By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento man is celebrating a victory over his car insurance following a lawsuit, saying the company low-balled him on covering the cost of repairs.

A scrape with another driver left Craig Allen’s minivan sideswiped.

“We were pulling onto the freeway actually, Interstate 5,” he said.

But when Allen got the estimate for his repair, he says his insurance company wouldn’t cover the costs.

“It’s a lot more than you think it was,” said Allen. “So, it’s $2,700. Well, I’m not gonna get it fixed. The van is only worth $2,700.”

Allen says Liberty Mutual only agreed to cover part of the repair costs, knowing he would be pocketing the money instead of fixing his 15-year-old, 230,000-mile mini-van.

“Your damages don’t change whether you repair your vehicle or not,” said Allen.

Allen sued the Fortune 500 company in small claims court and won.

“It took me a couple of hours in research and to actually file my claim,” he said.

Liberty Mutual wouldn’t comment about the claim. It considers the matter in active litigation, which the company does not publicly discuss.

A spokesperson for the California Department of Insurance issued this statement: “While the law does not require insurers pay a set or particular percentage of a vehicle’s value, when settling a claim, insurers are required, under the Fair Claims Settlement Act, to settle claims fairly.”

Allen says the insurance company has already written him a check.


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