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Hello all... my 1994 Honda Accord was stolen last night (I put out an APB and recount the episode here: http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2004/mft04101319.htm) In addition to being hopping mad and still pretty much in shock, I wanted to check in here for any valuable insights you folks can provide.

My car was stolen in Takoma Park, MD (where, evidently, the Honda Accord is the #1 most stolen car). What are the chances that my car will turn up (typically in a stolen-car scenario)? How long should I wait? And if it was kids who took it for a joy ride, does the car usually end up at a chop shop or simply at the side of the road somewhere?

Obviously, instead of having to buy a new car I hope to find my car in tip-top shape parked lovingly on some road traffiked frequently by the police. Ahem. Since that's probably not going to happen, it looks like I'll be dealing with some insurance issues. However, since I only have liability coverage with Geico and not comprehensive (yes, I know, 100 lashes to me), I won't get a dime for any damage if it is recovered.

Is there anything I should be doing insurance-wise right now in this situation? After filing the report with the police I called Geico and reported the theft.

Thanks much for any tidbits of advice you care to share.
Best,
Dayana

PS: I imagine if I have to buy a new car that you'll be seeing lots more of me on this board. : )
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RE: Dayana: "my 1994 Honda Accord was stolen"

We can rule out TMFRAvynous as a suspect.

HE DOESN'T DRIVE!

SB (except a tractor)(he claims)
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I imagine if I have to buy a new car that you'll be seeing lots more of me on this board. : )

And we're all looking forward to getting to know you better.
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Sorry to hear about that, Dayana. First, pray it's not recovered. Second, if it is recovered, ask the police to do a complete search. You don't want that miscreant's pipe rolling out from under the seat when you get stopped for speeding :)

The chances of what's going to happen/has happened to your car as you described above are incalculable. Statistics don't matter anyway, it's your specific car you are concerned about.

How long you wait to recover is up to you and Geico. Once they cut you a check, it's their problem if/when it turns up.

Richard
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How long you wait to recover is up to you and Geico. Once they cut you a check, it's their problem if/when it turns up.

OP has no comprehensive insurance, Twitty. She can proceed at whatever pace her judgment dictates. Given that I have no experience with "giving up hope" in this type of situation, I can offer her no advice. I can only say that my own pace would be determined by how badly I needed a car.
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(FYI, I posted this on the Insurance Board as well.....)

Wow--

Let's hope that this Halloween your car doesn't get an RIP in front of it and that your four-wheeled friend is returned home promptly (heck--I'll bet you'd even settle for 1/4 tank of gas in it at this point!)

But, to your questions --

"Was I right in calling my insurance company right away?"

Since you knew you only had liability coverage on the Honda, calling GEICO seems like it should have no relevence in the the present or in the future. However, if the hoodlums were to find your insurance info (was that in the glovebox or the visor?) and try to call in a fraudulant claim using your information, then at least GEICO should know to look a bit deeper into it. Should you purchase a newer car to <sniff> replace your car, take a closer look at the Comp coverage. BTW, how many miles were on the car? If it were a Foolishly high-miler, then GEICO may have only offered you a smaller settlement. Same goes if it had existing damage, less options, etc, so maybe in the long run, Comp simply wasn't worth having on it.....

"How long should I wait before giving up hope of recovery?"

Hondas are among the most popular stolen cars out there, and Accords are among the most stolen Hondas -- double ouch. Many of those that are stolen usually wind up in those aforementioned "chop-shops". As there's no insurance settlement involved, anything over 72 hours for a grieving period would IMFO be time wasted.


"Do kids take cares to chop shops, or was this a probably a professional job?"

I guess the answer to that question would be best answered by the thieves themselves. Kids are sometimes employed to go out and scope for certain makes/models and then relay the info and locations to the shops, who then send out the "Gone-in-60-seconds" crew to take away your baby. Car theft and chop shops are big, big business. Your Honda is worth more disaasembled that it is put together.


"Is there any workaround to the whole liability thing or should I just kiss goodbye any chance of getting a KBB-valued check made out to me from Geico?"

No ticky, no washy. No coverage, no KBB check. If there's a way around that, I don't want to know. Then again, I work in insurance, so maybe you can pass that little nugget along to me (wink wink, nudge nudge)

Take this post as a FWIW, and I hope that your Honda makes a prompt return from the fools who took it.


All the Foolish Best (and buy a Club lock!)

