Nationwide Insurance Class Action Settlement Proposed

A settlement has been proposed in a class action against Nationwide Insurance. The suit says Nationwide should pay for both the car’s repair and depreciated value for policyholders hit by underinsured drivers or involved in hit-and-run accidents. For those who qualify and file, it could mean thousands.

Rose Settlement Website via TopClassActions

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  1. ForrestWhitakersLazyEye says:

    Nationwide is on your sideeeeee!

  2. BlackMage is doing the Time Warp agaaaaaaain!!! says:

    Nationwide is on ITS side…

  3. concordia says:

    I’d take her off Daddy’s hands if ya know what I mean.

    HUR HUR

  4. Corporate_guy says:

    Would the other insurance company normally pay out the cost of repair and lost value? If not, why would Nationwide have to pay out more in the event of underinsured or non-insured drivers.

    • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

      @Corporate_guy:
      I know in NJ we have to carry ‘non-insured driver’ coverage on our policies. Not sure about other states, but I’d bet some of them have it as well. It pays out if you get tangled up with an uninsured driver. Being that it costs your carrier money, instead of the other driver’s, your carrier may not be as generous on the payout for you.

    • mythago says:

      @Corporate_guy: Your insurance company has duties towards you, the insured, that somebody else’s insurance company doesn’t. I’m assuming this lawsuit claims that Nationwide routinely lowballed or refused to pay the fair value of claims for damage by uninsured/underinsured motorists.

    • Amiga_500 says:

      @Corporate_guy: It depends on what state you’re in. It’s called “Diminished Value”. [www.bankrate.com]

      I’m not sure if it’s different regarding collision vs uninsured motorist for example.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        @Amiga_500: This lawsuit seems like a lose/lose to me. Even IF the class wins, Nationwide will undoubtedly raise premiums to cover the cost of the additional expenses they are now expected to provide for.

        • Amiga_500 says:

          @dragonfire81: It’s kind of a gray area. Insurance is supposed to make you (car) whole again, or close as possible. When you go to sell the car, it’s worth less. It may be worth the extra cost to cover several thousand dollars of diminished value.

          My wife got hit by a bicyclist that ran off (big dent in fender). We made a claim and in the end got a $63 check for diminished value. We are in GA.

          • dragonfire81 says:

            @Amiga_500: I don’t disagree the logic for the change seems sound, but I can’t help but think it will do more harm than good to consumers in the end.

    • ScottHardy says:

      @Corporate_guy: Typically, as I understand it, most other insurance carriers wouldn’t pay out an additional amount on top of your repair cost to cover diminished value. I think that will change with this case. Now that Nationwide settled we should see a policy shift across the nation.
      Will this increase insurance rates? Possibly. If it does it will be a few dollars on the underinsured and uninsured motorist part of your auto insurance policy. I think the small potential increase will be displaced by the benefit if you ever have to make a similar claim.
      Thankfully, I haven’t had to do so, but I know I would be quite upset if I was in an accident at no fault of my own, had my car repaired, and then found out the value of my car had dropped by a few thousand dollars. I would definitely want that back. Insurance or the other person’s insurance should pay for that. They messed up. They hit me. They caused the value of my car to go down. They should pay up.

      Warm Regards,
      Scott Hardy
      President and CEO of Top Class Actions LLC
      “What settlements can you claim? Find out at Top Class Actions.”
      [www.TopClassActions.com]

  5. concordia says:

    In Texas they made this big deal about how ‘if you lack insurance, you’ll get caught!’ and how no one’s going to be able to drive uninsured any more. I’d made the argument that, were this the case, I should pay less for uninsured motorists, right?

    I mean, given that it’s predominately other Texans I drive around there’s now less of a chance that I’ll encounter someone that lacks insurance.

    You can imagine how this worked out.

    • RenRen says:

      @concordia: In Pennsylvania, we pay for underinsured/uninsured coverage. This issue should be left up to the individual states, I think.

