RESPONDING TO THE RIDICULOUS

September 23, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with Kemper Insurance

Hi Sheldon,

The first thing you’ll need to do is escalate this to a supervisor. The second thing is to let that person know that I will not keep responding to nonsense before I will need to start charging a fee. You will seek reimbursement of same either via the claims process or from a magistrate if litigation is necessary. 
Kemper wrote: 

It is clearly stated in our appraisal that our research was done based on a properly repaired car so why would an inspection be necessary? This is nothing more than a delaying tactic meant to confuse you. Kemper’s referencing “problems with repairs” is also an example of misdirection as INHERENT DIMINISHED VALUE is in no way affected by repair quality or, in fact, whether repairs were carried out at all. Our DV Appraisal was prepared by careful research with six (6) unbiased professionals in the business of buying, selling, trading and auctioning cars. Has Kemper done any investigation of the evidence you provided as is their obligation? They (or you, for that matter) can call any high-end new car dealer in the country to learn what we did. That a 2022 Tesla Model Y Performance AWD SUV with 10,646 Miles suffering Rear Damage of $21,492.92 including structural components will lose approximately 45.00% of its pre accident value when you go to sell or trade it in.  I am happy to help steer you through the maze of misinformation that Kemper is and probably will continue to burden you with. On what do they base their denial? Let’s see their evidence. Your alternatives were spelled out in our original email: Escalate to a competent supervisor with the good sense and authority to make a fair offer, make a complaint with the California Insurance Department for Unfair Claim Practices or simply sue the responsible party in Circuit Civil Court. 
Best wishes,
Franklin

September 15, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with State Farm Insurance

Hi Tiffany,

What you received was a boiler-plate response that State Farm has been using for years. It is nothing more than a delaying tactic and also meant to confuse claimants.

State Farm: “The appraisal failed to prove the Fair Market Value prior to the loss.”

On Page 1 of our DV Appraisal: PRE-LOSS FAIR MARKET VALUE 01/2022 (APPROXIMATE TRADE-IN)
$40,000.00. Page 1 also stated The fair market value (trade-in value) was based on sticker price and/or http://www.nadaguides.com and included +/- for D/Loss (0), mileage (0) and options (0)

State Farm: “The appraisal failed to prove the Fair Market Value after the loss.”

State Farm may not be in possession of a calculator. The diminished value amount is $6,168.00. By deducting that amount from the Pre-Loss FMV the total is $33,832.00 which is the FMV after the loss.

State Farm: “The appraisal you provided was computer-generated and failed to take into account an individualized evaluation of the age, mileage, complete condition of the vehicle, as well as the extent and nature of the repairs.”

State Farm may not be in possession of reading glasses. On Page 5 of our DV Appraisal: Note: This is NOT a computer-generated Automobile Diminished Value Report. All research was done via telephone correspondences and the results recorded herein. It takes into account an individualized evaluation of age, mileage, condition of the vehicle both prior and subsequent to repairs, as well as the extent and nature of repairs.

You may feel free to forward this entire email to a state Farm SUPERVISOR as this Claim Specialist cannot do anything more than what he was told to do. Please advise that supervisor that State Farm has an obligation to investigate any evidence you provide. Have they called any dealers to verify our findings? State Farm can call any Audi dealer in the country to learn what we did. $15,054.63 in repairs plus the fact that your vehicle was disabled and had to be towed will result in its losing approximately 15% of its pre-accident FMV.

Should you fail to gain any traction with the supervisor, contact the California Insurance Department to make a complaint for Unfair Claim Practices for “making up” a settlement amount and also failure to investigate the evidence that you provided.

Best wishes,
Franklin

August 31, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with Root, Inc.

Hi Scott,

First, Root, Inc. did not answer any of your questions. This is an example of Unfair Claim Practices. They cannot simply make up numbers.

Second, Mr. XXXXX, as an insurance professional, should know that there is no database of sold cars available anywhere with the exception of auction results. This misdirection is meant to confuse you.

Third, you won’t get anywhere dealing with an “Appraiser III” so escalate this to a supervisor.

Keep me posted.

Best wishes,

Franklin

August 28, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with Progressive Insurance

Dear Juan,

Here is what The DVAC appraiser wrote on Progressive’s behalf:

The conclusions of this report are based on:
• Recognized insurance industry metrics
• Repair Records
• Market Research
• Multiple authoritative auto pricing resources (NADA, KBB, Black Book R Book,
MMR)

You need to ask Progressive to explain how each of these four “factors” specifically contributed to their appraiser’s conclusion. All I see is an unsubstantiated number that is far below the amount that we arrived at after doing careful and well-documented research.

