Penn. Family Awarded $18M in Bad Faith Suit Against Nationwide

July 14, 2014

  • July 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm
    ralph says:
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    this is an interesting story.

    tomorrow we find out whether or not our insurance carrier will officially consider my wife’s car totaled. She was broadsided over a month ago by some idiot who ran a stop sign and said that his brakes failed. she wasn’t hurt, but there was significant damage to the passenger side, to the point where it will cost a minimum of $10,000 to fix. there’s still a possibility that the frame will be structurally compromised if it’s repaired. even if they do fix it, the car will be worthless at trade-in as soon as the car fax report shows it’s been in an accident.

    • July 15, 2014 at 8:53 am
      KY jw says:
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      Why has it taken a month to get an answer?

      • July 15, 2014 at 9:13 am
        ralph says:
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        absolutely no clue why it has taken so long…I’m going to speak to our claims adjuster about it. The last accident I was in, it only took a week or so for them to decide the car was totaled.

        Like Libby said, I’m just glad she wasn’t hurt. Also lucky that my kids weren’t in the car; my little girl would most likely have been injured fairly severely had she been. Car’s can be replaced.

        I hope you both have a fantastic day today!

        • July 15, 2014 at 10:23 am
          KY jw says:
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          Yes, it is good your wife wasn’t hurt. As well as the kids. Hopefully, the insurer will get you squared away soon.

        • July 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm
          JRInsuranceGuy says:
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          ralph, the claim occurred in 1996. There were a lot of unscrupulous claims practices during that time period. Most insurance carriers were very stubborn claims.

          Thankfully, social media has been a strong deterrent for these types of claims practices and many insurance companies now consider paying claims simply on the merit of avoiding social media backlash.

    • July 15, 2014 at 9:02 am
      Libby says:
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      Thank goodness she wasn’t hurt.

    • July 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm
      Agent says:
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      Hey Ralph, glad your wife is allright. Your case reminds me of one I had about 7 years ago. A guy ran a red light and t-boned me and my wife and knocked us into a light pole. My brand new Chrysler 300C with 5,000 miles on it was totaled. It didn’t take a month to determine that and the frame was really twisted. Ended up being a U/M claim with the other driver having no insurance, no license, speeding, disregard of the traffic signal etc. We both had concussions and whiplash. I must say that Travelers did a great job for us, took care of the medical and PD and got me into another car like I had. I had to laugh when the adjustor said they would pursue subrogation against the other driver. I said, good luck finding him. He had already split the state.

      • July 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm
        Libby says:
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        • July 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm
          Libby says:
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          * what value they used for your car and what the percentage is they use to calculate a total.

          • July 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm
            ralph says:
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            thanks…I spoke to the claims adjuster; looks like they have totaled the car. I don’t think they want to take a risk with straightening out the frame. The guy hit her HARD, but I’m glad she was driving a Camry…it’s a very well-built car.

            Libby–I’m also in PA, and you’re right…a lot of the body shops are swamped with hail damage. I think that’s the main reason for delay.

            Agent–those 300′s are built like tanks…I’ve rented a few of them. That idiot must’ve really slammed into you guys; glad you and your wife weren’t hurt worse than you were.

          • July 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm
            Agent says:
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            Yes Ralph, that 300C was put together well and was heavy. However, if you remember the old 80′s vintage Chevy Caprice’s, they were rolling tanks and that was what hit us. He hit the left rear fender going about 45 MPH and spun us into the pole on the drivers side. We were lucky with that one. To this day, I don’t remember getting hit. The claim ended up right at $85,000 for the car and our injuries.

        • July 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm
          Agent says:
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          Dismantled to determine if it is to be totaled??????? I have been in this business over 30 years and have yet to see a car or truck be dismantled to determine if it is to be totaled. A good body shop technician can put a car or truck on the rack and examine it closely and render a verdict on the vehicle and the adjustors agree with them.

          • July 18, 2014 at 3:18 pm
            Libby says:
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    • July 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm
      NY Broker says:
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      My brother was an expert auto body mechanic and put my car back together many times. A frame can be straightened, however it will be weaker, depending on how badly it is bent. If he was still around I would recommend he look at your car, but he past away many years ago. Before you have the car repaired, make sure you have an expert auto body mechanic look at it for you. Ask your local dealer for a recommendation.

    • July 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm
      wvagt says:
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      If my recent experience with carfax is any indication of their reliability, that accident may never show up on a report. Or, it will show up as “routine maintenance performed.”

