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pressure from claims adjuster
(las vegas, nevada)
I was in an accident. the other driver got ticketed for "failure to yield right of way". the police officer at the scene of the accident told me to contact the other driver's insurance company. the police officer said that the other insurance company would pay for the damage to my car. I live in Nevada. does this mean that the other driver is 100% liable for my property damages?
The car was taken to a body shop that the other insurance company chose. The folks at the body shop said the car would probably be totaled. it was totaled by the insurance company. then the other insurance company sent me an offer which was way too low. The market valuation was done by ccc valuescope (tm) claims service. Watch these guys closely they are not on the consumers side.
I told the adjuster that I would need some time to do my own research and then get back to him with the info on what I thought my car is really worth. he said that would be fine.
Then the other driver's insurance total loss adjuster has now sent me a letter saying if "we don't hear from you in 10 days we are going to deduct the salvage value of the car from the offer and close the claim out".
This seems to be pretty heavy handed. is this legal? can the other driver's insurance company close my claim out like they are trying to do without there being any negotiation on the real value of my totaled car? Thanks for your website. this is truly an amazing forum.
Thank you Casey and Hector (moved by webmaster)
Interesting set of events. There are couple of things you need to be aware of. Insurance adjusters will pressure you to move the claim forward. The faster you settle the better off they will be. One of the ways they do this is by cutting the rental. Another way is by “closing the claim”.
Consumers get worried about the “closing” part. This is simply a way for the insurance company to imply that once the claim is closed, they will deduct the salvage, and that is it for your rights under the claim. This is simply not the case. A claim is not closed until you settle.
You only settle until you agree to a final value, but you could take payments in the mean time. Also, a claim can always be reopen.
Closing by not means that you lose your rights.
So is it legal? Yeah it is. They are very good negotiators and they have not done anything wrong (or technically lie to you). They simply have implied that they will close the claim, which can always be reopen when you are ready.
With this being said, be careful with every move. As you mentioned, CCC is involved in a huge class action lawsuit for getting very low values. You do not want to take too long determining the value of your car, you need to show that you are being reasonable.
It is always a good idea to send a letter telling you are working on it and that you will not take any payments until you have our own comps or the insurance company has an independent appraisal done. If you act reasonably (do not take months) getting your documents.
The insurance company will have to take your numbers into account. If they do not, then a simply filling for small claims court will help them understand your point.
Not sure if this helps any. But the best thing you can do is to write a letter telling that you are getting your comps and send it certified.
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