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[TowerTalk] Insurance Claims

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Insurance Claims
From: (Roger L. Elowitz)
Date: Sat, 03 May 1997 00:43:57 -0400
Hi Paul,

Someone damages your property and HIS insurance company wants to pro-rate
your damage claim?  Of course they do.  How generous!  But, as things go
here in the NY-NJ area..... a claim delayed or a claim denied is big bucks
saved by the insurance company. They can make any offer they think you are
likely to accept including outright denial for outrageous reasons.  If you
are STUPID and accept their first offer.... THEY'VE WON!  It's only a game
of winning and losing and they are masters at it. Fairness counts for zip!
The only thing that matters is that they don't pay a dime unless they
absolutely have to.... usually as directed by a judge.

Your next move in this game is to have the damage estimated by two or
possibly three adjusters and send the estimates to the insurance company
COVERING THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE along with a letter from your lawyer
threatening court action.  
( Replacement labor by a competent installer must also be included. )  Many
insurance companies in my area won't begin to make an offer to settle unless
it's ten minutes before they have to appear before a judge.  There is no
reason to shell out bucks before then.  After all, they are counting on your
getting discouraged and walking away with your claim before it comes to
court.....if it ever does).

If your total claim is below the maximum for a small claims action.... you
don't even need a lawyer.  Check the limits in your town. Then, if
acceptable.... file a small claims action.  It's really simple and the court
is on YOUR SIDE.

Now, the issue gets more complex.  If you want YOUR insurance company to pay
for the damage to the tower under your HOMEOWNERS policy..... that's a
different story altogether. Is your tower included or does it need a special
rider to be covered?  If it is included..... then your insurance company
should subrogate the claim and....... a) pay you the full and fair amount to
make you "whole" again and then, b) go after the insurance company of the
driver of the vehicle. This takes you out of the picture entirely.

In any case... you need the services of a good insurance broker to tell you
what your options are and perhaps the advice of a good lawyer.  

I hope some of the above is useful. Whatever you do.... you DON'T have to
settle for a dime less than it costs to MAKE YOU WHOLE.... WHATEVER THAT IS!
New tower.... removal of the old one, new installation labor and all.  You
pay zippo out of your pocket. Any settlement less than this is for fools or
the weak of will. Disregard any other claims of fairness by the other
insurance company.  It's all BS.... every last word of it.

Good Luck,

Roger, K2JAS

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