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49_buick_super

End of one man's dream and a sobering reminder

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I was at a car show with the Buick today and as I wandered about the show field, I found this.  I was stunned to see it and walked up to get a closer look.  The owner of the car was telling his story to a group of guys and I just listened as a part of the group.  He was T-boned by a red light runner on January 5th.  He had been working on this car for 15 years (I think that's what I heard him say) and after the accident he discovered that he was not fully insured for collision.  His explanation of the other driver's insurance coverage was sketchy and politely no one pressed him for details.  He claimed to have only received $150 as a settlement.  He told the group its the end of the road for him with this car as it is totaled and he doesn't think he will get another.  He appeared to be in his mid-70's age wise.  I just stood there staring at this and really felt sorry for him.  This just isn't something you see at many car shows.

 

A graphic and sobering reminder.  Make sure you understand your insurance coverages and make equally certain they are sufficient to recover your loss if something like this happens to you at the hands of an uninsured or under-insured driver.

 

Dan

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Posted (edited)

I'm GLAD he survived to tell his story!

 

What they paid him for was "scrap metal salvage", but that vehicle was certainly NOT in "scrap" condition before the incident!  If he had not accepted the settlement, which he had the right to not do, then it could be litigated to "value prior to the incident", not afterward.  That would have been much more equitable, all things considered.  In many cases, in prior times, a vehicle with no broken glass could not be "totaled" automatically.

 

But I also understand his feelings at a time in his life which many are fast approaching.  That part of his life has seemed to end, unfortunately, but I certainly HOPE his passion for the car hobby is still smoldering inside!  It is a shame this happened to him!!

 

For older cars, even those built in the 1970s, many insurance companies don't have value guides for them OR have any idea (officially) what the vehicle might be worth on the open market.  When I got my own insurance policies redone a few years ago, as all of the vehicles were 1980 and prior (at that time), they wanted ME to put a value on them for rating purposes, which I did. "Uninsured motorist" coverage has been on my policies for decades, but even with that, "negotiations" would be necessary prior to a settlement regarding an older vehicle.

 

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)

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I find it very hard to believe that he was only able to get $150 from the other guy's insurance company.

 

Considering where the car was hit, it seems like the driver would have been badly hurt.

 

 

Nevertheless, it should be a cautionary tail to all of us to make sure our coverages are in order. 

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Couple of points.

 

Uninsured/Underinsured coverage does NOT (at least in Ohio) cover damage to your auto.  It covers your injuries as if the Un/Underinsured motorists has Bodily Injury Liability for injuries to you and/or your passengers.  Physical Damage (Comprehensive or Collision) is the coverage that will repair your auto.  There is a coverage called Uninsured Motorists Property Damage but it is only available if you do not carry Physical Damage on your auto.

 

A classic car owner would be wise to contact a specialty insurance company that will have the Physical Damage coverage written on a guaranteed or agreed value basis.  Never have a stated value policy.  A stated value policy only says the value of the auto is UP TO $XXX, not that your insurance will PAY $XXX.  The policies written on stated value also allows the insurance company to depreciate your car or its damaged parts, only paying Actual Cash Value (defined as Replacement Cost minus Depreciation).  Most, if not all of your "normal" insurance companies will write your specialty auto insurance and, while this seems like a nice convenience, it is NOT where you should insure your specialty auto.  Typically your "normal" insurance company will only have an agreed value loss settlement provision.  This is NOT what you want!  Pick a company that specializes in Antique and Classic Auto insurance.  There are many to choose from.  The good ones will be in contact with you on at least an every other year basis to update your coverages.  Mine does.

 

I also find it difficult to believe the settlement offered was only $150.  The minimum Property Damage coverage in Ohio is $25,000.  Unless there were extenuating circumstances, this is the minimum the red light runner would have coverage wise.  I can think of circumstances where that $25,000 of coverage would be too little, but not in the case the gentleman was describing.  If his agent (you DO have an agent, right?  Not just an 800 number to call, right?) was doing his/her job and the circumstances were as described, there could be an Error or Omission claim against that agent.  I personally would not want to be in that agent's shoes.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Brad Conley said:

 

...I also find it difficult to believe the settlement offered was only $150...

 

 

Me, too.

 

The group of guys listening to his story while I was there seemed to be mystified also, but as I mentioned, I had the sense that no one was questioning him about it out of courtesy or sympathy.  The $150 settlement seems ludicrous to me, too.  It is what I heard him say and it just struck me hard while looking at the car and listening to him talk about it that anyone with a car that nice would be in that position with insurance coverage.  The actual technicalities of his insurance coverage remain unknown to me.  The sight of his car caused me to review my own coverage when I got home and that's the intent of my post.