      • July 18, 2014 at 2:40 pm
        Agent says:
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        Hey wvagt, I haven’t seen you weigh in much lately. I really enjoyed watching the Greenbrier Classic Golf tournament a few weeks ago. That is an amazing area and beautiful. That is on my bucket list to go there and play some day. I understand that Nick Faldo and Bubba Watson bought places there recently. Sam Snead held court there for many years and took a lot of pidgeons money on their rounds. It would have been worth it to me to play golf with him.

  • July 15, 2014 at 9:25 am
    Don Quixote says:
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    I guess Nationwide was NOT on their side!

  • July 15, 2014 at 9:52 am
    Vox sanitus says:
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    This won’t stand. See Campbell vs. State Farm – Supreme Court decision. That much punitives violates due process. So said
    Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion.

    • July 15, 2014 at 11:45 am
      Libby says:
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      That’s a shame. Nationwide should have to pony up. All of that to save a few thousand dollars. Disgraceful!

    • July 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm
      Publicus says:
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      Not necessarily. When the conduct is this egregious, even the pro-business SCOTUS won’t want to reduce this award.

    • July 15, 2014 at 2:25 pm
      Agent says:
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      Has Nationwide ever heard of the Court of Public Opinion? Bad publicity over a poorly handled claim is never a good thing for a company. My guess is that the Nationwide agents in the area may have a tough time selling policies after this.

  • July 15, 2014 at 12:56 pm
    Christine Lucarell says:
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    Unfortunately, I know the delays and underhanded tactics of Nationwide all too well along with around 6,000 other former agents!! Truly not on anyone’s side but their own.

  • July 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm
    Arnold says:
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    Nationwide Insurance is a horrible company in my opinion. I have been reading all over the web about the case between them and a public adjusting company, On Your Side Adjusters. It’s crazy what they have pulled in that situation. I have heard from a friend in the government that Nationwide may be loosing it’s On Your Side slogan because of that adjuster case.

    As far as this case, It is so sad that the women in this case wasn’t alive to feel the victory when the judge handed down that decision. Sweet justice happens every once in a while. Who’s side is Nationwide on again?

  • July 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm
    companyman says:
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    While Nationwide has been fighting this for years, to their obvious detriment, it seems like some responsibility lies with the body shop. Sure they got pushed by Nationwide to change the estimate but they could have taken the high ground and said no. This could be an issue with most carriers that used “approved” shops. Those shops are willing to bend the rules when asked, just to keep the contract.

    • July 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm
      Libby says:
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      • July 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm
        Fair Playing Field says:
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        Direct repair facilities are still a good idea as long as the relationships are managed properly. It can’t be about cutting corners to keeping costs down, but rather exchanging a steady flow of business for competent repairs and satisfied claimants.

        And while no one likes too much regulation, I think the consumer choice regs in the states in which my company operates are overall pretty fair.

        Nationwide really soiled the bed on this one, though. And over a collision claim at that.

    • July 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm
      Agent says:
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      Our approved shops don’t operate that way. I insure one and they are the most reputable shop in the area. They do agree with the adjustor before the claim is paid and if the adjustor missed something, we get supplementals paid.

      • July 16, 2014 at 8:40 am
        Libby says:
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        • July 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm
          Agent says:
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          My agency Standard Market companies also use them Libby. Safeco, Travelers are prime examples. Just because they don’t in Pennsylvania doesn’t mean they don’t in other parts of the country.

          • July 18, 2014 at 3:20 pm
            Libby says:
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          • July 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm
            Libby says:
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          • July 18, 2014 at 3:48 pm
            Agent says:
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            You are boring me Libby. I don’t care what they are doing in the N/E. We do have preferred body shops in Texas and I have talked to their Claims Managers about them. The preferred shop in my area even called on me and brought the agency some doughnuts drumming up more business.

          • July 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm
            Libby says:
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  • July 15, 2014 at 2:53 pm
    reality bites says:
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    Another berg brings down a titanic carrier.

    • July 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm
      Agent says:
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      Good one reality!

    • July 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm
      Agent says:
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      Libby the claims manager idiot of the week. Our shops are both approved and preferred. They have contracts with the companies, are linked to them electronically with estimates and work closely with the adjustors to make sure the repairs are done right and timely. They actually have to meet stringent tests to sign up with the carriers. Now, you can take a long walk off a short dock.

      • July 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm
        Libby says:
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        • July 18, 2014 at 5:18 pm
          Agent says:
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          When did I say the customer was forced to go to the approved shop? They can go anywhere they want in Texas. The adjustor can recommend they go to the approved shop, but they will pay a claim from another if the customer wants someone else to do the repair. Kiss off Libby. You admitted being tired and looked forward to retirement. Perhaps sooner rather than later.

