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Old 11-28-2016, 09:14 PM   #1
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Insurance Adjuster Lowballing crashed bus

RIP SUNSHINE THE SCHOOLBUS

Specs:
1992 Ford
Diesel
Thomas body
Oil conversion
RV conversion
shortie bus

Sad but true...Our lovely "Sunshine the Schoolbus" ( #sunshinethebus ) was hit full on from behind by a loaded semi going at top speed. My partner, who was driving alone at the time, survived the crash (with injuries) and now we are dealing with a mountain of paperwork. The third-party out-of-state insurance carrier of the driver at fault (we are in California, adjuster is in Kentucky) gave the bus a value of $937.

The bus trade value when we got her, BEFORE we painted her and fixed her up, (she was already a RV) was estimated at $13,000. The insurance adjuster is trying to say that she was "not an RV, but a mobile storage unit" because our sink was not attached to the outside of the vehicle yet (We just got her 4 months ago and were still working on her). Sunshine is registered in the state of AZ as an RV conversion. We opted not to have an on-board bathroom since we needed as much floor space as possible, but she did have a bed and kitchen and living area.

Her tires and engine alone are worth over a grand, I can't conceive of how this adjuster is coming up with this ridiculously low number.
We had expected a check for a far greater amount and are just flabbergasted by this lowball assumption that the insurance company is offering. We plan to fight it, and then some!

Has anyone had any experience with a crashed RV conversion skoolie? Thanks in advance! We are very sad about it but planning to get another skoolie soon (and call it Moonshine!)
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:11 PM   #2
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RIP SUNSHINE THE SCHOOLBUS

Has anyone had any experience with a crashed RV conversion skoolie? Thanks in advance! We are very sad about it but planning to get another skoolie soon (and call it Moonshine!)
I'm glad your partner is OK... I would definitely fight the estimate! Do you have receipts? Might be helpful. I had to fight with insurance over water damage to things stored in my home. It took 3 days of internet research pricing everything out, but I got 9K more than the original adjuster was offering!

Sending lots of positive energy and quick healing for your partner.

Sandi
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:16 PM   #3
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Glad to hear your driver is OK but yes...get the meanest, nastiest lawyer you can find and sue the trucker/company for every penny you have in your rig plus pain & suffering. That driver does not belong on the road. He didn't notice a school bus in front of him? Really?
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:29 PM   #4
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Do you have collision insurance? You could always file a claim on your policy and let your insurance company go after the other party.
Otherwise, follow the advise already given
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:33 AM   #5
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Do you have collision insurance? You could always file a claim on your policy and let your insurance company go after the other party.
Otherwise, follow the advise already given
I'll second this - if your insurance company is willing to pay you what your vehicle is actually worth, take the check! They will go after the trucker's insurance company and make sure they get their money back.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:42 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear, picture link is broken? Glad everyone is okay
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:49 AM   #7
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the scrap value of the bus is going about what you paid at auction, if it were more, a scrapper would have bought it.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:27 AM   #8
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You need to stop talking to the at fault drivers representatives (adjuster, insurance, etc.)
And talk to your insurance agent or company rep.
As well as an attorney at the same time.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:58 AM   #9
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Lawyer up.
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Old 11-29-2016, 11:43 AM   #10
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the scrap value of the bus is going about what you paid at auction, if it were more, a scrapper would have bought it.
Still, scrap value is worth more than what the trucking company's adjusters are saying it's worth.

And, yes, lawyer up [i[and[/i] talk to your insurance company.
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Old 11-29-2016, 11:53 AM   #11
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Still, scrap value is worth more than what the trucking company's adjusters are saying it's worth.

And, yes, lawyer up [i[and[/i] talk to your insurance company.
But remember, no matter what, only the lawyer you hire independently of anyone's insurance company is working for you.
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:53 PM   #12
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Resolution!

Thank you all for the good advice, we do have a lawyer, who recommended we take the adjuster to small claims court if they wouldn't negotiate. We went in with teeth bared and they budged...they agreed to pay to haul our beloved Sunshine out of the scrap yard 400 miles north to her final resting place, where we will turn her into a tiny home! And we will continue to sue for damages, certainly. Lesson learned: We skoolies have to stand our ground! Thanks again Skoolies!
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:32 PM   #13
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When I insured my bus, they asked if I wanted uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage (pretty cheap), and then asked the value (or declared value) of the bus. If it gets wrecked due to "someone else's fault" and their insurance doesn't cover the declared value, my insurance picks up the remainder (and presumably pursues the other party/insurance in court).

