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Insurance trying to make a quick buck off of me?!?

Good afternoon Yahoo-ers!

I am having a problem with my auto-insurance company. If you take the time to read and answer this question, then you have some serious dedication to helping your fellow neighbor, and to Yahoo Answers in general! So I would like to begin by thanking you!

Let me start by saying that I did not come from a wealthy background... my parents actually finished a 3 year divorce this year and my mom, brother, and I were financially struggling for a while. I say that because I have been called “spoiled” before when trying to explain this situation.

I am 18 years old and worked very hard getting my life insurance license and starting my own brokerage, and finally was able to buy myself a 2005 Mercedes E class, my dream car. I got a loan through USAA and also insured my vehicle through USAA. They had very competitive rates, but I am still paying $2,000 every 6 months for my auto insurance to include everything and have the lowest deductibles possible ($0 comprehensive and $100 collision).

I was taking my friend home in the evening on the 8th of December and when we were coming up the hill to make a really bizarre 90 degree turn. When I bean to make the turn and almost finished it, I saw that there was a deer approximately 6 feet in front of my car. I was going 25MPH and swerved to miss it. I almost straightened out completely (on the other side of the road) but unfortunately scraped the side of my car on the curb and my front left tire went up over the curb too. Enough to have my sensitive car deploy the side-curtain airbags on the side it was hit. The damage to my car that could be seen with the naked eye are as follows: front-left tire deflated because the chrome rim bent in and let the air out, skidplate/splashguard became disconnected from the bottom of the front bumper and was slightly hanging down, and the airbags deployed (not all of them in the car, just the side ones so my head wouldn't have hit the window).

My car reported the accident to the police and the Mercedes-Ben operator asked if I was okay and stated that police and paramedics were on their way. They came and took a report, then towed my car to impound for the evening. It was about 7:30 when the police finally left. It took about an hour total. Then I got home around 8 and filed a collision claim on with my friend/passenger that was in the car and it took like 15 minutes. Uploaded pictures I had taken and everything.

Nobody called me the next morning. I called USAA, they took a recorded statement and told me to release the vehicle to them and take all of my belongings out of the car “as if I were to never see it again” was the exact verbiage. So I did that that day (Friday the 9th) at around 4PM. My insurance took my car to a SALVAGE yard and it took them 6 days from the accident to do it. They got it out on Wednesday the 14th. Then their “field appraiser” or “estimator” called me on Thursday afternoon at around 3:30, and said that he would begin the estimate on my vehicle immediately after hanging up the phone, I said thank you for calling and asked if he would give me a call within the next couple of days when he finished his estimate. He said “sure”. He later gives me a call exactly 21 minutes later saying the car was a Total Loss and there was $13,000 in damages that he could see. I was shocked. I asked him to list everything that was wrong with my car. His list was extensive! It would have taken him WAY MORE than 21 minutes to even type that list on a computer (in my opinion).

After I hung up the phone with USAA's estimator, I called and left a voicemail for my adjuster to NOT let the estimate go through their systems and to put a hold on it until I have a third party look at my vehicle because a “Total Loss” is extremely difficult to get removed from a cars history. She didn't listen to me and transferred me to another adjuster in Total Loss. I was livid.

I called my Mercedes-Ben mechanic and asked him to look over the estimate. He informed me that items, for example: the engine cradle, front absorber, and air suspension... require the vehicle to be lifted and disassembled for him to document and legitimately show that they were damaged and in need of replacement. Something that is impossible to do in the middle of a salvage yard with a pen, clipboard, and no tools.

They also are “double dipping” because I filed an insurance claim (comprehensive) 10 days prior because a piece of sheet metal hit my car on the freeway messing up my fender and bumper. They paid out and I ordered the parts, and waited for the bumper and fender to get replaced when they arrived at Mercedes. In this new claim, they are charging it again, which is adding to the total repair costs, leading up to be able to total the car. Highly illegal.



It's also illegal to put items on an estimate without first verifying if the damage actually exists.

I called and brought this up with 3 total loss adjusters, left a message for their manager, had them leave messages for their manager to call me, and also left messages for the manager's director to give me a call back because I am disputing this. Nobody is helping or giving me a call back.

I cannot work without my car, nor can I see my family for the holidays. I am stressing out like mad. I have already talked to the California Commissioner's Office to ask my legal rights, but I still do not know what to do.

All total loss would do is pay my car's current cash value towards my loam, then keep my car and sell it for salvage. My insurance would make a fortune on selling my car! & I would still owe on my loan after they applied the cash value of my car to it. I would be upside down and not be able to get another loan for another car... Trust me, I have already been l

Update 2:

but I have no credit score from the 3 payments I made to this car.

USAA controls the loan and my insurance, and will take possession of and sell my car. It's a WIN WIN WIN for them!

It seems like they planned to total my car from the very beginning because they send it to a salvage yard instead of a repair shop.

This is wrong! What should I do?

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    USAA is very fair.

    When you borrow money to buy a depreciating asset, it's always bad news. Additionally, apparently you overpaid for the car - more than it was worth. Plus, having no credit, you're probably paying an incredible inteest rate.

    They are not "double dipping". You cannot be paid TWICE for the same damaged part. The banking part is completely separate from the insurance part.

    Additionally, having the "lowest deductibles possible" is only good for people who are VERY bad at math.

    Keep in mind, you don't HAVE to turn the car over to them. You can KEEP the totalled out car, and they will subtract "salvage value" from the amount they pay on the claim - you can expect it to be somewhere around $750.

    Then, YOU get to keep your totalled car, the lender gets the money - less the deductible and salvage value - and in a few months, you'll have that loan paid off. Maybe.

  • 4 years ago

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