Auto collision, best way to claim

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CanyonCitySteve
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Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by CanyonCitySteve » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:06 am

Hi, My car (2015 Mazda CX-5) was rear-ended on the freeway last week.

The car is severely damaged, including frame damage. I am going thru my carrier, GEICO, at present. The adjuster got an estimate of over $9k to fix it, which GEICO will take care of and then recover if possible. But, I don't want the car any longer, even after the repair, due to the extreme damage, and the diminished value (DV).

I don't have collision report yet, so don't know what coverage the at-fault driver has, if any.

GEICO will only repair it, they will not write me a check for the Actual Cash Value. I know I can file a DV claim with the at-fault driver carrier (assuming he had insurance!), but trying to avoid that if there's a better way to proceed.

Any opinions on best next steps? I get the collision report on Monday, BTW. Also, the resale (retail) value of the car is about $20-21k at CarMax (pre-accident)

Thanks
Steve
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dm200
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:16 pm

CanyonCitySteve wrote:Hi, My car (2015 Mazda CX-5) was rear-ended on the freeway last week.
The car is severely damaged, including frame damage. I am going thru my carrier, GEICO, at present. The adjuster got an estimate of over $9k to fix it, which GEICO will take care of and then recover if possible. But, I don't want the car any longer, even after the repair, due to the extreme damage, and the diminished value (DV).
I don't have collision report yet, so don't know what coverage the at-fault driver has, if any.
GEICO will only repair it, they will not write me a check for the Actual Cash Value. I know I can file a DV claim with the at-fault driver carrier (assuming he had insurance!), but trying to avoid that if there's a better way to proceed.
Any opinions on best next steps? I get the collision report on Monday, BTW. Also, the resale (retail) value of the car is about $20-21k at CarMax (pre-accident)
Thanks
Steve
I doubt you can "force" either insurance company to pay more than repiring the damage, as long as that repair cost is less than the (repaired) value of the vehicle. One possibility, perhaps, is that when they get into repairing the vehicle, the actual damage might be more than what could be determined from the initial estimate. Apart from the "diminished value" of a repaired vehicle, do you have any reason to believe the damage is greater than the estimate?

CanyonCitySteve
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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by CanyonCitySteve » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:37 am

No, I don't think have any reason to think that.

Thanks,
Steve
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by Lafder » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:46 am

Sorry for your accident, that is stressful.

I am surprised your insurance is handling it if it was another driver's fault ? Is it the same insurance company?

Unless it was an uninsured driver who hit you, I would think the at fault driver's insurance will be the one handling it. Do you have a rental car? Who is paying for that?

When I was hit by an insured at fault driver, my insurance basically told me to handle it through the other driver's insurance who covered a rental and the repairs in full which were about 7k. They also paid about 3k in diminished value. My insurance did tell me to be in touch with them if I had any problems with the other insurance. I did make sure the repair shop was approved by my insurance.

If the other insurance is paying for repairs you may be able to get them to pay for diminished value.

The problem with wanting to sell a 2015 car, that has been in an accident, is that the depreciation on the car makes it worth so much less than you paid that the diminished value compensation (if they agree to it) may still not be enough to buy a similar used car, let alone new car.

My understanding is that the repair shops fix the car to manufacturer standards as much as they can.

Good luck with dealing with it all! I agree I felt my car was "damaged" even when it was cosmetically repaired and there were no apparent residual effects when driving it.

Regarding this "I don't have collision report yet, so don't know what coverage the at-fault driver has, if any." there is a chance it will be handled through your insurance after all if the other driver is not properly id'd or does not have coverage.

lafder

tim1999
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by tim1999 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:53 am

I'd be really concerned about the diminished value. No reputable car dealer will touch a car with frame damage, especially if it shows on a carfax, unless they are getting it for absolutely dirt cheap and can send it straight to the auction and turn a profit. It will end up on a "buy here pay here" lot if you get rid of it.

