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Old 07-07-2010, 05:11 PM   #1
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Question INSURANCE ISSUE: Need help/Advice

Hey everyone,

I'm sure everyone is aware of what has happened so far with my car being vandalized and totaled by my insurance.

New problem, my insurance: State Farm is refusing to pay for my after market radio system that was installed 3 weeks before the vandalism to a tune of $3300.

The day after it was installed I went to SF and dropped the deductible from $500 to $0, submitted all the receipts and paperwork from the sound shop, my insurance agents took pictures of the car with the equipment in, pics of the boxes, manuals, etc. I sat down with them and they told me SF does not do riders anymore but as long as everything is documented with them it will be covered. They proceeded in telling me a guy has a $10k bike with another $10k of aftermarket parts that was stolen the other month and SF payed out the $20k. I went over everything with them for over an hour that day.

Now.... State Farm has taken over a month and a half and just got numbers back to us. They are giving us a fair value for the car but only $200! TWO HUNDRED! for the sound system that cost $3300 three weeks before.

They made me go through 2 hours of statement recording over the phone just on the sound system, they hired an outside insurance sound shop called AJRS who in turn hired a shop out in Chicago to send out a sound technician to check out the sound system wiring and to take more pictures. (This was separate of the claims adjuster).......they got all the paperwork and photos that were originally taken and submitted to my local agent also.

Now youre telling me SF made me jump through hoops, and spent over $200 on a 3rd party to see if they would only give me $200 for the system that was supposed to be covered? Then I was told by the main office in Bloomington that we didn't have a rider for the stereo system.... even though my local agent took all the paperwork, pictures, told me they dont do riders but it WILL be covered for the full replacement value if anything ever happens to it. Now they will not cover it?

What is going on here? We have yet to accept the offer because of this matter of $3100 that I would be loosing right out of my pocket. After 30 years of the family being with them for all the cars and the house, we're being screwed.

I was only able to get in touch with one property damage lawyer who was curt and rude about the issue, "Its not worth your time or mine unless youre willing to pay me by the hour at $250. "

Do I take the settlement and take the loss? Do I accept and sue my local agent in small claims? Go after his insurance for essentially "lying" to me? Do I go after SF itself? What can I do?


Adam..... Just like the oil spill counter: Day 38

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Old 07-07-2010, 05:27 PM   #2
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Sounds like your agent was playing by his own rules, but that's not your fault. Most states have an Ombudsman that can possibly work for you on this. Also, you might want to contact your state's Insurance Commissioner and see if they can provide any assistance.

It may wise get copies of anything you submitted as your "documentation". Don't leave everything with your agent, as they may suddenly disappear. As hard as it may be to do, be patient and understand this may take a while to adjudicate.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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sound system

I feel for you on the insurance not holding up their end, curiosity gets the better of me almost always... 1) what kind of sound system costs 3k+ ? could you pick up stations from mars? there isn't that much room in the car for a real stereo with amps, crossovers etc etc 2) what are you thinking putting that much money into a car with a soft top that can be ripped open with a box cutter? the person or persons who stole it... live near you... or know you.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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part 2

you went to the insurance agent and brough him all the receipts from the purchase, in your previous post you said you had a sponsorship from the stereo shop, how do you have receipts if you didn't pay anything? shouldn't the shop carry insurance for you? Do yourself a favor... keep your mouth closed from here on out and get a good lawyer.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:40 PM   #5
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I'd read my policy very carefully.

I suspect there is an arbitration clause in it. It may also say something with respect to aftermarket items installed in the car.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:40 PM   #6
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I would sue only after pursuing the issue with the IC and BBB and come up empty. In Neb, winning a small claims case doesn't mean the loser is going to pay. There isn't any teeth in the system to make the loser pay. Not much use in spending a fortune on a high powered lawyer, winning the case and then getting nothing but a worthless judgement in your favor. State Farm would probably want to keep their reputation up so they would likely pay, but be aware of the pitfalls of the system before you take this route. This would be a good question to ask your lawyer (how are losers forced to pay?) during your initial consulation. You know the lawyer will want his fee if he's representing you in the case, so you'll initially be out more than the $3300 before you collect anything from SF. RM makes a good point - if you do end up pursuing them through the courts, SF may just pay off as the cheaper option. But don't bet the farm on that strategy - assume you'll have to go the distance and be prepared to do so. But only as a last resort. Try the less expense options first.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbrown2009
you went to the insurance agent and brough him all the receipts from the purchase, in your previous post you said you had a sponsorship from the stereo shop, how do you have receipts if you didn't pay anything? shouldn't the shop carry insurance for you? Do yourself a favor... keep your mouth closed from here on out and get a good lawyer.