Most importantly, did Progressive investigate the evidence that you provided as is their obligation? They can call any exotic new car dealer in the country to learn what we did.

Escalate this to a supervisor and also let that person know – in writing – that I will be happy to speak to them.

Best wishes,
Franklin

August 26, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with State Farm Insurance

Dear Pradeep,

State Farm advises in their letter of August 25th that they have reviewed both the facts and the law. In response, you will want to ask a supervisor at State Farm to provide you with clarifications to the following:

State Farm wrote: “(The diminished value) is affected by the Age of the vehicle, Condition of the vehicle prior to the accident, Vehicle mileage, the quality of repairs and any prior damage.”

With the exception of “Quality of repairs” which is irrelevant in the case of INHERENT diminished value, ask State Farm to explain how each of the “factors” listed contributed to their decision. You are entitled to more than just a vague declaration.

State Farm wrote: “A vehicle value may also be affected by the time of year, changes in demand or other economic conditions.”

These abstract notions are all valid points but this is not brain surgery. Our research revealed the APPROXIMATE diminished value that your vehicle suffered as a result of its now having a repair history. The claims supervisor should look at the big picture in order to make a fair and reasonable settlement offer.

You should also ask the supervisor whether State Farm has undertaken any investigation of the evidence you provided as is their obligation. They can call any Acura dealer in the country to learn what we did – that even a minor repair history will cause the vehicle to lose approximately 10.00% of its pre-accident trade-in or fair market value.

Best wishes,
Franklin

August 26, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with Farmers Insurance

Dear Zhang, 

As we advised you in our original email, you will need to escalate this to a supervisor. Once you have their contact information, you may feel free to forward this email to that person. Has Farmers investigated the evidence that we provided? They can call any Mazda dealer in the country to learn what we did. A 2021 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD SUV with 1,512 miles that incurred $21,529.65 in damages and was also disabled and towed has lost approximately 17.92% of its pre-accident trade-in or fair market value. 

I reviewed Farmers Insurance Company’s diminished value offer of $1,500.00 vs. our appraised diminished value of $4,480.00. Their claims representative wrote that their assessment included the various factors. Ask Farmers to explain how each of their “factors” specifically contributed to their decision.  

“Vehicle’s loss history.”
“Extent and scope of damage incurred by your vehicle fromthe current loss.”
“Year, make, model of the vehicle.”
“Any existing unrelated damage on the vehicle if noted by the repair facility.”
“Any support you provided.”
“Vehicle’s fair market value.” 

Farmers can’t simply generalize. These are their own words. You are entitled to an interpretation that makes sense. 

Best wishes,
Franklin

August 24, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with Safeco / Liberty Mutual

Dear Craig:

Thank you for sharing Liberty Mutual’s response. You may feel free to forward this email to a supervisor at Liberty Mutual after you escalate your claim. Make sure to also tell that person – IN WRITING – that I will be happy to speak to them on your behalf. Just in case they refuse to allow you to correspond with a supervisor, Liberty Mutual’s home office is in Boston and you can contact the office of the CEO with your concerns.

This response letter from the insurer is typical in that they toss in a great deal of misdirection to confuse the issue.

Liberty Mutual wrote: “These dealers … aren’t speaking from the exact standpoint of your vehicle’s damage.”

If the file handler had read our report more carefully, she would have noted in the language that all aspects of both your vehicle and the damages that were repaired were discussed with all of the dealers. Also, the quality of repairs is not germane to the issue of INHERENT DIMINISHED VALUE so I’m not sure why the file handler addresses this at all.

Liberty Mutual wrote: “(Your vehicle’s repair) did not include any frame or structural damages and OEM parts were utilized in the repair.”

Again, this was noted in our appraisal and it was mentioned to the dealers so why has the file handler included any mention of these in her email? Another distraction.

Liberty Mutual wrote: “What are you purchasing, is it a high end vehicle? Are you a repeat customer to this dealership? What time of the month is it? What time of the year is it? What kind of stock does this dealership have and are they very interested in getting your vehicle on their lot because of the automobile shortages?”

While all of these abstract questions may have some relevance, this is not rocket science. Our efforts to determine the approximate diminished value included speaking with six dealers who buy, sell, trade and auction cars every day. They are unbiased opinions, given on 07/29/2022, that present the clearest picture of your car’s loss in value.

Liberty Mutual wrote: “I have seen multiple vehicle with damage of this nature continue on to sell as certified pre-owned.”

