Mike and Maria own a small RV store of 35 recreational vehicles. These motor homes are all in high demand throughout the summer months. In June, one of their vehicles was hit by a careless driver and sustained extensive damage. The repair shop said it will be out of service for the rest of summer because of the lack of parts. They correctly decide to do three things:
Pursue Payment of Repairs
Mike and Maria found the adverse driver’s insurance information on the police report and filed a claim with that company rather than filing a claim with their own insurance company. They don’t want to take the risk of having a claim on their own policy and having their premiums rise. The repair estimate is $10,000. While the repair time should only be two weeks during normal times, it’s taking much longer currently. Due to worldwide shortages, parts are on back order.
Mike and Maria are pursuing lost income due to the downtime of the RV. While laws vary from state to state, most states allow for recovery of lost profits or loss of use. Mike and Maria calculate their expected income losses and submit it to the other driver’s insurance company in addition to the repairs. The prove this RV rents for $200+ per night and was contracted solid for the next two months. Mike and Maria calculate their lost income to be over $12,000. There’s no extra motor home on their lot, so they face many lost rental contracts and many unhappy clients.
Pursue other Consequential Damages and Out of Pocket Expenses
Mike and Maria are also filing a claim against the other side for diminished value. Diminished value is the difference in value of the RV before vs after the accident. To support this portion of their claim, Mike and Maria hire a heavy equipment appraiser to value their damaged RV and provide them with a valuation report. Interestingly, even once repaired, the RV will be worth $5,000 less than it was before the accident.
In total, Mike and Maria demand $10,000 for repairs, $12,000 for downtime, and $5,000 for diminished value. They are very careful to provide estimates, receipts, expert reports, and financial documents supporting the losses.
Because of their careful documentation, the adverse adjustor agrees to pay not only the repairs but the downtime and diminished value. With fewer adjustors handling more claims, claimants like Mike and Maria must be organized and persistent in pushing their claim to the top of an adjustor’s pile.
If an adjustor refuses to acknowledge or pay your claim, contact an insurance law firm to help you get the justice you deserve.