  I know.  I was an adjuster for over a decade and NOT EVEN ONCE was the appraisal clause mentioned.  If you invoke the appraisal clause, you can bet that you will be dealing with a claims representative that has no clue what they are doing (if you’re an adjuster that thinks you know better, prove it).  I educate adjusters and insurance carriers every week about this little known right that their insureds have.

READ MORE ABOUT APPRAISAL CLAUSE DECEPTION – CLICK HERE!

 

Do you have to sell your car to prove your diminished value? A Graph

What do you think? Do you have to sell your car in order to prove that it has lost value?

does your car have to be sold

To the surprise of me and my client’s attorney, we recently had a Judge that said YES.  Insurance adjusters are trained to say YES to the title question, too. But what do you think? The graphic with this article sorta sums up why the law does not agree with the Judge or the insurance adjusters, but I’ll go a little further to drive the point home.

No, Really…Do You Have To Sell Your Car To Prove Diminished Value?

Am I richer when the prices of my stocks go up?

Am I poorer when my stock values are down?

If average home prices around the home I own rise, am I richer?

If I trade my Lamborghini even for a Toyota Corolla, am I richer, or poorer?

If the doctor says I need a $10000.00 surgery to save my foot, am I richer if I don’t get the surgery?

If I lose my foot, and then use a prosthetic, is the cost of maintaining and replacing the prosthetic, along with the future medical costs I will incur part of the value of my claim, or does it only count when I actually go and pay for the care?

If everybody in your neighborhood paid $500 for a grill from the hardware store, and you found an identical one on Craigslist for $325.00 and still in the box, what is the market value of the grill?

If I have a Rolex valued at $22,000.00 by a well known Rolex appraiser, and I sell it for $18000.00, did I change the value of the Rolex?

If a sell price dictates market value, then there is no such thing as a “good deal”.

FIND OUT WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS & SEE THE REST OF THE GRAPH

WHAT’S THE MADE WHOLE DOCTRINE & WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ANYWAY?

made whole doctrine

Made Whole Doctrine: Are you being preyed upon?

Insurance companies count on vehicle owners not knowing about the law, specifically the made whole doctrine.  They use the lack of knowledge by the layman to prey on accident victims for profit.  Right now, many of the accident victims that are reading this article are being further victimized by their own insurance company, and many times the adjusters that are doing the victimizing have been indoctrinated to believe they are doing the right thing and that they are within the law.

Let me be very clear here: Insurance companies routinely steal money from their own customers through improper and illegal subrogation activities.

ARE YOU AFFECTED? CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

Rental Car on Total Loss Claims in Texas

Rental Car on Total Loss Claims in Texas

rental on total loss claimsBlogs are buzzing because in the recent Texas Supreme Court Case, J&D Towing LLC v. American Alternative Insurance Corporation 2016 WL 91201 (Tex. 2016), a major wrong that has been going on since before there were even cars was righted.

READ MORE ABOUT THIS NEW DEVELOPMENT!

INVALID DIMINISHED VALUE CLAIM DENIAL – 8 Unfair Examples

invalid diminished value claim denial
If you’ve had the displeasure of being in an accident where your vehicle was repairable, you’ve probably experienced a loss in the resale value of your vehicle, no matter how well it was repaired.

Additionally, in the vast majority of cases the insurance company that is responsible for settling the claim with you gives you an unfair and invalid diminished value claim denial.  In my view, the denial of these valid claims is an act of fraud.

If it is fraud, then why doesn’t the insurance company get in trouble for it?

The primary reason is that there are very few attorneys and even fewer accident victims that really understand the denials.  Because of that, it is difficult for the accident victim to defeat the illogical and unlawful reasons that insurance companies use to deny diminished value claims.  I thought long and hard about what I could do to help accident victims get fair compensation for lost value, and outside of preparing an appraisal for them and directing them to an attorney that will take their case, the best I can do is to educate.  So that is exactly what I will do right now!

I’ve already published one article that gives some responses to common denials, but in this post, I am going to pull out the stops and address every denial reason I can find, and provide all the proper reasons why the denials are invalid, improper, and in most cases, fraudulent.