A dealer’s asking price or realized sale price or whether they will certify a vehicle has no bearing on your situation. Theoretically, it is when you trade or sell your car that the loss would be realized. I write “theoretically” only because many people chose to keep their cars. The retail market has nothing to do with you. This is another example of misinformation designed to cloud the real issue.

Liberty Mutual wrote: “Diminished Value to the extent mentioned is usually encompassing a vehicle that has had documented severe damage, with things like air bag deployment and structural damages. Your damages weren’t even $6,000.00.”

Airbag deployment and/or structural damages will cause a vehicle to lose up to 50.00% of its pre-accident Fair Market or Trade-In Value. Our research showed that your vehicle lost only 10.42%. The average claimant would be absolutely confounded by all of these distracting assertions by Liberty Mutual.

Most importantly, has Liberty Mutual investigated the evidence that you provided as is their obligation? They can call any Chevrolet dealer in the country to learn what we did.

Keep me posted,

Best wishes,
Franklin

August 18, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with Allstate

Philip,

You have been given the supervisor’s name and number. Get his email and ask what his position is (claims manager, etc.) then send my response to him.

You asked Allstate all of the right questions but they haven’t provided satisfactory answers.

For instance, you asked “what did Allstate’s review consist of?” to which they replied “The information provided within the appraisal was reviewed.” What does that mean??? Ask the same question of the supervisor. This is an example of Unfair Claim Practices.

Next, Allstate still has not provided any sources of “underlying market data”, instead, simply informing you that you are welcome to make a complaint to the State Insurance Department. That is also not a satisfactory answer. You will pose the question again to the supervisor. I based my questions on what Allstate wrote. It is their obligation to provide support for what they told you. Again – Unfair Claim Practices.

Allstate wrote that “there is no formula regarding diminished value except for “the 17c used in Georgia. I really can’t believe that Allstate tries to con people with so much misinformation. First – there are many methodologies out there for determining diminished value. Ours simply has the most probative value. Second – Rule 17C is an insurance company creation that had to be used to determine DV in a class action lawsuit in Georgia that involved hundreds of vehicles. The Georgia Supreme Court also ruled that Rule 17C is inequitable toward vehicle owners and NOT TO BE USED if other diminished value methodologies are available. This misinformation provided by Allstate is also an example of Unfair Claim Practices.

Allstate wrote that their “review” “was to validate the credibility of the appraisal presented to support inherent diminished value…” Again, what did Allstate’s review consist of? Did they call any dealers? That is what is known in this industry as AN INVESTIGATION. Allstate can call any Toyota dealer in the country to learn what we did. Vehicles that had frame repairs are pariahs that can lose up to half of their value – and, that is ONLY if the person trading the vehicle will be purchasing a new car from them. If we calculated your vehicle’s diminished value based on an outright sale, A) Most dealers wouldn’t touch it for any price and B) You would receive approximately twenty-five cents on the dollar if you found any dealer to take it off your hands. Our research is done based on trade-ins to make it fair to all parties concerned.

If you don’t receive adequate claims handling and fair treatment from the supervisor, you can look into contacting the office of Allstate’s CEO in Northbrook, IL to alert them to this mishandling and outright dishonesty by their staff. Then, of course, you can make a complaint to the PA Insurance Department for Unfair Claim Practices and also consider litigation. Allstate can not produce any valid evidence showing that your vehicle’s diminished value is substantially less than what we listed in our appraisal.

Best wishes,
Franklin

August 17, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with GEICO

Hi Ron,

You may feel free to forward this email to GEICO.

GEICO wrote: “The appraisal did not cite specific actual sales proving a higher loss in value.”

GEICO knows full-well that there is no database of sold cars available with the exception of auction results. For The Kansas Insurance Department – GEICO’s response amounts to feeding misinformation to a client in an attempt to confuse Mr. Crabtree and, hopefully, cause him to accept their Low-Ball offer of $2,000.00.

GEICO wrote: “The information provided in the appraisal offer is simply trade-in quotes from area dealerships…”

Sales managers at new car dealerships have more experience buying, selling, trading and auctioning cars than anyone. Add to this the fact that theirs were unbiased opinions lends validity to their estimations that goes beyond “profit motives” and other typical insurance company responses.

GEICO Supervisor Ryan XXXXXX raised the insurer’s offer to $4,500.00 and wrote: “After additional review of current market conditions, impacts from prior losses on actual vehicle sales and an analysis of Mr. Crabtree’s appraisal” AND “This offer is in line with the difference in trade in values cited in Mr. Crabtree’s appraisal and other trade in values from multiple sources for vehicles not involved in a loss.”