R4M
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Sorry to hear it, Dayana. All I can say is...welcome to Takoma Park!! Enjoy your visit :o)

-MC, grew up in Rockville
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"Do kids take cares to chop shops, or was this a probably a professional job?"

I guess the answer to that question would be best answered by the thieves themselves. Kids are sometimes employed to go out and scope for certain makes/models and then relay the info and locations to the shops, who then send out the "Gone-in-60-seconds" crew to take away your baby. Car theft and chop shops are big, big business. Your Honda is worth more disaasembled that it is put together.


If that's the case, let's hope your baby took out the thieves permanently. If my car were stolen, I'd be more satisfied thinking the car took the thieves off a cliff than ended up in a chop shop.
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What are the chances that my car will turn up (typically in a stolen-car scenario)? How long should I wait?

Usually, they turn up within 3 days, on average. They tend to turn up more often than not. Few self respecting professional car thieves would mess with a 1994 Accord - The risks, generally, are the same and the rewards less than for an exotic or later model car. More likely than not, a kid/gang member probably took it for a joy ride and/or to knock off a quick score to buy a small batch of drugs by selling the radio and any other small tidbits he might find - Broken window, steering column, glove compartment, trunk lock and accident damage is what I usually see - usually, they're banged up pretty badly. Once in a while they're not in too bad of shape.

About the only compensation you will likely be eligible for will be a casualty loss deduction on your tax return. As long as you report the theft to the police, there's really no reason to report it to your insurer as, apparently, there is no coverage applicable and you merely add a stolen car loss, $0 paid, to your CLUE report.

Is there anything I should be doing insurance-wise right now in this situation?

No, reporting it to the police should be sufficient. Should the car be involved in an accident, the police report would adequately document that it was stolen at the time. I doubt the perpetrator would be foolish enough to risk prosecution for grand theft auto in an attempt to collect on a claim which would be thoroughly investigated before being paid to you with a draft or authorization in your name.

If you left any credit cards or identification in the car, be sure to cancel the cards and track your credit report for possible identity theft.

Good luck!

Bob
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As long as you report the theft to the police, there's really no reason to report it to your insurer

hmmmm, shouldn't the insurance be canceled? Why pay premiums on a stolen car?

jean
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you purchase a newer car to <sniff> replace your car, take a closer look at the Comp coverage. BTW, how many miles were on the car? If it were a Foolishly high-miler, then GEICO may have only offered you a smaller settlement. Same goes if it had existing damage, less options, etc, so maybe in the long run, Comp simply wasn't worth having on it.....


I'm a bit confused...are you talking comprehensive or colision insurance. We usually carry comprehensive with our liability, but not colision (shoot should have the spell check on this puter). If I remember right comp wasn't very much money.

jean
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<hmmmm, shouldn't the insurance be canceled? Why pay premiums on a stolen car?>


You could suspend coverage, but if you're going to replace the car in a reasonable amount of time (30 days or less), then Dayana may want to keep the coverage in force. The coverage would then extend to a newly acquired car, although if it were to need Comp/Collision you would need to report the new vehicle to Geico at the time of purchase in order for theose coverages to apply. The coverage generally doesn't follow the car--it follows the insured. Dayana would simply be replacing the vehicle under her existing policy.

Scott

Hi Bob!
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<I'm a bit confused...are you talking comprehensive or colision insurance. We usually carry comprehensive with our liability, but not colision (shoot should have the spell check on this puter). If I remember right comp wasn't very much money.

jean>>

Hi Jean,

I was speaking of Comprehensive coverage, which covers theft of vehicle and other perils. According to Kelly Blue book, a 1994 Honda Accord EX 4dr in good condition, approx 120,000 miles (10 years x 12,000 miles a year average), with automatic transmission and in my area (Chicago Metro) would have a trade in value of approx $2200. That figure could be more or less with respect to Dayana's vehicle, depending on preexisting condition, less/more miles, and the geographical area she lives in.

In situations where your vehicle is getting older and losing more of its value, when you decide to go with liability coverage only you do so at the risk of being in the current situation should a theft happen. For some, the savings in premiums might be worth the risk (was that your thinking in this case Dayana?), for others the peace of mind that their car will be covered regardless of the cost outweighs the fact that they may not get a whole lot of money for the vehicle should a theft or other Comp-related claim occur.

Hope that helps--

Scott
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The coverage generally doesn't follow the car--it follows the insured. Dayana would simply be replacing the vehicle under her existing policy.

maybe it's the state, but here, according to my insurance guy, the insurance is with the car not the person.

