In the summertime, theft of anything mobile reaches an all-time high. It doesn’t matter if it is a motorcycle, a car, or front-end loader. The insured could be a block down from the police station living across the street from a former Seal team member, if that vehicle isn’t secured, that car may go places it was never intended to go.
For instance, my insured, a large homeowners association, had purchased a used front-end loader and dump truck for picking up yard clippings and debris. Although this saved the insured association members from paying for the municipality, the association did not have a good place to park and secure the equipment.
One moonlight night, someone came and rode off with the front-end loader. It was gone for two weeks. The police were called and put on alert, our company was called, and the adjuster had been out. Then, miraculously, the front-end loader reappeared, in the spot it was taken from. Almost like the thief thought no one had missed it.
The machine had been used when originally purchased. The added damage caused us to total the vehicle. After I cut the check, I called around to different salvage yards to have it picked up, repaired, and resold. I ended up making $500 for the company. Not a big win.
At the end of the day, I removed the vehicle from the policy back to the loss date – not the day they gave up the plates or the day they junked/salvaged the vehicle. Not everyone does this. Here is my argument why it should always be the case:
Rental Car Coverage Excuse
I understand, you want coverage in place so they have the rental vehicle. It bothers me that any claims department doesn’t have a copy of the declarations showing coverage the day the loss. Or that most do not require the insured sign off on a total loss letter stating and agreeing to the disposition of the vehicle. Boggles the mind it does.
If the insured cannot use the vehicle due to a total loss, they should be able to remove he vehicle from the policy back to the day of the claim. The insurance company should know what was covered and what happened.
Kept It for Salvage Excuse
If the insured kept the vehicle and intends to keep it under a salvage title, that is their choice. Under a salvage title, most insurers will only offer liability only coverage or they may decline all together adding the vehicle. It depends on how they are filed in the state in question.
There should be no reason to keep the vehicle on the policy or require the insured to jump through hoops to remove it from the policy. In fact, it may save the insured money in the long run.
We Didn’t Cover It Because They Didn’t Have Physical Damage Excuse
The insured has had an accident and gone to the at fault carrier to get paid. They have saved the insured money, time, workforce, and call volume. How do we repay them? They have to jump through hoops prove they had an accident.
I have seen this even in situations where the insured actually called it into the company, the carrier did an estimate, but no, company still won’t remove back to the loss date.
This should not be the case. A brief email or a copy of their loss check should suffice.
The practice of making the insured jump through hoops to get things done is entirely old school. When the local insurtech company is solving claims in less than 60 seconds, carriers need to step up their game. This is just one way to do so.