 

Dan

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Maybe it's just me but I have to wonder if the guy telling the story was an insurance salesman;)

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I have grown up with a lot of those mid-70's guys and, although I am not unsympathetic to the loss, those guys do tend to spread the BS pretty thick. And a few of them weasel and cheat at a lot of things they do, particularly if it involves any sort of regulation.

 

I see the car has a for sale sign on it. Any idea of the price? I wouldn't say that was a terribly difficult repair and, surely, not a "T-bone" as I would describe one.

 

I feel really bad for Barry Wolk and don't see him on the forum any more, that was a bad one.

 

This '40 Ford guy, dragging the car to a show, the for sale sign, the $150 story; nah, I know too many old shysters to buy into that one too quick. There's a whole other story.

Bernie

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Posted (edited)

44 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

I have grown up with a lot of those mid-70's guys and, although I am not unsympathetic to the loss, those guys do tend to spread the BS pretty thick. And a few of them weasel and cheat at a lot of things they do, particularly if it involves any sort of regulation.

 

Early 60s, but almost sounds like you knew my father.

 

I think the best way to go for insurance purposes would be to pay to have the car appraised every couple of years so the insurance company has a solid amount backed by an accredited appraiser. I guess also knowing your policy would be wise, too. I go through State Farm and they've only ever asked what the declared value was - no mileage restraints or anything. I'm now curious if it covers anything at all in the case of an accident or if the car was stolen.

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)

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About 30 years ago, a guy in a car club I'm in was reacting to "normal insurance" from a story of tragic loss of vehicle.  His insurance agent called and recommended "stated value coverage".  This guy thought that was "the best", but it only gives the insurance people a value to work with . . . no more, no less, in determining what the insured pays.  Later on, I determined that ALL insurance is "stated value" as the rates are "per $___" of vehicle value. Just that they have a better sense of what more recent model year vehicles are worth and (at that time) had nothing to check for "older vehicles" other than a copy of "The Auto Trader" to see what similar vehicles were selling for OR to find a replacement vehicle.  In any event, same issues of dealing with adjusters and items which Brad mentioned are operative (depreciation, salvage value, etc.)

 

I heard a guy at a dealership body shop relate that he had a car he was restoring, but still driving daily.  He had the interior out for getting new covers installed.  But THAT was when another party ran into him.  When the adjuster saw the car, with the interior "out", he didn't consider it a "complete car", so he factored the settlement accordingiy lower.  The guy said he battled with them to get them to understand the reason the interior was not in the car at the time of the accident.

 

The newest thing seems to be "Agreed Value" coverage.  As I understand it, you can put any value you want on a vehicle, even if it's overly-high, as that value is what YOU will be paying rates on as long as the policy is in force.  That amount is also the upper cap of what the insurer will pay in the event of a total loss.  Under the "old way", if you valued the vehicle way too high, then had a total loss, the insurer would only pay what THEY considered the car was worth or a negotiated value . . . which might be less than what the insured had been paying premiums on.

 

When I was getting my policy updated several years ago, the local agent's employee could not tell me anything about what the ultimate cost might be.  All that could be done was to look at an antique policy another customer had done.  Until the rate quote was finalized, I didn't know anything until I got the next bill!  As things are evolving, Brad's recommendation of using a specialty insurance company is making more sense.  There are several of them so shopping them can be important!  The particular STATE you're in can have an affect too . . . as to which company can write coverage in that particular state!

 

Lots of things to consider and think about!

NTX5467

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Guys, I have been an Insurance Agent owning my own agency for over 36 years.  I will say that it is not best to go with a very large, national company, any of them, for your Antique & Classic (A&C) auto insurance, the one that also writes Kia's on a daily basis and tries to convince you they know the A&C market too.   They, guaranteed, do NOT have the proper contract to properly protect you A&C auto.  While their agent may say they do, you will never know until you have a claim and the adjuster starts talking of depreciation and actual cash values (ACV).  My agency is in the top 10 nationally of a very large A&C carrier.  We also represent other carriers in the A&C business but the big one, the one you think of most often, the one that has their own valuation tools online, is absolutely the very best in this coverage arena.  They really are that good.  And, while not the least expensive, they do have the absolute best coverage available anywhere and do know their market to the extreme.  They also reinvest into the hobby which is important in my view.  To put it another way, it's who I have my own personal A&C policy with and I can choose ANY company for such.  That is the "insiders" look into A&C insurance carriers.

 

Dan, I have no doubts of your story.  Some people tend to "exaggerate" their problems and that was what I was alluding to, not your reporting of what the gentleman had to say.  You are correct, everyone really needs to review their coverages with their agent.  Doing so AFTER a claim is not the time to review your coverages.

 

Ben,  I urge you to seek out proper A&C coverage rather than your current coverage.  I have read that companies policies.  You need to contact one of the specialty carriers promptly.

 

I am more than glad to answer questions on this subject and I am not soliciting to write anyone's A&C coverages.  In fact, I probably couldn't as I am only licensed in the State of Ohio.

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3 hours ago, Brad Conley said:

Some people tend to "exaggerate" their problems

 

Monday morning and I should be working, but here I am with a tear in my eye and smiling. Do you think this will be the understatement of the week?

I bet I could draw a picture of the guy with the '40.

Bernie

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Brad, can you say which company this is?  PM me if you don't want to do so publicly.  Thanks!

 

 

4 hours ago, Brad Conley said:

Guys, I have been an Insurance Agent owning my own agency for over 36 years.  I will say that it is not best to go with a very large, national company, any of them, for your Antique & Classic (A&C) auto insurance, the one that also writes Kia's on a daily basis and tries to convince you they know the A&C market too.   They, guaranteed, do NOT have the proper contract to properly protect you A&C auto.  While their agent may say they do, you will never know until you have a claim and the adjuster starts talking of depreciation and actual cash values (ACV).  My agency is in the top 10 nationally of a very large A&C carrier.  We also represent other carriers in the A&C business but the big one, the one you think of most often, the one that has their own valuation tools online, is absolutely the very best in this coverage arena.  They really are that good.  And, while not the least expensive, they do have the absolute best coverage available anywhere and do know their market to the extreme.  They also reinvest into the hobby which is important in my view.  To put it another way, it's who I have my own personal A&C policy with and I can choose ANY company for such.  That is the "insiders" look into A&C insurance carriers.

 

 

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If I was the owner I would have been too embarrassed to publicize to everyone that I was foolish enough to have a nice old car but no basic collision insurance at a minimum. Being underinsured is one thing, not having any is another. At this mans age he would have had sufficient experience to know he should of at least had basic collision coverage. I see he had a special show display sign made for his car so this isn't his first rodeo. Maybe he just thought he would be lucky.

 

Brad,

Excellent follow-up on insuring antique cars!

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4 hours ago, JZRIV said:

At this mans age he would have had sufficient experience

 

Age just makes one older. It is way separate from experience.

 

And at that age, someone will ask "What's new?". "The date."

 

If it wasn't for us opinionated, under educated, working class, white males sitting on the edge of our chairs waiting for Russian tainted news (yeah, I'm gonna be influenced, give me a break) everything around us would be like taking your finger out of a bucket of water.

 

God save the cynic!

Bernie

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I'm goin' with Bernie on this one.  Things ain't addin' up right and the smell is clear out here in Doo Dah.

 

Terry Wiegand

Way Out in Doo Dah

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9 hours ago, SBRMD said:

Brad, can you say which company this is?  PM me if you don't want to do so publicly.  Thanks!

 

 

 

Probably not best on this board...PM forthcoming.

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10 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

 

I bet I could draw a picture of the guy with the '40.

Bernie

Probably so, Bernie.  I've had to deal with his type for over 36 years.  It does make you shake your head sometimes, doesn't it?

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It you don't know what company Brad is talking about, you are insured by the wrong one! I've never had a claim but know people that have and since 1990 have not changed. They insured my '86 Corvette when it was only a few years old and then my '86 Grand National. And the GSX for appraised value without seeing the appraisal until my policy renewed and then it was right on!

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11 minutes ago, BUICK RACER said:

It you don't know what company Brad is talking about, you are insured by the wrong one! I've never had a claim but know people that have and since 1990 have not changed. They insured my '86 Corvette when it was only a few years old and then my '86 Grand National. And the GSX for appraised value without seeing the appraisal until my policy renewed and then it was right on!

'Berta loves them just because they are headquartered in Michigan, right Roberta?!

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Thanks for the tip.... Just checked with my insurance company and both my classics are insured with a guaranteed agreed amount if they were to be totaled. Wow what a piece of mind.

 

Mark

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