Lifetime Premium Member
Date registered: Mar 2009
Vehicle: '08 BMW 750LI, '10 Ford Expedition
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Guy ran a stop sign and hit me but for you to come out to your parked car finding this- unreal! My condolences.
All may not be lost if you persevere...
The insured's carrier was Progressive in my case. The first two phone calls with the Progressive rep were pleasant even though the first offer was $2500. The second offer made it to $3,000 where talks stalled. After that, when Progressive called and attempted to have me accept $3,000, I'd simply hang up the phone. They would call back a week or two later with this process repeating itself for two months. Month 3 we finally started discussing value. Thankfully, I'd been following all the coupes that sold on ebay and printed 8+/- sales (as well as nonsales) for comparables. Progressive offered $6,000 once they reviewed the information.
Redghost is right on the money about comps. Progressive didn't seem interested in looking all over the country at examples but rather restricted the search to my geographical area which is the Gulf Coast. CDs or even old MB are nonexistent in this part of the world and if they are, no one with any sense would purchase them. I had to point out that my car came from Indiana and not only would I need a much higher value due to lack of acceptable examples in my area but also airfare/transportation fees on top of the value of the vehicle to get the replacement home. Progressive used every excuse under the sun from "this isn't really a classic car" or "no one really collects this model" which has no bearing on anything. The best comment was that maybe a few "rich people" in the state in "affluent areas" had one or two in the garage but that was about it. I then told him I was going to add racism in my notes (the rep was not Caucasian).
The arguments finally proceeded to maintenance vs restoration. The rep argued that brakes, hoses etc are maintenance items. I performed mainly maintenance items all myself and there were not many. The car was a one owner with all bks/recs, garaged kept. It had about $500 worth of elective corrosion repair which the rep did point out toward the end of the value conversations (so detail the shit out of yours as pointed out). I agreed with the rep that if I found a car the same color combo, same mileage with new brakes, heater hoses, radiator hoses, etc etc that I would accept it as a replacement. There was also not a single CD for sale in the country at the time with 126,000 miles. Progressive used comps with 250K-300K miles. At one point I gave the rep the option of finding a car exactly like the one I had whether Progressive paid $1,000 or $20,000 I didn't care as long as it was the same color in the same shape cosmetically/mechanically, one owner, etc. Of course, they turned me down.
Month 4 I finally had enough and said that I was going to sue the insured. Dead silence on the other end of the phone and the rep said I'm going to have to get back to you. Keep in mind once you start talking litigation/attorneys the insurance company won't speak with you any longer. By threatening to sue the insured instead of Progressive meant that the insured would then in turn litigate against the insurance company for nonpayment of a claim. Big cluster there. I received an email stating I needed to have my attorney contact them- which I did. It cost me $250 in legal fees and Progressive paid $11,500 on the claim.
My apologies for the long email but my I sincerely hope there are some tidbits in here you can use. One final thought is that picking up the phone to call Mercedes Motoring in LA for sales comps of your model might not be a bad idea. They may be more than willing to share...
Best of luck
PS After we agreed on the claim amount, I asked if Progressive they would sell the vehicle back to me. They said sure for $1,200. I decided not to buy it. There is also a way in Alabama to handle the title after an accident so that it is not deemed as salvage. However, I can't remember the semantics. It could be the same way in other states as well but you would need to ask the "experts".
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