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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by tibbitts » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:07 am

Cherokee8215 wrote:I'd be really concerned about the diminished value. No reputable car dealer will touch a car with frame damage, especially if it shows on a carfax, unless they are getting it for absolutely dirt cheap and can send it straight to the auction and turn a profit. It will end up on a "buy here pay here" lot if you get rid of it.
But all bogleheads, except me, keep every car until it's ready for the scrap yard or donation, so not really seeing the diminished value as an issue.

In any case your own policy and California law will probably determine your alternatives; those of us from other states would be unlikely to be familiar enough with those to make any useful comments.

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dm200
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by dm200 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:39 am

I am surprised your insurance is handling it if it was another driver's fault ? Is it the same insurance company?
Unless it was an uninsured driver who hit you, I would think the at fault driver's insurance will be the one handling it. Do you have a rental car? Who is paying for that?
It is sometimes better to put in a claim on your own collision coverage to get the vehicle repaired, etc. - and then let your insurance company go after the "at fault" driver and his/her insurance. It all depends on the facts and circumstances. Your own insurance company folks are probably better at dealing with any difficulties brought up by the "at fault" driver and/or insurance.

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mrc
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by mrc » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:57 am

A $9K estimate on a 2015 Mazda won’t push the experience to a total loss. However, once the body shop tears down the vehicle, they are likely to find more damage. At that point, they will file a supplemental claim with the insurance company. So the cost to repair likely will increase. But I still don’t see even hidden damage totaling the car. We lost a much older hybrid (after the initial estimate) because it turned out the high voltage battery was damaged. That pushed the repair cost beyond a total loss.

GEICO is good at taking care of getting you back on the road, then subrogating the cost from the other driver’s company. This is a good thing generally.

It’s a real bummer when this happens because any potential buyer that pulls a CARFAX report will see it’s been in an accident. Your best bet financially is to keep it and drive it into the ground. At least no one was hurt (I assume) which is good.
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theunknowntech
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by theunknowntech » Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:30 pm

CanyonCitySteve wrote:Hi, My car (2015 Mazda CX-5) was rear-ended on the freeway last week.

The car is severely damaged, including frame damage. I am going thru my carrier, GEICO, at present. The adjuster got an estimate of over $9k to fix it, which GEICO will take care of and then recover if possible. But, I don't want the car any longer, even after the repair, due to the extreme damage, and the diminished value (DV).

I don't have collision report yet, so don't know what coverage the at-fault driver has, if any.

GEICO will only repair it, they will not write me a check for the Actual Cash Value. I know I can file a DV claim with the at-fault driver carrier (assuming he had insurance!), but trying to avoid that if there's a better way to proceed.

Any opinions on best next steps? I get the collision report on Monday, BTW. Also, the resale (retail) value of the car is about $20-21k at CarMax (pre-accident)
You have the right to take the car anywhere you want, to have it repaired. My advice would be to _not_ let GEICO do the repair themselves, they are going to use the cheapest shop they can get away with, as "in-house" as possible, and that includes using aftermarket crash parts whenever they can, and techs willing to accept below-market rates, which means "not the best people". If so, then you really do have a case for "diminished value". The goal of the repair is to have the car restored to "as-it-was" condition, i.e. you need to be made whole -- _not_ that.

Your problem then is to find a _good_ body shop that is willing to accept the shop rate that GEICO allows. Unless you have a pre-existing relationship with that shop, this may be difficult.

Cindyjrn
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by Cindyjrn » Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:46 pm

Good luck getting DV in California. You might get the insurance company to offer you a couple hundred dollars if you're a real thorn in their side. You might be able to win in small claim court, but you need an airtight case. Like you took the vehicle in for trade in the day before the accident, had this quote and then after you were hit the offer dropped by x amount. To win a DV case in CA you literally need to be in the middle of negotiations to sell your car and then have the deal fall through where you can show real damages. Other than that, drive your repaired vehicle into the ground and be happy that you weren't injured and the vehicle is back to good mechanical condition.

