One of the country’s largest auto insurance companies has admitted a mistake and is paying a settlement to customers in Iowa and 48 other states. State Farm Insurance Vice President Jeff Jackson says a review of their records between 1997 and 2002 found the company let some cars and trucks that had been totaled slip through without any notice when they were resold. He says while they recognized they could prove compliance, they could not prove they had 100-percent compliance. Under most state laws — cars that are considered a total loss must have that designation noted on their title. That designation generally drops the re-sale value of such cars. He says the number of vehicles proportinate to the number they looked at was quite small. But he says they wanted to make it right. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller helped negoitiate the settlement that will pay a total of 40-million dollars to customers in all the states to make up for the loss in value. Miller says it was simply human error and he credits State Farm with seeking to correct the oversight. He says they think it’s a full reimbursement as he says it’s hard to value cars, especially as they get older. He says they feel this is an adequate compensation for consumers. Miller says the settlement includes 52 vehicles in Iowa with an expected payout of between 75 and 100-thousand dollars depending on the value of the cars. Miller says they’re working with the transportation departments in each state to identify the vehicles and then they’ll notify the customers about how to get reimbursed. Miller says that’ll take about six months, and then new titles and settlement checks will go out to the owners.
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