          • July 21, 2014 at 8:42 am
            Libby says:
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  • July 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm
    Milner says:
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    Anyone notice that the case was thrown out by the first judge. That brings bad faith into question in my mind.

    • July 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm
      Libby says:
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      Could have just been bad judge.

      • July 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm
        Milner says:
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        Which one?

        • July 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm
          Libby says:
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          The first one.

  • July 17, 2014 at 4:39 pm
    Christine Lucarell says:
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    Vox sanitus – I know about caps as well. See my verdict for 42.8 million against Nationwide Insurance from 2012. The jury saw what they did and unfortunately they can’t be punished as much as they should be but the verdict is still out there for everyone to read about!!

    • July 17, 2014 at 4:53 pm
      Libby says:
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      $14.5M?? You go girl!!! Did you retire?

      • July 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm
        Agent says:
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        Libby, aren’t you off a little bit on this award? Christine said the verdict was $42.8 million. I think you are light by about $28.3 million. Is that Common Core math?

        • July 18, 2014 at 3:13 pm
          Louie says:
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          i’m thinking she meant how much Christine walked away with…Lawyers generally get 1/3 of the settlement, so that’s around $14.5 mil.

          Am I right?

          • July 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm
            Libby says:
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          • July 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm
            Louie says:
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            damn! you done got us BOTH!

            have a great weekend, Libby!

          • July 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm
            Libby says:
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            Thanks. You, too, Louie. That was my Grandad’s name.

          • July 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm
            Agent says:
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            Forgive me Libby. I don’t have the time to Google everything like you do. She said $42.8 million so I took her word on it. If she got $14.5 million, she should have said so.

          • July 18, 2014 at 4:09 pm
            Libby says:
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  • July 18, 2014 at 2:07 pm
    Zach says:
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    Very recently took insurance company to small claims court after 4 months are arguing liability. I was broadsided at a four-way stop and their insured said he had right-a-way. Physical damage should have been key in this situation, but all ingnored except the judge and awarded me my damages. Insurance company hired council to defend. Those fees only cost you and me in the long run. I do not know why they wanted to fight the obvious. Such a shame, the claim adjusters manager did not step up and do their job. “what goes around, comes around”!!

  • July 20, 2014 at 8:50 pm
    thomas lane says:
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    I am a Nationwide customer with a house and several cars insured with these nit wits and will be reviewing my policies and looking for another carrier. Some folks at nationwide should be fired over this and I will not be paying for any increases because they are down $18 mil.

    • July 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm
      Agent says:
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      My advice to you is to move your coverage to a good Independent when it renews. Nationwide is definitely not on your side.

  • July 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm
    stephen platt says:
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    Who is the attorney who handled the suit. I could use his help. Like to find one of those fair and qualified body shops. Guess the question is do they exist.

    • July 30, 2014 at 9:40 am
      Agent says:
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      Yes Stephen, good body shops do exist. You can use Google, YP.com or other search engines, find out how long they have been in business, read the reviews or ask friends that had repairs done on how satisfied they were. Social Media, particularly Facebook is a very powerful tool.

  • July 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm
    MIKE says:
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    So the insurance company just paid for the loss and the “Collision Center” repaired the vehicle but the repair shop has no liability in this case. The Bodyman that repaired the vehicle, the managers at the collision center fixed the vehicle because they did not want to lose money and have a vehicle totaled so the repair shop says to the insurance company, “Don’t total it we can “FIX” it” with no supplments and then the repair shop butchers the car and Nationwide now has to pay for damages… Sounds like an attorney hungry for $$.
    Maybe they should look at how Allstate & Sterlling Collision centers repair vehicles. They will cut your vehicle in HALF and weld a USED vehicle of the same make and put it together. (15 year in collision, claims, agency managment)

  • August 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm
    Pat says:
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    Premiums paid to Nationwide require them to restore your vehicle to it’s pre loss condition. Nationwide had a responsibility to their insured. The bodyshop could have refused the business of repairing the vehicle. Of course then, Nationwide could steer their customer away from using them for repairs.
    Is your logic that because other insurers may be even worse, Nationwide shouldn’t be held liable for violating the terms and conditions of their own policies?

  • August 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm
    Publicus says:
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    Hmmm. Smacks of a not-too-bright claims manager who decided he was going to “show” these insureds just who was the boss. The fact that higher management didn’t step in and rein in the simple-minded gerkin does NOT speak highly about Nationwide’s claims operation. Evidently the company’s MBA’s must be riding herd over the claims department, especially since no attempt has been made to cut the losses while still manageable.



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