Report: #886850

Complaint Review: USAA Insurance

  • Submitted: Wed, May 23, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, May 28, 2012
  • Reported By: darcey — winchester United States of America
  • USAA Insurance
    9800 Fredericksburg Road,
    San Antonio, Texas
    United States of America

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My son was involved in a collision with a USAA member in Oct 2011.  The damage to the 2008 Mustang was severe!! Unibody damage and 7 major components of vehicle had to be replaced. 

The USAA member was at fault. Filed my claim with them (I am with Allstate) they drug their feet in paying for damages and then "they" filed with my insurance company!!

I filed for diminished value of my vehicle since it is now worth several thousand dollars less due to unibody damage. They offered me 970 dollars!! 

I have provided them with 3 separate reports and over 55 pages of documentation for diminished value  ranging from 3400 to 4700 dollars. I offered to settled for the lesser of the appraisals of 3400.
Denied again! Not sure what methodology they use to calculate the 970 they offered but what a rip-off

I have been fooling around with them for over 6 months now trying to recover what is fair! Guess they don't believe in fair.  They say they take care of all their customers and they were founded by prior military members.  What a lie, I am a veteran of the Air Force and they screwed me over. Typical treatment of our armed forces!!!  Guess there is nothing left to do but file suit in small claims court!!
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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Diminished Value


 If only it were as simple as hiring a licensed appraiser and submitting their automobile diminished value report to the insurance company. When prospective clients call us with questions, after they hear the answers, most of them disappear - never to be heard from again. St Lucie Appraisal prepares the best auto diminished value appraisal that can be obtained in any of the 50 states. We hate to turn away business but the cold hard truth is, regardless of the fact that you'll be submitting irrefutable evidence of how much value your car has lost after collision repairs, companies like Allstate, American Family,  Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers and USAA will still offer settlements representing a fraction the actual diminished value.  Where do these people vanish to? Perhaps other independent appraisal companies promise huge settlements or maybe people become frustrated and meekly accept these lowball payouts but being dishonest about our customers' prospects is no way to do business. A more reasonable reality is that you'll need to make a formal complaint to your state's insurance department for unfair claims practices and, perhaps, go so far as hiring an attorney. But in the event your complaint escalates into a courtroom battle, you'll be asking for compensation for appraisal and attorney fees on top of your diminished value and there's a good chance you'll win! Why? Read on.

The automobile diminished value report you receive from St. Lucie Appraisal is based entirely on the opinions of used car managers at automobile dealerships. Was your Honda wrecked and repaired? Our report provides six quotes from Honda dealerships that specifically address your actual vehicle and the exact amount and severity of damage that was repaired. When people trade their cars in, those are the guys who buy them so their opinions are valid. Other appraisal companies providing diminished value reports may use formulas such as the inappropriate (as ruled by The Georgia Supreme Court) Rule 17-C or collect data from auto auctions to formulate their figures. I'm not guaranteeing success if you march into court with this type of appraisal. Insurers can successfully argue that they do not address your specific car or the damages it incurred.

The Georgia Supreme Court's ruling on the inequity of Rule 17-C laid the foundation for fair automobile diminished value settlements in all 50 states.  Formulas such as  State Farm's Rule 17-C severely shortchanged vehicle owners and, in  doing so, provided themselves and other insurers using formulas to  determine diminished value with unjust enrichment.

Subsequent to your accident, the adjuster from the responsible driver's insurance company will offer you a settlement for diminished value. If you ask them how they came up with the figure they will either point to a formula, a "certified" appraiser's report or simply refuse to explain their process altogether. I have seen the diminished value reports prepared by independent appraisers hired by insurers and they are a joke. They contain no reasonable facts to back up their assumptions. Most of them are not licensed in any state. Note that "certified" appraisers belong to pay-to-be-certified organizations, not unlike the Better Business Bureau and should not be confused with "licensed" appraisers. A number of insurance company attorneys have contacted St. Lucie Appraisal in the past to inquire about hiring us. Once they learned about our process of using dealer quotes, however, their interest faded quickly as they realized that our reports would result in higher (translation: fair) diminished value settlements. In front of a magistrate or mediator, these types of reports provide actual evidence of how much less your car is worth in the real world. Appraisals based on formulas or auction results can not compare. And insurance company diminished value estimates made up out of thin air (yes, they do exist) will certainly be looked upon as unfair at best and possibly fraudulent in the eyes of a judge.