As a simple reply first off, here is what I said lbrown2009..... here is the link http://986forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24830 It is my ad for my original car equipment I was going to put in.


"Hey Guys, I just had a $3500 system installed in my car and I have a whole bunch of stuff for sale. Originally, I was going to go with an all Alpine system but chose otherwise when the shop offered me a sponsorship to use all their product. "

After reading that, where do you infer I do not have any receipts or that I didn't pay anything for it. In regards, I paid a total of just over $3400 for everything at a slightly discounted price.

The sponsorship itself was offered to me in the form of me promoting their shop and product. They gave me a small percentage off on the speakers, hu, part, and labor. They were going to pay me to take the car to local car shows and sound competitions, to show off the sound system to draw more business for them, to pass out fliers, business cards, etc. and to speak highly of the shop to draw in more business. What they were going to pay me per car show/sound competition is honestly none of your business but lets just say it would have been well worth the extra money I spent over putting in a simple Alpine system. Not only was I going to be paid to show off the system, I was free to enjoy it.

Not all sponsorships work in the same way.


But to be frank, yes, I do have signed receipts for around $3400 and all the other materials to boot from owners manuals, warranties, original packaging, etc.


Adam
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:49 PM   #8
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Husker,

Good ideas of the Insurance Commissioner and the BBB. I had neither of those pass through my mind as options/help for the situation until you mentioned them. Those will be my first two things on my morning's To-Do list.

I guess my next move would be to sit down and re-read through our insurance policy, all the fine nitty gritty mubo jumbo of legal speak to find more information on the topic.


Thanks,

Adam
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:24 PM   #9
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buyers remorse?

not inferring anything, just reiterating what you said... if someone sponsors you ... they pay your tab, you didn't mention it was a partial sponsorship you just said sponsorship period. Seriously though... how do you have the money to install a 3k+ stereo and not have money to fix your alarm ? Maybe you weren't holding up your end of the sponsorship bargain and the shop owners got pissed and took back their equipment and decided to send a message along with it.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:46 PM   #10
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What does your policy say?

That is really the only question at this point. If you went to SF and said my car is now worth 2kish more than it was yesterday due to a stereo they would/should raise your rate, with a convertible and a 2kish stereo maybe a bigger raise than you think. In addition if you had an alarm listed as part of the policy and it was not working that is not good. Most policies have a limit on what is covered beyond original equipment in a car. Few aftermarket and expensive stereos or fancy mods (wheels, exhausts, brakes, etc.) are covered unless you change the policy and pay. Think about it - if my car is broken into and I have a camera kit inside. I cannot expect it to be covered unless I pay insurance for the coverage.

I would read my policy, get my ducks in a row and then go to the BBB. Small claims is possible but more work.

Finally, realize from an insurance perspective you took out a radio that had some value and replaced it. The second it went in it's value (without depreciation) was less than 3400 since you must deduct the value of the Bose system you removed.

Probably not what you want to hear but I would bet you can get 500 for the stereo but would be shocked if they offered over 1000. I have done antiques, colectibles, modified cars, in the past. Increasing insurance coverage to cover the actual value was at best a pain and at worst a pain and to costly to make it worthwhile and I have a great insurance company with over 35 years and no claims.