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @concordia: Well, I think the insurance companies understand that this is BS. The Texan system for catching uninsured motorists is pretty lax compared to New York (my only other point of comparison). Texas’s system is simply maintain a database of insured vehicles, so if a cop decides to run a plate, they can immediately determine if the vehicle is uninsured. As I recently discovered, in Texas, it is allowable to have excluded drivers on the policy, so even if the car is insured, the driver may be excluded resulting in the car being effectively uninsured. Also, this system relies on the cop being suspicious enough to run the plates, which they will almost certainly do only if they are pulling the vehicle over.

      Compare this for a minute to New York’s system. If your insurance expires in New York, they automatically send notice to the state who immediately begins to fine you. In addition, if you would like to cancel the insurance on your car, you are either required to already have insurance through another company, or have a receipt number from returning your license plates to the DMV. Even with this addition protection, there are still plenty of uninsured motorists on the roads, many of whom don’t carry drivers licenses or have legal plates. However, my insurance premiums in New York were less than half what they are in Texas. I appreciate Texas trying to step up their game, and as someone with multiple vehicles which aren’t always on the road, I appreciate the ease of removing / adding insurance coverage, but I recognize that they are still doing very little to actually try to eliminate uninsured motorists on our roads.

      • tbax929 says:

        @nataku83:

        New York’s system is far from perfect. I’ve had clients who switched carriers only to have one carrier inform the state they didn’t have insurance but the other carrier neglect to tell the state they did. It’s a nightmare.

        • nataku8_e30 says:

          @tbax929: Yeah, that happened to my Dad too, it was a pita to sort out. The New York system definitely is a bigger hassle, and there are still plenty of uninsured motorists on the road. I was mainly just trying to show how the Texas system will probably be even less successful, at least at removing uninsured motorists.

    • varro says:

      @concordia: That’s not how the insurance industry works, especially in Texas.

      Whenever some insurance reform goes into effect, premiums do not go down. That’d be taking money out of the hands of insurance executives, which we cannot do.

      • Anonymous says:

        @varro:
        Exactly, take LA for example. When they instituted their mandatory liability law, (same type of situation as NY) premiums increased almost 300%. The only explanation for which is “We’ve got you by the balls now thanks to your government, so pay us or you’ll pay them even more. ($50 for every 10 days you’re without coverage)

  6. savdavid says:

    Never trust an insurance company in anything they say, do or advertise until you have no more options. Never accept their first offer. Never NOT fight them. They WILL screw you every chance they can. It is built into their model of how to do business. If you remember they are your adversary and treat them as such you will come out better in most cases. What about the other cases you ask? I said MOST cases which means you will have a BETTER chance of getting what you deserve. If you don’t challenge them you stand close to a 100% certainly of being shafted.

    • Stanwell says:

      @savdavid: When i had a tree fall on my year-old truck, the insurance company cut me a check within three days for more than i had originally paid for the truck. Should i have held out for more? Did i get shafted? (State Farm, btw.)

  7. Snarkysnake says:

    The only way to make the uninsured pay for the damage that they do ,the ONLY way, is to impose a pay at the pump tax specifically for taking care of injuries and hospitalization of drivers that are hit by the uninsured.Lower the insured drivers premiums to compensate and do away with uninsured motorist coverage. All drivers would pay,true,but the irresponsible would not escape paying anything, as is the case now. Make the penalties for driving uninsured tougher and more enforceable (yes,this means jail time) and make all traffic stops a mandatory insurance check. Up the liability coverage requirement ( in my state it is just $20,000,which won’t go far in an emergency room these days).

    I am a bail bondsman and I deal with these people all of the time. No matter how many times they are stopped and cited,they are not going to buy insurance because it “costs too much” and no driver should have to choose between beer,cigarettes and insurance. That’s why we should tax the point of sale for gasoline and nobody escapes paying.

    That said, Nationwide is still a sack of bastards.

