With car insurance, just as with homeowner’s insurance, some companies will serve their customers better than others. For example, when my roof sustained damage from Hurricane Sandy a couple of years ago, my insurance company paid–in full–for a complete tear-off/re-roofing. The actual damage was the loss of about 45 shingles in random places, but they said that this met their standard for a roof replacement, and they did pay the full $7,000 for replacing my roof.
By comparison, my next-door neighbor–whose roof sustained much more damage than my roof–was initially offered ~$300 by State Farm, in order to patch his roof. When he protested that patching it with shingles that couldn’t be matched properly would reduce the resale value of his house, he was told, “We’re not about to write you a big check so that you can take a vacation in The Bahamas”. Incredulous at that statement, he asked the adjuster to repeat it, and she did–word for word!
At my suggestion, he appealed his case to the state insurance commissioner, and–finally–almost a year later, State Farm cut him a check for $5,000. While it didn’t cover the full cost of his re-roofing, after about 9 months he was tired of both fighting and looking at the giant blue tarp on his roof, so he accepted State Farm’s reluctant low-ball offer.