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Auto Insurer Law Suits

On January 31, 2000, a putative class action lawsuit was filed against CCC, Dairyland Insurance Co., and Sentry Insurance Company. Susanna Cook v. Dairyland Ins. Co., Sentry Ins. and CCC Information Services, Inc., No. 2000 L-1 (Circuit Court of Johnson County, Illinois).

Chicago-based claims software-maker CCC Information Services Inc. announced that it and 15 of its customers signed a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in various class action suits pending in Madison County, Ill. These consolidated suits, Case Nos. 01 L 157, et al., relate to the valuation of vehicles that have been declared total losses by insurers.

Terms of the settlement agreement will require CCC to pay notice and administration fees and other costs associated with the settlement. The company estimates that these costs will total about $8 million, and including available insurance proceeds of $1.8 million, the company is fully reserved for these payments. Other settlement costs, including claims by class members, will be paid by the insurance companies that are participating in the settlement.

State Farm is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit that accuses the nation’s largest auto insurer of systematically underpaying thousands of total loss claims by applying a percentage discount to the value of comparable vehicles to account for “typical negotiation.”

lawsuit filed in Texas against USAA will now move forward as a class-action case on behalf of thousands of policyholders whose vehicles were allegedly deemed total losses without their consent and, as a result, their registrations were revoked and the vehicles titled as salvage, or non-repairable, by the state.

GEICO is facing a class action suit in Georgia over what the plaintiffs say is the carrier’s underpayment of tens of thousands of total loss claims.

SEATTLE – Two new class-action lawsuits accuse Allstate Insurance Company and First National Insurance Company of America (a Safeco company), of deliberately reducing the value of vehicles in total loss insurance claims, using phony data to reduce the claim payments to consumers “by hundreds or thousands of dollars,” according to Hagens Berman. Attorneys say other auto insurance providers are likely engaging in the same fraud.

Progressive Direct Insurance Co. has agreed to pay $19.2 million to resolve claims that it underpaid Washington policyholders whose cars were declared total losses after accidents, according to a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement filed in federal court.


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