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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118796
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Hello, End of June I was in NY for both personal and business

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End of June I was in NY for both personal and business reasons. Someone drove into the back of my parked car while texting and driving. My sister heard the accident and immediately called the police and took pictures. I do not have collision insurance so my company told me I had to go to the claimant's insurance company but they did not that I was 0% at fault. Tower Group Insurance (claimant's insurer) representative was polite but said 10-14 days to get police report. I downloaded it that night and sent it to them the next day. They couldn't find their client's policy or number so that was causing delays so I went to the claimant's home and asked them for the policy number and submitted that to their insurance company. They were going to approval a car rental but that didn't come through until 9 days later after numerous discussions that I had to get home. Finally I told them it was not realistic for them to make me drive 1000 miles home in a rented car just to drive back 1,000 miles and drive my car home 1,000. I needed for my daughter and I to return home since I had numerous other commitments outstanding. And I didn't have the time for a two-day drive each way plus the return which would have been 6 days of my work time. I told them the price of the airline tickets and said if they did not approve it that day, the next day it would cost at least $100 more per ticket. I could not complete my business while there since I required a large vehicle that could tow.
To make it short, I was frugal in all expenditures so as not to increase the expense of the trip or undo expenses to the insurance company. I incurred over $3,000 in expenses to get back and forth and have paid all out of pocket to-date. My car was not ready for pickup until 3 weeks and 4 days later at which time I flew back to NY, picked up my repaired car, completed 5 days of work without my helpers (initially should have been 2 days with 2 helpers plus myself), and drove back to Georgia.
The insurance company said they will only reimburse me $800 for the car rental in Georgia and some gas; originally they said all expenses while on road including gas, hotel, meals, etc. During this waiting period, I stayed with family and used their car until the insurance company would meet their responsibility of reasonable expenses.
My car dealership said they should have given me a car equal in value to my GMC 7-passenger Envoy with tow package and owe me depreciation value as well since I was considering trading in my vehicle and now that it's been hit, it lowers the price I would get by 25% of the total repaired value (just under $5,000).
I have all my receipts and email communications but no longer want to deal directly with the insurance company. Someone suggested that I send them a registered letter with supporting documentation and file a complaint with NYState Insurance Board if they do not comply.
What would you suggest I do?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

The insurance company of the other driver (Tower) is liable for ALL of your expenses incurred as a result of their driver's negligence. You need to start by putting together an itemized list of all of your expenses and costs incurred and you need to send them a letter with copies of receipts and state in the letter you in good faith sought to mitigate the losses and their refusal to make payment to you upon proving those expenses to them is considered a bad faith denial of your claim and you would pursue them under NY Insurance Code 2601 for unfair claims settlement practices and you will seek monetary penalties through the Insurance Commission (the penalty is $500 per offense and NY does not provide any other penalty for these practices).

NY Ins. Code 2601 states in pertinent part:

(a) No insurer doing business in this state shall engage in unfair claim settlement practices. Any of the following acts by an insurer, if committed without just cause and performed with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice, shall constitute unfair claim settlement practices:

(1) knowingly misrepresenting to claimants pertinent facts or policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;

(2) failing to acknowledge with reasonable promptness pertinent communications as to claims arising under its policies;

(3) failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under its policies;

(4) not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims submitted in which liability has become reasonably clear, except where there is a reasonable basis supported by specific information available for review by the department that the claimant has caused the loss to occur by arson. After receiving a properly executed proof of loss, the insurer shall advise the claimant of acceptance or denial of the claim within thirty working days;

(5) compelling policyholders to institute suits to recover amounts due under its policies by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in suits brought by them
; or

(6) failing to promptly disclose coverage pursuant to subsection (d) or subparagraph (A) of paragraph two of subsection (f) of section three thousand four hundred twenty of this chapter. (b) Evidence as to numbers and types of complaints to the department against an insurer and as to the department's complaint experience with other insurers writing similar lines of insurance shall be admissible in evidence in any administrative or judicial proceeding under this section or article twenty-four or seventy-four of this chapter, but no insurer shall be deemed in violation of this section solely by reason of the numbers and types of such complaints

If they do not comply and pay you what you lost as a result of the negligence of their driver, then you would need to file your complaint with the insurance board and also file suit against the driver and the insurer to collect your damages.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I believe your answer was direct and concise. I will submit my letter to the insurance company. Depending on the time period for their response, how long is my window of time available to submit another question to you regarding this case?

Thank you very much.

You can come back and reply to expert at anytime you like even after leaving excellent service feedback and I am more than happy to reply to you and address any new issues regarding this matter that arise.
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