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dm200
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by dm200 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:48 pm

theunknowntech wrote:
CanyonCitySteve wrote:Hi, My car (2015 Mazda CX-5) was rear-ended on the freeway last week.
The car is severely damaged, including frame damage. I am going thru my carrier, GEICO, at present. The adjuster got an estimate of over $9k to fix it, which GEICO will take care of and then recover if possible. But, I don't want the car any longer, even after the repair, due to the extreme damage, and the diminished value (DV).
I don't have collision report yet, so don't know what coverage the at-fault driver has, if any.
GEICO will only repair it, they will not write me a check for the Actual Cash Value. I know I can file a DV claim with the at-fault driver carrier (assuming he had insurance!), but trying to avoid that if there's a better way to proceed.
Any opinions on best next steps? I get the collision report on Monday, BTW. Also, the resale (retail) value of the car is about $20-21k at CarMax (pre-accident)
You have the right to take the car anywhere you want, to have it repaired. My advice would be to _not_ let GEICO do the repair themselves, they are going to use the cheapest shop they can get away with, as "in-house" as possible, and that includes using aftermarket crash parts whenever they can, and techs willing to accept below-market rates, which means "not the best people". If so, then you really do have a case for "diminished value". The goal of the repair is to have the car restored to "as-it-was" condition, i.e. you need to be made whole -- _not_ that.
Your problem then is to find a _good_ body shop that is willing to accept the shop rate that GEICO allows. Unless you have a pre-existing relationship with that shop, this may be difficult.
My experience with our own insurance company (State Farm) has been excellent when they take care of and arrange the repairs. The shops they have picked or recommended rate high on survey and it has been common that once the repair shop getsinto the work, they find more complications - then it gets worked out between the repair shop and State Farm.

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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by CanyonCitySteve » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:04 pm

Thanks for all the advice and help.

Yes, I am going thru GEICO on my insurance, and they will go after the money ; the shop they are using looks good to me, has good reviews, they are using mostly OEM parts. I'm OK with that end of things.

Its just the DV as has been pointed out; since I would like to drive a car that hasn't been wrecked. Cindyjrn, thanks for your comment on DV; I hope I can get something for DV; may have to take it to court. I think the amount of DV is substantial and worth pursuing.

Regards,
Steve
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theunknowntech
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by theunknowntech » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:06 pm

dm200 wrote:
theunknowntech wrote: Your problem then is to find a _good_ body shop that is willing to accept the shop rate that GEICO allows. Unless you have a pre-existing relationship with that shop, this may be difficult.
My experience with our own insurance company (State Farm) has been excellent when they take care of and arrange the repairs. The shops they have picked or recommended rate high on survey and it has been common that once the repair shop getsinto the work, they find more complications - then it gets worked out between the repair shop and State Farm.
For the record, my comment was specific to GEICO, and is based on personal experience. It makes me cringe to think I might be hit by a driver insured with them. The better body shops I've dealt with just shake their heads.

For the OP, the better way to proceed would be to file a claim with the insurer of the at-fault driver, presuming it is not GEICO. That way GEICO has nothing to do with it.

CanyonCitySteve
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by CanyonCitySteve » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:17 pm

For the record, my comment was specific to GEICO, and is based on personal experience. It makes me cringe to think I might be hit by a driver insured with them. The better body shops I've dealt with just shake their heads.

For the OP, the better way to proceed would be to file a claim with the insurer of the at-fault driver, presuming it is not GEICO. That way GEICO has nothing to do with it.

Wow! Thanks for that. I have not yet approved the repairs. Anybody else have an experience (good or bad) with GEICO?

Steve
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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:52 pm

^^^ Please see the disclaimer at the bottom of every forum page:
No guarantees are made as to the accuracy of the information on this site or the appropriateness of any advice to your particular situation.
Never try to do something yourself without the guidance of your own insurance company. They have lots of lawyers who deal with this every day and will take care of the details on your behalf. There will be no charge to you - it's part of your premium costs. All you need to do is ask them for legal assistance to settle the claim.

