You should hire a local attorney. Sounds like there may be a coverage limit issue...or the insurance company is lying to you. Either way, get some local legal advice before you make a move.
An attorney-client relationship is NOT created through the use of this website or by answering this particular post. Each claim is different and must be judged on its own merits. The response herein does not constitute legal advice. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Questions may not include significant and important facts that could significantly change the reply. Mr. Price is licensed in MO only and strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in his or her particular state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This is an unfortunate predicament. On the one hand, the insurance company appears to be low balling you. On the other hand the only way to fight them is to hire counsel, which may cost more than it is worth. You should consider continued negotiations with the insurance company, and small claims court if that doesn't work out.
What the adjuster would like to settle both claims for combined is not automatically your concern. The first and most important question is what is the amount of property damage coverage that U-Haul has on its liability policy. Typically, that amount is applied to settle all property damage claims arising out of the same accident. For example, if there was one car damaged due to U-Haul's fault, and there is $25,000.00 in property damage coverage, then the owner of the damaged car can get paid up to $25K of provable damage/loss for the car. If U-Haul damaged 2 other cars, and both of them had repair cost in excess of the $25K coverage, the carrier wants to try to settle both claims for a total of $25K, meaning each of the 2 claimants might get less than the cost/value of their claim if they were to accept. However, if both claims totaled less than the $25K, neither have to, nor should, accept less than the full value of their claim just so the adjuster can save money. Addtionally, even if the claims combined were in excess of the available coverage, you do not have to accept less. Realistically, U-Haul has sufficient assets to pay for claims that are in excess of their policy limitts. Just commence a laswsuite and get you full legally permissible value, whether paid by the carrier, U-Haul, or a combination of both.
The situation is unclear and complex. Seek a local experienced attorney's assistance. I would also get multiple estimates for the damage. Good luck.
The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.
Property damage claims can be very stressful on owners. I am sure your vehicle has a great deal of sentimental value and I am sure you worked hard to make it nice. Unfortunately, the carrier only looks at your car as “property” and they will only consider the value of damaged parts when placing a value on it. I presume at some point, you will receive a take it or leave it offer for the value of the vehicle and at that point, your only other option would be bringing a claim in small claims court or arbitration in your jurisdiction. I would strongly suggest you provide your sales receipts in addition to all evidence you possess to prove the carrier is mistaken in the value they have placed on the vehicle. Armed with the necessary evidence, you may be able to persuade them into increasing the value of your car. I wish you the best of luck.
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