Geico Insurace will Rip You Off

My car was hit by a car that was insured by Geico Insurance and Geico says my car is totaled. They offered to give me much less than what it would cost to replaced my car and then said I could
keep the car for the highest salvage fee I have ever heard of for a totaled car. It was an obvious low ball tactic to save money. I have already talked to several body shops who estimated the salvage value of half what Geico wanted. I have no job and can not afford to buy another car, so the tactics of Geico would leave me without a car to go along with my unemployment. Then they tried to get me to use my insurance which would mean I would pay a large deductible and my insurance premium would go up when I am not at fault. Their last words were to have my lawyer contact them. As if I could afford a lawyer. in other words they low balled me on purpose knowing I would not accept their offer. They are hoping I choose to use my insurance and they will pay nothing.
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Just one little thought to put in your ear: I have wrestled with insurance companies before, and if they chose to, they can be about as nasty as anything I've seen. They are a law unto themselves. If you do decide to get 'em, I do recommend a lawyer. Find one that will take the case on contingency. Have him/her tell you upfront what they think they can get, reduce that by their fee percentage, and see if what's left over is enough to make the fight worth it. In one notable instance, I hired a lawyer for a flat $1,000 (payable when we won). We won the case easily enough, but then there was no real certain way to collect from the other party who claimed poverty and had homesteaded their house. Their insurance company folded in the meantime. I have a lien on the person's house, but I've had it there for six years and cannot collect until they sell it. Geico doesn't have that problem, but messing with these guys can be a real problem. Plus, winning sort of lost its taste of victory when it cost me a grand whether I collected or not. At least on a contingency, the lawyer needs for you to be successful in collecting. One thing you might think about is contacting the yard that has your vehicle and see what they or some buyer is going to give for it. See if you can wait until Geico sells it, and then buy it from whoever buys it at a lot less. That way you could collect the sum from the insurance company, get your vehicle back, and use the money to fix it, if it's worth it. I got my truck back for five hundred bucks that way instead of paying the salvage the insurance company wanted. Lastly, it sounds as if they are still threatening you when they say get a lawyer. Hell, I'd go ahead and get one just to vent some anger. Since it sounds as if you'll win the case, a lawyer shouldn't be hard to find, and what do you have to lose if none of the other options will get you back on the road?
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B Dragon wrote:

Reed,     You DO need to contact your insurer. It is the reason you pay insurance to begin with. They are your agent, and their lawyers will fight for you. My heartfelt suggestion is to contact your insurer and let them know what's going on. Your insurer will want to have a claims adjuster come out and assess your vehicle.
Don't delay!
    Martin     '01 Formula -    MTI Air Box Lid, K&N Filter, Hurst-6,             SLP Cold Air Induction & Smooth Intake Bellow             Corsa Catback w/Premium Tips     '83 V45 Magna
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A mistake on your part! When something as severe as this happens, contact YOUR insurance compny and let them handle it! That is what you are paying them for!! My wife was in an accident and I just turned it over to our insurance company. We got paid more than average value, plus bought the car back for peanuts and salvaged it out myself. I made out like a stinkin' bandit on it, and my rates did not go up! We had the car for less than 6 months, I got paid back more than I paid for it, and sold it a week later complete for $750 more than what I paid for salvage value! Greg
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Talk to your insurance agent. My 81 Toyota pick-up was rear ended and totaled. My insurance paid me then went after the other persons insurance company. When my insurance co. was paid I got my deductible. My rates did not go up because the other driver was 100% at fault.
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Geico doesn't owe you one thin dime. Their offer is simply an offer to settle in lieu of suit.

Find a shop or dealer who will go to the auction and buy the car back for you, if you honestly feel this way.

If you really believe you are at 35% or less at fault, then use your own insurance company. They will get your deductible back for you.

This is a key phrase we use in the claims business to indicate that you are now being unreasonable/argumentative/emotional, and we do not wish to discuss the matter with you any more. I use it a lot. I'm sorry to say this, but it's true. When someone even mentions contacting an attorney, I assume immediately they have "lawyered up", and I practically beg them to please have their attorney call me. Contrary to popular belief, it is much easier to deal with a law professional in these situations than to the claimant directly.

You CAN afford an ENTIRE TEAM of lawyers... they work for you at a place we call "your own insurance company" to which you have been paying premiums.

