Is this enough compensation? Disney totaled my minivan

As Joyce Dunne was checking out of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando recently, a cast member slipped her some bad news: Her Honda minivan had been damaged by the parking valet.

And how.

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When she arrived on the scene of the collision, she found “pieces of the vehicle scattered everywhere.” Her van had been totaled in a collision with another Disney vehicle. Curiously, the driver had been “removed” from the scene, and when Dunne said she wanted to call the police to file a report, she was told she couldn’t because it happened on private property.

A Disney representative assured her the company would take full responsibility for the accident. But Dunne says the Mouse shortchanged her, leaving her car-less and without any recourse.

After filling out a claim form, her insurance company, Allstate, cut her a check for only $6,898.

“That amount does not account for even one half of my minivan’s value,” she told me. The 2003 Honda Odyssey had 120,000 miles on it and was in “very good” condition.

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Insurance companies use various formulas to calculate the actual value of a car, which can include its own estimate, the National Appraisal Guides and Edmunds. Drivers almost always end up with far less than they believed their car was worth, but that’s an insurance industry problem — not a Disney problem.

What could Disney control? Well, plenty.

First, let’s consider Dunne, who describes herself as a loyal Disney guest since 1971, the year the park opened. Wow. That’s a long time. She had stayed at the Grand Floridian for 12 days, an epic vacation length even by European standards. You’d think Disney would have a valuable guest like this tagged in its system somewhere.

Instead, the insurance claims process seemed to take forever. Weeks went by before she heard from anyone in the claims department, she says. A rental van she’d been offered as a courtesy had to be returned before she could find a new car.

“We want Disney to care about guests who have just spent a lot of money at one their top resorts for a long stay, especially since these guests did nothing wrong,” she told me. “We have been victimized.”

OK, that may be a little dramatic. There are three players here: Disney, an outside valet company called City Nights Valet Inc., and their insurance companies. I agree with Dunne that the buck stops with Disney. But it can’t control the amount of money that its insurance company pays, and it has a limited amount of control over the valet company.

I think Disney might have done a better job with this incident.

First, Dunne was well within her rights to call the police after the accident. She was entitled to an apology and to have her claim processed quickly. Finally, Disney could have explained the process better to her, if not done something to make this loyal guest feel as if her business was appreciated. (Isn’t that the kind of treatment we’ve come to expect from the happiest place on Earth?)

Instead, a written appeal to the general manager of the Grand Floridian had gone unanswered.

I contacted Disney on her behalf. A representative called Dunne, apologized for the way in which her accident was handled, and offered her a free one-night stay at the Grand Floridian.

“I said, ‘No, thank you,'” says Dunne. “I must pursue this matter further.”

Update (9:30 a.m.): I’ve clarified this post to reflect the fact that Allstate, not Disney, cut Dunne a check.

(Photo: Express Monorail/Flickr)

176 thoughts on “Is this enough compensation? Disney totaled my minivan

  1. I think, Disney needs to step up and replace this family’s van. It happened on Disney’s property involving one of Disney’s contractors and Disney’s own vehicle. Regardless of how it happened Disney is liable no doubt about it.

    1. From what I’ve read, Disney provided her with a replacement minivan AND paid her almost $7,000 for a 8-year old minivan with over 120,000 miles on it.  Disney DID step up.  Get real – this was MORE than enough.  Her complaint that she had to return the courtesy car before she bought a new car is irrelevant.  The issue is, how long did she have the courtesy car AFTER she received payment?  A week?  Two weeks?  If she delayed getting a replacement vehicle, that’s certainly not Disney’s fault.

      Typical of people who look for any chance to benefit from an unfortunate incident.  She complains that the driver was ‘removed’ from the scene where an accident was so severe that it caused car parts to be strewn about a parking lot.  Ummm….. yeah, he went to the HOSPITAL!  Sorry that some injured kid needed medical attention and that impeded your ability to interrogate him about your decade-old minivan.  Heartless……….

        1. It’s called subrogation.  Her insurance company will be reimbursed by either Disney or the Valet company’s insurance.  Ultimately, one of those two will pay regardless of who cuts the check.

      1. David.

        A honda with over 120, 000 retains its value significantly.  Look at a blue book and see for yourself.

        The $7K was from HER INSURANCE.  She as gotten nothing from Disney nor from the valet service.

        1. Kelley Blue Book lists the private sale price of a 2003 Honda Odyssey in Very Good condition as $6,669 – less than what Dunne was paid by her insurance company.

      2. $7 for a minivan in very good condition is a joke thses days. The “blue book” pricing that insurers have ben using these last few years is far less than accurate as used cars have come up in value because of the cash for clunkers program. For a van like hers, I would have expected a few grand more.

        As far as the hospital comment, there was nothing noted in her story that mentioned anything about a hospital visit. if anything, she needs to sue in order to get to the real story.

        What the OP needs to do is find several comperable vehicles and let the insurer know the pricing in her area on them. then expect a bit extra for all the red tape of buying a car… I would also expect a refund on the valet service. lol

      3. The way I interpreted the story, she was unable to purchase another car before returning the rental because it took so long to receive the payment.  In other words, the insurance probably covered the rental for 2-3 weeks (I believe my insurance covers a rental for 12 days or so), but she had not recieved a check in that time.

      4. So they stepped up.  Big deal…don’t give them credit for doing the
        right thing.  Our society has become so numb to a lack of accountability
        and responsibility, that when some actually DOES own up, we are
        grateful. 

