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Old 12-29-2006, 12:07 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
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.


Thank you.


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Old 12-29-2006, 12:15 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by David Ludwig
My Airstream Accident
Dealing with State Farm Insurance

On November 11, 2006, I had an accident on I-5 just south of Shasta and rolled my new Airstream. It is an ‘06 28’ International CCD. I have been waiting 42 days and I do not have an insurance settlement. I am at a complete stalemate with my insurance company. I want to share the details of my experience with State Farm Insurance and Thor Credit Corporation, so you Airstream (and other RV) Owners can evaluate your own insurance and lenders policies and ask a few questions to prepare yourself for an event like this in your own life.

Glad you and your girl friend are OK.

The trailer can be replaced.

I investigated all the "loss of control" accidents for a period of better than 15 years for the, back then, insurance division of Airstream, called Caravanner Insurance.

We established some basic rules that must be followed in order to establish the cause of the loss of control.

If you would be kind enough to answer some questions, I will try to establish the cause of the loss of control accident you had, so that if there was a problem, you won't duplicate it the next time.

1. Year and length of trailer?
2. Year and make of tow vehicle?
3. Model of tow vehicle?
4. Brand of hitch?
5. Type sway control?
6. Rating of the hitch bars?
7. Did the tow vehicle have overload springs?
8. Did the tow vehicle have overload springs added?
9. Did the tow vehicle have air bags or air shocks?
10. If so, what was the air pressure?
11. Road conditions? Dry, wet?
12. Wind speed and direction? (If known)
13. When the loss of control started, was the rig going up hill, down hill, or straight and level?
14. Estimated speed at the time the swaying started?

David, statistically, with the above information, there is better than a 98 percent chance of establishing the exact cause of the loss of control.


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Old 12-29-2006, 12:21 PM   #31
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Heck, I'd like to know so I don't duplicate this very bad experiance.

Does anyone know what to look for in your policy so you'd know if you do or do not have actual replacement insurance?
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 12-29-2006, 12:27 PM   #32
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Goin', there's a forum on insurance here. Go take a look over there and see what you can find. There are a couple of members (Inland Andy being one) who are or were involved in the insurance industry for many years. They have posted some great advice over there. It's been a while since I went thru that forum, sorry I can't give you a more direct answer.

ON EDIT: DOH!!! Just realized we're in that forum. Use the search feature and see what you come up with.


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Old 12-29-2006, 12:44 PM   #33
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I believe at distinction has to be made between the insurance company underwriting the coverage and the insurance agent your dealing with.
I’ve had State Farm for almost 30 years and always dealt with the owner of the agency. Now as he is retiring I work with his son. Every few years I stop by to visit, ask simple questions, joke and get a new road atlas. I do it so they get to know me personally and not as just as an account name and number. I believe that is another form of insurance. A good agent and intercede for you. Does it work? I think so. We’ve on a first name basis and never had a problem with my claims.

BTW: We’re not in a small town, but a large metropolitan area.

I hope you situation improves and you are treated fairly.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:50 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Goin', there's a forum on insurance here. Go take a look over there and see what you can find. There are a couple of members (Inland Andy being one) who are or were involved in the insurance industry for many years. They have posted some great advice over there. It's been a while since I went thru that forum, sorry I can't give you a more direct answer.

ON EDIT: DOH!!! Just realized we're in that forum. Use the search feature and see what you come up with.

Thanks for the lead! This is really important info. If you don't know you could lose a bankroll along with your trailer.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 12-29-2006, 01:10 PM   #35
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When it's "You v. Your Insurance Co"

Further good wishes that nobody was hurt, that truckers helped protect you from oncoming traffic, that Airstream built a strong trailer etc etc...

Thanks also to the Moderators for again stepping and stopping flame-fests and other (perhaps good-hearted) attempts to shift the subject or theme of the thread..

One important insight is to remember that under California law, you and your insurance company are the two adversaries or "parties in interest" in this dispute.. That is an awkward place to be. Usually, if someone else has caused harm, your insurance company will obtain a lawyer to defend your interests and seek recoveries from third parties. When you are the cause of the accident or loss, however, you are putting the company in the position of negotiating against you... Some agents and companies behave nicely, and some do not.. That is a disappointing fact of life.

When your company is negotiating with you in bad faith, your best recourse really is to interview several attorneys and selecct one to represent your interests. The fees will seem reasonable, and the insurance company (ANY company) will likely respond in more reasonable manner. For those who wish it weren't so, I'm with you, but the world is what it is..

And as for Thor Finance, they are merely a branded lending group in some other larger finance company, and like all lenders, have no reason to care why a loan isn't being repaid, they just want their money. They have no legal or moral reason to be sympathetic, and will certainly also retain an attorney to settle up if you and your insurance company don't reach a deal soon..

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:12 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by JStanley
Iíve had State Farm for almost 30 years and always dealt with the owner of the agency. Now as he is retiring I work with his son. Every few years I stop by to visit, ask simple questions, joke and get a new road atlas. I do it so they get to know me personally and not as just as an account name and number. I believe that is another form of insurance. A good agent and intercede for you.
Same situation with me, except I started with the son who started on his own but has now taken over the family agency. He comes by on occason to inspect the property and tells me I need to get off the dime and fix something. I stop in on occasion just to chat (you get a road atlas, DAMN! I know what I'm going to be asking about next time ) Anyway, the agent has made sure things work out right in the occasions I've been involved in a situation involving both my coverage and when another party was at fault and their insurance company was trying to jerk me around. In that instance he had no requirement to do anything but it just made for good buisness.

I've been with State Farm (State Farm Mutual to be more precise) for ~25 years. Had quotes from other companies on occasion and they can't match the rates. Even if they could I wouldn't trade in the relationship I have with my agent. That said I think there are other good companies out there. USAA if you qualify is the first one that comes to mind.

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Old 12-29-2006, 01:46 PM   #37
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Yes Bernie, I've been a very happy home & auto USAA customer for 30+ years. Talked with them when I bought my Safari and they don't do RVs. For anybody else -- their core business is current and former Armed Forces officers. They will also take customers who have a close family link (parent, child, sister, brother) to a current USAA member. My father was my link and my children have blended in well with USAA.

The moral to this story may be to double check your policy and talk over coverage with an agent, including getting a basic understanding of what that means should it come to a settlement.

David, I'm sorry for your problems. I have thought about that ultimate loss many times, get a panicked feeling and am unsure if I'd want to open my eyes afterward. It helps to take these steps with you.

[on edit: Moderator Jim of Jim & Susan tells me he insures his Airstream thru USAA. They're very good to deal with, so this would be could be an option.]

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Old 12-29-2006, 02:09 PM   #38
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I insure my Classic 28 with USAA. It is the 5th travel trailer that I have insured with them. I have been with USAA since 1953.

USAA replaced a wind-damaged awning on my Scamp and paid over $8000 to repair hail damage on my TrailManor plus $2500 on my truc for the same event. So far, no claims on the Airstreams.

In each case, they send an adjustor out to meet with me. On the Scamp, they paid the Camping World catalog price for the awning plus an estimated price to install. I did the install myself and came out dollars ahead. On the TrailManor, they paid to have the entire roof replaced plus the AC shroud. Only downside was that I had to get it to the factory on my own nickle.

I have had relatively few claims in the last 53 years, but every one has been handled such that I have never had a complaint.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:59 PM   #39
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First, and most importantly, I'm glad y'all are OK......things can be replaced.

Second, if you can't reach a reasonable conclusion with your insurance carrier, then get your state insurance commission and your state attorney general's consumer advocate offices involved.

Insurance companies hate dealing with regulatory agencies.

Good luck.
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Old 12-29-2006, 08:21 PM   #40
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Before Hostility Commences--

I, like every other member am thankful that there were no injuries. There is a lot of good advice and good points to ponder in this thread. There are a couple of points that have occured to me as I went through the above posts.

I am a regulator (not in the insurance industry) and there are parallels in all regulatory agencies. Before you go to the regulatory agency find out if they will be inclined to help, assuming the regulator that investigates the claim thinks things should go in your favor. Some states, depending on the political intrests that be are very good at ....filing your claim and that may realy be all you get. Does your state insurance regulatory agency have a reputaion for at least looking into claims or not. Insurance companies make a lot of political contributions and expect a return on the investment. That is how it is. The upper level bureaucrats control the response, even if the field agent is sympathetic.