When you have a vehicle insured for a declared value, that tends to hold up in court and few adjusters are inclined to fight it.

I remember hearing a story about some fellow who had an antique car and had it insured for $X. The garage it was in went up in flames, taking the car (and much other stuff) with it. So the fellow goes to claim "Oh, but I want $Y because of all the sweat equity I had in the car ..." It all goes to court and the verdict was in favor of the insurance company (that had been willing to honor the claim up to $X, the declared value), the argument being that "If the owner felt it was worth more, he should have declared and insured it for more". The judge/jury agreed.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:50 PM   #14
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The adjuster is just a front man. What insurance company was it? Inquiring minds would like to know.
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:21 AM   #15
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But remember, no matter what, only the lawyer you hire independently of anyone's insurance company is working for you.
Oh that's a given. I actually had an insurance company fire their in-house firm on an accident I was involved in and go with an independent firm, because their in-house was literally dragging their feet on it.
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:08 AM   #16
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The adjuster is just a front man. What insurance company was it? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Yes, I'd love to find out. Not that it really matters. They're all about the same.
The hardest any ins co ever shafted me was USAA. What a bunch of horrible, corrupt crooks!
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:29 PM   #17
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The semi driver's insurance company was a third-party company ..the semi truck that hit Sunshine was a rental that had $2 million in insurance from Zurich American insurance. The claim was then sent to Sedgwick adjusters in Kentucky. Our insurance was Progressive. Progressive's only involvement was to refund our remaining coverage fee for the year, because it was without a doubt the semi's fault, no fault of ours...so I imagine that we will be able to win a decent settlement. Our lawyer seems confident! Now that we have settled on the worth of the bus and property, we need to jump in for the long haul settlement suit...that is, chiropractors and loss of work...oy. That could take up to a year! While we are buried in paperwork Hell, it is good that we can still get Sunshine back to use as a tiny home! Her frame was bent pretty badly in the accident so it is unlikely we can drive her again.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:06 PM   #18
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you dont wamt to keep the bus... that will likely end up in the isurance company feeling like you settled.. so i would send that bus right away.. I ran into this with my last bus where it got burned in a fire due to negligence of others... the front end of the bus.. motor, trans, etc was very salvageable.. the back half was destroyed and smoke in the front...

if I kept the bus the paperwork they sent me basically in legal terms obsolved them of any further liability.. it was fine print and not plain.. my attorney warned me they might do this.. so I refused.. once I got full settlement, the title was turned over, I then went to that particular company and they allowed me to take some of the custom HVAC unit stuff from it...

it is common practice to get low-balled.. your insurance company should have gone to bat for you... thats scary when they would not... if you had only liability it makes sense.. but if you had full coverage they shouldve come to the plate...

like i say get rid of that bus.. find a new one, besides you dont want twisted mangled metal for a tiy home.. thet thing is gonna leak and rust because of the bends in the metal flaking off any paint there ever was...

send it down the road and go after the trucker.. your attorney should be able to rip them to where you could buy 2 new busses and the parts to build them... one for a tiny home and one for an RV!
-Christopher
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Old 12-06-2016, 01:50 PM   #19
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Thank you for that advice, Christopher! Good to know...it's like swimming with sharks trying to navigate the murky waters of insurance and lawsuits!
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Old 12-06-2016, 02:42 PM   #20
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Any pictures of the mini bus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatSpy View Post

Sad but true...Our lovely "Sunshine the Schoolbus" ( #sunshinethebus ) was hit full on from behind by a loaded semi going at top speed. My partner, who was driving alone at the time, survived the crash (with injuries) and now we are dealing with a mountain of paperwork.
I am curious what a 60,000 to 80,000 pound semi did to it at say 60 mph and that you can still use it as a home I would think it would be absolutely destroyed (I have seen a semi hit various vehicles....and no one walked away)
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