Our 2002 Chevrolet Suburban was stolen out of a friend's garage on 10-28-05. It was reported once by our friend to the police that same day and my husband went to the police station and reported it as well. My husband was not sure if our insurance company (American Family Ins.) would cover the vehicle since it was not in our possession.
I waited for my friend to contact his insurance company to let me know if his policy would cover it or if I should report it to my insurance company. I did not hear back from him and was getting concerned, so I reported it to my insurance company on 11-17-05 and was given a claim number.
My husband contacted City Wide Towing, Las Vegas, NV., and they advised me they had the car and it was stripped and had no wheels and tires. They had the car until 11-28-05. American Family Insurance did not attempt to see the car during this time. My husband went down to City Wide Towing because we received a notice from Americredit that they were going to repossess the vehicle and send it to auction.
When my husband went down to the tow yard to pay for the car he was advised that the car was no longer there and had been picked up by the insurance company. My husband was of the belief that American Family Insurance was doing what they were suppose to do. Unfortunately that was not the case.
Mike Bodnar who is a District Casualty Claim Manager for American Family Ins. sent a reply letter to the Dept. of Ins. stating that on 12-12-05 they were told of the new location of where the vehicle was going to be. On 12-15-05 American Family's adjuster "attempted to make an appointment with Manheims Auto Auction to inspect the vehicle". The adjuster left a message, but the call was not returned. The adjuster called back again on 12-19-05 left another message that went unreturned. Mr. Bodnar continues "No one ever called our adjuster back to allow for inspection of the vehicle."
It appears that American Family feels that their 2 attempts since 11-17-05 to see the stolen vehicle was an adequate effort.Americredit sold the vehicle for $12,000 at a private auction on January 10, 2006.
Mr. Bodnar ends his letter as follows: "American Family Insurance was never able to inspect the vehicle as it was moved by Americredit because they repossessed the vehicle. After the vehicle was repossessed, the lienholder did not make a claim to American Family Insurance for any damages to the vehicle and since we were never able to inspect the vehicle, we were not able to make any payments for damages as we did not know if any damages existed."
The tow yard has notes of the condition of the vehicle. He stated as such to my husband in the beginning and myself as of 2-26-07 in a telephone conversation. My husband even advised our insurance agent Jeff Cottino of same.
What makes this even worse, is my husband and I own a construction defect company in Las Vegas, NV. You are required to have bonds in our industry. When we went to renew our bonds, they said they could not renew them because of the repossession on our record. We had to come up with a large amount of cash (which was our operating money) and pay for our bonds in cash in order to stay in business.
Americredit and American Family Insurances actions have harmed not only my family personally, but have harmed by business/livelihood as well.
The 2002 Chevrolet Suburban was current on its payments and had full insurance coverage at the time it was stolen, yet no one wants to accept responsibility for what happened. It is easier for the 'powers that be' to point the finger to the consumer and leave me with a bill in excess of $15,000.
The Department of Insurance was of absolutely no help to us either. I really should not be surprised, they all seem to be in the same cess pool together.
The old saying "he who has the gold makes the rules". That is so true in our case.
las vegas, Nevada
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