Jean
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For some, the savings in premiums might be worth the risk (was that your thinking in this case Dayana?), for others the peace of mind that their car will be covered regardless of the cost outweighs the fact that they may not get a whole lot of money for the vehicle should a theft or other Comp-related claim occur.


I wasn't really thinking about the payment for the car, as much as being able to get a car, while trying to find a replacement. It would depend on the amount of the premium, of course.

However, if I didn't have comprehensive I would have enough money in my emergency fund to replace the car.......can you tell I drive inexpensive cars?

Hmmmm, I remember more than a few years back as soon as our VW pickup was paid for we dropped the collision (hubby does body work), at the same time the comprehensive was dropped...then the truck was stolen and totalled less than 10 miles away. (The local police watched the thief take the truck). I was really bummed since the price of the comprehensive wasn't that much compared to the value of the truck.

I think I'll check on the price we're paying now for comprehensive on our older rigs to see if it's worth it. We have more rigs than we can drive now, so it's not as critical to be able to find a replacement right away. Sometimes I think we should try and sell one or two, but they sure come in handy when one doesn't start. We live in the country so parking isn't a problem. It's not as bad as it sounds...we have a vw pickup, a car, a van and a regular pickup all different uses. The newest is 1993, all paid for, so insurance and license is the major expense. We do all our own upkeep.

Jean
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Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.

<hmmmm, shouldn't the insurance be canceled? Why pay premiums on a stolen car?>


You could suspend coverage, but if you're going to replace the car in a reasonable amount of time (30 days or less), then Dayana may want to keep the coverage in force. The coverage would then extend to a newly acquired car, although if it were to need Comp/Collision you would need to report the new vehicle to Geico at the time of purchase in order for theose coverages to apply. The coverage generally doesn't follow the car--it follows the insured. Dayana would simply be replacing the vehicle under her existing policy.

Scott

Hi Bob!


Hey Scott - You're doing well I see!! ;-)

Jean,

<hmmmm, shouldn't the insurance be canceled? Why pay premiums on a stolen car?>

No, it shouldn't be canceled. In addition to the reason that Scott mentioned:

1) If your car is involved in an accident while it is stolen and you should be (albeit erroneously) sued, your insurer will retain very competent defense attorneys on your behalf, if necessary, (and pay amounts for which you may be legally liable - though I doubt you would, normally, be found legally liable.) The last I checked, around a decade ago, defense attorneys retained by insurers charged fees that ran (up to) $150/hour.

2) Standard ISO policies include coverage for a Temporary Substitute Auto - If you drive someone else's "private passenger auto" (i.e. not a commercial vehicle) that is not owned by a member of your household or a car that you have, in the past, driven on a regular basis, you are covered under your policy (on a secondary basis - The vehicle owner's insurance, if it exists, is, generally, always primary - Your policy picks up coverage, for you, that/if the owner's doesn't) - You are assured of, at least, the coverage you carried on your owned vehicle.

3) Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage (which includes being struck by a hit/run driver) and Auto Medical coverage, generally, cover you and your family members, on at least a secondary basis, while a passenger in someone else's vehicle, alighting from a vehicle or walking or riding a bicycle.

4) Underwriters hate, and are "merciless", toward uninsured drivers - Rather, underwriting rules/criteria are very stringently adverse for drivers who do not carry continuous auto liability insurance. 1-30 days can put you in the same group with one who has never carried auto insurance, multiplying your (at least, initial 6-12 month) premium by a factor of 1.5 to 2+... Some recent exceptions are being made for active duty enlisted personnel on duty overseas.

5) Decent agents (Scott is certainly one) like, respect and appreciate you very much, very much appreciate your business and, quite honestly, we would be remiss in our duties, if we did not advise you so that you know a course to choose that is in your best interest!!

Bob
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The coverage generally doesn't follow the car--it follows the insured. Dayana would simply be replacing the vehicle under her existing policy.

maybe it's the state, but here, according to my insurance guy, the insurance is with the car not the person.

Jean


Both are, generally, correct.

An insured's policy follows the insured, as I detailed in my prior post.

A vehicle owner's policy is, generally, primary and a driver/operator's policy is, generally, secondary (picks up what the owner's policy may not cover, in whole or in part) - what your agent meant (should have meant), Jean.

Bob
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You could suspend coverage, but if you're going to replace the car in a reasonable amount of time (30 days or less), then Dayana may want to keep the coverage in force. The coverage would then extend to a newly acquired car, although if it were to need Comp/Collision you would need to report the new vehicle to Geico at the time of purchase in order for theose coverages to apply. The coverage generally doesn't follow the car--it follows the insured. Dayana would simply be replacing the vehicle under her existing policy.

Scott

Hi Bob!


The latest ISO policy has been changed, Scott... IIRC, the time to report a newly acquired car, under a fully compliant ISO policy, has been shortened, and there is a limited amount of time in which physical damage coverage automatically applies to a newly acquired vehicle... hard to keep up.

Bob
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The latest ISO policy has been changed, Scott... IIRC, the time to report a newly acquired car, under a fully compliant ISO policy, has been shortened, and there is a limited amount of time in which physical damage coverage automatically applies to a newly acquired vehicle... hard to keep up.

Bob


Here ya' go:

...For all coverages (excluding Damage To Your Auto) a newly acquired additional auto gets the broadest coverage written in the policy if coverage for the auto is requested within 14 days of the vehicle purchase date. There's no need to ever request coverage for a new auto that replaces one that is listed on the policy. (hmmmm... dunno how many insurers will (or how soon they will) follow that guideline.)

* For either collision or other than collision when either collision or other than collision appears on the policy Declarations, a newly acquired additional auto gets the broadest coverage written on the policy if coverage for the auto is requested within 14 days of the vehicle purchase date. If collision or other than collision does not appear on the policy Declarations, a newly acquired additional auto is protected if coverage for the auto is requested within four days of the vehicle purchase date. However, a $500 deductible applies....


http://www.roughnotes.com/rnmag/july98/07p58.htm

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There's no need to ever request coverage for a new auto that replaces one that is listed on the policy. (hmmmm... dunno how many insurers will (or how soon they will) follow that guideline.)

I guess the operative words are: For all coverages (excluding Damage To Your Auto) - makes more sense, then.
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Dayana,

I'm sorry that your car was stolen. I've been there and know the acute pain you suffered when you discovered that it was missing. To me, it felt like someone had kicked me in my stomach and bashed my head in.

As you've said, the Honda Accord is the #1 favorite in our area among car thieves. (Toyota Camrys are #2.) If kids took your car, it will probably end up abandoned on the side of a road. It's condition? Chances are not good.

I wouldn't lash you for dropping comprehensive coverage on a 11 year-old car. Presuming you bought it new, you've gotten great service from it. Comprehensive insurance is the most expensive in our area (guess why?) and when weighing the risk of saving a few bucks per year and having your car stolen vs paying money to the insurance company and nothing happens, I'd say it was a good risk.

You've done everything you could by calling the police and by calling Geico. I'm with Geico, and know that if you have any questions, you can call them 24 hours a day and a representative will be more than happy to answer them. But since you don't have comprehensive coverage, I don't think there's much in the way of compensation that Geico can do for you. At least they know that if your car is involved in an accident, it won't be your fault.

Charles
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<<There's no need to ever request coverage for a new auto that replaces one that is listed on the policy. (hmmmm... dunno how many insurers will (or how soon they will) follow that guideline.)>>

Gee, Bob, I have no idea what you're talking aboout! Thankfully, we have some rather good systems in place to catch any churning, although I've yet to see a sub-standard carrier do anything less. Shame, shame.

<< Decent agents (Scott is certainly one) like, respect and appreciate you very much, very much appreciate your business and, quite honestly, we would be remiss in our duties, if we did not advise you so that you know a course to choose that is in your best interest!!

Bob>>


....Thanks, Bob. One of the reasons I enjoy reading your posts is the fact that you delve so deep into a subject. With age comes wisdom and experience, and you have me on all three! ;)


..I wonder how Dayana is coming along with all of this?? Anyone care to guess as to what will happen to the '94 Honda? My guess is that it's gone, and there'll be a new vehicle in her future.....


Foolish Best
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<<There's no need to ever request coverage for a new auto that replaces one that is listed on the policy. (hmmmm... dunno how many insurers will (or how soon they will) follow that guideline.)>>

Gee, Bob, I have no idea what you're talking aboout!