Hope this helps. Best,
Tom
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbrown2009
not inferring anything, just reiterating what you said... if someone sponsors you ... they pay your tab, you didn't mention it was a partial sponsorship you just said sponsorship period. Seriously though... how do you have the money to install a 3k+ stereo and not have money to fix your alarm ? Maybe you weren't holding up your end of the sponsorship bargain and the shop owners got pissed and took back their equipment and decided to send a message along with it.
That in itself is just absurd and plain ignorant. Even if a company only gives you a dollar towards the total of whatever, they are sponsoring you. It is a broad term that many people assume that sponsorship= full. Think NASCAR, a car might have 50 sponsors and one of those might only contribute less than 1% of the cost of operation for an entire season. Yet the company is still "sponsoring" the car or team. Likewise, the system was installed on the 18th, the car was vandalized on the night of the 31st which was the 1st of June technically. The car wasn't due to go to any even until the first week of June. On that same note, the shop itself is reputable, been around over 15 years, holds a world record for the loudest system in a corvette, and guess what... they just placed 2nd at the national sound competition in Daytona this spring in the convertible class with none other than a Boxster, which in turn placed 5th overall if I remember correctly.

Also going back to the alarm, we were going over the manual and figured out the the alarm wasn't broke, I'm not sure I ever claimed it to be, just that it never went off. The previous owner had the alarm set to passive/off where only a big movement of the car would only set off the flashers, no audible alarm. Yet when a top is cut open and the door handle used to unlock the car, the car in all sense just thought someone was sitting in the car and unlocked it (inference). But hey, it is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less.

On that note, affording the 3k. Hmmmm, I do trade the market as an amateur trader. Recently, I had made some money and was either going to drop a new motor (996) in the car or go in for half on a Harley with my mother until 3 of my speakers blew. I enjoy my music and the decision was easy. Not that I need to justify myself to you, I just feel like it. It amuses me to oblige people who question me.

Seriously dude, you honestly need to stop assuming and tossing out wild theories. It is neither appropriate for the situation nor helpful to my questions and topic at hand.

Thanks,

Adam
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trube78
That is really the only question at this point. If you went to SF and said my car is now worth 2kish more than it was yesterday due to a stereo they would/should raise your rate, with a convertible and a 2kish stereo maybe a bigger raise than you think. In addition if you had an alarm listed as part of the policy and it was not working that is not good. Most policies have a limit on what is covered beyond original equipment in a car. Few aftermarket and expensive stereos or fancy mods (wheels, exhausts, brakes, etc.) are covered unless you change the policy and pay. Think about it - if my car is broken into and I have a camera kit inside. I cannot expect it to be covered unless I pay insurance for the coverage.

I would read my policy, get my ducks in a row and then go to the BBB. Small claims is possible but more work.

Finally, realize from an insurance perspective you took out a radio that had some value and replaced it. The second it went in it's value (without depreciation) was less than 3400 since you must deduct the value of the Bose system you removed.

Probably not what you want to hear but I would bet you can get 500 for the stereo but would be shocked if they offered over 1000. I have done antiques, colectibles, modified cars, in the past. Increasing insurance coverage to cover the actual value was at best a pain and at worst a pain and to costly to make it worthwhile and I have a great insurance company with over 35 years and no claims.

Hope this helps. Best,
Tom


I understand the depreciation and value of the BOSE, but realistically the BOSE system was 13 years old, 3 of the 6 speakers were blown, I still have the original amp and Hu from the car, the value of a 13 y/o system... maybe $200. the new system was $3400 put in about 12 days before the event, even at a depreciation of 40% over 12 days (3400*.6= 2040) 2040 minus 200-400 = $1640-1840. But to offer me $200 is insane imho.

I still need to pour over the legal fine print of our policy to understand everything, but I believe our policy is under the terms of "full cost of replacement". Meaning if it cost $5000 in the first place and was depreciated, the full cost of replacement would still be $5000 even if the items were only valued at say $1000 at the time.

It was explained to us by our agent that SF covers the full cost of replacement for any aftermarket parts that are documented on the policy. Which goes back to the original problem, our Agent told us SF did not do riders any more, that our premium wouldnt change, and it would be fully covered by SF as long as it was all documented (which it was). The same agent our family has had for the last 30 years.

Adam
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayersExpress
It was explained to us by our agent that SF covers the full cost of replacement for any aftermarket parts that are documented on the policy. Which goes back to the original problem, our Agent told us SF did not do riders any more, that our premium wouldnt change, and it would be fully covered by SF as long as it was all documented (which it was). The same agent our family has had for the last 30 years.

Adam
Sorry about your loss. I hate criminals.

What does your agent have to say for himself now and why isn't he helping you in this claims process? If he misrepresented your coverage, you should take him to small claims court - no lawyer, just the facts and receipts and any written correspondence you have with your agent regarding the coverage.

Also you are at fault if you failed to actually read your policy and verify that what you were told was actually in your written policy contract. It sounds harsh, but you are an intelligent adult with a written contract and should clearly know what it says. It is the final legal word unless you can prove some misrepresentation. If you had actually read your policy, you would have been able to question the representations made by your agent, citing the actual policy language you would have been concerned about. Reading your policy would have taken 10 minutes and been time well spent.

I'm guessing you are not going to get satisfaction on this, but it's still worth a try.

If nothing else, at least you have shared this lesson of how not to manage a legal contract with everyone else on this forum. No one watches out for your best interests except you.

Sorry, I don't mean to rub salt in your wounds. And I too learned this lesson the hard way 25 years ago when my motorcycle was stolen with a bunch of aftermarket equipment on it.

All that said, be persistent with your agent and the claims adjuster. You don't have to accept what they offer and can keep the claim open until you feel you have gotten everything you are going to get from them. Of course if you need the money for the totalled car right away you are at a disadvantage.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:33 AM   #14
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Insurance help

Adam, good luck to you in recovering your losses, it seems as though you have all your bases covered and it will all work itself out.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:46 AM   #15
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Write a calm, factual letter to your State Attorney General, it worked for me once with a Searay dealer with no honor.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:00 AM   #16
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To play devil's advocate. When an insurance company offers a policy on a car that is valued anywhere from $10,000 to $13,000, they figure their exposure to be limited to this. That someone can one day toss in $3500 in a stereo, isn't part of the risk they initially took on and adds up to 35% risk exposure. Adding this amount of exposure should be accompanied with in increased premium, or alternatively a clause in the agreement that explicitly states all aftermarket upgrades will be covered in the insurance policy. I could be wrong but I strongly suspect no insurance company would offer a policy with these terms. How many $2k Civics are insured for dirt cheap and then riced out over the next year or 2 for another $10k. Realistically can they expect an insurance comp to drop $12k on replace every rice-widget imaginable when a $2k car is totaled? I don't think so.

Just my thoughts. Read your policy closely and if you think you have a good argument, then present that argument to a higher authority. Otherwise, this certainly stinks and I despise criminals, but at some point you have to recognize that you live in one of the largest cities in the US and thiefs are an unfortunate reality. At some point you alone assumed responsibility of leaving $3500 in stereo equipment under a soft top, at midnight, in Chicago, with the doors unlocked.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:13 AM   #17
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shopping

yes, you can spend much more than 3400 on a sound system but what's the point? when you can get a great system for under 1k installed... can you really hear the difference between a 1k system and a 3k system? the only difference I can hear is your wallet deflating. I do spend time in Wal mart but not for electronics, who doesn't like 5qts of Mobil 1 synthetic oil for 21.00? Why am I even responding to this non-sense? I hope the criminal is caught and put in jail for fraud....umm I mean theft.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbrown2009
yes, you can spend much more than 3400 on a sound system but what's the point? when you can get a great system for under 1k installed... can you really hear the difference between a 1k system and a 3k system? the only difference I can hear is your wallet deflating. I do spend time in Wal mart but not for electronics, who doesn't like 5qts of Mobil 1 synthetic oil for 21.00? Why am I even responding to this non-sense? I hope the criminal is caught and put in jail for fraud....umm I mean theft.

Is there a difference between a Ford and a Porsche? You get what you pay for.

Oh and its comments like those, specifically that last one that make me want to take you out back.... and "talk" to you.

Obviously you don't appreciate your car as much as I have appreciated mine over the last 4.5 years. I worked 3 years to save up for my car, and that being said it was my first car. To still accuse someone as such is like saying Tiger Woods doesn't love golf. That a wife doesn't love or value her wedding ring. I find your remarks insulting and if this was the 18th or 19th century I would have already challenged you to a duel for insulting me and my honor.

