Our insurance company, Nationwide, is telling us they will only reimburse us for $.18/mile instead of IRS rate of $.51/mile. We couldn’t find housing in Santa Rosa area where we lived so we now are renting in Calistoga. My husband and I both work so we’re having to travel back and forth. The amount they are paying us for gas, wear and tear on our vehicles is not sufficient to cover our costs. What recourse do we have? The policy is supposed to cover expenses for “loss of use” which would include a reasonable amount for mileage. Thank you for your help.
Nationwide may be ill-advised to pay you less than you are owed. They’d be violating the contract of insurance to which they owe you a duty of good faith and fair dealings. I don’t know what the law is as it relates to them only paying $.18/mile and not the IRS rate. Most insurers do pay the IRS rate and they may be obligated to honor the IRS rate but I don’t for sure. The other way to go would be to make claim for any and all expenses over and above your pre-loss “normal” average expenses, taking into consideration that the cost of gas now is almost 60% more than it was a year ago. You might have to give a proportionate credit adjustment to your insurance company, based upon the increased cost of gas but they’d owe you more money regardless. You can do your best to substantiate all of your pre-loss “normal” costs, inclusive of gas and establish a normal average baseline. If that base-line is $300. a month (for example), and you are now incurring $600./month, the delta difference of $300 is owed. Now, you may ask what clout you have to make them pay – therein lies the rub. If the insurance company digs their heals in, and says no or does nothing, you can reach out to United Policyholder and ask them to recommend insurance plaintiff counsel to help you. One letter may be all that is needed to compel your insurer not to misbehave, in light of the problems they will have if you do not give up or go away. State the course and I’m willing to bet you will get them to change their song and dance. Robert C.