The link in the post is RoughNotes' presentation and interpretation of the 1998 revision, the latest version, of the Insurance Service Office's (ISO) Personal Auto Policy (PAP), an industry standard - At the bottom of policy pages, used by many, if not most, insurers there are references to ISO's copyrights and use of their policy forms. (All insurers can use ISO standard forms, in whole or in part, with ISO's permission and approval by State Dept. of Insurance, of course. Some insurers design their own policies and vary quite considerably from ISO standards.) Prior to the 1998 revision, an insured had to notify his auto insurer of a newly acquired replacement vehicle within thirty (30) days of its purchase. If he failed to do so and suffered a loss on or after the 31st day the loss wasn't covered. Problems sometimes arose, for example, when an insured bought a car from a dealership, the dealership assured the insured that they would notify his auto insurance agent to make the change and take care of the matter for him, but overlooked following through in doing so and the insured, trusting the dealer's assurance, failed to contact his insurer.

In reading the revised clause, I overlooked the sub-clause about the revised provision not applying to physical damage coverages, the reason for my initial added comment - as it wouldn't make sense to broaden this policy provision to include physical damage coverages as an insured could replace, say, an $8,000 vehicle with a $32,000 vehicle and continue to pay premiums based on the replaced vehicle's value (merely by not notifying his insurer of the change), while being covered for 4 times its value - That, of course, wouldn't work. Removal of the 30 day limitation is a worthwhile edit as respects other coverages. The 1998 revision of the ISO PAP was a major one. Many of the revisions were/are very decent - Some aren't and some are poorly written and some are ambiguous, in my and others' opinions.

Thankfully, we have some rather good systems in place to catch any churning, although I've yet to see a sub-standard carrier do anything less. Shame, shame.

You lost me, somewhat, there. Churning is more commonly a concept applied to life insurance where/when an agent may (illegally) roll a policy, often to obtain substantially higher first year commissions, w/o providing a thorough premium and benefit analysis/comparison. I've more rarely heard it accurately applied to auto insurance, except where an agent may move a policy from one assigned under a new agent appointment agreement at a reduced commission to one originated under his agency, and only then when an insured might lose a premium or coverage advantage. I've more often seen churning take place within the agency force of major insurers who use captive agent contracts, as the insurer owns the business and the policies revert back to the insurer for reassignment following an agent's retirement or termination of his contract, than I have in brokerages where the broker owns the business and rights to renewals. Insureds, otherwise, often have little, if anything, to lose and often much to gain, in abandoning an auto policy in favor of a policy that may be far more competitively priced, while continuing to provide comparable coverages. Generally, major insurers focus far more on standard markets than substandard/high risk markets. And, generally, most insurers that focus on substandard/high risk don't use captive agents and don't own rights to policy renewals in their agency contracts. The motivation to churn is far more prevalent under captive contracts and policy/renewal ownership by insurers - and takes place are far more commonly, I would think, under the business model of major insurers, such as State Farm, Farmers Insurance Group, Country Cos,, etc., so I'm not sure what you mean here. Additionally, churning policies to obtain a higher commission compensation, when it happens, is usually done at an agency level, rather than by an insurer.

Anyone care to guess as to what will happen to the '94 Honda?

No - I'm superstitious. ;-) I hope she gets it back intact.

Bob
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We have seen agents that will "churn" auto and homeowner's policies to prop up new app counts.

In Dayana's case, the agent would write a new auto policy instead of making a vehicle change on the existing policy, thereby causing the old policy to be out of force. The client could (and in some cases, did) lose longevity/accident free/ discounts that would have stayed on based on the amount of time the old policy was in force.

The same has been done for homeowners policies that were going from HO4's to HO5's or HO6's. It actually penalizes the insured while the agent get new app counts/commission.

I understood the ISO change, so when I said I didn't understand, I was referring (mockingly) to the issue of churning.


Sorry for the confusion!
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We have seen agents that will "churn" auto and homeowner's policies to prop up new app counts.

In Dayana's case, the agent would write a new auto policy instead of making a vehicle change on the existing policy, thereby causing the old policy to be out of force. The client could (and in some cases, did) lose longevity/accident free/ discounts that would have stayed on based on the amount of time the old policy was in force.

The same has been done for homeowners policies that were going from HO4's to HO5's or HO6's. It actually penalizes the insured while the agent get new app counts/commission.


