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Complaint 28 of 36 in "Claim Denied or Delayed"

Insurance Carrier: American Family
State: Missouri

Consumer Complaint:

I was hit in the right side of truck as I was turning right. Was not my fault. Other party got ticket. Wreck happened on the 2 of October, 2008. I looked up on the net under NADA and Blue Book, value of my truck was $29,000. Insurance Company offered $23,500. I asked a banker to look it up for me and he got the same figure I did. I then asked a dealer to figure truck for me and he got the same amount. The party at fault did not have the coverage needed to cover everything so had to use my Insurance. It is my company that I am having trouble with. It has been a month since wreck and I use a truck everyday as I am a cattleman. I have had to hire a truck to haul cattle and hay and feed this past month. Thank you.


Insurance Expert Answer:

We've seen people have lots of trouble with American Family.

Usually dealing with your own company (that's a "first party" claim) should produce a much fairer result. It owes you a duty of fair dealing and good faith, unlike the other driver and his company. Call up your State Insurance Department in Springfield and ask for its help and what source the carrier has to get when deteriming value -- it may be Blue Book, Edmunds, NADA, Red Book, etc. 

Also, write a polite but forceful letter to the VP for claims and the CEO of American Family and state that you believe they are acting in "bad faith" given the data you have, and attach a copy of the research you did and Internet searches from www.edmunds.com, www.kbb.com, and www.nada.com for a vehicle of like year, model, condition, and equipment in your location. Demand that they explain how they arrive at such a different value. Also, in some states policies have a provision for arbitration of claims. Check your policy language and do what the policy requires for an arbitration. Finally, a lawyer's letter may get them on the right path.