Ambulance Appraisal & Insurance Claim Help

bmxr064

New member
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Woof, just totaled my ambulance today. :cry: Looking for help on how to get a value on the vehicle so I can deal with the upcoming insurance headache. Here's the backstory:

I've been converting an old Ford ambo over the past year, and had just put the finishing touches on it the past few days. I was Mexico bound in roughly 10 days, anticipating months of travel. Today I broadsided a poop truck (1 ton diesel flatbed). They didn't see me, pulled out right in front, and I had no choice but to hit them. I was at 55mph before hitting the brakes, maybe 30-40 at time of impact. Missed the driver in the cab by a few feet, lucky nobody died.

I only have Colorado state minimum insurance on the vehicle. I was slated to switch over to a more comprehensive RV insurance later this week, oof. The other driver is at fault, has full insurance.

I'm anticipating the insurance claim to go something like this: vehicle is found to be totaled and insurance agency offers me KBB value of 3k.

I'm working to collect as much paper work as possible to prove the worth of the vehicle to fight for appropriate compensation from the insurance company. I'm hoping everybody here might be able to help me with some appraisal values, especially if you have history of similar vehicles being sold, and at what price they were sold for. Does anybody have links or history of sales they could direct me to? Also, just looking for rough advice on how to approach this situation, and what a realistic value on my vehicle may be. Here's what we're looking at:

1994 Ford e-350 (extended) Type II Ambulance w/ fiberglass topper + roll cage
7.3L IDI NA
RWD
85,000 original miles
towing package w/ hitch
2" lift: Moog coils on front, 2" weld tec blocks on rear, all new bilstein shocks
new 33" Toyo AT 3 tires
Detroit TruTrac Rear Differential
Lots of mechanical work: new injectors, starter, batteries, fuel pump, water pump, glow plugs + relay, belts, valve cover gaskets, new 250Amp alternator
Dynamat soundproofing
Cattle Guard
Homebuilt Aluminum Roof Rack
ARB Awning
Street Glow & Old Ambo lights hooked up as aux/party lighting

This vehicle was FULLY gutted, and converted as a camper inside, details are:
Chinese Diesel Heater install (webasto knockoff)
20 gal water tank & sink setup
170 Ah Renogy Lithium Battery
200 Watt Renogy Solar Panels
40 Amp DC-DC Battery Charger
2000 W Inverter
Rockwool Insulation
MaxxFan
Dometic Fridge
Rock n Rolla Hinged Bed/Seat
Custom memory Foam Full XL Mattress
Solar Shower
Swing away bike carrier

All of this was new within the last 1 yr/10k miles

Any suggestions are welcomed, i'm quite heartbroken. This was not an easy build out and I was very pleased with how it all came together. Very hard to lose it just a week before taking a much anticipated trip.

Cheers!

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iggi

Ian
Dude, my condolences. The expedition portal classifieds is likely a good resource. Several converted ambos have been sold there in the last year as well as tons of self converted camper vans.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
I think you may have better luck billing it as an ambulance. Use the new sale value for the ambulance as a reference. The other guys insurance should pay a evaluator to research what the van was worth. This means looking for comparable sales in the last few months. In anticipation of this, I would search for recent confirmed sales at auction.

You could try listing the mods you made and all the accessories, but that probably won't add up to the same value as a standard ambulance. Hard to say though, as insurance companies are starting to get the hang of camper van conversions and what they are worth.
 
Looks like most of the items you have listed and are higher $$ are removable pretty easily (batteries and electrical.). Once they low ball you and only pay the van cost, just remove anything that they don’t account for.


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Fredricksen

Member
Sorry this happened..

was the other vehicle a commercial vehicle registered to a company?

Don't know how much it will help in the end, but when I was speaking with my agent about insuring my old 94 e350, which has negligible book value, he told me to save EVERY receipt. So maybe collect all your receipts, old credit card statements (showing the purchases). to prove value.

And if insurance does total it, make sure you know the process to get the vehicle, so you can get the parts out.
 
A commercial vehicle hit you and they carry high limits of liability, thus deep pockets. If they don't give you what you want, threaten them with retaining an attorney. Any ambulance-chasing personal injury attorney worth his salt would love to get into those deep pockets. Good luck!
 