Ask Mr. XXXXXXto explain how each of the things he mentioned specifically impacted his decision. These were his words so he needs to back them up.

Finally, has GEICO done any investigation whatsoever of the evidence you provided? This is a minimum requirement in all fair claims handling procedures. Mr. XXXXXX, or his supervisor, can call any Ford dealer in the country to learn what we did. Failure to do so represents Unfair Claims Practices on their part. GEICO can not just make up figures out of thin air.

It would be wise for you to escalate this to a supervisor. If they refuse to grant your request, write to the CEO at GEICO’s home office to advise them of your concerns

Best wishes,
Franklin

August 13, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with Allstate

Hi April,

Allstate wrote “Those figures are not substantiated with any kind of data”.

Allstate knows full-well that there is no database of sold vehicles. That is nothing more than a delaying tactic on their part. Many claimants simply give up after receiving responses such as these.

Allstate wrote “Dealers have a financial interest in a vehicle so they tend to understate the post-repair value of a vehicle in order to make a profit.”

Allstate’s claims representative clearly did not read our appraisal in its entirety. The following statement appears twice in our appraisal: “Note: All of the dealers queried were informed that the subject vehicle was not available for purchase or trade, therefore none of the dealers queried had any vested interest in the subject vehicle.”

Allstate wrote “$10,800 on a 5 year old vehicle that had 91,104 miles on it is very excessive. Diminished value is based on the type of damage that occurs. Over half of the estimate amount was for part prices and taxes associated with the parts.

How did Allstate arrive at their opinion that our diminished value amount is very excessive? What data do they have supporting this? Also, regardless of the fact that over half of the estimate was for part prices and taxes, the fact that there was structural damage makes this vehicle a literal pariah which no dealer wants anything to do with. Allstate conveniently fails to address this.

Allstate owes your clients the same investigative zeal in their inherent diminished value claim as they typically do pursuing collision claims, personal injury claims, etc. Allstate can call any Toyota dealer in the country to learn what we did. That a structurally-repaired vehicle will lose up to half of its value come trade-in time.

Best wishes,

Franklin

August 11, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with GEICO

Hi Pierre,

GEICO wrote that “trade-in values are subjective.” We went with the NADAGUIDES.COM book values. Clean Trade-in or Fair Market Value is the market you are in, not retail, not auction, not salvage markets.

GEICO wrote that “none of the dealers inspected your vehicle.” Why would any of the dealers need to inspect your vehicle? A) Repair quality has no bearing on INHERENT DIMINISHED VALUE and B) The dealers were told that the repairs were done to factory standards.

GEICO wrote that the dealers “simply provided quotes based on quick phone conversations.” Yes, the dealers provided quotes on phone conversations but they weren’t quick. The call log attached shows that the average time spent was 4-5 minutes with each dealer. All pertinent information about the car was discussed as well as the nature of the repairs.

GEICO also refers to “objective market data” even though they are aware that there is no database of sold vehicles with the exception of auction and salvage sales, neither of which relates to you. Ask them where you would find this information. Answer: You won’t.

So, all in all, while it is good that GEICO did read our report, all of their objections have been addressed and refuted in this email. Has GEICO actually investigated the evidence that you provided? GEICO can call any exotic new car dealer in the country to learn what we did. They owe you at least that much.

Best wishes,

Franklin

August 9, 2022

RE: Your Auto Diminished Value Claim with State Farm Insurance Company

Hi John,

What you received from State Farm’s claim specialist was a boiler-plate denial letter. If God, himself, came down from heaven to declare that your car lost $20K in value, you would have received the same letter.

State Farm obviously knows by now that they can’t just make stuff up. On what do they base this denial? Have they investigated the evidence that you provided? They can call any Chevrolet dealer in the country to learn what we did. Many car owners undoubtedly just accept these shoddy responses and move on.

You will need to escalate this to a supervisor and, perhaps, to his supervisor. Interact with someone who has the authority and good sense to offer a reasonable settlement, thereby keeping both of you out of court. You won’t get any traction dealing with a claim specialist. Make sure to let them know – in writing – that I will be happy to speak to them.

Even though your car is an extensively modified Corvette in pristine condition, once you disclose that it had structural damage, no Chevrolet dealer or any new car dealer will want anything to do with it.

Best wishes,

Franklin

This is an Open Education resource focused on auto diminished value, collective knowledge and the sharing of scholarly content.
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