It's always a sad day when we hear about someone wrecking their VW camper... and having the insurance company report that it's totaled. We work day in and day out to keep these beloved vehicles on the road, and it pains us to know that one of them has been totaled—especially when the insurance company is trying to low-ball someone after they've lost their vehicle.
We have helped many people in this situation get justice from their insurance companies. On one occasion, we were contacted by a person with a 1990 Westfalia Camper Syncro (4WD) that had been totaled in an accident. His Vanagon was in great condition: original owner, 130K miles, new engine at 108K miles, well-maintained, lots of modifications, no rust at all. After weeks of back and forth, his insurance company offered a settlement of around $16,000, and dug in their heels. If you know anything about Vanagons, you know that a Syncro Westy like this would cost at least twice that much to replace. The owner was initially skeptical about whether we'd be able to help him with his insurance company. We explained how insurance companies work and how we have been able to help others in the past. Ultimately, this gentleman decided to give it a shot, and the vehicle was shipped to GoWesty. After all was said and done, we were able to get him a settlement over double what he was originally offered.
All the costs associated with what we do (reports, shipping, our time for phone calls, emails, snail mail) comes out of the settlement proceeds—not out of your pocket. When the dust settles, GoWesty will fix it for you—if that make sense for you and GoWesty. If that does not make sense, GoWesty keeps the remains—parts that help keep other VW campers on the road. The key thing is that, when you finally settle with the insurance company, you need to tell them that you want to "retain salvage," and pay them their stated salvage value, which is usually less than $2,000. This money comes out of the settlement proceeds along with any other associated expenses, as stated above. But even after all expenses are paid out of the settlement proceeds; you will still end up with a much better settlement than what you were originally being offered. You get more money, and GoWesty gets the repair job or gets to keep the remains, and JUSTICE is served: It is a win-win-win situation.
In order to get the process started, you must first get control of the vehicle itself. To that end, we need to have it transported to GoWesty—which we can facilitate for you, if you wish. Once the vehicle is in our possession, we can confirm any damage appraisal already obtained, write up our own accurate damage appraisal, and most importantly: Generate a GoWesty Opinion of Value Report (OVR).
Armed with all of that—and based on our extensive and detailed vehicle sales history and our excellent reputation—we will work diligently for whatever time is necessary in the pursuit of justice for you and your VW. We have no doubt that we will be able to get you a settlement that is typically two to ten times greater than what your insurance company is offering you. That's right: The best we have done is ten times better.
We are ready and willing to go to bat for you, too.