Face it, even your own insurance agent or broker hasn't informed you of your right to collect diminished value from the insurer of the responsible driver. Regardless of the fact that the settlement isn't even costing your own insurer a dime, agents are mum on the subject altogether. Automobile diminished value is the newest thorn in the insurance companies' side. Their mission is to keep it a secret and their hope is that it will go away.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Do not complicate the issue.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

" , I am going to file against the insured of the vehicle, the driver that caused the collision, the claims rep that is handling my case, and for good measure the CEO of USAA, Major General Robles,retired. "

   You're on the right track with filing against the other driver and the individual that owns the other vehicle.  They are the only ones responsible to make you whole. 

   Do not risk getting your case thrown out by adding parties that you have no claim against.   The claims rep and the CEO have no contract with you, nor do they have any direct liability in this accident.  They have a responsibility only to their insured.    While it might seem like fun to have them squirm under your summons, such a tactic will likely blow up in your face.    Keep your suit simple and concise. 

  While lawyers are generally not allowed in smaill claims, in cases where an insurance company is contractually obligated to defend their client, they are often allowed.   This is actually a good thing.   That means you'll have the insurance company's legal represetative there to explain to the judge why their estimate of DV is correct and yours is not.   You will have the same opportunity.   Ultimately, that's what you want, right?
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#3 Consumer Comment

diminished value

AUTHOR: Jeanski - (USA)

I took a look at the 17c formula you referenced. While it's NOT illegal, it IS unreliable and, perhaps, unreasonable.  I found a great website that explains the 17c and how diminished value should actually be calculated (

Based on things I've read elsewhere, you may have a hard time coming up with a specific DV figure.  Your best bet might be to sell the vehicle to the highest bidder and then sue for the difference between what you were able to get, and what you could've gotten pre-collision.
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#4 Author of original report

Allstate is not Responsible

AUTHOR: darcey - (United States of America)

Allstate my insurance company is not responsible for the dv on my car. The insurance follows the car in the state of VA. Allstate paid for the repairs of my vehicle because I refused to take my car to a USAA's collision shop. My insurance paid and USAA reimbursed them since their driver was at fault, and ticketed, in the collision. This is the typical run around provided by USAA. I have supplied all the documentation supporting the diminished value of my vehicle. They used some formula called a 17c that is illegal in some states. My vehicle was in excellent shape with low mileage before the accident. They keep telling me that the appraisals I have received are based on retail. They are trying to convince me that I could sell the car privately and get more than a used car dealer had offered. Maybe, Maybe not. The bottom line is that the care is now worth several dollars less than before the accident and I should be compensated for that difference. They even call and ask that I send the paperwork for the lawsuit to them and not to their client. In the state of VA I can name as many defendants as I want. No lawyers can be involved in small claims court. They don't want me to name their client because then the client would know what crappy insurance they had. The owners of the vehicle that hit mine were negligent in allowing their son to lend his vehicle to someone else. That someone else was driving the vehicle that hit mine. The boy driving the vehicle was a fraternity pledge and was driving around to fulfill his obligations to become part of the fraternity. (otherwise know as the "b***h" driving fraternity brothers girlfriend's around town) he was negligent and ran a red light broadsiding my son and two of his friends in my mustang. It doesn't really matter the circumstances, USAA is at fault and after jumping through all their hoops they still have denied my claim for 3400 for diminished value.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Where's Allstate ???

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Have you let Allstate go to bat for your interests? That's what you pay them to do. Let them handle the negotiations for the reimbursement. They've been through this many, many times.
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#6 Author of original report

Did no cash the check

AUTHOR: darcey - (United States of America)

USAA sent me, a check for 970 dollars. This is about 2500 dollars less than the 3 appraisals I had obtained. No I did not cash the check, nor did I sign any waiver with USAA. The check is not valid after 180 days. So when  I file in small claims court, if the check has expired by then,which I am sure it will be, I will have to ask for the full amount. I am being advised by my own insurance agent (allstate) on how to proceed. When I file in small claims court (which in my state of Virginia) does not allow attorneys to be present, I am going to file against the insured of the vehicle, the driver that caused the collision, the claims rep that is handling my case, and for good measure the CEO of USAA, Major General Robles,retired. It will be interesting to see who appears in court. My GT was worth 24000 as a certified pre-pwned vehicle, now it is worth only about 14,000.  I have several pages of documentation that .they (USAA) does not deem credible. That is a 10,000 dollar difference, and I am asking for 3400. I think I am being quite fair and reasonable. I guess I will just have to wait and see what the judge thinks.
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#7 Consumer Comment



not surprised
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#8 Consumer Comment

No idea what Kimmie is talking about???

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

 So name calling did not solve the problem Kimmie????
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#9 Consumer Comment



please translate your last post into know language, thank you.
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#10 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

We do understand.  I don't believe that anyone thinks you should not be compensated for the loss in value of the car.  In an ideal world would it be nice if USAA just came out and said, "you are right here is the money", of course it would.  But that unfortunately this is not how it works.  You can just about guarantee that probably 99.9% of the other insurance companies would be doing pretty much the same thing.  That is what the courts are for, and that is why if you can't come to an agreement you need to file a suit.