        The compensation that Disney so graciously offered was an insult.  They
        had just ruined this family’s vacation, where one is supposed to have
        fun, etc, and now all their focus was on this MAJOR event..yes losing
        your car, away from home, is traumatic.  The compensation should reflect
        the level of ‘mea culpa’ the injuring party feels they have inflicted on
        those receiving the injury.  Clearly, Disney didn’t feel too bad about
        all this. 

        That’s just TOO bad, if she had the rental for longer that Disney would have liked.  If was because OF Disney that she was in this situation in the FIRST PLACE! How much money do YOU have lying around to spend on a
        car?  She had to wait until she got the check, to put that amt to a new
        car.  Then she either had to take a loan out (read: take on debt she
        probably would have preferred not to) or go out to her magical money
        tree in the back yard. 

        Where do you see in the post that the driver was taken to the hospital??

    2. hence the reason you have insurance – and the insurance companies, NOT YOU, determine the value of a decade old van — which is why she isn’t getting a new van as replacement! 

  2. Ms Dunne should not have allowed them to pressure her into not calling the police. ANY time there is a motor vehicle accident, especially one in which a vehicle is totaled, there should be a police report. Further, I assume she had her own insurance – she should have contacted her own insurance company, and had them work with Disney’s insurance company.

    Instead, she left it all in the hands of the idiots who wrecked her car. If someone rear-ended you on the freeway and your car was totaled, would you leave it all in the hands of the moron who crashed into you?

    Given these boneheaded moves it’s hard to summon up a whole lot of sympathy for the victim here – but the bottom line is, she IS a victim, and she IS entitled to either a replacement vehicle, or the full replacement value. I can’t tell for sure from the article whether or not the amount they offered her was appropriate, but she seems to feel it’s not even half, so I do believe it was substantially less than she should have received. She was also entitled to the use of a vehicle for the entire time until her claim was settled, which she didn’t get either. Disney has royally screwed her.

    As for offering her a free night – that’s just an insult!

    I’m glad to hear that she’s pursuing it further, and I hope she is able to get what she deserves.

    1. ummm, not to point out the obvious, but isn’t $6900 to compensate her for the replacement vehicle? If she believes the value to be low, she needs to appeal with the insurance company. Don’t see how Disney screwed her, sounds like the insurance company did.

      1. Disney DID screw her. They forced her to go through her insurance company – or the insurance company offered to represent her.

        As big as Disney is, I would bet they SELF-INSURE, meaning she would have to file a lawsuit against Disney…and her insurance company, Allstate, won’t be by her side for compensation for inconvenience.

        I would think they would have cut her a check for a few thousand out of goodwill. But…some lawyer decided to play hardball.

        She should have declined Allstate’s settlement and visited a lawyer.

    2. She is NOT A VICTIM. It was an accident not a murder, rape or beating. Do not make it worse then it is.

      She will never get a replacement vehicle.  She got the cash value of her vehicle.  The point is what is that value?   Since we do not have all the facts WE can not make the determination that the $$ she received is more or less then the value that she should have received.

      1. She IS a victim.  While I haven’t read EVERY post, I haven’t read any
        comment that portrays her being  a victim on the same level of a rape victim.

        “a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency: a victim of an automobile accident.”  Don’t have to have physical injuriesto be a ‘victim’.  Actually this definition should include, phrases like that’innocent party’, ‘through no fault of their own’. 

    3. Sorry, but in MOST states, public safety officers have no jurisdiction for traffic accidents occurring on private property.  Disney was right on this one. 

      1. While this is true…police do have the absolute athority over the private party in obtaining all pertaintent information such as who the driver was, who the owner of the other vehicle was, and investigaying the accident.  tickets can still be given out.

        1. But most won’t report to a site unless their has been an injury involved — they usually just want a police report within 24 hours now. 

      2. So in the supermarket parking lot….I have to file a report with the rent-a-cop in asset protection?  I know there has to be a truth behind what you’re saying, but it can not possibly be that absolute.

      3. In Florida not only can a police officer take a report for an accident on private property. They can issue the at fault driver a ticket. I’ve seen it happen when a truck backed into another truck at a warehouse in Lakeland.

        1. It would have been nice to have that valet driver ticketed, so you can show absolute liability. The fact they whisked away the driver can be used to potentially show Obstruction of Justice….or leaving the scene of an accident, should a sympythetic DA…but in Disney’s jurisdiction? Hard to think that the DA isn’t on Disney’s PAYROLL, since they also run the government they fall in jurisdiction of (from what I remember).

      4. I really think she should have insisted on the police because this was
        a situation of ‘leaving the scene of an accident’, as they clearly
        admitted he was not there during the time she met with Disney reps
        at the location.  The police do NOT take kindly those who do this.
        What were they going to do …NOT let her make a phone call?  They
        had no way to stop her.  Her mistake was listening to them.  If she
        would have been smart enough to make the call herself, she probably
        (and obviously didn’t) think to get to a police station and file a report of
        the person leaving the scene of an accident.

      5. My car was sideswiped by another in a mall parking lot. I called the police, and the officer filed an official report, which her insurance company demanded to see before paying for my repairs. The officer also wrote her a ticket having outdated proof of insurance. In Connecticut, reporting a vehicular accident, regardless of where it happens, with damages over a certain amount is required by law. The valet company knew that a police report would not be in their favor and so lied to the OP. Private property or not, she had every right to call the police and file a report.

        1. in Connecticut – but she was in Florida, and as someone who had someone hit my car in much the same way – the police don’t go to private property UNLESS injuries occur — you just call or go in, make a claim, and use that to file with your insurance.

