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Old 12-29-2006, 09:46 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, 10:01 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, 10:02 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, 10:35 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.

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Old 12-29-2006, 10:38 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, 11:12 AM   #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, 11:21 AM   #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, 12:00 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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Old 12-29-2006, 12:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
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.

Aaron
Aaron,

Thank you.

Bill
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:15 PM   #30
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Quote:
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.
David.

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.

Andy
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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?
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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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Quote:
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.

Jim
Jim,
Thanks for the lead! This is really important info. If you don't know you could lose a bankroll along with your trailer.
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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..
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:12 PM   #36
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Quote:
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.

-Bernie
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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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Usaa

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.

t
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