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Strong Owner Interest in Collector-Vehicle Salvage Shows Hobby Resiliency, American Collectors Reports

Posted on 27 Mar 2013 by Neilson

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Classic carsAmerican Collectors Insurance, a national provider of insurance for collector vehicles and collectibles, noted that nearly 40 percent of Superstorm Sandy vehicle claimants have decided to purchase back their vehicles after suffering total losses. Policyholders who bought their salvaged vehicles indicated that they expect to restore them.
Jill Bookman, CEO of American Collectors Insurance, explained: "Superstorm Sandy proves the strong resiliency of car hobbyists. Many collector-vehicle policyholders are using a portion of their claim settlements to buy back their vehicles from salvage so they can jump back in to the hobby."
Bookman noted that management and staff of American Collectors spoke personally by telephone or in person with every claimant. "Policyholders in many cases had devastating losses to their homes, vacation homes and/or automobiles. Four of 10 claimants have already decided to buy back their vehicles despite the significant dislocation in their lives, and that shows how much they love their cars and don't want to give them up. The fact that so many collectors are choosing to spend time and money to restore their vehicles shows the incredible strength of the car hobby."
American Collectors also reported it has settled 98 percent of the collector-vehicle insurance claims received from policyholders related to Superstorm Sandy. Every vehicle covered by American Collectors has agreed-value coverage, meaning the insured amount on the policy (plus an "Inflation Guard" increase each quarter) is paid in the event of a total loss.
Bookman added: "We are proud to be able to deliver this significant financial recovery to so many car hobbyists as rapidly as possible. We attribute the rapid claim response to an unprecedented effort by many: the claims staff with our carriers at Assurant Specialty Property, claim adjusters, local restoration shops, and our agent partners along with our employees here at American Collectors. People stepped up to work seven days a week and on extended hours to make claims payments."
Sandy made landfall October 29, 2012 on the East Coast of New Jersey, just 50 miles from the national headquarters of American Collectors. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported that Superstorm Sandy led to damage to more than 250,000 vehicles in 16 states. American Collectors noted that most of its claims occurred in New Jersey and New York.
Key factors led to the rapid delivery of collector-vehicle insurance claim payments, American Collectors noted:

-- Nearly every vehicle for which a claim was received represented a total loss.
-- Most claims were for flood damage due to rising waters, a covered peril under the "other than collision" coverage on every American Collectors policy.
-- Claims adjusters worked immediately after the storm passed, even as many vehicles initially were inaccessible due to damage from high water and wind, and most areas with claims had power outages lasting several days.

"The best way to properly indemnify a collector after an event such as Superstorm Sandy is the agreed-value coverage provided by specialty collector-vehicle insurance," Bookman pointed out. "Those agents and brokers who sold agreed-value coverage are rightly being hailed as insurance heroes now."
"Settled" claims are those for which the claim has been paid and accepted by the policyholder. The company continues working to resolve the few claims remaining, which typically involve policyholders who are still deciding which action to take or discrepancies in title paperwork. Policyholders have the option to purchase their vehicles back as salvage after a total loss.
American Collectors Insurance provides collector-vehicle and collectibles insurance coverage underwritten by three member companies of Assurant Specialty Property: American Reliable Insurance Company, American Security Insurance Company, and American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida. In business since 1947, American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida has $1.6 billion in gross written premiums. All these member companies have a Best's Rating of "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. American Collectors' specialty insurance products are distributed through partner organizations, independent agents and direct to consumers.


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