I was rear ended on my V, other driver 100% at fault. Now they claim the at faults car/property damage doesn't cover my helmet or jacket ruined in the crash. My lawyer says otherwise but won't go after it because it isn't worth my legal fees. I'm waiting to talk to their supervisor but if they stick to the guns I'll file a complaint with my state insurance commission.
Anyone have this happen or know that gear should be covered by the at fault party?
That's the insurance racket for you.
They'll try to shortchange you, make it not worth the bother, and probably get away with it quite often.
That's how they make money.
Agreed. The first answer is never THE answer.
They are probably successful 50% of the time with that tactic.
Absolutely, copy your receipts and send them the copies. Should they claim to lose the originals, you are up a creek w/o a paddle. If they play games, you can always take them to small claims court. If you do that, you will have to prepare your case, bring documentation (receipts, accident reports, etc.) and present your case to the judge. They will probably try to negotiate you down, but it is generally not worth their while to pay a lawyer to appear in court unless it is a big claim.
I'm sure this will come off as me being a dick, but the thing is I am AMAZED at the hatred of insurance companies. Full Disclosure - I am an attorney and I work for an insurance company, have for 15 years. I know the business and how claims are handled. I'll address a few of the VERY UNINFORMED comments and explain how it works for the original poster afterward.
That's how they make money - wrong.
I'm against for-profit insurance companies - WTF? Seriously? I suppose you go to work every day without the expectation of a paycheck on Friday???
You can sue them in small claims court - depends on who "them" is that you are talking about. If you are talking about the at-fault party, then yes. If you are referring to the insurance company as "them" then generally speaking, no.
Now, a short lesson on how it works.
Auto Insurance 101
In general, we buy auto insurance to protect our own screw-ups, our own negligence. It's called liability insurance. Most states actually require all vehicles to be covered by some level of liability coverages for bodily injury and property damage. Those are two separate coverages. California, for example, requires each registered vehicle to have a minimum of $15,000 bodily injury coverage and $5,000 property damage coverage. Should you cause an accident, then your insurance company will indemnify you UP TO $15,000 for injuries YOU CAUSE to someone else - not for injuries to you. Also, your insurance company will cover damages you cause to someone else's property UP TO $5,000. You can purchase higher levels of coverage, but many people just buy the lowest amount legally required by state law.
Thus, when you are driving your $50,000 Mercedes and a 1990 beat-up Ford Taurus rear-ends you doing $25,000 worth of damage and the driver that hit you and caused the damages to your Mercedes only has the California state minimum of $5,000 in property damage coverage, guess what, Big Bad Evil Insurance Co. is only on the hook for $5,000. You can try to get the other $20,000 from the at-fault driver directly or by filing a lawsuit against them personally, not against Big Bad Evil Insurance Company.
Is that the insurance company's fault that the at-fault driver didn't buy enough coverage to insure their own screw-up? If you answer honestly, you'll answer no. Is it the State of California's fault for not requiring a higher Property Damage limit? Possibly, that's a topic for debate. Is it the actual at-fault driver's fault for not purchasing higher limits than required by law - well, my answer to that is yes.
The same goes for the injuries you sustain in the same accident. If you require surgery that is related to the accident and your hospital bills are, just say for example, $80,000. You miss 2 two months from work costing you another $10,000 and your ass takes 6 months to recover (you put a subjective value on that - say $60,000) then you have a claim worth at least $150,000 - possibly as much as $250,000 -$500,000 depending on many other factors. The at-fault driver only purchased the California state minimum bodily injury coverage of $15,000. Guess what Big Bad Insurance Company is going to pay you? Yep - $15,000. Is that Big Bad's fault or again, is that the State's fault or the at-fault driver's fault???
You can purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverages yourself on your own policy, but it's not required by law in most states. If you have those coverages for UM bodily injury and or UM property damage then that coverage will cover you, up to the amount you purchased, from the point where the at-fault driver's coverage ends.
Many states require higher coverages than California, but not much. Alabama, for instance, is $25K bodily injury (BI) and $25,000 property damage (PD). Florida doesn't require you to purchase ANY BI or PD coverage, but if you do then the minimum you can purchase is $10,000 BI and $20,000 PD. The amounts required vary from state to state. But you get the picture, if your damages exceed the amount that the other person purchased - then you're only recourse is to go after them personally, not Big Bad Evil Insurance Company that is only out to make a dirty profit (such an evil word isn't it?).
As for the original poster's situation, initially, this case sounded like the at-fault driver simply did not have enough property damage coverage to pay for the entire damages to the bike and gear. Now that the adjuster has come back and said they would cover the damages, they just need receipts, could just be the adjuster didn't understand how to handle the gear as opposed to the damage to the bike itself. Just like any business, insurance companies sometimes have less experienced people on the front lines. The higher up the chain you go, generally the more experienced adjuster. It's just a common way most businesses work.
Like I said initially, I am not trying to sound like a dick but ignorance of how something actually works instead of listening to a bunch of ambulance-chasing lawyers beat down insurance companies in a commercial is not where you get accurate information. I know many of you have had your own experiences with insurance companies and many of you feel that you have been screwed, I'm not saying that you weren't. But what I am saying is many times we simply lack the knowledge of how the process works and it looks like we aren't being treated fairly. Insurance companies pay dearly when they are found to be acting in bad faith. I can assure you, the company I work for does everything it can to handle claims fairly and in good faith. It's been my experience that most other insurance companies are the same way. I assure you, there is a lot of training that goes on to ensure that the adjuster handles your claim properly, in accordance with the policy and in accordance with the law.
If anyone ever needs guidance when trying to file a claim with an insurance company I'll be glad to assist you the best I can. Feel free to send me a PM.
OK, floor's open, you can start bashing me and Big Bad Evil Profitierring Insurance Company! Just know, the intent of this post is to help people have a little more understanding of the basic insurance process, not to be a condescending dick. :laugh2: