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Monday, 27 April 2015 00:00

Insurance Company and 1969 Camaro Owner Dispute Vehicle’s Whereabouts; Court Date Scheduled for June

A Southern California classic car collector, who said he watched as his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro was stolen, is gearing up for a lawsuit after the company that insured the classic car claimed it was instead sold and shipped overseas, reported Phil Drechsler, NBC Los Angeles.

The classic car insurance company, Hagerty Insurance, failed to conduct a proper investigation according to Michael Sunter’s attorney, Travis Corby. The rare vehicle was stolen in October 2011.

Corby told NBC Los Angeles that Sunter’s claim was denied without a “fair, complete and thorough investigation.”

Sunter found the car in Kentucky, where he said it was being sold “in pieces.” He bought the iconic Camaro and brought it back Torrance, CA, where he spent years refurbishing it.

In October 2011, when Sunter and his friend saw someone else driving the easily recognizable orange Chevy, he told NBC, "I just immediately realized that it was my car. It felt like my throat fell out of my stomach."

Sunter filed an insurance claim after reporting the car stolen to the Torrance police. Coverage was for $85,000.

Hagerty Insurance refused to pay, claiming the Camaro was not stolen, but sold and shipped to Australia in June 2009 -- more than two years before the vehicle theft report, reported NBC Los Angeles.

The company's investigation ignored documents that showed the Camaro was inspected by one of their own employees after it was claimed to have been shipped to Australia, Corby told NBC Los Angeles.

Other evidence Sunter provided that was allegedly not taken into consideration were photos of the car, including one photo of a 2010 DMV registration sticker on the license plate, and another photo of the car in front of the home he moved into in 2010.

The individual listed as the car's buyer told NBC Los Angeles a clerical error resulted in the Camaro's title being mixed up with another car that he purchased.

Hagerty Insurance refused to speak on camera with NBC Los Angeles, but provided a statement”

"We are confident this claim has been handled properly, but due to ongoing litigation we are unable to provide specific details at this time.”

The lawsuit is scheduled for trial in June, reported NBC Los Angeles.

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