          1. Broad question to anyone…how would the police know if there was an injury from this accident unless they followed up on the driver who was removed from the scene?

  3. Question: What was the van actually worth? (What year was it, how many miles, etc…) Maybe they did offer enough compensation.

    1. Ok, now knowing more about the car, I’m going to say it is enough compensation.

      “After filling out a claim form, her insurance company, Allstate, cut her a check for only $6,898.”

      She settled the issue with her insurance company and they are the ones who are taking the issue up with Disney. Anything due the OP (additional rental car, etc.) should be provided by her own policy.

    1. Rick, maybe she also needs a lawyer, but she contacted a travel advocate, should he have ignored her?  (BTW, the comp offered is ridiculous, and when someone else wants you (or tells you you can’t) call the police – MAKE THEM YOUR FIRST CALL! 

      Disney clearly wanted to avoid police involvement, and their actions (removing the driver) smack of cover-up.  (The police might decline to respond to an accident on private property with no injuries, but they’re not prohibited from investigating).  It’s probably not too late to contact the local police (esp. mentioning tha Disney spirited the driver away & the lack or cooperation) to ask them to investigate – they can question Disney, and that might move the compensation process along.

      1. What was being covered up?  Disney was the first to inform her of the accident, they admitted it was their fault, and the insurance companies seem to have gotten all the info they need to process the claims. The only complaints are in regards to how much compensation was being offered, and that has nothing to do with the details of the accident.

        I have sympathy for this lady and think Disney should have offered her far more than a single night’s stay, but one thing in her letter I found a little weird was her being peeved that the actual driver wasn’t around to talk to.  In a case like this where the accident is long over when you find out about it and the responsible entity was freely admitting their people were at fault, I can’t think of anything she could have learned from the driver that would have changed anything.  Clearly, nobody intended to run into her van.  Was she looking for a personal apology from the driver? 

        1. Regardless of whether they admitted fault, the driver technically left the scene of an accident. For all you know, he didn’t have a license.  (it happens). Clearly, if the vehicle was totalled she was entitled to talk to the driver to find out how the accident happened. Was he drinking, on medication, did he fall asleep, fail to yield?  Nothing about admitting fault speaks to how the accident happened, and the cause might impact her settlement. (Because the company would be negligent if it allowed an impaired driver to drive her car, and other damages would then be likely).

          Get it now?  Unless you have also been in law enforcement, don’t second guess someone who was…

          1. For somebody who knows all about law enforcement, you seem to have a tough time separating criminal from civil law and identifying what parties were affected.  Traffic violations like not having a license, driving impaired, etc. result in tickets and fines. But those are paid as penalties and don’t wind up with the person whose vehicle was damaged. If there was negligence like impaired driving in this case, that would be of great interest to the valet and the other driver in the collision because they were involved (and possibly injured) in the wreck. But it’s highly unlikely this lady who only suffered property damage would see any special compensation.

          2. We used to live on a narrow street with all the parking being in the street. Accidents with parked cars were common.  We got hit three times over about three years. Once somebody slid on the ice, once was a teenager just learning to drive, and once was a repeat offender DUI driver who ended up going to jail.  In every case our insurance settlement was for the amount of our cheapest estimate. Not a penny more from the drunk who had no license at the time.   And the person who slid on the ice didn’t do much damage so we didn’t even call the police we just got their insurance info. and that case processed exactly like the others where there was a police report.

          3. Yup, could have easily been gross negligence of a criminal nature. But….we’ll never know, will we?

          4. Immaterial to the lady. The insurance was going to pay the same amount regardless.  To get any additional compensation, she’d have to of declined the insurance offer and sued. But she wasn’t going to win big in court because there weren’t any additional damages–no bodily injuries, just an old van totaled. Her attorney bills would have been more than what a brand new van would cost.

  4. “Did Disney offer Joyce Dunne enough compensation?”

    Kind of a tough question to answer not knowing specific details about the vehicle. As you indicated, probably in insurance industry standards enough in their eyes, but not enough in the posters eyes.

    It doesn’t sound like they HANDLED the situation up to the standards most would expect from a company like Disney…probably not the way Walt would have liked.

    Typical Disney to want to leave the police out of it. They know if it came to court, a police report could have worked against them. “Hush, hush…coverup.”

    One night free? A slap in the face, but typical Disney. I had a problem with Disney service years ago and missed the Polynesian luau show do to a ticket mixup on their end. They admitted it was their error. I was offered a small figurine as compensation…I declined.

     

    1. Calling this a cover up is pretty harsh considering there is no apparent crime here. That, and nobody likes to deal with red tape, and police involvement probably wouldn’t have guaranteed a better result.

      1. If Disney does not provide the information on the other driver and will not cooperate then it is a cover up and is illegal (obstruction, and  leaving the scene of an accident)

        1. Pretty lousy cover up, given Disney was the one who told her about the accident AND admitted being responsible for it.  And clearly enough info was provided so the insurance company would agree to settle the claim. 

          I see the letter writer and several posters are latching onto Disney not making the driver available right after the accident, but I’m not seeing how that’s relevant. If the insurance company was denying coverage because they didn’t have sufficient info, it’d be a different story–but the claim has been paid. If she’d been in the van and wanted info on the driver for a potential personal injury lawsuit, then she’d need to know who it was–but that’s also not an issue because it was strictly property damage. 

  5. Chris,
    We need a few more details here.  What kind of Honda Minivan was it?  Year?  Miles?  Some basic information so that the readers can determine the “Value” of the minivan.
    Now I understand that most insurance companies are not going to pay replacement value on a vehicle.  From their standpoint that’s simple business practices.  But I think this case is different.  She should be taking Disney to court and pushing for full replacement of her vehicle and any other sort of compensation for the negligence on the past of Disney’s Contractor.