Yeah, but that would be more likely to happen in an agency that worked under a captive contract. In our non-captive agency, for example, we represent 10 or so companies and roll policies from one company to another all the time, but not for the purpose of improving our app count or new business commissions - It's too labor intensive, counterproductive, costly and, generally, increases E&O exposure. I didn't understand your comment about churning taking place within non-standard carriers, which, by and large, tend to use non-captive agency contracts (or within standard market carriers that use non-captive agent contracts, for that matter.) There's little incentive for agents working under such agreements to do so. App count tends to stay high just by way of competitive market forces - variance in premium from one insurer to another for different/changing circumstances. Most of the insurers we represent don't look at app count. Processing new business is far more costly for them, too, than billing renewals and making changes to exiting policies. Most of the insurers that we represent look far more at net policy growth, persistency and profitability. If/when negative policy growth occurs the insurers we represent look at what they can/need to do to get the business flowing back their way, as they know we, substantially, control the business and can and will move it where/when it's in our insureds' best interest to do. When you control the customer (own policy renewal rights) you control the business - That isn't present under a captive contract.

Regards,
Bob
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Few self respecting professional car thieves would mess with a 1994 Accord - The risks, generally, are the same and the rewards less than for an exotic or later model car.

1994 model year is a hot item. It's one of the years most stolen for the Honda Accord. I have a 1995 Honda Accord that is never listed as most-stolen, so there must be a reason that the 1994 model is so popular with car thieves.
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ANd here's probably more than you really ever wanted to know:

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/auto/car-guide-2004/most-stolen1.asp

SB (popular when new, popular when used, most oft stolen)
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Hi all...

First, I want to thank you for all of the great advice you've provided. I've learned a ton about a topic which I was hoping I would never have to deal with personally! That said, I hope you don't mind if I take your words of wisdom and share them with the greater Fool public that might not frequent this discussion board. It's just too much good information for me to keep to myself. (Today I did an article about the answers to my most pressing right-after-the-crime questions: http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2004/mft04101418.htm Please let me know if I flubbed anything!)

Well... so far no word from the cops. I'm slowly wrapping my mind around the idea that I may never get my car back and may have to buy a new ride. However, to me, buying a new car is akin to paying for dental surgery -- an unpleasant way to have to spend a bundle. Still, I suspect that the folks on this board will make it a bit more fun.

As some of you pointed out, carrying only liability coverage has its risks. I essentially decided to self-insure against self-inflected boo boos and theft. (It was a 1994 with just 100,000 miles on it. The body showed some wear. The biggest bummer is that I just put $1,500 in repairs on it in early July.) So I risked losing out Blue Book value (someone said around $2,000 perhaps), and the Gods of Fate determined that there was 100% likelihood of car theft in my future. I wish they had told me that! Thankfully, I do have enough in my emergency savings to buy a new vehicle should it come to that.

For the time being, I'm going to keep my car insurance coverage in force based on the advice given here. NoIDAtAll mentioned a "CLUE report." What exactly is that?

Now I'm going to look into what coverage I have for the contents of my car in my renter's insurance. Of course, any and all advice on this and other topics is very much appreciated.

Again, many thanks to all of you for taking the time to share your expertise. And please continue to keep your fingers crossed for the recovery of my Honda!

Thanks, Fools,
Dayana
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Dayana

I read over the post 2x and I'm surprised that nobody brought up the tax consequences. ( In a nutshell here ) If and when your car comes back regardless of its state your going to have a casualty loss that is deductable on your tax's ( PotentiallY ). You'll need to read up to see whats involved, but for the most part it comes down to whatever amount of the value of your loss exceeds 10% of your AGI + $100 or something like that.
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It takes a significant loss or a low income to benefit from this deduction. A 1994 Accord is a $2-6000 vehicle, depending on body style, trim level, equipment, condition, , and miles. So if you make $50,000 and have a $5000 car stolen, you get no deduction, as I understand it.

Please correct my if my understanding of this is wrong.
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Dayana,

You wrote, For the time being, I'm going to keep my car insurance coverage in force based on the advice given here. NoIDAtAll mentioned a "CLUE report." What exactly is that?

It's a sort of credit report for insurance. All claims made on a vehicle or house are recorded and cross-referenced.

CLUE is short for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. You or your insurer can also obtain a score based on your CLUE report. CLUE reports are maintained and sold by ChoicePoint ( http://www.choicepoint.com )

Here's a post I made Tuesday over on the Credit Card board about this subject: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=21436150

- Joel
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Good article, Dayana - well done. Hope you get car back in not too bad of shape.