This is excellent advice:
dm200 wrote:It is sometimes better to put in a claim on your own collision coverage to get the vehicle repaired, etc. - and then let your insurance company go after the "at fault" driver and his/her insurance. It all depends on the facts and circumstances. Your own insurance company folks are probably better at dealing with any difficulties brought up by the "at fault" driver and/or insurance.
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theunknowntech
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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by theunknowntech » Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:00 pm

LadyGeek wrote:^^^ Please see the disclaimer at the bottom of every forum page:
No guarantees are made as to the accuracy of the information on this site or the appropriateness of any advice to your particular situation.
Never try to do something yourself without the guidance of your own insurance company. They have lots of lawyers who deal with this every day and will take care of the details on your behalf. There will be no charge to you - it's part of your premium costs. All you need to do is ask them for legal assistance to settle the claim.

This is excellent advice:
dm200 wrote:It is sometimes better to put in a claim on your own collision coverage to get the vehicle repaired, etc. - and then let your insurance company go after the "at fault" driver and his/her insurance. It all depends on the facts and circumstances. Your own insurance company folks are probably better at dealing with any difficulties brought up by the "at fault" driver and/or insurance.
The operative word there is "sometimes". It depends on the insurer.

The way I've dealt with this stuff in the past is to go directly to my preferred body shop (the best in town, always flawless work,) and have them deal with the other insurance company. That way I don't have to pay the deductible on my insurance, the other guy gets hit with his. You should discuss this with _your_ insurance agent (just as I've discussed it with mine.) Particularly in OP's case, the key point is who decides how to repair the car, which is practically new.

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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by jharkin » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:36 am

Steve -

Is California a "no fault" state?

My state (MA) is no fault and the way it works is that all involved drivers report to their own carrier, regardless of fault. the insurance carriers then fight it out behind the scenes but I dont know how that part works.

In 2003, I got hit head on by a driver that crossed the line, my brand new MY03 Acura suffered damages that ended up at like 35% of the new cost. I reported to my insurance (Amica) who went after the other drivers company and they advised me not to even speak to them directly and only go through my company. (The other driver, a college kid, was dumb enough to leave a message on my answering machine asking me to downplay their fault to their insurance - you bet I shared that with my agent)

After a month in the shop the final bill came in a couple grand over the initial estimate but my insurance fully paid it, waved the deductible and didn't raise my rate a cent since they agreed with my story and the police report that I was not at fault.

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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by queso » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:10 am

I went through this with an Audi when I was hit while parked. The other driver was totally at fault (I wasn't even in the car, but saw it happen) so I filed through her insurance. I took it to a body shop that specializes in Audi/VW. From the beginning, the other driver's insurance complained about the estimate being too high. They fought the body shop manager tooth and nail and even asked him to strain and re-use fluids from the damaged radiator to keep costs down (at least that's what the shop manager told me they asked him to do). He reported everything to me and told them that that's not how he runs his shop and he was going to fix it correctly using OEM parts and fluids, etc. In the end, when the car was ready the other driver's insurance refused to pay the final invoice so I couldn't get my car out of the shop. I was still driving the rental the other driver's insurance was paying for so they called Enterprise and cancelled it. Enterprise said I was on my own dime at that point with the rental so I begrudgingly returned it and went to the body shop and cut a personal check (mid to high 4 figures) to get my car back. I called the other driver's insurance company to get reimbursed, but they kept up with the stalling and objections to line items on the invoice so I gave up and called an old business partner of mine who is an attorney. He threw together a letter and the insurance company called me a couple days later to discuss it. I informed them that I had retained counsel and would no longer speak with them directly and to please direct all communications to my attorney. I got a check about a week later for the full amount. Good luck.

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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by mostlycloudy » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:41 am

My parked vehicle was involved in a "Hit & Run." The investigating police officer found a neighbor down the street was the responsible driver for the accident based on a broken piece of plastic the size of a one dollar coin. In the end (2 years later), the at fault insurance company refused to pay $800. for basic car rental. Immediately after I filed a small claims court action, my claim + court fees were offered by the insurance carrier to withdraw the filling. Offer accepted........end of story.

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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:34 am

I'm curious what your goal is here. If the insurance company says there's $9k in damage and you don't want the car back, would you plan to pocket the $9k and sell the crashed car as it sits now? Certainly, you could do this, but I'd expect you're going to be in far worse shape than if you had it repaired and then traded it in immediately. In MA, we can opt to accept a check and not repair the car. The damage is done and it's up to us whether to repair or not. Of course, if the car goes in and the cost is more than $9k, if we took a check, it's out of our own pocket.