Unfortunately, you have no contract with Geico, and their duty is to defend their insured and to minimize any claim payment to third parties, within the bounds of good faith (especially when serious injuries are involved).
Substitute ANY insurance carrier for "Geico" in this thread. Be careful that your slamming them here does not subject you to libel/slander accusations.
Rob
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The previous posts are correct. File a claim with your insurance company and they will collect the deductible for you once it is determined you were not at fault. Make sure that you are clear with your insurance that you were not at fault. Put everything in writing.
I once was hit by someone in a car I had no collision insurance on. The damage was minor but I filed a claim with the other guys insurance. They offered me half so I took them to court. I used no lawyer and I won. The claim was small so if the damage is low enough (like under 5 or 10 thousand) take them to court.

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In Canada, we have Toronto Dominion Meloche Monnex. They beat Geico hands down. No other insurance company can here in Canada can compete with them. It is all owned by the largest and most reputable bank company in Canada. I am switching over to them in a month when my insurance contract is over with the previous best rate ( ING Western Union ) I had ( $130 lower once I sign up with MM. Mind you, I am 27 and only one year of driving record and a brand new car). The point being, I am sure if you look around and do some good research, there are lots of very good companies with competitive rates and good coverage down there in the US.

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The US insurance companies have a tool:
It's called the: McArren-Fergusen act, and the insurance companies have ben anally penetrating the American public with that loophole since about 1948.
In Canada, the government must help the people with insurance laws, in America. One law is created to fix a bad law, then creates another three loopholes so the insurance companies can gain access to our colons again.
My Garage Keeper's Liability is going to drive me out of business at the current rate.
Refinish King

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Exactly how much was this "highest salvage fee I have ever heard"?
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This is why you shop around for car insurance, and do your homework. As others have already posted, by and large insurance companies are not your friend, they are only looking out for themselves. I strongly suggest once you get this crap squared away with Geico you look elsewhere. I've heard good things about USAA if you can get them, and personally I'm with Erie Insurance (if you can get them) as they only offer to good drivers. Erie gave me the 25 year old rate when I turned 24, saved me a TON of money vs. Liberty Mutual (and yes, they are scumbags). I called LM to see if they could match Erie's rate. "Oh we can't TOUCH that". So I said, Ok, bye! Now my insurance bill is due every year on my birthday. Not the best b-day present to receive every year but thank goodness for b-day money ;)
I've never had an auto claim outside of glass with Erie, for cracks, plus a replacement winshield, but there were never any problems. I also had Erie business insurance for awhile when I had office space and a pipe burst, ruining lots of computer equipment. They agreed to play by my rules, and paid promptly. Unfortunately we never got our $200 deductible back, because I don't think the plumber was insured :(

-GV
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@usa.com says...

Sorry to say this, but you get what you pay for. Geico and SafeAuto have very open-ended contracts and that's what you agreed too.
I never understand why people would opt to save a few hundred a year when it's so obvious if something happens they're screwed.
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Give the guy a break. He didn't pay for or agree to anything.
The person who hit him used Geico, not him!
FWIW, I've found that, if you still have collision on your car, your insurance company will help out. If you've dropped collision, you're on your own, since your insurance company has no liability.
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I have Geico. Got a quote from AIG recently and AIG couldn't touch their rates.
For years, Geico insured my 1980 Trans Am when my parents owned it. When I swapped to Classic Insurance in 1995, Geico said, "hmm, we don't insure those cars?" I said, "You have been for 15 years. LOL". And THEY took the pictures of it :).
My Classic Insurance is $174 a year on the 80, compared to $800 with Geico and I have a spotless 15 year + driving record as does my mother and my father before he passed away.
With that being said, in 1990, my '82 Oldsmobile was stolen and I found in the next day and it was a mess. Since the car had sentimental value, I wanted it back. Big fight with Geico on that.
We told them bottom line: We can hang you up in court, or you can play our way. Spoke to a supervisor, problem solved. With that in mind, they sent two investigators to my house after the car was stolen. I said, to them, "If you guys are looking for the parts around here, let me know where you find them, because it's damned if I know! LOL"
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 26k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 141k and still going.... '80 T/A project car...
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"Nothing will EVER happen to me"
"If it does I'll just blame the other guy for it"
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We need Mortimer's opinion on this!
Refinish King

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Of course they did. The best they will do is offer you market value for the vehicle that was totalled. They aren't going to total your year-old vehicle with 30,000 on it and give you a brand new one. Best you can hope for is a used replacement that is as close as they can practically find.
ALWAYS buy gap insurance if you are financing.
--- Rich http://richlockyer.tripod.com /
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Your premium will not go up if you are not at fault, unless you live in a no-fault state.
--- Rich http://richlockyer.tripod.com /
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