    My other question is this: You generally give your Vallet your car somewhere “close” to where it’s going to be parked because then the vallet has to walk back.  So my question is how exactly did they total the vehicle?  Given that the insurance company paid out almost $7K to her for the vehicle, how fast were they going to cause $7K worth of damage? 
    And given that she has a minivan and not some sort of high speed sports car, I can’t imagine that the vallet’s took her vehicle out for a Joy Ride.
    I believe that the reader is an idiot for not involving the police.  I can’t imagine a time and place where I would not have called the police, unless the company put it in writing, on the spot, that they’d replace my vehicle…But even then I probably still would’ve called the police…

    So sad that Disney dropped the ball on this one…

    1. Did some reading….Disney Security are NOT Law Enforcement officers. A call for the police would have been transferred to the Sheriff’s Office. They likely would have responded to a “major” accident. Disney Security often holds themselves to BE police, but they are NOT, even though they investigate accidents and issue reports.

  6. I know it’s just hearsay, but if Disney really did tell her she “COULDN’T” call the police because they were on Disney property, that’s scary.  Could not the valet driver be charged with leaving the scene of an accident?  What if you were assaulted on Disney property?  Would you not have the right to police?  “Sorry ma’am, step over here and the Mouse will take your report.”

    1. Just as an aside, on some jurisdictions (including the one where I live), the police will not respond to any accident without injuries on private property.  Of course, I have no idea if this is true where Disney operates. 

      1. True, but as someone previously in law enforcement, if you tell them the other driver lieft the scene & your vehicle was totalled, not some minor fender-bender – THEY’D BE OUT!

      2. Yes, but I would still take the time to call the police and have them tell me they can’t respond versus hearing it from the person at fault.  My aunt’s vehicle was damaged in a parking lot a few weeks ago.  We too thought the police wouldn’t do anything about an accident on private property based on past experience, but the laws in our state have changed and the insurance company required a police report.  So for the future for any of us, call the police and be told they can’t respond.  Don’t assume (or take the word of someone looking out for their own backside).

    2. This is what is called an UNEDUCATED CONSUMER. You can call the police any time an place. Disney is not the law and she did not know better to call the police anyways.  BUT  that still would NOT have changed the outcome.

      1. Completely agree. She COULD have called the police and the driver COULD have been made available to her and/or the police if they’d responded. But that’s just a sideshow that doesn’t affect her real complaints.

        Her gripes are that the insurance company didn’t give her enough for her vehicle and that Disney didn’t step up to offer adequate compensation. But those complaints have nothing to do with how the accident was reported. The insurance company wouldn’t be paying if they had any problems whatsoever with how things were handled.

  7. Sound a bit shady to me.  Lied to her about not being able to call the police, driver who caused the accident “removed” from scene.  Hmmm, they di
    dn’t want the publicity?  NOW see what happened?  We all know…Disney, bad form on this one.

    1. Is this the same Disney World that made headlines for covering up all the rapes of guests by Disney employees/contracted help with card-swipe hotel door keys?

  8. This isn’t even close. Disney property is not sovereign

    territory, she should have insisted on the police being called. IMHO, at the very least, they should have at least given her a van of the same make, model and year. It doesn’t matter how much the insurance company thought her vehicle was worth, Disney should have replaced her vehicle. She had to buy another one. I agree with others that she should get a lawyer. Instead of an offer for a free night the Disney rep should have just slapped her in the face, I believe that’s how big an insult that offer was.

  9. I’m sorry to all of the Disney fans but they are real scumbuckets when it comes to stuff like this. The driver was “Removed” as company policy and the private property crap when it comes to calling the police is part of their plan as well. Think about it, most crime occurs on private property. You break in my house and I can’t call the police because it’s private property? PLEASE!

    I might suggest that your reader file a complaint with the FL Attorney General if for no other reason than to let Disney know you’re not going quietly.

    What’s going on here is they are low balling the settlement in effect daring you to sue them. Once in court their lawyers will delay obfuscate and run you up your legal fees until you’ve spent more than the car is worth. You have to stay out of court and try to win via other means such as going public. My opinion is they’ve already won and you’ll likely get nothing. Lesson when visiting Disney and something like this happens call the cops immediately PERIOD. Make them produce the driver, YOU take the insurance information. Once they see they can’t just bully you, you might have a fighting chance,

    1. What would be the basis of a complaint with the Florida Attorney General?  This is a simple civil matter between two parties. 

    2. “Once in court their lawyers will delay obfuscate and run you up your legal fees until you’ve spent more than the car is worth”

      Unlikely.  Disney doesn’t want to pay its lawyers $350/hr to delay in court to save a few thousand dollars. In any event, unless Disney self insures, it will be their insurance company attorneys that the OP would deal with.

      1. I think that is part of the problem, that Disney dealt with the insurance company on the OP’s behalf. They had no stake in getting a fair amount for the vehicle.

        In Florida don’t you need to file a police report for accidents with over a certain amount of damage? It might be worth looking into if a report was ever filed, but based on the way the details were presented in the article, it seems like the OP may be a little laissez-faire about this whole thing.

        (Also, Disney’s lawyers are probably salaried, they have nothing better to do than give you the run around to save a few thousand dollars, which they can do for a long time before the possibility of even stepping in a courthouse.)

          1. Disney as some corporate lawyeres that specialize in injury law.  In more cost effective for them to have a lawyer full time than use outside council. 

