I was involved in an automobile loss with another USAA member on 1 June 20 in Virginia Beach, VA. The police arrived and issued each of us a Crash Information Exchange Sheet noting the other party at fault for the accident citing her failure to yield to the right of way when making a U-turn. In Virginia, an official police report is not issued when parties do not suffer injury. I quickly notified USAA and sent in a copy of the crash information sheet and a few photos on 1 June 20, the date of the accident.
The following day, 2 June 20, my husband drove my vehicle to Rick Hendrick's Collision Center for repair/estimate since I was unable to successfully do online. Rick Hendrick's Collision Center is one of two collision centers recommended by USAA for damage repair service. We received the first estimate for repair costing $6699.57.
I have a 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek, paid for, with 48,185 mileage. Mint condition, one prior accident, again no fault of mine. Prior accident was identified on my Carfax report and USAA's ISO report from February 2017. I was run-off-road and forced into the curb causing damage to the right side (28 Undercarriage) of my car to avoid a collision with a rather large black truck.
My Subaru mechanic suggested I do a DV claim. My car was in great shape even after my first accident. I took outstanding care of my car and have the maintenance records to back up my claim. On 6 June 20, I mentioned the inherent diminishment of value to my vehicle, it was then that I was told the other party had not accepted liability, so therefore I could not start the DV paperwork until the at-fault party accepted responsibility. I was taken back a little, I guess accountability and crash reports are not good enough, eventually, the at-fault party claimed liability.
I received a rental car as my car repair was estimated completion date on 12 June 20. I returned my rental car to Enterprise on 12 June, costing $449.24, rental car coverage is capped at $600.00. I did not find out until after I returned my rental that my car was not repaired as another problem emerged. I decided that I would not entertain re-renting another car as there was approximately $150.00 left towards a rental and I did not want to come out of pocket for the expense. After many phone calls and emails posted to USAA's claims communication center and a lot of back and forth with the collision center, my car was ready for pick up on 29 June 20. Needless to say, I went without a vehicle from 12 - 29 June 20. To make this clear, my adjustor offered but my car repair completion timeframe was always a few days away. I blame myself but I was as proactive as I could be in trying to understand how the not a fault party was more inconvenienced than the at-fault party. In addition, my car developed another problem. I had to take back on 6 July 20. The problem was fixed, and to date, 7/16/20, my car appears to be working. The total cost of repairs to date $7937.16.
During the repair/rental car havoc, the DV claim process is frustrating and typical when both parties have the same insurance company. USAA uses Alacrity Solutions to determine the diminished value worth of USAA clients who desire to pursue diminished value. Again, I was proactive in this approach to get back the inherent diminished value of my vehicle. What I have learned: Alacrity Solutions uses NADA clean retail figure to determine your ACV, in my case the pre-accident ACV was determined to be $14,925.00, Carfax was $15,380.00 - DO NOT BOTHER WITH CARFAX USAA WILL NOT ACCEPT. Even though, the data on my vehicle was annotated correctly on Carfax to include prior damage and all maintenance records. Do not waste your money. In addition, NADA guides will state:
"Does NADA guides provide values of vehicles that have been in a collision and repaired? It is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to determine diminished value from an accident and as a result, NADA guides make no attempt to take a stand on diminished value. Any aspect of the vehicle's history can influence the value of a vehicle; and, the vehicle's history and condition should be considered when determining a vehicle's value. Since the actual condition and history of an individual vehicle varies greatly, users of NADA guides values may need to make independent adjustments for a variety of reasons not specifically accounted for by NADA guides” (NADA guides, 2020).
I addition, I was informed by a USAA representative that I was at fault for my first accident so diminishment in value is not owed. This was incorrect, and I have a USAA ISO report that clearly states I was not at fault and the prior accident was already included in my ACV used by Alacrity and Carfax. REMEMBER USAA WILL NOT ACCEPT CARFAX. So, basically, I am being told that my prior accident is the reason I am not receiving my true diminishment in value even though the ACV used by Alacrity Solutions already reflects prior accident diminishment.
You will have to take your repairs to a certified auto adjuster as I have done. However, this will fall on deaf ears, especially with Alacrity who will send you a letter stating they used these factors to determine your diminished value which is a basic "17c" calculation, general to all and specific to none. ACV, mileage, repair estimate, prior damage, which is already accounted for in their ACV offering. Alacrity on behalf of USAA will send you a "slap in the face" check stating "undisputed diminution in value check, in my case, $350.90. , even after you clearly state you do not agree or accept their "lowball" offer. I guess the quicker they close the more they will receive for their services based on your acceptance. Also, the 17c formula they use is subjective and ambiguous not specific to your accident and repairs, not to mention you will get a double deduction for mileage, which is unethical and conducive to bad faith.
Also, which is my biggest concern, USAA will NOT SHARE THE ALACRITY REPORT FINDINGS TO WHY THEY GAVE YOU WHAT THEY GAVE YOU IN DIMINISHED VALUE....not transparent.
I have frame and structural damage to my car. Front bumper, grille, front lamps, radiation support, hood, fender, electrical, windshield washer reservoir, cowl, pillars, rocker, and floor, front door, quarter panel, paint...parts were replaced or repaired with aftermarket parts or like in kind. The total cost of parts: $3479.36. I have a Subaru; I know diminished value based on part repair and replacement alone.
You will also spin your wheels getting after accident estimates from dealerships. They will give you an estimate based on face value and a quick on-site inspection, but unless you are willing to trade or sell your vehicle that day, the estimate you receive, will NOT be valid as it is contingent on a mechanical inspection.
Bottom line, I wholeheartedly believe, as the not-at-fault party, I was treated poorly by USAA. The only advocates I had in this whole accident were my adjustor and the people at the collision center. I presented accurate documentation and spent time, money, and I was inconvenienced for over 3 weeks. So, save yourself some time and trouble, immediately get legal representation if you believe you are owed any diminished value. Your auto adjuster will go high with the hopes of USAA negotiating something in the middle. File a complaint with the State Insurance Commissioner if you believe bad faith was evident. It will take time and you will have to pay out of pocket but if your case is valid and you can prove your damage you will save yourself time and stress.
After the above post, my claim was turned over to USAA’s Advocacy Team, and this is what happened. After 10 days, I received a phone call from Mr.XXX, who stated he did not believe I had anymore diminished value in my car than what Alacrity Solutions determined, I disagreed and requested an official letter from USAA stating so. I need the letter to complete my package to further this dispute by other means. I received a payment of approximately $150.00 for the time I spent without my vehicle or a rental car. I went without a vehicle from 12 - 29 June 20. So, for that time frame, USAA gave me a payment of $150.00, which brought me to my rental car cap of $600.00. I would have had to come out of pocket after the cap (on my policy) was met, with the hope of USAA expending the excess cost to the at-fault party’s insurance. Again, my adjustor offered to get me a rental car at my expense after the $600.00 cap is met, but my car repair completion timeframe was always a few days away. I blame myself but I was as proactive as I could be in trying to understand how the not-at-fault party was more inconvenienced than the at-fault party.
In addition, per the advice of my advocate, I reached out to the at-fault party’s adjuster for reimbursement for the days I was without my car or a rental.
Update. Well now it is the 11th of August 2020 and to date, this is what has happened. I cannot get the at-fault party’s adjuster to return my phone call or answer my email requesting an official letter from USAA stating I am not due any more diminished value for my car or address the days without a vehicle dilemma.