  8. satoru says:

    I think people need some background into what is being discussed here. Diminished value is the idea that the value of your car is inherently diminished because the car was in an accident. For example I try to sell you my car, but you find out that it was under 10ft of water for several months in New Orleans. You’re obviously not going to pay the blue book value now matter how good the car looks or runs. Almost everyone agrees that if YOU are at fault in the accident, then the diminished value is on you so there’s no compensation for it.

    But what if your car gets hit by an uninsured person, or is in a hit and run. Then there’s no one to really ‘blame’ or to get compensation for this inherent lost value. That’s why insurance companies don’t want to get hit with this kind of thing. It costs them more, and by extension YOU through higher premiums to cover these kinds of costs.

    This is going to be more of an issue as the ‘new’ system comes into place where states will input the accident history of a car. Before people would ‘clean’ the record of a bad car by moving to a state where they didn’t keep track of things. This wipes the accident history, then resell it back to someone who assumes the car is in good condition (and not been under 10ft of water in New Orleans)

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    In November, the Great American Insurance Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio) sought a declaration in federal court in Houston that it was not liable to pay death benefits from a 2007 office fire because the three victims did not die from “fire.” The company pointed to an exclusion in the policy for death by “pollution” (thought by most people to cover only toxic industrial discharges) and argued that the three victims were actually asphyxiated by smoke, which is “air pollution.” [Houston Chronicle, 12-17-08]

  10. CardamS says:

    This is horrendously stupid. So since I have a lack luster incidental portion of my policy (which I bought and signed off on) I should still get top dollar for repair when I am involved in incidental accidents .
    I like this train of thought.
    I would also like to purpose we declare this new suit. When eating at McDonalds, if I get a burger and water for lunch but find myself hungry because I did not buy enough to eat. McDonalds needs to provide me with a Big Mac Value Meal for foolishly selling me what I decided upon.
    Then while we are at it, I would like to have something hot spilled on me so I can try to milk that too. MILK, that’s it, really hot milk. That way when I am in “terrible pain” I can have a quick drink and a nap.
    Unbelievably ridiculous. ….

  11. ScottHardy says:

    Interesting feedback so far… I think that Satoru has it right. This seems like a valid lawsuit settlement to me and I think we’ll see it happen for other insurers as well. If I’m in an accident, at no fault of my own, and I’m not able to collect much or anything from the “at fault” driver’s insurance company I should be compensated for the damage to the car AND the loss in value. Before the accident I was able to sell my car for more money compared to after the accident and repair. The same mileage would be on the car, but now it’s lost value because of the accident.
    Why isn’t that a point CardamS?

    Warm Regards,
    Scott Hardy
    President and CEO of Top Class Actions LLC
    “What settlements can you claim? Find out at Top Class Actions.”
    [www.TopClassActions.com]

  12. Squeezer99 says:

    good. maybe i can get back some of the money I had to pay to nationwide in 2002. A black guy in his 80’s in his 1988 cadillac t-boned my 2 year old car and did $16000 in damage. Of course he had no insurance and tried to make a claim against me saying it was my fault and his wife broke her leg. nationwide shot him down but I still had to pay my $1000 deductible. i got a letter from a lawyer a few months after the accident saying they were trying to collect from him. but i mean, come on, the guy had nothing to collect from. he drove a piece of sh!t cadillac, lived in the hood, etc. and you can’t garnish social security. and last year when i was changing out my clutch, on the body next to the transmission there is a wave in the sheet metal.

  13. Anonymous says:

    No wonder our rates are too high. We continue to have to pay for people who drive without insurance (increase the penalties for those jokers, not us) and silly lawsuits (I still don’t understand the McDonalds hot coffee settlement) that we all end up paying for.

  14. CardamS says:

    Look at the policies you purchased people.

    Strangely enough the last line does not read “protect me from all the stuff that is not listed as being covered above.”

    Unbelievable

    • Teresa White says:

      @CardamS:

      Hi all i am a member of this suit and my car frame was bent by an uninsured driver and i pay for insurance for this kind of thing and since the frame was bent will be a big loss at resell time. I should not take a loss for something that is not my fault!!!!