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Old 12-29-2006, 08:27 AM   #15
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I use State Farm and have had it for many years. When I listed my 78 Airstream on the policy, it took no less than 5 policy writings to get the actual year and model correct. They kept listing it as a motorhome, then a 72, and then said they had no listing for an Airstream Trailer at all, it was not the agent but the underwriters who finally after 5 attempts came up with a correct listing.
I guess we should realize they are in the dark system wide on our RVs.
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Old 12-29-2006, 08:28 AM   #16
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Your story is very sad and a frustrating one one for you. Sadly insurance companies are in the business for profits and not service. Saying this we did have the opposite experience with our company, American Family who went out of their way to establish the value of our vintage motor home in settling the case of our ruined engine.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
I use State Farm and have had it for many years. When I listed my 78 Airstream on the policy, it took no less than 5 policy writings to get the actual year and model correct. They kept listing it as a motorhome, then a 72, and then said they had no listing for an Airstream Trailer at all, it was not the agent but the underwriters who finally after 5 attempts came up with a correct listing.
I guess we should realize they are in the dark system wide on our RVs.
I have had 3 claims worth a total in excess of 120K in the last 18 months with Allstate. I had a radio tower fell by Hurricane Cindy, a 34’ sailboat totaled by Hurricane Katrina and House damaged by Katrina. In all cases I ended up being made whole or better. In the case of the sailboat I was given a check for the total value, the boat was then given back to me, and Allstate reinsured the boat. I every case the first offers of value were incorrect and I had to work to get the correct value. I did not find the adjusters knowledgeable in cost estimating or even very good at coming up with comparables. I ended up using 3 adjusters on my home repairs alone, I dealt with 6 adjusters total if you count the total loss adjuster on the boat. I did not find them hard to deal with just not knowledgeable. I spent 25 years as a construction estimator and at one time held a real estate license; I know how to determine the value of an item and how to document it. You will have to be your own advocate; you have to send the adjusters copies of documents showing the value of your unit, let them know you are actively engaged.If I lost 18K in 6 months on a trailer I would not think about buying the same one again. Treat the old damaged trailer and the replacement as separate transactions they have no relationship except in your emotions. I believe if you take your time and work through this you will be made whole, do not get in a hurry and politely let the insurance company know you want a replacement unit.

Very glad you and your girlfriend were not physically harmed, which really is the most important thing.

Jim
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:21 AM   #18
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Although I am not defending them, we have found State Farm to be very fair and responsive to us. We have totalled two cars over the years, and they took care of both of them right. It may help that we have always been with them, and ALL of our insurance is with them, which gives us a bit more leverage when it comes to getting a payout. However, nothing in our fleet is worth as much as that new AS, so we never had to try and get that big a payout. I say keep fighting it.

Insurance companies seem to make it their business to give their customers at least a bit of a hard time when it comes to the payout. It's all just part of 'the game'. Keep at it until they make you happy.

Sorry to hear about the accident, but it sounds like you were incredibly lucky it didn't take the truck with it or involve any other cars. Perhaps State Farm should be reminded how lucky they are that they are only paying for a trailer, and not liability damages and medical expenses! I hope you can get it all settled right soon!
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:26 AM   #19
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23 Years with State Farm

I have to agree with what Jim says above - YOU must work to get the insurance companies to understand what they are insuring and its true market value.

Two cases I had with State Farm
- In 1989 I purchased new a 1989 Toyota 4x4 extra cab V6 truck - 16 months later I had a DUI driver pull in front of me while I was going down the highway. Truck was totaled - $16,800 price - $5000 down, 16 months of payments - State Farm valued the truck at $9800 - very suspiciously close to the loan payoff. Made offers for a settlement, pleded through the arbitration process - took it to court. I won a settlement of $29,000 (injuries and loss of wages), at court I got to meet the regional mediator for State Farm, never saw hem before, we talked outside the courtroom, he asked me "why did you go to court with this?" and I told him of my original offer that I wanted my down payment back to go buy a new truck, and I would consider the 16 months payments as "usage" of my totaled truck. He shook his head and sounded a little saddened by the process but said that this is the way they fight all battles and thought it hurt the insurance companies in the long run - GO FIGURE.
- I too had dealings with State Farm post Katrina - they were very fair in alot of their dealings - to be honest I did not lose out and they put my house back in order - BUT NOT WITHOUT A STRUGGLE - this requires you to be cool and levelheaded. They insisted that my roof was only 5600 Sq feet, and it took 6800 Sq feet of roofing to do the job (68+ squares of shingles). Over and Over - three measurements on their part, I had 7 appraisals done by contractors - all were between 65 and 72 squares, NONE were anywhere in the State Farm range of 5600. It finally took a face to face between my roofer and my insurance agent AND the State Farm appraiser AT MY HOUSE with a tape measure AND THEY STILL CAME UP WITH THEIR CALCULATED ROOF SIZE. My roofer went crazy - they were calculating a flat roof model and the wrong pitch on some parts - they had no clue - but finally gave in to 90% of the difference and we moved on.

The end to all this will be determined by your diligence, armed with the knowledge that they are completely wrong in their judgment of the value of your Airstream. You can prevail but it will take both alot of your time and patience. Good Luck
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:29 AM   #20
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I agree with the others to settle on your terms takes time.
When I had a total loss (auto) they were way low on the initial offer.
I bought another car and kept making payments on the loss auto.
On the third visit by the claims adjuster I showed him the replacment and said if it takes 10 years they will pay a fair price for my loss. I got my check two weeks later.
Hang in there and it will work out.

