Insurance heads-up!!

Andrew Buc abuc at
Sun Dec 15 20:53:12 EST 2002

** Reply to message from "Doug Johnson" <ur-quattro at> on Sun, 15 Dec
2002 17:05:28 -0800

> In Washington State, we are entitled to a second
> appraisal, paid for by the insurance company.  I got lucky, and got a
> "car-nut" for my second appraiser.

As a Washington state resident, I'll have to remember that!

In '92 my immaculate '71 Peugeot 504 was totaled. I had (and still have)
insurance w/Safeco. It wasn't convenient for me to be at the car when the
appraiser came by, but they said that was no problem: He'd look it over from
outside and touch base w/me later by phone. He gave me a very fair price on it.
I'd replaced the speedo with a wrecking-yard unit at some point because the old
one had failed, and the (5-digit) mileage was 35,000-something. (I think actual
mileage was something like 150 or 170k.) Over the phone, the adjuster told me
that he'd looked at the pedals thru the window, and their good condition
confirmed the low mileage. I said, "That isn't the original speedometer," and he
laughed and said, "Don't tell me that!"

A few years ago the agency handling my insurance was sold, and at some point I
briefly told the new agent this story, leaving out the part about the speedo
replacement. She said it comes down to the individual appraiser's judgment call.

In the early to mid-60's, _Road & Track_ had a  very good article by an
insurance adjuster who's also a car guy about dealing w/insurance companies. I'd
imagine that the principles he laid out still go today. He said that adjusters
who are also car buffs (like him) are rare. To most adjusters, cars are like
belly buttons: everyone has one, and they're all alike. Would some ambitious,
public-spirited person like to dig up the article?

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