It is people like you that change the morals and values of this country and this nation for the worst. You seem to expect the worst out of everyone. I would go as far as saying you believe all humans are naturally deceptive and bad, not good.

I bite my thumb towards you. If you do not know what that means, go re-educate yourself with some Shakespeare, maybe then you can appreciate the inherent goodness of all humans.

Adam
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:10 AM   #19
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Shakespeare?

Adam, if you want to use your karate skills on me that is fine.... I wonder if you are in the wrong field professionally, Disney seems like it would be a good fit for you as you appear to have many stories to tell. I'm not a detective nor do I work in law enforcement at all but I do know that if I tugged at the thread a little more it would unravel at lightning speed and I would have you admitting your guilt within 10 minutes, refer to my earlier post and keep your mouth closed. I have enclosed a post from January 2010 by you in regards to your girlfriend, it appears to me you are speaking of her in the post as your are currently in a relationship. In a recent post dated 06/2010 you are saying you haven't had a relationship for over two years? which is it? you have to understand that when you tell 1 lie you need to tell 2 more just to cover your first lie... it's not worth it. People like yourself are a big part of why my insurance is so high and it disgusts me that you can come here and act like you did nothing wrong. I am hoping you are smart enough to know when to quit and I look forward to you removing yourself from this forum.

Lance




01-30-2010, 04:25
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The good thing about my girlfriend is just that. A girlfriend. If she leaves me... I'll still get to keep the other half of my pants if you know what I mean. She loves my car, sometimes I think she likes it more than myself, when I let her drive it.



06-01-2010, 07:56
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As me and my friend Shawn pulled into his drive way it was pouring rain so I didnt stop and lock the car with the key (Both of my remote heads dont work, one is missing the chip, the other isnt coded to the car.) at 12am.

I came out at 2am to leave, it had stopped raining about 30 minutes earlier and I found the car with both doors slightly ajar and my cabin light on.

The only problem I have is thinking about who would do that to me. I haven't had any problems with anyone for over 2 years, I left all the high school drama behind as a rational adult should. I've been single and haven't dated in 2 years since my ex of 3 years broke my heart and the best thing about that is she lives 36 miles away on the other side of Chicago.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:11 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sppmo
" Realistically can they expect an insurance comp to drop $12k on replace every rice-widget imaginable when a $2k car is totaled? I don't think so."

All Insurance policies are not the same. You can have an "agreeed upon" policy.

Say I have a car worth 2k book value. But I put in a new engine - great sound system - rims, etc. Now I update my policy to an agreed upon value of 12K. So if my car is totaled or is stolen I get 12k - even though the book value is 2k. This is important to undestand if your car is out of the ordinary (i.e. nice new sound system, etc)
Agreed. It would depend on the policy and whether it covers aftermarket parts/upgrades. Not many do. Some may.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davemon
Adding this amount of exposure should be accompanied with in increased premium, or alternatively a clause in the agreement that explicitly states all aftermarket upgrades will be covered in the insurance policy. I could be wrong but I strongly suspect no insurance company would offer a policy with these terms.
And PExpress, I agree there is a lot more you're getting with a $3500 sound system over a $1k sound system. I've delved into the world of car audio on many occassions and have done countless installs myself. The Ford : Porsche analogy rings so true. Many Ford Mustang drivers are telling us we're just deflating our wallets as well. Didn't a world of Mini owners just laugh at the $38k more expensive 996 for beating the Cooper by ONLY 2 seconds on a 70second track time? And another world of PCar owners laughed a Mini owners for not getting "it." Sound systems are the same way.

It have my share of $350/pc subs just sitting around and you can easily get into ~$1000 just to power these things. Diminishing return? Yes. Price to pay to squeeze more decibels out on the spl? Yes.

I hope that whoever stole these and gets busted and the insurance writes you a check. Sorry, but I do think you took on a lot of risk by putting these unlocked at midnight in Chicago, and that risk being having a long hard fight to get them reimbursed. Worst case scenario is you get a 987-S after graduation and forget about it all.

GL and glad to see audiophiles haven't completely died off.

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