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Old 12-29-2006, 10:46 AM   #21
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Bottomline

Bottomline in all this, IMHO, is LET THE BUYER BEWARE. YOU are your own best friend is these kinds of situations.

We have had State Farm for over 17 years (home, auto, trailer, etc.) and they have been great with us. Totalled a truck and they settled quickly and fairly. All Insurance is local. We are lucky to have a great agent/broker that really stands behind their products and gives good service.

Sorry for your negative experience.
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:01 AM   #22
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I agree, that the offer as it stand is unacceptable....it's also important to keep a cool head during this part of the process. I agree with what Roger and others have said. If they won't budge and your policy clearly has you in the right, a lawyer is your next step. To shell out over $25k is not an option IMHO.

Airstreams are unique as you and we all know...like an exotic non traditional car. Same issues apply. Don't take the first offer and see where it goes from there. State Farm pays on cars because it's an animal they understand. Vintage vehicles, Airstreams, boats and exotic cars are a different story...you can be an exp adjuster and still no know all the ins and out. I would give State Farm the benefit of the doubt until you get the "final answer". Then take whatever course of action you need to from that point. It's barely halftime in the game and folks are calling for heads to roll...wait till the game is over before looking into overtime.
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:02 AM   #23
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David -

Sorry to hear of you loss, and I can appreciate the frustration of the experiences that you are now going through in trying to recover from it.

As others have already said, you must be patient and persistent with these issues, and I'm sure in the long run things will work themselves out.

I have all my insurance with State Farm, and have had a number of claims with them over the years, all of which ended satisfactorily as far as insurance settlements.

We do not carry replacement coverage, and just have physical damage coverage that is limited by our policy values to the lower of: the the actual cash value, or the cost of repair or replacement determined by the market value at the time the loss occurs.

I had to re-read our actual Recreational Vehicle Policy from State Farm to see how our Physical Damage coverage is determined (you should do the same if you haven't done this).

With my policy, I see that the settlement of a loss can be done by getting 2 appraisals (one appraiser from State Farm and one appraiser that I contract) that agree, or having a third appraisal done (cost shared equally with State Farm) if the first 2 do not agree. While the determination of the loss amount may take some time to agree upon, I think in the end I'd end up getting a fair settlement, and I'd think you should end up the same.

As far as Thor Credit, that's an entirely separate issue, albeit a painful one for you at the moment. It is completely understandable to me that they'd eventually want you to pay off whatever you owe them for your wrecked trailer, since you've already concluded that it was totaled, and therefore by definition has no value to secure the remaining loan amount owed to them. However, unless they have some very non-typical finance policies, I don't know why they'd force you to pay off your present loan, as long as you retain title to the trailer and continue to be current with your periodic payments.

When you have settled with State Farm, and assuming you are able to get a new trailer that is a comparable model to your old one, I don't know why Thor Credt wouldn't simply take title to your new trailer and use it to secure your present loan (with the same terms and conditions that you presently have) - something called "substitution of collateral". Then there wouldn't need to be any new $10,000 downpayment, etc. (You'd have to handle things like taxes and title fees separately though.)

John
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:35 AM   #24
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American Family who went out of their way to establish the value of our vintage motor home in settling the case of our ruined engine.

Kent:
Your ins. co. paid for an engine? Tell me more.

JB
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBK
American Family who went out of their way to establish the value of our vintage motor home in settling the case of our ruined engine.

Kent:
Your ins. co. paid for an engine? Tell me more.

JB
If you do a search on it, there is a HUGE thread....in the end Kent got what he needed I believe.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:12 PM   #26
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My experience with "replacement value" coverage is: The insurance company pays you fair market (cash value) value for your loss, then you go out and buy a replacement, they then cut you a check between cash value and replacement value. This may or may not be how your insurance works, my loss was not motor vehicle accident related.
As far as opinions about fault, that has already been established in the first post, and the balance of the discussion has been about what they can expect under the limits of their policy for their loss.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:21 PM   #27
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I (fingers and toes all crossed) have had no claim experience with my trailer insurer (American Modern Insurance Company) or recently with my home/car/car/truck insurer (State Farm).

But at least on paper, AmModern (A or A+ rated by Best) was cheaper and offered better coverage than State Farm. AmModern is a specialty insurer, dealing largely in RVs.

I told my State Farm agent why I was leaning toward AmModern and he challenged this and my description of the policy. He said he wanted to look into it, since he was unfamiliar with AmModern. He called back in a day to say he agrees, the proposed AmModern policy was both cheaper and better than what State Farm could offer, and the company was well rated in the industry. So I went with AmModern for the trailer.

So...unproved by a claim so far, but there is something to be said for at least checking out what a specialty RV insurer has to offer.

With regards to David Ludwig's original post, I commend him for his willingness to "get up on the horse and try again." With that bad an accident, I'd be inclined to give up RVing. Although the Airstream sounds like a total loss, it is could to hear it rolled and stayed in one piece. And most importantly, I'm glad no one was hurt.

There are lessons for all of us - the importance of the tow vehicle, dangers accellerating downhill, insurance and loan terms. But I agree with others stripping parts of the trailer compounded your problems, and Thor is only asking for what they deserve. That aside, be reasonable and press on, good luck on your claim.
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:00 PM   #28
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Please keep the thread on topic

I have removed posts NOT relating to the original post having to do with the insurance claim. If it goes away from the topic again we will have to lock it.

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