Gazedo
Occasional Contributor

To whatever USAA employee deleted the first post I did of this, don't  bother trying to hide my feedback, I will just keep posting this no matter how many time you delete it. Everything I have stated I can back up with written proof and I have actually left out some stuff to keep this to a resonable length.

 

Fairly recently I had the unfortunate experience of being in a car crash. My car (2015 Mazda 3) was a total loss and the other party was at completely at fault. I figured there wouldn’t be any trouble with USAA as I had dealt with non-total loss claims before and it was fine. My family have also been customers of USAA products for 20+ years and I had been a customer for 12 years.

The first issue was that my total loss representative took several days to get in touch and I finally had to just call and talk to someone in the total loss department, then I got the offer for the car almost half a week after that. The offer was for less than 60% of what I bought the car for less than 10 months earlier. I was shocked and as I was reading through the subtractions from the comparable cost I found several bogus items. One was a subtraction of $800 for prior damage. This was false as the car didn’t even have a scratch on it before the accident and the damage from the accident was such that the engine was sheared in half, all airbags were deployed and the entire chassis of the car was bent out of shape. Because the chassis was tweaked, almost all of the windows were compromised and the rear was shattered. The damage was so extensive there was no way any of it could have ever been guaranteed to be from before the accident. To get that item removed took another week and by this time the rental had run out so I was without a vehicle. Other items that were reported as my car didn’t have the factory tinted windows, didn’t have clearcoat paint, and that the tires were worn. My Mazda had the pearl white premium paint which was an option, its not like I removed all the factory tinted glass to purposely replace the windows with crappier versions, no rear spoiler, and the tires were replaced with Toyo Proxies when I bought the car and had less than 5000 miles on them. These mistakes took another week to fix. By this time I have been without a vehicle for 2 weeks and I have resorted to driving my classic car as a daily driver.

I decided to do my own market analysis and I found that the comparables the subcontracted company used had several issues. I work as a robotics engineer, data analysis and market research is a required aspect of my job. One had been heavily modified to look like a drifter, another had been in an accident, and the last seemed to be a lemon as its sale and auction history was all over the place. Those aspects would have disqualified them for being comparables but in addition, all the prices were falsely reported as being lower than the actual list price. The adjusted price was then further reduced and that is the value that was used to compare my car. The worst offender was actually listed at 18,500 (reported to be 17,990 list price in report), the adjusted value was reported to be 14,938. According to USAA and CCCOne you could get a further $3562 off of a car that is in the bottom 15% of Kelley Blue Book pricing. To anyone wondering how to find this information, google keeps archives of almost everything and there are various other source. If you call the dealership and explain the situation, they are usually very happy to help, especially if you tell them that you’re another person getting screwed by USAA.

Something else strange was than all of the comparables was that they didn’t have the same options as my car. My Mazda had a special limited production body kit offered by Mazda that was very rare and was a huge boost to the value. When I pointed this out, my representative said that the option was ‘Personal Preference’ and therefore had no impact on value. I started to point out other issues and that was the answer to having new tires, oem mudflaps, mud floor mats (I live in Oregon and these are almost a necessity), and having the optional lighting package for the car. Apparently anything that is viewed as ‘personal preference’ has no impact on the value of the car. Something else that didn’t have any impact on my car’s value was the Kelley Blue Book value, but when I submitted comparables, they were all rejected because they were 5% above the median price reported for my car in Kelley Blue Book.

Fed up with the scam that was the total loss department I hired my own adjuster. I had to direct my USAA representative to the relevant clauses in my insurance contract with USAA, direct them on their required actions and finally after being stonewalled by USAA for almost a month, they came to an agreement for 95% of what I purchased the car for. Because of USAA’s incompetence, I almost lost 6k and it is only because I exercised my rights that I got anywhere near a fair value. My adjuster warned me that the settlement was still below value but advised me that I wasn't likely to get anything more without legal proceedings. I just wanted to get this process done so I settled.

In summary I lost my car on August 6th, 2018, my rental was taken away on August 21st, and I wasn’t fully paid until December 10th. Needless to say, I am in the process of dumping USAA as my bank, the insurance company for my house, and have already ditched them for anything related to vehicle insurance. What they did to me was borderline illegal and I encourage anyone reading this to immediately dump USAA and run to any other company.

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2 REPLIES

Gazedo, 

We never want you to feel dissatisfied with your claim experience.  I see that my colleague, LeKisha, has responded to your original post and escalated your situation to subject matter expert.  Please allow 2-3 business days for contact.  Thanks~Mike

The original post that was deleted? I saw her post on my reply to advise another victim of USAA's total loss of his rights.