The only thing that you have not been totally clear on, and something I am just mentioning for you to think about.  Is that when they paid for the damages did you sign anything that waived your right to go after them for additional damages?  If so then you are probably out of luck because in court all they have to do is show that document and your case would be dismissed.   If you didn't sign anything like that then just based on what you wrote it sounds like you have a pretty solid case.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Yes Kimmie please correct me

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

 I am glad Team Rebutt will correct me, not like Team Rebutt who are never wrong. SO SO please NOT
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#12 Author of original report

Diminished value of mustang gt convertible

AUTHOR: darcey - (United States of America)

Just to set the record straight Usaa will not pay me the diminished value of my vehicle after 3 independent appraisals of the amount my vehicle suffered after my son was tboned at college by another student who was driving a car that he borrowed. The car was insured by Usaa they drug their feet in repairing my vehicle so my insurance Allstate repaired the vehicle and then went after Usaa for reimbursement. Usaa paid for repair work but I am seeking damages for the diminished value oft vehicle now. Due to the damages it is worth several thousand dollars less than before the accident. I am only asking for what is fair. My vehicle was worth over 23000 before the accident and I'd now valued at only 14000 due to frame damage and other major repair work. Don't you think it is only fair that Usaa pays some compensation for the difference before accident to the value after accident? 3 different appraisals that I acquired on my time as well as paid a professional company for day yes I am due more compensation than 970 dollars. Usaa will not pay what the fair difference is. Yes they are taking care of their customer but that customer will also be named in my law suit as well as Usaa. The driver was ticketed for running a Red light and hitting my son. Thankfully no one was injured. The boy driving the vehicle was not the insured. He had borrowed the car so he to will be named in my suit. Someone is going to pay for the loss I have incurred. So now you know the facts. What if it was your vehicle how would you feel ?
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#13 Consumer Comment



and she will correct your grammar
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#14 Consumer Comment

KIm called me a name, I'm going tell

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

 Sniff Sniff Kimmee called my a name  I going to tell the teacher Boo h*o
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#15 Consumer Comment




do not bother with josey/charles his is just a twit.

Question is why are you dealing with the insurance company, why isn't your insurance company doing it? 
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#16 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Jeanski - (USA)

I have had USAA for over 30 years and they DO take care of their customer.  The claims I have had to file (both homeowners and auto) have always been taken care of quickly and to my satisfaction.  I think Robert is right. They were taking care of THEIR customer, which you are not.

If, however, everything you say is true, you probably do have a good case for small claims court. A 2008 Mustang is still worth a considerable sum.

I do not now, nor have I ever worked for USAA. 
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#17 Author of original report

What do you mean by HUH???

AUTHOR: darcey - (United States of America)

What part don't you understand. The company (USAA) has denied my diminished value claim 3 times!!
Documentation provided by 3  appraisers to support my claim of 3400 dollars in dv against USAA's offer of 970 dollars. Plain and simple the value of my vehicle is much less now than before the accident!!
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#18 Consumer Comment

Bobby HUH?????

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

 This is the worst reply you ever made. Get with the rest of Team Rebutt and practice on your advice.
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#19 Consumer Suggestion

Guy Next Door

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

The guy next door, Rick gets clipped by another guy. Rick has an old Honda. The other guy's insurance company offers $1,000 towards repairs. It costs around $4,000 to repair Rick's Honda. The other guy's insurance company refuses to ante up. Their lawyer calls back with several counteroffers, the max being $2,200. Rick refuses and takes the other guy to small claims court. Max in Texas is $5,000. Rick wins, the judge orders the other guy to pay and the other guy's insurance company did pay Rick the $4,000. He even got his filing fees. The other guy's insurance company even had a lawyer there representing their client. Perfect, just the way it's suppose to work. It just took about 8 months. Have all your ducks lined up with receipts and everything to prove your case.
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#20 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

They say they take care of all their customers and they were founded by prior military members.  What a lie, I am a veteran of the Air Force and they screwed me over.
- You are not their customer.  In fact they do appear to be taking care of their customer because they are trying to get you to accept about $2400 less than you think you are entitled to.

Typical treatment of our armed forces!!!

- You being in the Armed Forces has nothing to do with this.  Regardless of your history they probably would be doing the same thing.

 Guess there is nothing left to do but file suit in small claims court!!
- Yep, when you can't come to an agreement this is exactly what you need to do.  I just hope that if you accepted the amount on the actual damage that you didn't sign anything that waived your rights to any additional damages.  If so your Small Claims case will last about 30 seconds before the judge throws it out, and you probably should take the $970 offer now.

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