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Auto insurance companies have earned the reputation for squeezing the last cent out of customers. As Encompass auto insurance company discovered, pinching pennies can result in a class action lawsuit.
Both parties have reached a tentative settlement over a class action lawsuit alleging Encompass Insurance of America and Encompass Indemnity Company failed to properly compensate consumers for the true value of specific vehicles that incurred irreparable damage. According to court documents, both Encompass companies failed to cover the diminished value of vehicles that incurred damage to the bodies and structural systems. Lead plaintiff Alec Zarelli asserted the failure to compensate consumers properly for vehicle damage represented a major breach in the defendant’s vehicle insurance contracts.
Preliminarily approved on March 10, 2017, the Encompass class action settlement requires the insurance company to compensate consumers for the full value of irreparable vehicle damages as stated within the auto insurance policies. Encompass must set up a $242,400 settlement fund to compensate eligible class members. However, Encompass continues to deny all of the class action lawsuit allegations. The company settled the class action lawsuit to avoid the high costs of protracted litigation.
What You Need To Know About The Washington Encompass Auto Insurance Class Action Settlement
According to class counsel, eligible class members “include anyone for whom Encompass paid to have their insured vehicle repaired under the uninsured motorist property damage provision of an Encompass policy issued in Washington. The repair estimate on the vehicle must have totaled at least $1,000, the vehicle must be more than six years old and had less than 90,000 miles on it at the time of the accident, and the vehicle must have suffered structural damage, deformed sheet metal, and/or required paint or body work.” The potential award depends on the total amount of vehicle repair costs and the final number of valid and timely claim form submissions. Court documents reveal the potential award should reach several hundred dollars per qualifying class member. Class members must submit their 12-digit Claim ID with the submission of a claim form.
Eligible class members have until October 2, 2017 to submit a valid claim form. The judge presiding over the class action settlement case Alec Zarelli v. Encompass Insurance Company of America and Encompass Indemnity Company, Case No. 15-2-10639-8, in the Superior Court of the State of Washington in and for the County of Pierce held the final hearing on August 8, 2017. Refer to the class action settlement website www.ZarelliSettlement.com to learn what transpired at the final hearing. Scott P. Nealey from the Law Office of Scott P. Nealey and Stephen M. Hansen from the Law Offices of Stephen M. Hansen P.S. provide class counsel legal services for the plaintiffs. Steven M. Levy who represents Dentons US LLP and Jodi A. McDougall of Cozen O’Connor are handling the legal responsibilities for the defense counsel.
Class Members of the Encompass diminished value settlement include anyone for whom Encompass paid to have their insured vehicle repaired under the uninsured motorist property damage provision of an Encompass policy issued in Washington, and:
- The repair estimate on the vehicle totaled at least $1,000; and
- The vehicle was no more than six years old and had less than 90,000 miles on it at the time of the accident; and
- The vehicle suffered structural damage, deformed sheet metal, and/or required paint or body work.