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Complaint 22 of 24 in "Offering Too Little Money"

Insurance Carrier: Allstate
State: Maryland

Consumer Complaint:

We were hit by a semi-truck. The driver received the ticket. We called our Allstate insurance on the day of the accident on 8/21, also 8/22, and/8/23. They left us stranded at the tow yard and next day decided to take charge of the claim since the driver's company was self insured through Heartland Express. Since then Heartland has paid us for the hotel and the destroyed personal property: 3 bikes and bike rack. They also paid for our deductable of three hundred dollars. We do not understand why this claim is being processed by Allstate; we thought they were to just handle the claim.

At this point Allstate offered us $7,371.35 minus $300.00 deductable. We said we could not replace our 2001 CE Camry for that in Germantown or Gaithersburg or Rockville MD. Then they asked for more evidence; we faxed them a recent repair bill for $832.00. Allstate most recent verbal offer was $8,100.00. However it was not itemized. Heartlands offer was $6,514.75. The rental car was to be discontinued 9/22/08.

Insurance Expert Answer:

First, dealing with your own carrier under your collision policy usually makes sense as the other guy's company will play with you. At least Allstate owes you a duty of good faith. Of course Allstate does not have the best reputation for settling claims, but you chose them as your carrier.

The value of the car is generally established by using the NADA data or other published sources, including and IF the car is totaled, they get to keep the car. If not they have to pay to repair it. If the data your carrier gave is far off from the data sources (they have their own quoting system) demand an explanation and go to the state insurance department. If it is totaled you often get back less than it takes to buy a new car, and sometimes less than you owe on any loan. That's not the fault of the company but the market price. If they low ball you,that is the fault of the Company. Finally if there is ANY claim for personal injury -- doctor bills, loss of work or function, scar, etc. -- see a lawyer.