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Complaint 3 of 7 in "Car Totaled"

Insurance Carrier: Farmers Insurance
State: Illinois

Consumer Complaint:

My 1994 Toyota Camry XLE 4 door sedan was hit by a Durango on 8/3/08 and the front heavily damaged. The driver's insurance adjuster found it to be totaled - repair costs would be $5,000.00. On 7/24/08 I took my car to the Toyota dealer and had it serviced and paid $1,300 for parts and service because I intended to keep it for another 2 years. It has 120,000 miles and is in excellent condition. Farmer's offers me $2,930.00 if I want to have the car repaired and $3,692.00 if I hand it over to them. The Blue Book Value is $4,850.00 but they are considering the private party value of $3,405. They add $182.00 for good condition and deduct $762 for salvage value. I think I should receive the blue book value of $4,850.00 and have it repaired. It was not my at fault; I don't have the money to buy another and, if I want to repair the car, have to pay $2,000.00 because they only want to give me $2,930.00. I am ending up with a damaged car anyway with diminished value but I know what I have. What can I do?


Insurance Expert Answer:

The problem is that you are dealing with the other driver's company, you are a 3rd party and it owes YOU nothing; it's duty is to defend its driver and pay any judgment you get, unless it can settle the case at a price it can defend. If it were your carrier there would be recourse. Here, I fear, the only recourse is to sue their driver, perhaps in small claims court. See a local lawyer as it's amazing what a lawyer can do if there is any hint of personal injury.