The Saga of the '53 Continued
The accident happened on July 30, 2016. Dealing with insurance is never easy, and this wasn't at all. What should have been a straight up read end accident resolution turned into three months of a mess dealing with AAA.
My first thought when I found out she had AAA was - YAY! A large company with a great reputation. Man, was I wrong. It all started out ok...then the trailer came into play. Because these trailers are old with very little VIN history if any. I figured the whole ordeal would be...well...an ordeal, but I sure didn't expect all that happened.
In preparation for doing a valuation on the trailer, I started pulling every single Craigslist/Vintage Camper Trailer/Sisters on the Fly/eBay listing I could for 50s canned ham trailers in the same condition that I had gotten mine in. I came up with about 22 listings from around the country, plus adding the California "surcharge." Most vintage trailers run for at least 2x-3x more than vintage trailers around the country. Everything is more expensive here.
I had come up with a valuation of about $2500. In order for me to find another trailer within 2 hours of my house, that was the price. AAA didn't want to pay me $2500. They wanted to pay me $600. So let's see, two hours before their customer rear ended me, I purchase the trailer for $1000. I am REALLY bad at math, but I'm pretty sure $1000 is more than $600. No dice, homies. I went back to my claims adjuster with my 22 listings, articles on valuations, discussions about California pricing, etc. I got passed on to a new adjuster.
I had the same conversation on with the Claims Adjuster #2. After a ton of research, I found the VIN on the tongue. It matched the CA title that I had in hand from the kid I bought it from. I still had no idea what it actually was, so I started posting in forums and doing a ton, ton, ton of research. From the best I could tell, it's a '53 Westerner. Claims Adjuster #2 disappeared during all of this and I got Claims Adjuster #3.
Claims Adjuster #3 wanted a AAA trailer inspector to come out and find the VIN, the same VIN I took photos of an compared to the title for them. But sure, come on over. The inspector was super nice, a local woman, I told her what happened, she checked the VIN - the SAME VIN I CHECKED - and wrote her report. She sent that off to Claims Adjuster #3 who then sent it to Claims Adjuster #4.
About a month had gone by at this point and they were still pushing back. I finally said look, I can keep sending you listing after listing, but this is how much it will now take to replace this trailer. Claims Adjuster #4 finally agreed and I got about $2750 for the rear end. Of course, the story doesn't end there - my car was pretty damaged in the accident as well, but that's just a 2004 Nissan Murano, so how big of a deal could that be?