            S/he will specialize in thimg like traffic accidents, slpi/trip/fall injuris, injuries on rides.  They are fuk time because its more beneficial to the company to have them familiar in detail with their system and processes.

            They likely have a contracted attorney firm for any major court litigation.

          2. I can’t speak for Disney specifically, but very few companies keep litigation counsel on staff, even for small items.  If they have a lot of litigation most likely they will contract with a firm to obtain reduced rates for a guaranteed amount of work.  In some cases, the company may be the firms only client, but is still outside counsel.

      2. According to the Orlando Sentinel:  two-thirds of the cases filed against a theme park since the beginning of 2004 remained active in court for at least a year.

        I have personal knowledge of a friend (also a frequent regular Disney visitor) who suffered very serious injuries at Disney (through no fault of his own– a platform collapsed), and I was astonished at what lengths they took to avoid and to drag out a reasonable settlement. 

        1. Injury cases are different.  The amount at stake can be enormous compared to automobile damage which is minor by comparison.

          I hope you friend is better.

    3. Police would probably come for a stolen property report.

      However, fender benders (or even worse) in parking lots where there are no injuries are something that police generally won’t show up for.  The parties are supposed to work it out themselves.  I’ve actually tried calling, and was told that we should just exchange information and contact our own insurance companies.

      If it’s on a public road, that’s another story.  In California it’s supposed to require a police report if there’s at least $500 worth of estimated damage or any physical injury. Even with that, the police often won’t show unless there’s major vehicle damage.

      1. Exactly.  And it has no further impact on how much the insurance company values the car at.  SHE may want a vehicle replacement, but a 10 year old minivan isn’t going to give her the amount she is looking for. 

  10. What year/make/model van is it? I want to check Kelley Blue Book before making a decision.

    Also, not surprised Di$ney didn’t want her to call the cops. When one of those Argentinian Teen Age Tour groups assaulted my autistic nephew, my sister was berated when she told them she was calling the cops to press charges. She was then told she could not because it was “private property” and Di$ney’s “security” would handle it.

    They did nothing.

      1. Not to sound cold, but with that information, $6900 sounds about right for the value of the car. Duane’s statement ““That amount does not account for even one half of my minivan’s value” means that she believes 2003 Honda Odyssey to be worth more than $14000?

      2. According to Kelly Blue Book, a 2003 Honda Odyssey with 120,000 miles with the LX model (you didn’t specify, so this is an assumption) in GOOD condition could be sold private party (which is always the higher price) for $6340. In EXCELLENT condition, it would sell private party for $6815. So it sounds like she was given the value of the vehicle. It is unfortunate that she thinks it should have been worth more than that, and while I agree things could have been handled better, she got the value of her vehicle. I’m sorry it’s not what she expected, but I don’t think this needs to be mediated any further.

      3. KBB lists it at about $6800. Sounds like she was given a fair amount for it.

        Consider how much I dislike Di$ney and that should speak volumes that I’d defending them…

        1. Fair, maybe.  But this is a company that lives on the quest people have for finding good times.  Doesn’t seem wise that they would offer JUST a “fair amount” when the facts are:  1)  OP spent a lot of money at Disney; 2) Accident happened through no fault of the OP; 3)  Disney discouraged a call to the police (even if they thought the police wouldn’t respond, it’s not for them to tell her that); 4)  Even if the OP could buy the same vehicle for $7k, there are taxes and OP’s time finding the replacement (material because it was Disney’s fault); and 5)  the nebulous value of “good will” that Disney could incur by offering a bit more than is necessary.  It is awful that your nephew was attacked like that, and I hope he was able to fully recover.  It seems the police would have had something to say about that incident.

    1. Raven, we’ve heard other horror stories about those South American groups that match up with yours: they harass or assault people, security doesn’t want to do anything.

      The power of the almighty dollar, apparently.

      1. Ugh, I never had an opinion on Di$ney or those tour groups until I experienced them and witnessed them assault my nephew. And by assault I mean, knock the poor kid to the ground, step on him, laugh about it, and break his Nintendo DS. 

        None of that was apparently “actionable” by Di$ney security, despite complete strangers in line also reporting the problem AND a cast member working the ride seeing it.

  11. Walt Disney was a man of honor, he would have handled the situation with common sense, and well deserved generosity.  The lady would had been compensated that same day, “beyond her imagination.”    

  12. Without knowing make/year/mileage of the minivan, I can’t say whether Disney owes her a new car.  However, besides the insurance payout, it would have been awesome if Disney would have offered her 3 or 4 days of park vouchers for her next stay or something along those lines.  One night at the Grand Floridian doesn’t cut it.

    1. That’s because it was a Chrysler product. Though you probably replaced that transmission 4 times already. LOL.

      Sadly, vehicle values on used cars are very high in some areas. $7k won’t get her a replacement for that vehicle around me, in Ohio. maybe some flood damaged one from a less than reputable lot…

  13. Wow!  First of all Ms Dunne should have called the police, but I am sure she knows that by now. She should have also taken pictures. But hindsight is worth millions..It’s not what the van was worth monetarily..it’s what it was worth to the family. If this had been my mini van..it would have been my family”s only means of transportation. That’s the important part.  Disney should pay for a comperable means of good transportation. On their property, involving one of their vehicles and one of their contractors..ALL DISNEY’S FAULT.  (Just how fast were these two vehicles going to have totaled her car?) The way I see it, Ms Dunne really should contact a lawyer and Disney owes her decent transportation.. 

