If you're a USAA policy holder, you may be eligible for compensation for the water damage on your vehicle. This recent news stems from a class action suit between Carlson and USAA. This case is, in many ways, a follow-up to a series of cases Pope McGlamry litigated in the early 2000’s concerning the diminished value of automobiles.
What is Diminished Value of Automobiles?
In State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co. v. Mabry, 274 Ga. 498 (2001), the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that diminished value is a “loss” covered by insurance policies and that insurance companies must evaluate claims for such losses and offer to pay any diminished value. Following that decision, Pope McGlamry represented individuals and class members in resolving diminished value claims against nearly every insurance company in Georgia.
Carlson v. USAA
Case No: SU-14-CV-3658-68 Superior Court, Muscogee County, Ga. The Carlson v. USAA case presented the question of whether cars which have sustained water damage can suffer diminished value and whether companies must evaluate claims involving water damage for diminished value.
Settlement For USAA Policy Holders
Before the trial court could rule on the substantive questions, the parties reached a settlement whereby USAA policyholders whose vehicles sustained water damage will be compensated for their losses. The trial court has preliminarily approved the settlement, and the settlement process is ongoing.