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Old 07-03-2016, 06:32 AM   #1
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Towing Damage Quote Discrepancy - What to Do Next?

Our 1999 Monaco Diplomat has been through a lot in its 17 years. Most recently, we installed a new engine and made other repairs to damage caused by neglect from the previous owners.

During all this drama, the coach was towed eight times in approximately six months. Yes, you read that right: eight times in six months. On the very last tow (ironically), the tow truck driver backed the coach into a city bus at the Cummins facility that was installing the engine.

Fortunately, he did it on the Cummins lot, on camera, and in front of witnesses.

The initial adjuster quote and check was far too low, and was negotiated in writing as a partial payment. We took the coach to get three different body shop estimates; one was for $4,000; the second for $7,000, and the final one for $14,000. That is a HUGE discrepancy.

The $14,000 estimate is closer to what I originally anticipated the damage costing, and the shop that provided it was very thorough, finding and showing us stress cracks clearly caused by the collision that were not visible from outside the coach.

So that's the general background...

My main question (and problem) is this: what do we do next? Should we submit all of the quotes to the insurance company? Just the highest one?

We're not inclined to send the low one; not because we want money, but because we want the work done correctly and the shop that provided the high estimate did such a careful job going over the damage--something the others did not do.

Anyone have experience with this type of situation? We can't keep driving around getting quotes for body work--we've already done three, and that has cost us a fair amount in of itself in terms of fuel and time expended.

Any suggestions, information, or help greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-03-2016, 06:40 AM   #2
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I would entertain submitting the highest estimate and provide all documentation as to what they found to justify it.
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:15 AM   #3
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I would entertain submitting the highest estimate and provide all documentation as to what they found to justify it.
That has been our inclination thus far as well. Thank you for the feedback!

Anyone else wants to chime in, we're all "digital ears".

Again, many thanks to all...
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:37 AM   #4
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Curious as to what the initial quote from the adjuster was? Was the adjuster qualified to write an estimate on an RV? I ask as insurance companies will on occasion hire/send out specialists as their normal adjusters may not be qualified with experience only in automotive or home appraisals.

Generally, decent quotes contain enough detail to get a pretty good idea of what damage will be repaired, and exactly how that damage will be repaired. To compare the range of quotes you talk about, those details must be compared. Not sure how anyone could come up with any informed/qualified opinions that are worth anything otherwise - especially with no photos.
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:48 AM   #5
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Typically the insurance company will send an adjuster to the repair shop you choose to view the damage and negotiate a repair cost with the shop. If you have selected a good shop that has the technical ability to show the work that needs to be done and can justify the associated costs, the insurance company will authorize the shop to perform the work. I would only send the 1 estimate and insist that the work be performed by them. You are not legally required to spend your time and money running around getting multiple estimates. Just stand FIRM!
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:11 AM   #6
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You can have it fixed where you want. Tell the insurance co where its going and for them to contact that shop to arrange payment.
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:18 AM   #7
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Richard, if you are still in the area take it to Final Touch in Santa Clarita and talk to Joel. He does fantastic work and they will take great care of you!
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:25 AM   #8
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Response to all...

One thing I'll add is that because we own the coach outright, the insurance company will be making the check out to us. We may or may not have the work done at one of the shops that gave us the estimate. We simply haven't decided that yet.

One option, in our view, is taking the check and going out of state (something we want to do anyway) to a shop with a great reputation that will cost less than Southern California.
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:31 AM   #9
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You can have it fixed where you want. Tell the insurance co where its going and for them to contact that shop to arrange payment.
Because we own the coach outright, we prefer to take a check and go where we please to have it repaired---but more important than price is timing.

We're still working full-time, so settling on a shop that can accommodate us as full-timers is fairly important to us. Plus, then we're fighting with the insurance company over hotels, etc., which (here I'm channeling my inner Carnac) will probably result in a second call to our attorney and a long, drawn-out settlement process. That's something I would not look forward to.

This, of course, is where the video recording of the accident comes into play in our favor...
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:33 AM   #10
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Richard, if you are still in the area take it to Final Touch in Santa Clarita and talk to Joel. He does fantastic work and they will take great care of you!
Steve
Hey, Steve!

Always great to hear from you. Erin and I are actually in Yuma, Arizona at the moment, but will be back in L.A. in the not too distant future. He is definitely an option!

PM me if you have some time. Erin and I would love to take you and your wife to dinner the next time we're in L.A. We'll be there for a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers convention in Pasadena in August for sure (don't ask). I'm a professional writer, that's my only defense.
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:35 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=ahicks;3143225]Curious as to what the initial quote from the adjuster was? Was the adjuster qualified to write an estimate on an RV? I ask as insurance companies will on occasion hire/send out specialists as their normal adjusters may not be qualified with experience only in automotive or home appraisals.]]