    1. Disney is responsible for paying the fair value of the van and for comparable transportation for a reasonable time afterwards.

    2. We don’t know enough about the accident to know who was at fault. You are not required to use the valet at the Grand Floridian. For all we know, the valet was driving responsibly and some other guest rammed him.

      1. Ok sorry, just re-read and realized that it was another Disney vehicle involved in the accident. We still don’t know from the article whether the valet or the Disney vehicle caused the accident. Either way, she got the Kelly Blue Book value of her vehicle, and it appears from the article that she was given a rental vehicle for use as well.

    3. DIsney has already compensated her insurance company for the amount, they aren’t about to pay twice – that is really asking too much.  If you drive an older car, you have to be prepared that the compensation won’t cut it to buy you a new one — BUT if you ask for a REPLACEMENT vehicle instead, they can find a similar vehicle for you — had to use that trick once before myself!  🙂

  14. She recieved above the Kelly blue book value.  If she takes them to court, she isn’t going to get anymore no matter how much she thinks her van is worth.  The blue book valuie is how courts/insurance companys value an automobile.

  15. According to the KBB, the check she received from the insurance company was about right for her car.  But, the issue is the other expenses like the rental car and the general hassle.  Disney should have offered her a free week’s vacation at the Grand Floridian for any time in the future AND a bit of $ for her angst, IMHO.

    1. Yeah, John, as much as I hate to say it, when I saw her vehicle had 120K miles and is nearly 10 years old, I said, “Yeah, they probably gave her about KBB value on it.” Having said that, Disney Inc. certainly owes her more than just a free night at a hotel in compensation for having totaled her vehicle. They should at least match what the insurance company paid. $13,000 wouldn’t buy another van, for sure, but it would either get some nice alternate transportation (my 2009 Ford Focus was $11,500 last year when I bought it), or it would make a very nice down payment on a new van. I mean, her 12 days at the Grand Floridian was probably nearly what they paid for her car.
      Small claims for the max amount, maybe? Yeah, Disney definitely intimately violated the pooch on this one.

      1. How much could I buy a 2003 Honda Odyssey for? According to cars(dot) com, there are 356 2003 Honda Odysseys with over 100k miles available in the US for $3495 to just over $15K. She could probably replace hers with $6900. (She is not entitled to a newer model car…sorry.)

        For her troubles, and the delay, they could certainly arrange for more than a one night stay.

        Walt would not be happy…his head is rolling over in his freezer right about now.

        1. If there are comparable vehicles available for “just over $15k” then it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the OP has been shortchanged on the value of the van.

          1. just because someone lists their vehicle for 15K does not mean that is what it is worth and no one in their right mind would pay 15K for that minivan.   

      2. Going to small claims would be pointless. The OP would lose if the insurance payment is correct particularly if she accepts the check

    2. The value of her car depends on the trim level.  It could mean the difference of maybe $2500, but I don’t think there’s any sane reason why a Honda Odyssey with that kind of mileage would be valued at twice her insurance payout.

      I do think a full week would have been an acceptable compensation.

      As for insurance payouts, I remember when my car was stolen and later declared a total loss after it was recovered.  The seats had been pulled out (even one with a burst seam), the instrument cluster was yanked, and the power steering pump was stripped.  All four tires on alloy wheels had good tread left, but the thieves left it with 3 bald tires on cheap steel wheels plus the compact spare.  My insurance company adjuster decided to declare it totaled, which I had no problem with.  I was thinking of selling it myself.

      What I recall was a report with several local ads for my model car, but of various trim levels.  The payout was averaged from the asking price of several of these “representative” cars.  I think I ended up with higher than KBB retail value.  The adjuster said that I was getting more than I could sell it for, which I thought was a fair assessment.  Not only that, but they paid me for the prorated remainder of my car registration fees as well as a prorated refund of my insurance fee on this car.  I got a pretty good deal on a car I didn’t drive much any more and didn’t have to go through the trouble of selling it myself.

  16. Wow, the fact that Disney wouldn’t allow her to speak with the valet speaks volumes!  Makes me wonder whether he was drunk or stoned out of his mind at the time…

    The book-value of the OP’s car is not the central issue here.  The facts that Disney (a) lied to the OP (you can’t call the police after your vehicle is damaged?  Uh, since when?!), and (b) refused to allow her to talk to the person who trashed HER OWN CAR, are of greater concern.  (It makes me wonder how they would handle an assault by a Disney employee on a visitor? “Don’t call the police, this is private property anyway! and no, you can’t see your attacker!  The Constitution does not apply at the Mouse’s House!”)

    Get a lawyer, take the Mouse to court, AND get a subpoena issued to that valet–THAT will get Disney’s attention.  And oh, by the way, mention it to the press, too, because they’ll certainly be interested… 

    1. “Disney wouldn’t allow her to speak with the valet speaks volumes!  Makes me wonder whether he was drunk or stoned out of his mind at the time…”

      How would that change the settlement?  What more could she get then the ACTUAL CASH VALUE OF THE VEHICLE?   Hush money?  That is illegal.

      So you can pay for a lawyer to get another $500 for her and he will take 1/3 of the total bill!  GREAT IDEA!

    2. I don’t understand why everyone here is assuming the valet wasn’t injured? If the car was totaled, it is possible he was being taken to receive medical treatment. And no matter what he said or what caused the accident, that doesn’t entitle her to any more damages beyond the value of the car. There is no legal basis for additional compensation based on what the valet would say. And since Disney (or their contractor) had possession of the vehicle, they are liable and it doesn’t matter what the cause of the accident was to the OP. Therefore, no judge would issue a Subpoena.

