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Old 09-13-2017, 04:21 PM   #1
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Insurance Appraisal Value Problems - 94 Excella 1000 34

About a year & a half ago, we purchased a 1994 Airstream Excella 1000 34' for around $20K. We were the second owners & it had been lovingly cared for by the original ones. Early in August, we had an accident that totaled our trailer (no injuries, fortunately). After much back-and-forth discussions with the insurance company (The Hartford), they are unable to come to an approved amount so are having an Inside Appraiser evaluate everything. They're enacting what they call an appraisal clause (?). They offered that if we could have our your own appraiser review this, they will have them negotiate with their appraiser. They claim to have checked NADA (very poor source) and with dealers (don't know which ones) and the most they've come up with is $11K. I've yet to see an Airstream of this size and era sell for anywhere near that price! I've sent them several ads from Airstream Classified. One, in particular, was for a comparable '94 Excella 34 which the owner claimed "needed work". Ours did not. The asking price was $24,900. Of the other ads I pulled, the lowest price I could find was $18K for a smaller, often newer, models. Needless to say, we're VERY frustrated.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks,

Ed.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:33 PM   #2
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Hi

Unfortunately this is very common on older vehicles of any sort (not just RV, and not just Airstreams). A "standard" policy on one that is more than 7 years old is going to be based on guesswork. You don't pay much in premiums, but you also don't get much coverage. More or less, the "assumption" (which is actually more of a wild guess) is that they quickly degrade to scrap yard status.

Simple alternative is what's called an "agreed value" policy. There, the appraisal is done up front. The value is stated in the policy. There *may* be a re-appraisal after some number of years. The premiums you pay are inline with the value. The coverage in the event of an accident has the agreed limit on it.

Assuming that the clause in the policy says they get to do what they are doing .... you pretty much have to go along. A lawyer could review it and give you a run down on what's what in your state on that policy.

Bob
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:26 PM   #3
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Sorry for your troubles, Ed. We have been through the insurance process with two accidents in the last year, and it ain't fun! Glad you are alright physically.

A general suggestion right off the bat -- document everything and try to get all communication done via email with attachments etc..

Also, if you have a local insurance agent who can help, please avail yourself of their services. Our agent went to bat for us and it really helped.

As to the value of your AS are there any shops/dealers who know the unit? Can they help? Asking prices from ads will not do you much good IMO.

If you paid $20k 2 years ago, what do you think you could have gotten for the trailer in a quick "fire sale" situation in late 2017? Taking 10% off per year, $16k maybe? Is the $11k offer so far off?

Sometimes it is better to take the money and run IMO. If they up the offer to say $13k how about that?

Looking down the road, you might want to avoid arbitration which they could shift to without much warning.

Good luck!

Peter

PS welcome to the forum! Sorry it is a baptism by fire.

PS2 -- You might want to review the Insurance sub-forum for helpful threads:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f351/
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:54 PM   #4
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:37 AM   #5
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Contact Jim Polk at Polk Associates Professional Appraisers, 802 El Toro Rd
Ojai, CA 93023. japolk@jps.net ph: 805.646.7293 fax: 805.669.3266

He is a professional appraiser that specializes in Airstreams and has a data base with thousands of units to prepare comps from. He is also an Airstream owner and a region officer in WBCCI.

He does many post accident appraisals and can do most form detailed photographs, descriptions, receipts etc.... His appraisals have been tried and proven in court and are very reasonably priced and he is known in the insurance industry. You are both in California and if close enough he will come to the trailer.

Another consideration is that older Airstream values are climbing not decreasing at this time which is why you can't find a comp for what you paid.

We just had Jim appraise both of our Argosy's and were very pleased with both appraisals. I think you will find his appraisal may be more than you paid and much more than the insurance offer. He may also offer to intercede with the insurance company on your behalf for an additional fee which is how I would proceed.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:42 AM   #6
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when my trailer was totalled I provided comp ads to the insurer. a lot of them and in a spred and range that was realistic at the time, they settled for a number in the high average, and i was happy with it.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:25 PM   #7
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My ins. co. [Country Co.] that I have had for yrs for house farms crops trucks machinery etc. would only ins. AS for $2,000 if had appraised would go that amount, but only use there appraiser that has been out if bus. for yrs. wouldn't let me use any body else. I had appraised by AS dealer then progressive ins. wrote policy agreed value. Point is revue you policy as I did after conv. with another AS owner that has same co. that I had for AS. Appraisers are not in bus. to give away money that ins. co. they appraise for or else be fired.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddyBearPS View Post
About a year & a half ago, we purchased a 1994 Airstream Excella 1000 34' for around $20K. We were the second owners & it had been lovingly cared for by the original ones. Early in August, we had an accident that totaled our trailer (no injuries, fortunately). After much back-and-forth discussions with the insurance company (The Hartford), they are unable to come to an approved amount so are having an Inside Appraiser evaluate everything. They're enacting what they call an appraisal clause (?). They offered that if we could have our your own appraiser review this, they will have them negotiate with their appraiser. They claim to have checked NADA (very poor source) and with dealers (don't know which ones) and the most they've come up with is $11K. I've yet to see an Airstream of this size and era sell for anywhere near that price! I've sent them several ads from Airstream Classified. One, in particular, was for a comparable '94 Excella 34 which the owner claimed "needed work". Ours did not. The asking price was $24,900. Of the other ads I pulled, the lowest price I could find was $18K for a smaller, often newer, models. Needless to say, we're VERY frustrated.

Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks, Ed.
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As Uncle Bob said, you needed an AGREED VALUE policy, and they are available with a certified appraiser's documentation. Anything else is scrap aluminum value using NADA or Kelly's Blue Book. Help get the word out to everyone who owns an Airstream, if you don't have AGREED VALUE written in those words in your policy you don't really have an insurance policy on an older Airstream.

Yes the appraisal will cost you $275-400 and is good for 3-10 years depending on your insurance company, but older AS need TLC and TLC costs money. As soon as you get this settled, buy another AS and immediately get an AGREED VALUE policy. Several ins. co. sell them....mine is with Nationwide but there are others. Good Sam could probably put you in touch with several.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:07 PM   #9
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Progressive agreed to value on my 99 safari based on cost plus my refurb costs based on receipts
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by drairstream View Post
Progressive agreed to value on my 99 safari based on cost plus my refurb costs based on receipts
Same here. I just had quite a bit of work performed on mine and they increased the Agreed Value to match my new, out-of-pocket expenses (without requesting receipts). They said the Agreed Value is good for 8 (or was it 10?) years. Then it will automatically drop to NADA value. I'll have the policy re-written before I let that happen.

The AS restoration shop in CA that performed the reno did not perform appraisals but mentioned that several people had used someone in CA who did such via photographs. Maybe it's Jim Polk as mentioned in another post. ? I'm saving this info too.

Good luck - Funkee
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