The insurance company isn't going to buy your car. They want to get out as cheaply as possible and insurance companies are not very good at getting maximum value out of totaled cars. They send them to auction and pay the auction fees, transportation, any yard fees, any body shop estimate fees, an adjuster's fee. They really, really, really don't want your car.
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Re: Auto collinsion, best way to claim

Post by susa » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:42 am

CanyonCitySteve wrote: I think the amount of DV is substantial and worth pursuing
Be aware that ins companies use several tricks to get away from paying DV claims.
One such ...of MANY... is to send a check from some small amount at a random date after the initiation of the DV claim. There will be a cover letter and you will NOT understand immediately that if you deposit the check ... let us say 99.99 ... you are forfeiting any DV future claim.

That is YOUR ins company bag of tricks, wait until you start seeing the OTHER ins company ..

They may also arbitrate but several car forums have had success with the owner hiring their own company and consultant who asks for a prepayment, usually a few hundred and then goes to work for you, as your agent and as your negotiator.

That process is still long and arduous and success is not always pleasant.

Here is a Honda driver thread and results from the ROC forum
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/foru ... ost1832226

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munemaker
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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by munemaker » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:28 am

I have never heard of an individual receiving diminished value on a collision claim. Is this common?

I thought that these tricks like "diminished value" and "loss of use" were invented by rental car companies to gouge the consumer.

Individuals PAY diminished value and loss of use; they don't receive it, do they?

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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by deanbrew » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:39 am

munemaker wrote:I have never heard of an individual receiving diminished value on a collision claim. Is this common?

I thought that these tricks like "diminished value" and "loss of use" were invented by rental car companies to gouge the consumer.

Individuals PAY diminished value and loss of use; they don't receive it, do they?
I can't definitively answer that question for this situation, vehicle and insurance company, as it is likely dependent on location, policy language, etc. But, the general idea of an insurance claim is to make the damaged party whole. In this instance, diminished value isn't a "trick", it's the loss in value that a wrecked car has compared to an otherwise identical vehicle that hasn't been wrecked and repaired. The problem is how should the OP proceed in order to receive compensation for the diminished value. I haven't dealt with it, but it sounds like he might have to decline the insurance company's offer and file a lawsuit. Not an enjoyable undertaking, and not a certain outcome, but the vehicle is new enough and valuable enough that it might be worthwhile.
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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by kenner » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:53 am

This article may be of some help:

https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=18207

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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by pshonore » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:58 am

munemaker wrote:I have never heard of an individual receiving diminished value on a collision claim. Is this common?

I thought that these tricks like "diminished value" and "loss of use" were invented by rental car companies to gouge the consumer.

Individuals PAY diminished value and loss of use; they don't receive it, do they?
Like most insurance, it depends on the state regulations. Collision coverage almost never pays DV because its your own company paying you. But depending on the state, you can get it from the other drivers insurance.

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Re: Auto collision, best way to claim

Post by munemaker » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:28 am

deanbrew wrote:
munemaker wrote:I have never heard of an individual receiving diminished value on a collision claim. Is this common?

I thought that these tricks like "diminished value" and "loss of use" were invented by rental car companies to gouge the consumer.

Individuals PAY diminished value and loss of use; they don't receive it, do they?
I can't definitively answer that question for this situation, vehicle and insurance company, as it is likely dependent on location, policy language, etc. But, the general idea of an insurance claim is to make the damaged party whole. In this instance, diminished value isn't a "trick", it's the loss in value that a wrecked car has compared to an otherwise identical vehicle that hasn't been wrecked and repaired. The problem is how should the OP proceed in order to receive compensation for the diminished value. I haven't dealt with it, but it sounds like he might have to decline the insurance company's offer and file a lawsuit. Not an enjoyable undertaking, and not a certain outcome, but the vehicle is new enough and valuable enough that it might be worthwhile.
I can't believe the outcome would justify the cost and effort of a lawsuit. The insurance company works with generally accepted practices. You may beat them, but I think it would be unlikely, and then you would be out the legal costs.

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