200q20v Insurance thoughts

Richard E. Berlin, Jr. rberlin at feltonberlin.com
Wed Oct 23 13:27:17 EDT 2002

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As the owner of insurance agencies and the former owner of Blueprint Classic
Car insurance, I have a few thoughts on the topic which might be helpful to
fellow subscribers

Each state is governed by its’ own insurance statutes. In my home
state—Massachusetts, car owners have limited choice as to what types of
physical damage coverages, (i.e., collision and comprehensive) they can
purchase. In this state, several carriers offer a “stated value” option to
those who feel their cars value exceeds that actual cash value. Stated Value
coverage means that a buyer can purchase hull coverage which is based on an
appraisal performed by a certified appraiser. But here’s the catch: with
stated value coverage, the insurer reserves the right to settle a claim at,
and I quote the statute,” at the stated value, OR the ACV, whichever is
less. IOW, you can buy the richer coverage, but it comes with no guarantee
that the claim will be settled at the appraised value. Hmmmmmm

A better alternative is to purchase “agreed value” coverage. If available,
this coverage contractually obliges the carrier to settle a partial or total
loss at that value to which he agreed; hence, the name. Unfortunately, this
type of coverages is currently only available in Massachusetts on antique
and classic policies which provide many constraints: e.g., ,2500 mi. per
year, always garaged, not a primary use car, etc. These are available
through Grundy, Hegarty, and a host of other specialty carriers. Though the
coverages are surprisingly inexpensive and have no front end deductible,
they are not suited to those of us, who, like me, love to drive their cars
often and regularly.
What to do?

Call your trusted and wise insurance agent (sorry Geico and Progressive
customers!) and inquire as to whether “agreed value” coverages are available
for sale in your state for regular use vehicles. If not, find a carrier who
offers “stated value” coverage, and get some assurance that the carrier will
pay at the limits you purchase pursuant to a bona fide appraisal. If you’re
in MA., Id be glad to tell you how I insure my beloved ’91 Avant.

And not to complicate the process, but always purchase the OEM endorsement,
if available. This option will preclude a body shop from using cheap parts
to repair an insured loss.

I hope this is helpful.

Richard E. Berlin, Jr.
200Q20V Avant, Indigo/Platinum, IA III+, Sport Seats, 82k mi.
(978Z) 548-3737
mail to:rberlin at feltonberlin.com


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