One thing that I have often see is two parties that are in the early stages of a "hostile" relationship. This can often be diffused and you may find the insurerer willing to reexamine the claim if you try a second approach that offers a way to save face. Request that your agent talk withone or more of the adjusters and consult with both a regional executive and someone that all would agree is an expert on airstream construction. Try it, what have you got to loose.

Avoiding hostility will save both you and the insurer some $$$, and you some potential grief. On the other hand some attorney's kid may have to go to state college instead of a private institue because there was no litigation. Seriously though, do not go to court unless you have to. If you do remember that as often as not everyone looses in court, meaning that neither party will be fully vindicated. More than once in violation settings (that is not the case here) I have seen attorney's (good ones at that), huff and puff in front of a regulator and talk things from a formal as chewing into litigation where the client looses forfeitures and there are also a lot of bitter feelings.

I wish you well and hope that resolution can found. Explore all potential routes before litigation. If you do litigate prepare well. File with the insurance examiner (even if they do nothing) prior to litigation. Judges are somewhat put off if a complainant has not explored every avenue of reasonalbe settlement prior to commencing civil litigation.

Good Luck, please keep us posted, your experiences may illuminate others as this thread has illuminated some things relative to your case for me.

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Old 12-29-2006, 08:36 PM   #41
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I read the post about cause, etc. On the other thread about this accident, I think I posted what my State Farm Agent told me when I asked what if I didn't have the proper tow gear and got into a wreck of any type or severity.

His words, not mine:

"We'd still pay it, but after that, we'd drop you or increase your rates dramatically".

Please let us know how this progresses, a number of us have State Farm for our Airstreams too.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:53 PM   #42
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I've had State Farm since 1973 and have been pleased with the agent we had in Nashville. We moved in December 1986 and went with a local State Farm agent there. We have had one Astrovan totalled by an uninsured motorist. State Farm took care of it after several discussions with the adjuster (noted below). A truck rear ended my daughter's Dodge Stealth and the truck owner's insurance gave us more than we thought it was worth. Her '98 Honda Accord was hit head on by a Saturn and it was declared NO Fault in a turning lane. State Farm took care of us. A truck, borrowed by an uninsured motorist, rear ended the vehicle later, totalled it and the truck owner's insurance would not give us what we thought the car was worth. We paid the deductible and State Farm sued the truck owner's insurance company. We received our deductible back. My daughter was hit again in her 2000 Honda, this time from the front, by an uninsured motorist in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and the drunk 17 yr. old driver tried to drive away. A motorist grabbed the steering wheel to prevent him from fleeing. He and the 33 yr. old drinking owner bailed and ran. The motorist later IDed both after the police tracked the owner through registration. They both went to jail in cuffs. Yeaa. Empty beer cans were found and one half full and cool to the touch was found. State Farm sued and we later received our deductible back. Another time, we recived hail damage to our roof and found all kinds of roof material in the gutters. State Farm took care of that. My truck tailgate opened up after being sprayed by Line-X and it was always in a bind. My son hit a small pothole while making a right turn, the tailgate opened up, fell down, broke one of those worthless tailgate cables, detached from the passenger side of the truck, swung around and smashed in the driver's side rear quarter panel in addition to scarring up the tailgate. I paid the deductible and State Farm later returned it after dealing with Line-X (I love you Line-X but $1,400 is a bunch of money. I'll still use you on my next truck). My oldest son totalled his Saturn while another person was driving it and they paid for it but his insurance went sky high since it was a second claim on his driving record. It should have gone up. He was stupid. He had to go with another insurance company.

Now, adjusters and our experience.
We had to talk with the adjusters on the first van because they listed it as a panel van rather than a CS van with 3 seating rows and with windows. After several discussions we came to an agreement. No problem, we just told him we would not accept it and he had the wrong van model listed to begin with. We have not had any other problems with adjusters from State Farm or other companies except for the amount a company was willing to give us for the first Honda hit the second time.

I have my house, my trailer and 5 vehicles through State Farm and have a great insurance agent. I also have had teenagers but luckily most of the incidents above were not out and out faults on their own except for my son letting someone else drive his car. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I have nothing but good to say about State Farm and really hate that I have had the claims I have had through them. I guess over 33 years you will have some.

I did spend time with my agent showing him pictures of my '86 Sovereign and explaining what it was worth. He wrote up the figures based on that. I hope I never have to use my insurance again but that is what I pay for.


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