Daly & Black, P.C. is proud to be representing clients in an $8 million class action lawsuit against a Virginia-based auto insurer. Several individuals who purchased insurance from Elephant Insurance Co., a subsidiary of the United Kingdom-based Admiral Group, were shorted on sales taxes of title transfer fees for totaled vehicles which should have been covered under the company’s comprehensive and collision insurance.
Specifically, the claimants allege that Elephant Insurance Co. acted in violation of its own policy by failing to pay the Texas sales tax of 6.25% of the cash value of the damaged vehicles, as well as fees they were subjected to as a result of title transfers. Jessica Singleton received $4,885 for her totaled 2007 Toyota Camry in October of 2016, while Tony Cooper was paid $7,181.29 for his totaled 2003 Lexus in September of 2017. Singleton and Cooper have stated that Elephant Insurance Co. employed a third-party vendor to adjust their property damage claims after their respective accidents occurred. They have also stated that said vendor did not consider sales tax or transfer fees in its assessments.
“Defendant’s policy promises to provide those costs reasonably likely to be incurred upon replacement,” claim Singleton and Cooper. “Title transfer fees and tag transfer fees are also likely to be incurred — indeed, they are necessarily incurred — upon replacement of the total-loss vehicle.”
Singleton and Cooper’s class action suit is now open to anyone who made a claim where vehicles were deemed a total loss by Elephant in the months and years following March of 2015. Given the average claim vehicle value of $20,000, the plaintiffs are claiming the company owes an average of over $900 in sales tax for approximately 9,000 claims, as well as the $33 title transfer fee which is standard in Texas.
Rick Daly and John Black, founding partners at Daly & Black, P.C., are representing Singleton and Cooper and arguing on their behalf that the class should be certified due to the fact that the complaint is related to a practice which is uniform, and may therefore affect thousands of individuals in the state of Texas. Daly & Black, P.C. are seeking damages and 18% interest on what Singleton and Cooper are owed, as well as compensation for the cost of the lawsuit.
Singleton and Cooper’s case comes on the heels of several similar class actions which have set a precedent for bringing legislation against auto insurers accused of not paying sales taxes for customers in the process of replacing totaled vehicles. A Florida judge ruled that Geico was responsible for state taxes and transfer fees in total loss claims from customers driving leased vehicles this past June. Meanwhile, a suit filed in October, in Pennsylvania state court, alleges that Allstate was in violation of state law by forcing sales tax to be part of the total replacement value for all totaled vehicles.
At Daly & Black, P.C., our experienced Houston insurance claims attorneys help the people of Texas seek justice against manipulative insurance companies. We are vehemently against hard-working Americans getting taken advantage of, which is why we have fought to recover billions of dollars for our clients overtime. If you or someone you know is seeking representation in a case similar to the Elephant Insurance Co. class action, don’t hesitate to reach out.
We are available by phone at (888) 492-2671, or you can contact us online for a free case review.