Old AF Medic
Contributor

I have the unfortunate opportunity to work with the claims dept with USAA after my really old vw bug caught fire.  In order not to make this a novel, I will abbreviate the just of my interaction.  After taking close to 3 weeks to come up with a number for total loss payout, and our calling them every 2-3 days, and them saying it should be a couple days. The amount they came up with was literally 1/2 of what i was expecting.

 

This car is over 50yrs old, and after purchasing it I restored it for over 2 years, and spent way over $20,000 replacing almost every part on the car.  A couple months ago it won best vw in a classic car show. 

 

So after a lengthy discussion with multiple people at the total loss dept. or what ever it was?  They told me well you are going to have to prove that you spent that on the restoration.  You are going to have to send us reciept.  Ok, so I sent them the bulk of reciepts that were for more than 40 or 50 dollars.  There was probably in excess of 40 reciepts.  I was told that it usually takes 4-6 hours for them to reevalute after getting reciepts, and i was advised to call back near the end of the day for them and it should be done.  When I called nothing had been done, and infact it still hadn't been forward or sent to dept. that does that.  Then was told to call back next afternoon to allow them to process the paperwork that they requested.  Once again nothing had been done.  Their response was, "Well there are a lot of reciepts".  I told them on multiple occaisions that almost every part on the car had been replaced.  So after alot of being put on hold and debate back and forth as to what all these parts could be for that were on all these reciepts.  Then she came up with a new attack.  well these reciepts are over a year old and that they couldn't be used for any change in valuation of claim.  Then tells me that 3 days after they came up with a total loss reimbursement they wouldn't pay for the car to stay at the air cooled vw shop that i use, and they agreed to send it to.  Oh, and that the rental car being provided was only good for another 6 or 7 days.  Then the strangest of all was when she told me that the only part of a $6000 engine reciept that was reimbursable was the case that equate to the engine block, "because all the other parts listed in the engine purchase are refurbishment parts and not neccessary".  I asked if pistons, rings, cam shaft, crankshaft, bearings, distributor are all neccessary for a engine block to something other than a really heavy paperweight.  

After a lengthy verbal debate. she then defered to have another appraiser come out and reevaluate the vehicle.  That should take place in 3-5 business days.  Which in the mean time they sent me a certified letter stating that they wouldn't pay for the car to stay at the current facility, and have also had to return the rental car still waiting for a new appraiser or new value offer.  

 

So now that we are over a month into the process, There has been exactly 1 phone call that i received from USAA claims people.  that was when they told me they had a payout that was rediculously too low.

 

All i can say is that once I have finished with this episode, I will also begin the process of looking for a new insurance company.  I have been a member long time, maybe 15yrs or more.  This is an absolute travesty that a company that braggs about caring for it members is doing business like this.  I accidentally found this USAA community discussion, and was dumbfounded that soooooo many people are complaining about exactly the same problems that i'm having, and nothing being done about it.  One very important thing that i found was a member mentioning that they have to respond to written correspondence, so I will be doing that, and I will also be sending a letter to the state ins. board with a formal complaint.

5 REPLIES

total loss nightmare provided stark warning that usaa (including ceo stuart parker) does not care at all about long-term members.  nothing but inhuman form letters, nonresponse, repeatedly bragging about exactly, how they'll recover every penny they have to pay out to you, "advocacy resolutions" repeatedly committing the exactly same offenses.  zero compassion, zero respect.  thank you for no longer trusting usaa.  

Claims process in USAA for vintage/collector vehicles (cars, trucks, campers, etc) is broken.  USAA contracts out to a company to determine fair market value.  That company, overpaid even if free to USAA, merely looks on Craigslist for “comparable” items.  After three years of restorations at a cost excceeding $25K, my Derel (short for Derelict) was a modern camper in a vintage-looking shell.  Then a hail storm turned Derel into a golf ball-looking mess!  USAA declared Derel a total loss.  I tracked where the USAA contractor garnered the worth of my 1964 Fireball Meteor camper.  Their three “comparables” were vastly different than mine: two didn’t have air conditioners;  none had 30 amp electrical systems and batteries; one seller even mentioned it had to be restored; and the list goes on.  USAA does a horrible job of protecting those of us stoopid enough to do restorations for collections and competition.  But “Caveat Emptor” safeguards USAA while leaving us holding the bag.  USAA didn’t even pay for the deck destroyed in that hail storm.  

oldesoldier, I am sorry to hear about the damage to your vintage vehicle. I have located your claim and I am escalating the situation to the CEO Member Relations department to review and reach out to you. Thank you.

I totally agree. An endless river of excuses with no car knowledge. The same is happening to me with my limited edition 2010 Genesis Coupe.

@Hyunibee, I have sent word to your adjuster and their manager of your concerns.  A representative will reach out to you within one business day. - Ina