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Auto Insurance Complaints
Complaint 1 of 20 in "Fault and No-Fault Issues"
Insurance Carrier: Carolina Casualty Insurance Company
A semi-truck driver sideswiped our mini-van with his left rear tire while making an illegal left turn around the right side at an intersection, causing about $1000 in damage. My son drove; my wife and daughter were passengers. The truck driver, apparently unaware of the contact, drove a short distance further and stopped at a truck stop. My son followed and the police were summoned. The truck driver denied involvement despite the three eyewitnesses and the corroborating marks on his tire. The Florida-based CCIC adjustor at first denied the claim entirely based on the trucker's testimony and the lack of a police report.
After the report was issued, we wrote a follow-up letter to the adjustor asking for payment. Our local State Farm Insurance contact also wrote a letter and made several calls in an attempt to re-engage the adjustor. After several weeks of silence, the adjustor contacted our agent and proposed a settlement for half of the amount based on the "inconclusive" evidence.
Reluctantly, we accepted. I am very disappointed in CCIC's conduct. With three eyewitnesses and no plausible alternative scenario, the claim should have been paid promptly, and in full.
Insurance Expert Answer:
I agree, but when you accept the settlement, at 50%, the game is over. In most instances, where people have collision insurance, we suggest they let their company handle it, absorb the deductible, and then when your company goes after the other in inter-company discussions, you'd get reimbursed most if not all the deductible.
Liability is rarely clear -- there are often no video-tapes, no signed confessions, no admissions to the police, not even a bunch of unbiased bystanders -- and determining what happened is frequently hard.
Passenger witnesses are presumed somewhat biased. If your son is young or had other accidents or tickets, there is almost always a suspicion that's hard to shake. Life is too short and not always fair. We'll post it but it's time for you to move on.