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Report: #1230695

Complaint Review: Geico Auto Insurance - Nationwide

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: J. Garcia — Texas USA
  • Geico Auto Insurance Nationwide USA

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First of all, I want to let everybody know that I am a firm believer in being fair, reasonable, and willing to compromise.  The reason for this report is because I believe others should be aware of the bad practices they will encounter when dealing with Geico, especially with a diminished value claim.

Back in September of 2014, my wife was T-boned by a reckless driver with a minivan coming from one shopping area.  The other driver was immediately found at fault by the police and my wife's SUV could not be driven off and had to be towed.  The SUV is a 2015 Grand Cherokee that we bought 2 weeks earlier, yes only two weeks out of the dealership and with less than 100 miles on it.  Since my wife was pregnant at the time of the accident, we were advised to have her checked out to make sure the pregnancy was okay and we did.  From the time I reported the accident to Geico and to my own insurance (Allstate), it took over three weeks for Geico to accept responsibility of the accident and I actually had to go through my own insurance to get a rental car and pay for the repairs.

Before making any repairs, I had a concern about accepting the vehicle with repairs due to the fact that I had a new car that now it was wrecked and I knew this would be an issue but Geico assured me that they would take care of the problem if I made a Diminished value claim after the repairs were completed.  Like most people, I was fooled and I agreed to get the vehicle repaired and proceed with the diminished value claim.  Kenneth Bailey from Geico told me that all I needed to do is to get them a letter explaining what I thought the diminished value was and some proof of what I was basing my estimate.  Once the SUV was repaired, I went to a dealership a tried to get the vehicle trade-in and I was offered $33k for an SUV that I paid $40k a few weeks earlier, this due to the simple fact that the CarFax report showed that the car was involved in a significant accident.  The dealership was impressed with the repairs but the only problem was that the car was involved in an accident. I understand cars loss value as soon as they leave the lot but they do not lose $7k in two weeks.

I included the offer from the dealership and the Carfax report to the letter I sent to them and I asked for $6.5k.  From the time I submitted the paperwork (in November) I did not hear anything from them for months.  I called them, emailed them, left messages, etc… I finally got a call back from Kenneth Bailey 4 months later and he offered me the ridiculous amount of $500 and after a long talk with him on the phone he offered me to settle for $1,000 and finally for $2,000 because they would not give me more without having more proof, I asked him what kind of proof and he told me I needed to figure that out.  I did not think this was fair and I did not settle (I would settle for something close to $4,000) and I informed him that I would prepare a demand in small claims court.

I would be very willing to negotiate and to reach a reasonable solution for this issue if Geico was willing to do the right thing and if they would be open to treat me fair and respectfully.  I understand Insurance companies do what they can to make money and they want to protect themselves from unreasonable claims, however in this case I think I’m being very reasonable and I’m only asking to be treated fairly and to get some help in recovering the value of my property that I lost due to the reckless driving of their insured driver.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/21/2015 12:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/geico-auto-insurance/nationwide/geico-auto-insurance-diminished-value-claim-houston-nationwide-1230695. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Geico's Low Balling

AUTHOR: Employee - (USA)

POSTED: Wednesday, August 17, 2016

You bought insurance with Nationwide. And you probably had collision with Nationwide-so you should have gone throught Nationwide and let them battle it out with Geico. That is what insurance is for.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Geico tactics

AUTHOR: Lawyer Jack - (USA)

POSTED: Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I read this compaint and the subsequent comment with interest as I am preparing to litigate against Geico in an automobile diminished value case. My client also sent a letter from his dealer to Geico that showed a loss of value. He also received the form letter that was in the response submitted by The St. Lucie Appraisal Company.

What Geico is doing with these letters is a classic example of cutting off their noses to spite their faces. The reason, and a primary factor in my advising my client to obtain a diminished value report from a licensed appraiser, is that letters from dealers are hardly irrefutable evidence of diminished value as they are prepared by sales managers who wish to obtain the cars for as little as possible. Any judge would look at this evidence warily. Geico is, in essence, forcing claimant's to obtaing reports that WILL, in fact, stand up in court!

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

GEICO and diminished value

AUTHOR: STLUCIEAPPRAISAL - (USA)

POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Our company prepares diminished value appraisals in all 50 states. We rely exclusively upon unbiased opinions from sales managers at dealerships as to how much of a loss in value vehicles have suffered after accident repairs. Obtaining six quotes is very time consuming also rewarding as the dialog is always educational. Sometimes it can border on the absurd though.

A letter from the claimant’s dealership declaring that the vehicle has lost value as a result of undergoing collision repairs. A typical insurance company response: “A dealership is not a disinterested third party and has a financial interest in the acquisition price of a trade in vehicle. Their business model is to buy low and sell high. An offer of trade is simply the starting point of a negotiation and does not, in and of itself, establish any specific loss in value. It is our position that the documentation presented by you does not provide any underlying market data in support of the post-accident value of your vehicle.” One may concede that the use of a trade-in quote from the claimant’s dealer presents a valid argument that this is not an acceptable method.

GEICO, however, has gone a few steps further to discourage dealers from providing their customers with diminished value letters. The following letter is GEICO's and it goes to any dealer that provides such a letter.

Dear Dealership General Manager/Owner,

It has been brought to our attention that you or one of your representatives determined Mr. Smith's 2010 Ford Mustang lost value due to a collision repair.

We would appreciate if you take a few minutes of your time to answer the questions below so that we may better understand your position.

  1. Has your Dealership sold any new vehicles that were damaged in transportation, test drive or any other time prior to sale?
  2. Was the damage repaired?
  3. How do you handle disclosure of repaired damage to new vehicles that are for sale? 
  4. How do you calculate any discount of the vehicle’s sale price due to the damage and repairs?
  5. Do you ask each prospective customer if their trade-in vehicle has ever been involved in an accident?  How do you calculate the trade in value for prior repairs?
  6. Do you currently have any vehicles on your lot of a similar year, make and model as the vehicle mentioned above?
  7. What is your asking price for the vehicle that you accepted from Mr. Eichholz?
  8. What is your take price for the vehicle?
  9. In providing your opinion to Mr. Eichholz regarding the loss of value, did your technician review the detailed repair estimate or invoice?
  10. Do you currently have any vehicles on your lot that have any repaired collision damage?
  11. What is the asking price for those vehicles?
  12. What is your take price for those vehicles?
  13. In what way were you able to ascertain the specific amount of loss in value that you have stated the above vehicle in question sustained as a result of the repaired collision damage?
  14. Who inspected the vehicle in question and does that person have any repair expertise?
  15. Please describe your inspection procedure and what factors you are using to establish your specified loss of value calculation?
  16. Do you apply this same inspection and loss of value calculation process to every customer that presents a vehicle for trade?

Thank you for your cooperation in resolving this matter.

Sincerely,

Ryan Ownbey

GEICO Auto Damage Supervisor

It would take an hour or more for a manager at a dealership to complete this questionnaire. You be the judge of whether the inquiries are necessary.

Every time we see transparent attempts by insurance companies to circumvent fairness, another protective clause appears in St. Lucie Appraisal's diminished value reports to prevent them from using unfair tactics. Our inherent diminished value reports are ultimately designed to be read and decided upon by a magistrate or mediator. In the past, our reports have proved conclusive in winning cases for our customers because they are based on real-world data.

As more and more GEICOs pile more and more garbage on top of what claimants already have to go through, letters from dealers will soon become a thing of the past.

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