      1. My 5 day old car was also totaled at the Grand Floridian by the valet this year. It seems that they may have a problem! And, the valet company’s insurance will not pay for it. It was completely the valet driver’s fault but they do not care at all. Whatever you do, don’t valet! I am also a loyal guest but it does not matter at all. But I do have to say that the police did come out.

    3. Again – this is already settled with the insurance company, so court is a moot point — too little too late.  And believe me, the insurance company already spoke to everyone it needed to, including Disney’s offices to be reimbursed for what they paid her.

  17. Although I am disappointed in Disney’s reaction and response, I am more baffled by those who are suggesting that Disney give her a “new car.”

    There is simply NOT enough information to judge whether $6900 is a fair settlement. What is the year/mileage of the car?

    If you are involved with an accident, just because someone has deep pockets, doesn’t mean that you have hit the lottery and are entitled to a new car. You deal with the insurance company for the settlement! Sure, Disney is the “evil corporation” here and has deep pockets, but doesn’t $6900 allow her to buy an “equivalent vehicle” of her choosing? If Duane believes that this offer is too low, then go after the insurance company!

    1. This wasn’t a typical accident. If the OP had been involved I would have agreed with the insurance payout. This is a totally different case where someone else was the cause of the accident and as the story states we aren’t even sure who did the damage. This puts the onus on Disney to replace the vehicle. The driver being removed from the scene indicates to be that either the driver was not licensed or was perhaps even impaired. 

      1. Bill C, 

        Does it really matter if the valet or someone else damaged the vehicle? How is the driver being removed from the scene implying that Disney is engaging in some massive cover up? Have you considered that perhaps the driver was injured and was taken away for medical treatment? Not ever explanation is nefarious!

        Its an ACCIDENT.
        Disney admitted fault. 
        Disney accepted liability. 
        Disney filed the claim with their insurance company. 
        Disney’s insurance company paid for the fair market value of the vehicle. 

        Tell me, WHY do you feel that the OP (Duane) is entitled to anything more? From the write-up, she feels gypped because she believes her car is worth $14000. It isn’t. This isn’t winning the lottery or an unintended windfall.

        By your logic, if she parked on a city street and someone hit her car, since she isn’t involved, she is entitled to more than fair market value of the car?

        1. Your use of capitals has convinced me. Not really. I don’t recall mentioning anything about a massive coverup, I was just using common sense. If you think removing a driver from the scene of an accident is a normal
          occurrence I suppose that you would accept their offer. All I said is that they should replace her vehicle with the same make, model and year. If that amount is more that they offered then yes they should pay up. I don’t consider that winning the lottery. Why should she be out of pocket for this?

          1. and they have offered $6900 which is what the replacement cost of a vehicle with her make, model, year and mileage. But you brought up the fact that this wasn’t a typical accident. I still want to know how so?

          2. It’s baffling to me how many people are getting hung up on her not getting to talk to the valet.  TOTALLY irrelevent to how things turned out. Disney admitted responsibility, the insurance companies obviously got all their paperwork in triplicate so they’d agree to pay the claim, it went exactly the same as if the valet himself had found her and told her about it. Is it somewhat unusual that he wasn’t made available? Maybe. But it didn’t change anything.

        2. Disney insurance DID NOT PAY ONE DIME..He reported her accident to her insurance but since she didnt have any info from the other driver nor disney her insuraaid her for her car.

          The value given to her is about the fair market value for the vehicle based kelly blue book.

      2. On what planet?  They are paying Allstate to reimburse her (you can bet on that).  She just wants a new van, and that ain’t gonna happen!  If someone parked her van while it was parked and no one had a clue what happened, she would get the same amount.  C’est la vie!  You want the cost of a new van – should have HAD a new van!

  18. Technically, the driver could be charged with ‘leaving the scene of an
    accident’…..no wonder they didn’t want the police involved…and it would
    CERTAINLY hurt their image to see police on the grounds.  Of course you
    can contact the police!

    1. How do we know that the person who caused the crash committed the crime of leaving the scene of an accident? The OP was not the driver so no one can flee from him/her.  The only way there would be such a crime is if the Disney employee fled from the valet.  I don’t know about FL law but here in MN it’s the drivers who exchange info; the owner is only important on a secondary level.

      1. If the parties are not present when the police show up to an accident they can easily cite for leaving the scene.  Shame on her for not dialing the police in the first 2 minutes of being there.

  19. Christopher Elliott, you live in Florida.  What’s the law concerning police response to an automobile accident on private property? As another poster commented, the police won’t respond in all states.  That’s the case in Nebraska.

    Also, once the insurance company determines that the car is a total loss, they don’t/won’t pay for a rental car.  (Stupid, but that’s how they roll.)

    This incident was handled poorly by both Disney and their insurance company.  She may have been paid the Blue Book value and she may disagree with that valuation, but it should have been handled a great deal faster and with more transparency.

    That one night free stay – rather insulting.

  20. One other comment…

    Disney (or the Valet company) ADMITTED liability here. This is actually a open and shut case. What would change had Duane been allowed to speak to the valet? the Disney employee? What would the police report do in this case? Simply restate that the valet driver was at fault? Since there was no personal injury to Duane, the only thing she is entitled to is REPLACEMENT cost to her vehicle. Its really no different that if you were involved in a car accident anywhere else. You don’t get to be reimbursed for your time car shopping, or filing paperwork.