Bob
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eudaimon6

Yes the threshold is %10 of AGI so in your example you'd have agi of $50,000 a $5,000 floor and thus no deduction. Where as if that was 50,000 gross and her agi was say $30,000 with a $3,000 floor she would have a $2,000 loss she could claim. Its certainly the short end of the stick but its better than nothing at all.
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$2000 is $2000. Anything to take some of the sting away. Thanks.
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CLUE is short for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. You or your insurer can also obtain a score based on your CLUE report. CLUE reports are maintained and sold by ChoicePoint ( http://www.choicepoint.com )

Hey Joel,

Actually, it's not a score, per se. Loss dates, the driver involved (if an accident), an indication of the type of loss, the vehicle or property involved and amounts paid under which types of coverage show. Otherwise, you got it.

http://oci.wi.gov/pub_list/pi-207.htm

Bob
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Hey pmh203,

If she files a Schedule C, uses the car in her business/profession, the car is recovered and she repairs damage to bring the car back to its former state, couldn't she take the repairs on Schedule C?
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Ha ha, hee hee! You hope to find it in good condition...that's a good one! You do know that the Accord is right up at the top of the "most stolen" list, don't you?

My wife's red 1993 Honda Civic EX Coupe was stolen out of our driveway on Mother's Day a few years ago. It turned up less than three days later in a less-populated area less than two miles from our house. It was missing several key components, like all of the interior, the hood, a couple of fenders, and maybe a few other things. They left the cassette tapes and the AM/FM cassette stereo. They took the REI sleeping bag.

The deputy who took the initial report suspected it was probably stolen by kids who needed parts to fix up a car. Seems they soup one up, take it down to the local track, race it, bang it up, and then steal another car for repair parts. The condition of the car when it was found would seem to bear that out, especially since they didn't touch the airbags.

Thankfully, we have a great insurance company (USAA) that gave us fair (local) market value for the car, which was significantly more than blue book value. We were very happy with the settlement.

We bought a 2000 Accord SE with an anti-theft system. It gets parked in the garage. I also replaced the motion-detector light that had died a few months before the car was stolen.
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Now I'm going to look into what coverage I have for the contents of my car in my renter's insurance. Of course, any and all advice on this and other topics is very much appreciated.

Personal Property in your car should be covered. Your Homeowners HO4 policy deductible will apply. Also, there are limitations of coverage amounts on specified types of personal property - your lavish jewelry, watches and furs, by way of example. ;-) Also, Business Personal Property, generally, wouldn't be covered, as it's a different class of property... so, if you had a camera, for instance, that you used for personal purposes it would be covered up to the limitation on camera equipment. If if were a camera that you used as a professional photographer, it wouldn't covered, at all, under a Homeowners policy.
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NoIDAtAll,

I wrote, It's a sort of credit report for insurance. All claims made on a vehicle or house are recorded and cross-referenced.

CLUE is short for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. You or your insurer can also obtain a score based on your CLUE report. CLUE reports are maintained and sold by ChoicePoint ( http://www.choicepoint.com )


You replied, Actually, it's not a score, per se. Loss dates, the driver involved (if an accident), an indication of the type of loss, the vehicle or property involved and amounts paid under which types of coverage show. Otherwise, you got it.

Actually in my first sentence, I said it was a report available from ChoicePoint – legally they're a credit-reporting agency regulated by the FCRA. I mentioned the score as an aside because ChoicePoint offers it as a value-added product for quantitative risk analysis. Many insurers have begun using ChoicePoint's scoring system for rating and risk assessment. Some people might be interested in knowing their score since it can affect how much they pay in insurance premiums.

If you're interested in seeing your own CLUE report and score, go to this web page ( http://www.choicetrust.com/servlet/com.kx.cs.servlets.CsServlet?channel=auto&product=autobundle&subproduct=default&anchor= ) and order them. ChoicePoint charges $9.00 for the loss history record. They charge $12.95 for your auto insurance-related score along with a copy of the credit report they relied on – they seem to rely on both your financial and loss histories for this score. You can get all three for $19.95.

- Joel
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Fools,

I wrote, If you're interested in seeing your own CLUE report and score...

FWIW, the ChoicePoint insurance score is called ATTRACT™. It is different from a FICO score; but I don't know what it relies on. I can say that the score ranges all the way up to 997 instead of the 850 cap on the basic FICO score. Anything over a 750 is considered excellent (very low risk).

What I don't know, but would like to:

1. I don't know if your ATTRACT™ scores differ for auto vs. homeowners insurance.
2. It's not obvious how much ChoicePoint depends on Equifax as a score supplier. It is obvious from ChoicePoint's website that they still rely on Equifax for credit information. It seems plausible to me that Equifax may also be the ones responsible for the ATTRACT™ score; but I have no way to know for sure.
3. ChoicePoint never states what factors or weights are used to determine your ATTRACT™ score. In fact it seems impossible to know whether they even use your claims history in the calculation. Since the score differs from you FICO it's easy to make that assumption; but it's just an assumption.