MTVR

Well-known member
If they don't give you what you want, threaten them with retaining an attorney.
NEGATIVE.

NEVER "threaten" someone with an attorney. Standard practice is to cease all communications once somebody does that. So basically, if you make an idle threat like that, you're then going to be forced into actually paying an attorney a load of money to do something that you could have done for free.
 
No. Standard practice is to cease communication once they retain an attorney. You can threaten all you want and they will be communicating with you. Once they give you their final settlement number is when you weigh your options. If the final settlement is too low, write them a letter advising you need $xx to be indemnified. If you can't stroke me a check for this amount, I will have no other option than to retain an attorney. If your number is reasonable, they will pay you. I've been an insurance agent & adjuster for 28 years and have seen it from both sides.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
No. Standard practice is to cease communication once they retain an attorney. You can threaten all you want and they will be communicating with you. Once they give you their final settlement number is when you weigh your options. If the final settlement is too low, write them a letter advising you need $xx to be indemnified. If you can't stroke me a check for this amount, I will have no other option than to retain an attorney. If your number is reasonable, they will pay you. I've been an insurance agent & adjuster for 28 years and have seen it from both sides.
Well, your experience seems to trump mine.

I still think it's stupid to threaten an attorney when you have no intention of doing so.

I managed auto repair shops, quite successfully, for many many years. People threaten to sue all the time, because they don't understand that it's not my fault they think the air conditioning doesn't blow as cold after I replaced their burned-out tail light bulb as it did before, on their unregistered uninsured 200,000 mile 20 year old 17th-hand semi-"rebuilt" totaled hoopty that they just bought off some Russian curbstoner last week for a bag of weed and has never been to my shop before today. I just stop talking to them the moment they threaten an attorney- I've never ever had one actually make good on their idle threat.

I sold an old mid-80's Suburban about 20 years ago, to a scam artist. First he tried to pay with a fake check. Then I made him pay cash, after he signed a massive legal disclaimer. Right afterwards, he contacted me claiming that a steering component had failed on his way home, causing him to total the Suburban, a trailer that he bought right afterwards, and a second vehicle he was towing on the trailer, and he wanted me to pay a massive amount of money. I knew he was full of it, so I asked him to produce any evidence that he could, to support his claim- photos, police reports, bills of sale, anything he could come up with. He responded by threatening to have "his" attorney sue me. I hung up on him, and never heard from him again.

I also had a career as a police officer. Criminals threatened to sue me all the time after I arrested them for whatever crime(s) they committed, but none of them ever did.

Again, I just think it's stupid to make idle threats, and that's the idle threat I've heard the most...
 
Who said anything about threatening without intent? This is a straight-up Property Damage claim. No Bodily Injury, pain & suffering, loss of fulfillment of life, etc. The damage is $X. Arriving at $X is not impossible. Granted, one-off home brew projects are a little harder to value. You can't just get a value from a book, it has to be ascertained. The value of anything is what someone else will pay for it, period. This is the problem with one-offs, determining value. just because you have $X & Xhours into a project doesn't mean it's worth that much. But most people are reasonable as are most adjusters. But, if you can't have a meeting of minds, advise them in writing you intend on retaining an attorney if they can't meet your(reasonable) number, then get one. Trust me, the adjuster just wants to close the file and move on to the over 20 files on his desk. Insurance companies don't want to pay 2X to an attorney and keep a file open on a PD claim indefinitely. They'd rather pay you a little more just to make you go away.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
Who said anything about threatening without intent? This is a straight-up Property Damage claim. No Bodily Injury, pain & suffering, loss of fulfillment of life, etc. The damage is $X. Arriving at $X is not impossible. Granted, one-off home brew projects are a little harder to value. You can't just get a value from a book, it has to be ascertained. The value of anything is what someone else will pay for it, period. This is the problem with one-offs, determining value. just because you have $X & Xhours into a project doesn't mean it's worth that much. But most people are reasonable as are most adjusters. But, if you can't have a meeting of minds, advise them in writing you intend on retaining an attorney if they can't meet your(reasonable) number, then get one. Trust me, the adjuster just wants to close the file and move on to the over 20 files on his desk. Insurance companies don't want to pay 2X to an attorney and keep a file open on a PD claim indefinitely. They'd rather pay you a little more just to make you go away.
Paragraphs, dude...paragraphs...
 
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