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Insurance follies

How to deal with insurance adjusters - one of the many ways to Nirvana (?)

Some years ago, a lady I know had a very tired, quite raggedy 68 or so VW
beetle with automatic clutch. (It may have been a 74, but that isn't
pertinent.) Some ham-handed idiot "rebuilt" the carb, installed a major
gasoline leak (you didn't smell anything?) and the result was that the car
burst into flames and burned to the ground on I-4 just east of Tampa. The
car had a plastic car-top carrier, and the whole mess melted like an
ice-cream cone. The lady jumped out of the car and was only able to rescue a
giant economy size tube of K-Y jelly. (No further information forthcoming on
that topic.)

She called me collect (of course), hysterical: "Michael! Michael! My car
just burned to the ground!"

Response: "That's great! Now your insurance can buy you something nice!"

Her response: "????"

As expected, the insurance adjuster offered her something like $750 for the
toasted VW. That wasn't enough even then to buy anything decent.

Orlando (and most other cities) has a magazine called "Auto Trader" which is
where people sell cars that are vastly overpriced because the owner thinks
they are antiques and classics, and this phenomenon is self-reinforcing
because everything else in these magazines is already priced too high, so MY
car must be worth at least that much or more, 'cause MY car is nice (and
only has 250,000 miles on it, etc.) - you get the idea.

Take out scissors, cut out all the VW beetle ads, especially convertbles
(which are priced much higher anyway), take the TOP TEN ads (making sure to
include some non-convertibles) and present the list to the adjuster:

"See, these cars sell for up to $3,000! Look, here's one for $2,600! Hers
had automatic clutch! That's rare (Yeah: No one would buy it.) Hers had new
paint (unverifiable - burnt paint is burnt paint), hers had new brakes
(unverifiable), just had a tune-up (right), new upholstery (yeah, yeah), etc.

Result: Adjuster parted with $2,550, the lady bought a new(er) car, and
thanked me profusely.

Moral: Non illegitimi carborundum, especially the illegitimi who work for
insurance companies!

Best Regards,

Mike Arman

Audi Content: 5ks, other stuff too.