If Dayana does an article on CLUE, it would be interesting if she could set up an interview with a ChoicePoint representative and get answers to these questions.

- Joel
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Actually in my first sentence, I said it was a report available from ChoicePoint – legally they're a credit-reporting agency regulated by the FCRA. I mentioned the score as an aside because ChoicePoint offers it as a value-added product for quantitative risk analysis. Many insurers have begun using ChoicePoint's scoring system for rating and risk assessment. Some people might be interested in knowing their score since it can affect how much they pay in insurance premiums.

IC - I misunderstood your post.


If you're interested in seeing your own CLUE report and score, go to this web page...

Safeco, one of the insurers we represent, uses ChoicePoint, and I can access a reasonable number of reports, but thanks for the info - might benefit someone.

Bob



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Now that taxes are done, I can take a sec and pass on the two experiences I've seen with stolen cars. Interestingly, both were Accords.

Story #1:
One was taken from a co-worker while she was working out at a gym. The police told her that this was fairly common. The thieves see you drive in and park. They know the odds are that you'll be in there at least 1/2 an hour. So they can take their time and find the right moment to take your car.

Painfully, her car was not quite a year old. Going with the odds, after about a week the insurance company agreed to settle up (since the car was financed, she had both comp and collision coverage) and paid her loss.

In a strange twist of fate, about a month later she was at the airport dropping off a friend. Guess what she found in the parking lot. Yep. Her car - in pretty good shape, except for a month's worth of dirt. Seems they just took a joy ride and dumped it there. Another common thing, apparently. No one pays attention to a car parked for several days at an airport.

Since the insurance company had settled, it was now their car. She called both the police and her insurer. Chalk one up to good karma. Being a very late model, the odds favored a chop shop over recovery. And the insurance company was happy to get a significant reduction in their loss.

Story #2:
My brother had his Accord stolen at a baseball game. To save a couple of bucks, he parked in the neighborhood around the ball park instead of in their parking lot. College students need to save money for beer at the ball game any way they can. Again, this is a common scenario, according to the police who took the report. Once again, the theives are fairly certain you won't be returning to your car for a while.

After a bunch of walking - and watching most of the other cars leave, making it easier to hunt down your car - he was confronted with lots of empty space and no car. Since his car was 6 or 7 years old, he had better chances for a recovery. And got it.

The car turned up the next day, with just the expected damage: window and steering column. If there were any new dents, they just blended in with the existing ones. I don't recall if he was insured, but he got the window and ignition fixed, and drove the car for a couple more years uneventfully.

--Peter
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Joel,

It's a sort of credit report for insurance. All claims made on a vehicle or house are recorded and cross-referenced.

CLUE is short for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. You or your insurer can also obtain a score based on your CLUE report. CLUE reports are maintained and sold by ChoicePoint ( http://www.choicepoint.com )


What threw me in your post is that CLUE is, generally, a database that deals with losses, only. The insurance industry started using CLUE when some State DMV Motor Vehicle Reports stopped reporting accidents - and they also wanted more comprehensive loss information for underwriting purposes. CLUE was developed and existed long before insurers began using what they commonly call Financial Responsibility scoring. Other reporting agencies provide Financial Responsibility scores to insurers - Progressive, by way of example, uses TransUnion to obtain Financial Responsibility scores - and they also obtain CLUE reports. To my knowledge, CLUE does not include a score that is (directly) used in underwriting. Though CLUE may influence your insurance Financial Responsibility score (I'm not sure that it does), your credit score definitely is a factor and drives that score...

Your statement, "obtain a score based on your CLUE report" is what wasn't familiar to me in my day-to-day work. Insurers never speak of CLUE scores, just losses found on CLUE reports (and, sometimes, additional household drivers), and many order CLUE reports and Financial Responsibility scores separately. Applicants/insureds who wish to pursue why their premium increased due to insurance Financial Responsibility scoring are referred to the credit reporting bureau the particular insurer used, which is not always ChoicePoint. And, you'll notice that ChoicePoint even lists CLUE and Financial Responsibility score separately available:

C.L.U.E.® Auto Loss History for only $9.00.

Auto Insurance Score (plus Credit Report) for only $12.95


http://www.choicetrust.com/servlet/com.kx.cs.servlets.CsServlet?channel=auto&product=autobundle&subproduct=default&anchor=

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