READ ABOUT THE DENIALS YOU MIGHT RUN INTO

Has Attorney Montie Day Changed California Diminished Value Law?

California diminished value law

In the small world of automobile claims, there’s new buzz surrounding California Diminished Value law and the recent changes in California Jury Instructions regarding property damage to automobiles.

The changes came in response to one attorney’s relentless pursuit of justice. Attorney Montie S. Day refused to sit idly by when he realized California insurance carriers and their adjusters were using language in official jury instructions to try and make accident victims believe they could not legally recover lost value damages.  Specifically, we’re talking about inherent lost market value to automobiles, or as it is more commonly known, diminished value or simply DV.  Market surveys and sales prove that damaged and repaired vehicles are generally less desirable (thus, less valuable) on the resale market than identical vehicles that have never been damaged and repaired.

What’s interesting here is that big changes are expected, yet there is no new California Diminished Value law.  What the insightful Mr. Day attacked was not improper law (jury instructions are not law, and the law in California already recognized the right of a victim to recover inherent lost value aka diminished value).  Instead he realized insurance carriers were using language in the jury instructions to mislead accident victims and imply that the law in California would not allow recovery of inherent diminished value, so he attacked and exposed that unfair and misleading tactic.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAS CHANGED

Auto Accident: Third Party Claim and Myths About Adjusters

third party claim

What is a third party claim and what do you need to know?

Anytime you’re involved in an auto accident and it was not your fault, you potentially have a third party claim.

If the at fault party has liability insurance, then when you file a claim with their insurance company and you have a third party claim. I have read quite a few articles that give a lot of bad information about adjusters. The thing I have noticed about those articles is that none of them were written by an insurance adjuster! I’d be willing to bet that if you have not been an insurance adjuster, then you believe insurance adjusters are almost as bad as used car salesmen or attorneys, hehehe. It is a common view. I can’t speak for every single insurance claims office out there, but I can say that I have worked for 5 different non-standard companies as an adjuster, and I have worked on contract for many standard companies as a recovery specialist with a firm.

I have never been instructed to deny any valid claim, nor have I been advised to “low-ball” claimants. This might happen at some companies, but it is definitely not the norm. Insurance adjusters (if they care about their license) will usually try very hard to fairly resolve claims. I will say that I have definitely dealt with some companies that have some “questionable” practices. I won’t name names, but some of these companies simply attempt to cut costs by hiring inexperienced adjusters and giving them a “rule-book”. It is the inexperience of the adjuster in interpreting the “rules” that causes the majority of the issues.

FIND OUT THE UNWRITTEN RULE AND MORE – CLICK HERE!

3 Biggest Arguments Against Inherent Diminished Value Dispelled

diminished value claim denials

How The Insurance Company Is Lying To You

The vast majority of insurance adjusters have had no formal training in valuation appraisals.   The unfortunate fact of the matter is that insurance adjusters work for an insurance company and are forced to work within the policies of the company they work for.

Unfortunately, insurance companies train employees and adjusters to deny diminished value claims, even if the evidence is overwhelming.  It is such a rampant practice that they even provide adjusters with several arguments to use and most companies provide form letters that make silly arguments about why they won’t pay for diminished value.  Here are the three most common arguments carriers use against diminished value and the breakdown of why they are not valid defenses to inherent lost market value claims.

SEE THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST DIMINISHED VALUE

ALERT! ! ! COLLUSION / DECEPTIVE SUBROGATION PRACTICES IN CALIFORNIA REGARDING THE MADE WHOLE DOCTRINE

Warning – Your Insurance Company Could Be Stealing From You!

ThiefInsurance companies are stealing money from their own policyholders by ignoring the common law “MADE WHOLE DOCTRINE”.

Read more

Breaking Story: Arizona Department of Insurance is Protecting Big Insurers at the Expense of Accident Victims!

Greed

EXPOSED!

The only way to remedy unethical and unfair behavior is to expose it to the entirety of victims that it affects in the hopes they will stand up to the bullies.  It is a shame that those in power seem to have a propensity to abuse it (crony capitalism anyone?).  To that end, I hope this article reaches many victims and their legal counsel, and that at least some of them take a stand with me and demand action from their representatives at the State.

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