Good question. My inclination, after the initial $2,500 check, was that no, the adjuster wasn't qualified. That check barely covers two new mirrors and labor, plus a dab or two of paint. I exaggerate, of course, but it's not THAT far off...
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:03 AM   #12
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Having the check for repairs made out to the owner only (vs. 2 party check w/shop and owner) would be rather unusual, and in my experience would be cause for insurance companies to balk right there. Best of luck with your settlement.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:05 AM   #13
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ereadingrv

I had road debris take out my radiator last year. At the time this happen I suspected this as the problem, I had the coach towed to Cummins Crosspoint in Knoxville. I called my Insurance agent and asked if it was road debris would my insurance cover it, he said he thought so. I told him I wouldn't know for sure until they had the radiator out and told him once I saw the radiator I would let him know.

About a week later Cummins finally got it into their shop and dropped the radiator out, I drove down there to look. Myself and the shop foreman both agreed it was road damage, I told them I was turning in an insurance claim and for them to go ahead and get a quote to replace. I took some pictures and headed home. I called my insurance agent and told him my findings and sent a picture. He in turn contacted the Insurance company.

An insurance adjuster called me and questioned me on what happen. I told I that I did not specifically see any road debris but the pictures clearly show that something punched 3-4 holes in my radiator.

She then called the Cummins shop. By this time they had a quote available. They estimated $7900 to repair. She told them that because of the amount and the damage she would have to get an independent person competent in this type of issue involved and forwarded him the quote. Over the course of 3-4 weeks they had several calls and ultimately agreed that indeed they would accept the claim and finally agreed on the $7900 quote. I had $1000 deductible so the final check was ~$6900

During this whole ordeal I was checking on other sources for radiators as Cummins cost was estimated at ~$4000. The manager of the shop agreed to let me buy the radiator to avoid their 50% surcharge on parts. I ultimately bought the radiator myself from an alternate source. for $2500. I also took the liberty to have my CAC checked and rebuilt.

I also own my coach out right but they sent me a check payable to both myslf and Cummins Crosspoint, it required both signatures to cash. Normally Cummins would have me sign the check and they cash it but since I had paid for the radiator myself it was easier for me to cash the check and pay them. Their portion came to ~$3900, labor, flush, antifreeze etc.


My take on your situation:

Take it to good qualified shop to get the quote, it will be the highest but let the insurance company haggle it out.

You should inquire as to who the check will be made out to. I've previously have had the check made out to myself but in the above out the shop also. I think insurance companies are leery of making it out to the individual in fear they will just cash and not getting it repaired. I don't think it makes any difference that you own the coach outright.

You may tell the insurance company that you travel a lot and my not be back in this area for repair.

If your lucky you'll get a fair settlement and have the ability to get your coach fixed properly.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:27 AM   #14
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ereadingrv

I had road debris take out my radiator last year. At the time this happen I suspected this as the problem, I had the coach towed to Cummins Crosspoint in Knoxville. I called my Insurance agent and asked if it was road debris would my insurance cover it, he said he thought so. I told him I wouldn't know for sure until they had the radiator out and told him once I saw the radiator I would let him know.

About a week later Cummins finally got it into their shop and dropped the radiator out, I drove down there to look. Myself and the shop foreman both agreed it was road damage, I told them I was turning in an insurance claim and for them to go ahead and get a quote to replace. I took some pictures and headed home. I called my insurance agent and told him my findings and sent a picture. He in turn contacted the Insurance company.

An insurance adjuster called me and questioned me on what happen. I told I that I did not specifically see any road debris but the pictures clearly show that something punched 3-4 holes in my radiator.

She then called the Cummins shop. By this time they had a quote available. They estimated $7900 to repair. She told them that because of the amount and the damage she would have to get an independent person competent in this type of issue involved and forwarded him the quote. Over the course of 3-4 weeks they had several calls and ultimately agreed that indeed they would accept the claim and finally agreed on the $7900 quote. I had $1000 deductible so the final check was ~$6900

During this whole ordeal I was checking on other sources for radiators as Cummins cost was estimated at ~$4000. The manager of the shop agreed to let me buy the radiator to avoid their 50% surcharge on parts. I ultimately bought the radiator myself from an alternate source. for $2500. I also took the liberty to have my CAC checked and rebuilt.

I also own my coach out right but they sent me a check payable to both myslf and Cummins Crosspoint, it required both signatures to cash. Normally Cummins would have me sign the check and they cash it but since I had paid for the radiator myself it was easier for me to cash the check and pay them. Their portion came to ~$3900, labor, flush, antifreeze etc.


My take on your situation:

Take it to good qualified shop to get the quote, it will be the highest but let the insurance company haggle it out.

You should inquire as to who the check will be made out to. I've previously have had the check made out to myself but in the above out the shop also. I think insurance companies are leery of making it out to the individual in fear they will just cash and not getting it repaired. I don't think it makes any difference that you own the coach outright.

You may tell the insurance company that you travel a lot and my not be back in this area for repair.

If your lucky you'll get a fair settlement and have the ability to get your coach fixed properly.
In California, at least, it does make a difference who the check is made out to. If you own the vehicle outright, it's legally your choice how you want to use the money--fix the vehicle or not, get it done at your choice of facilities, etc. The fact is, their client caused a certain dollar value in damage, and in California, if you own your vehicle outright then making you "whole" comes down to a check--not a facility. The facility situation only comes into play if the coach has a lien.

Frankly, the prices for everything in SoCal are higher than they should be. And I don't think the work is always particularly better for that "state premium".
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