What I did in dealing with an insurance company after a total loss

JonM

Member
Jan 5, 2017
148
2
TLDR: Detailed experience in dealing with insurance after taking a total loss on my stereo and how I avoided taking a 1,400% loss on It.

I thought it‘d be useful to show others what happened when I made an insurance claim for my system and what I went through to not take a 1,400% loss. I went with Mayhems and a couple others suggestion of State Farm on a thread I made here 4 years ago asking how do I insure my car stereo.

When first insuring the system State Farm, they required pictures of all equipment installed. I took pictures of the HCCA 8k amp, Kenwood head unit, the HCCA subs and the engine which had the big 3 upgrade and a 4 OTT power wire going to the rear batteries. I couldn’t take pictures of the Auiopipe 2004 mids and highs amp because it was bolted into an amp rack behind the HCCA amp. I also couldn’t take pictures of the 2 XS power batteries in the spare tire wheel well under the sub box, but State Farm included them because I had the receipts.

Along with pictures, State Farm also required receipts for every piece of equipment in the car. This was to show how much each piece of equipment costs and proof that it’s actually installed in the car.

When I signed up with State Farm they had no rider policies (or anything else) that would cover the stereo separately, but they assured me that anything that was bolted into the car would be covered including any car stereo components up to $5,000. This was not true I found out later. I was worried about theft and kept asking what would happen to the stereo if pieces were stolen or if the whole care was stolen or if the car was totaled in an accident etc. We emailed back and forth until I was satisfied with the coverage and how it applied to the stereo. Unknown to me this will become very important later on.

My car ended up catching on fire while I was grocerie shopping. The alt was smoking a little when I went in and whenI came out it the car was in flames.

This is what happened when I went to collect on the policy; I emailed them pictures of all the receipts again. I emailed them pictures showing that all the equipment was still installed along with the installation receipts and box build from the shop (They required all this). They came back to me and after explaining that he ran everything through their ”program” the stereo was only worth 600 DOLLARS! I’m like WTF are you talking about?? That’s a 1,400% loss in 4 years, I gave you every piece of proof you need to show that isn’t the case! I was sent higher up the chain to a guy who had the power to change the price. He said this was a unique situation and sent all the paperwork over to a company that does antique car quotes. He said they also did stereo quotes. I don’t think they understood car stereos because they came back with an offer of only $2,000.

State Farm’s new position on why I should take their offer of a 77% loss on the stereo; He said they insure “the value of the car” and explained how that relates to an expensive stereo that’s installed. An expensive stereo doesn’t make the value of the car go up to what I thought it did (and what the original insurance seller told me it did) because very few people care about having a car that does 145.5db on music. I explained to him what the original insurance agent who sold me the policy said. I told him that the original agent said i would receive new equipment or be payed fair market value, for it, up to $5,000. He explained that if one piece is stolen like the amp or subs, they pay used market prices for it, BUT if everything gets totaled along with the car, they go by how much value is brought to the car with the stereo installed and NOT how much the stereo is actually worth.

At this point my head’s about to pop off because this was not explained to me at all when I purchased the insurance. I explain again what the original agent told me and that the agent explained to me that anything bolted into the car was covered under the insurance policy and if ANYTHING happened to it, it would be replaced or I’d be payed fair market value. This is what I was told and what I used as the basis of purchasing insurance through State Farm. At this point I should mention that i did not have a bad experience with the claims adjuster. He was generally helpful in dealing with the claim and was able to answer all my questions. He asked if I had anything in writing that stated this because this was a unique situation and sometimes the selling agents don’t understand exactly how the claims side of the business works. I looked through my emails and found the one asking if ANYTHING happens to the stereo, is it covered,, with a reply stating “everthing that is bolted into the car is covered and if something does happen to it, it will be replaced or I’d be payed fair market value up to $5000“. The claims adjuster came back and said after speaking with his manager, she gave him more leeway in the claim (Im guessing he showed her the entire email chain I sent him showing I was to be payed fair market value) and came back with an offer of 20% off the original $8,500 which was $7,200 (including tax) and $2,200 more that the original cap of $5,000. I was very happy about this!

My advice when buying stereo insurance is know EXACTLY what you‘re buying. Make sure everything is in writing and if there’s any questions about the policy ask them over email so you have proof of what was said. Just because something is covered, doesn’t mean it’s covered correctly or in this case, covered in the way I thought it was because the insurance agent and claims adjuster had two completely different ways of valuing a car stereo and without the emails, I would’ve been out $5,200.
 

THATpurpleKUSH

Fuckyou
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
Sep 30, 2009
8,062
751
State farm is total garbage, a $50 glass claim ended up costing me $450 out of pocket and my agent basically told me he didnt care and wouldnt reimburse me when I requested oem glass on a 4 month old brand new car and they wanted to use aftermarket glass. Worst insurance company I have ever dealt with, my local agent is about to get absolutely nuked on social media and my business is going elsewhere asap.
 
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Popwarhomie

Team Lethal Pressure
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State Farm replaced my windshields 4 or 5 times for free. :whistle:
 

Clifff150

Senior VIP Member
10+ year member
Jan 10, 2012
2,388
925
A big problem with insurance is exactly what you stated, a lot of agents have no idea what they are selling. I have my stereo equipment endorsed on my policy and understand fully what will be done if stolen, totaled, etc (I work in insurance). I have definitely had agents call and ask why the insured has to pay a deductible or why are we not just paying off of the shops estimate. You did most of what you could by asking numerous questions and kudos to you.

Every insurance company will have good and bad reviews. I got bitched at today for not paying $550 to replace an O2 sensor on a vehicle that was tapped on the bedside. I’m sure they won’t leave a good review lol.
 

Kickstand

CarAudio.com Veteran
Jan 1, 2021
936
312
Bet you wish you wouldn't have walked away with alt smoking now.
Hindsight's always 20/20 though isn't it.
 
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JonM

Member
Jan 5, 2017
148
2
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
No doubt
 

Klerens

CarAudio.com Newbie
May 7, 2021
2
0
A couple of months ago, my car was in an accident; a Nissan Titan drove into the oncoming lane and hit my left side door. There were three subwoofers in that door. I wasn't so much feeling pity for the door as I was feeling sad for the subwoofer. After all, my stereo cost me $2,200. The insurance assessed it at $60. It's ridiculous; when I heard that figure, I wanted to trash their entire office. Fortunately, I hired a good lawyer, who sued me for $1,000. After that incident, I left them. My girlfriend showed me joywallet.com. I liked their rates. I think next week, I will ensure the car with them.
 
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nauc

CarAudio.com Veteran
10+ year member
Mar 22, 2005
3,463
131
my first car i ever had burned to the ground. had about a $2k stereo in it. had full coverage insurance. when i went to collect, i showed them the receipts. they said they usually pay out $100 for custom stereos, but since i had my receipts, they said id get $200. we werent happy. when she started to go talk to her boss about it, i turned to my dad and said loudly, thank god youre a lawyer

we got all the money

;)
 
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Jimi77

Junior Member
Sep 17, 2017
1,406
533
Always get it in writing, which is what the OP did in this case with the saved email.
 

Popwarhomie

Team Lethal Pressure
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Does no one check dates on threads before replying?

really.jpg
 

audiobaun

CarAudio.com Veteran
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Jun 28, 2011
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Popwarhomie

Team Lethal Pressure
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
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I mean, the forum is a ghost town. Who cares? At least it's traffic
That's fine if warranted. But replying with advice to a thread over a year old to a member who has not returned to the site in a year is pretty pointless.
 

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