This weeks topic: Insurance claims
As an XJS parts specialist and owner of the brand since 2004, I am sharing my personal experiences. My first car growing up in NY at 16 was a 1963 XKE. For starters, if your damage is the fault of someone else and you want to avoid reporting it to your insurance and begin to deal with their insurance who may begin to play games, just report it to your insurance and they will make you whole then their lawyers will collect from the others. I had an insurance situation with my 95 XJS where a AAA tow truck twisted the front of my car on the way to the dealer for service because the engine was running very rough. AAA told me to contact the tow company which the owner did not believe his driver caused the damage. Well, of course, he would say that. Reminds me of my sitting at a traffic light around 1980 in Queens NY when an elderly woman was looking at and speaking to her friend while driving into the side of my car and asked how could she have possibly hit me? Thus she had a hand full of accident forms in her car from her insurance. So you understand, your payments to AAA covers roadside assistance only but are not liable for any damage.
Once I reported the XJS damage to my insurance, I made it clear that I wanted to send the car to Scott Jaguar in Charlotte as they had a superior body shop but the adjuster insisted I try a shop near me in Columbia, SC well the shop in Columbia made a booboo and the insurance company ended up paying me for my time and all expenses for me to finally take it to Scott to correct the problem. Yes they will pay these expenses as I once had a cracked windshield on my 84 Rolls with 7,000 original mi and no glass shop in SC would touch the car so I had to drive 4 hours and spend the night so Bentley Highpoint where they serviced my Rolls could have it done.
Now the thing to understand about most insurance adjusters is this, specialty cars are work for them. They do not deal with them every day and most may have never had an XJS claim before and they have no idea where to get the parts that are for the most part no longer available i.e. one in Canada back in 2006 was going to total a ladies XJS because someone rear-ended her and scratched the bumper cover and busting her taillights. The car had around 8,000 mi so I saved the day with a set of taillights from a garage kept, one owner 43,000 mi car that was being driven by the owners' son and while minding his own business, a tree came out of nowhere and hit him.
The adjuster from Canada said his boss told him that if he could not find lights that week, to total the car. Now another thing to consider is hidden damage. Depending on how the car is hit, the adjuster needs to leave room for the cost for what the body shop may find. You need to know more than the adjuster, which is not much, but never the less, you must. What is in their report will tell the story. You need to get a copy of his report before signing and agreeing to anything or saying and asking for anything. Based on the adjusters' findings, you can then make your case. I had a collection of Rolls, Mercedes, and Jaguars and have had to deal with the insurance a few times and I never lost by understanding how they operate. The XJS is now increasing in value. Be sure to do your own homework and do not depend on the insurance adjusters assessment alone. You are always welcome to reach out to me for some help.