    1. I agree with what you said except I disagree that Duane is entitled to “replacement cost” per se, unless I misunderstand what you mean by the term.  She is entitled to what market value of her vehicle is in the area in which she resides.  This is generally how it works.  It’s actually not all that complicated.  An adjuster will try to get actual sales of vehicles close to the model that was totaled.  He/she will look at autotrader.com, classified ads, call dealers.  It’s not usually related to Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds values. 

      If I were Ms. Duane’s attorney, I would contact dealers in her area and try to get in writing what her car would actually sell for if the dealer had it on its its lot.  That’s what her car is worth.  If it’s more than $6900, she can bring a small claims action against the responsible party.  I doubt this is the case however, because $6900 seems like it was properly calculated.  People overestimate the value of their personal property.  She is also entitled to the cost of a rental vehicle, if she had to obtain one on her own dime.  She is not entitled to the value of her time, she is not entitled to a new vehicle.  This is a simple accident case and she is only entitled to damages she can prove she actually incurred. 

      Here’s my next issue.  Simply because it’s on Disney property doesn’t automatically make it Disney’s liability.  Disney contracted with a valet company;  unless Duane can show that Disney was negligent in contracting with that valet company, it’s not Disney’s responsibility.  It’s the valet company’s.  Unless it was a Disney driver in that other vehicle that caused the accident.  There are too many unanswered questions to assume who is liable. 

      And unfortunately, police will generally not respond to calls on private property.  I had an underage driver driving illegally on a learner’s permit cream me at the mall.  $4000 in damage to a 6 month old car.  As I expected, the police did not come.  This would not prevent me from calling them, though, and you can always make a report later on at the police station.

      Sorry, this is so long but there are a lot of issues here and a lot of misunderstanding but not by you, Chris in NC. 

  21. Where I live, it is the law to report any vehicle accident that results in the damage being over $1000.  If the laws where the same as where I live, it is both the valet driver and the driver of the disney vehicle who would have been responsible to report it, not  the vehicle owner.

    Unlike many of the readers of this forum, I do not hold Disney in high regard, and think of them as corporate bottom feeders who don’t care about much of anything except money.  This sort of article only reinforces this view.  I have had my own dealings with them concerning a health and safety issue, and I certainly get the feeling they don’t care one little bit.

    I do hope this is one of Chris’s stories that makes it to a lot of places, people need to know and understand what kind of a company Disney really is.

    1. “Where I live, it is the law to report any vehicle accident that results in the damage being over $1000. If the laws where the same as where I live, it is both the valet driver and the driver of the disney vehicle who would have been responsible to report it, not the vehicle owner”

      Bill, does the law in your jurisdiction apply to private property (i.e, not occurring on public streets/highways)?  I ask as I find it odd that if I’m driving my vehicle and run into a tree on my 5 acre hobby farm and cause $2000 in damage I then need to report it(?).  As far as I’m concerned it’s none of the States’ business.  Granted, there are laws that deal with quazi-public property werein the property is open for public use but not as a matter of right.    

      1. Kiester – it is any damage to the vehicle in excess of $1000.  If your transmission goes, that is not a report, but if something gets banged up, then yes, private property or not.  No one is allowed to fix it unless they have the police report.  The repair shop has to then take the report and ekeep it on file, I think.

  22. Insurance has the last word here. Joyce’s insurance company has to sue Disney’s company if she wants more. I have a beautiful 1999 Cadi. If it’s in a wreck, I might get 2000.00 no matter who is at fault. Life sometimes delivers lemons.

    1. Insurance has the last word here. Joyce’s insurance company has to sue Disney’s company if she wants more.

      Not true.  Joyce can decline the settlement offer by Disney’s insurance company and sue Disney.  Her insurance company is not involved in that decision.

        1. The offer seems in line with blue book, meaning even if she won it’d be a fairly small gain.  In Florida, small claims court can’t award over $5K, so she’d need to hire an attorney if the suit was filed there. No way she comes out ahead doing that.  And even assuming she could file suit in her home state (don’t know if that’s possible or not), she’d probably need an attorney there, as well, because most states put small claims limits below $10K.  I see no way she comes out ahead going to court even if she prevailed.

          1. AMEN!  The courts don’t care about her sense of entitlement to a new van — and that is all this case REALLY comes down to, isn’t it?

  23. The police can only issue citations on private property for fire lane and handicap parking violations – other then that there are no traffic laws on private property—includinig speeding! So you can do 150 in Disney and get away with a speeding ticket.

    Dunne has a claim against Disney  NOT the insurance company.  She does not have to agree to the amount the insurance company presents to her for settlement and can take Disney to court for the for the full amount she feels is fair compensation.  This is why we get lawyers involved when insurance companies low ball settlements.  Her own insurance company should have also helped her out in the price too.

    Even in PERFECT EXCELLENT conditon Kelly blue book lists the car as $8435 on a private party value , in a trade in $6,125 so $6898 could be fair based on the conditon of the vehicle, which we do not know about.  It is 8 yrs old now. 

    Any time you have a total loss on a vehicle the most you can get is 30 days of rental to look for a new car. 

  24. I visited AutoTraders.com to see what it would cost to buy a 2003 Honda Odyssey. I don’t know the condition of her vehicle or what options it had. I also don’t know where she lives; that could affect the price. I found cars in Central Texas  and found the following.

    2003, 147,000 miles, asking $6,995
    2003, 141,000 miles, asking $7,995
    2003, 135,000 miles, asking $6,995

    Given that, I’d say the insurance company was pretty fair to her with a $7K check. Remember, the insurance company is not going to give you enough to buy a brand-new car; instead they will give you the value of the car you owned, thus the $7,000 seems pretty reasonable to me.

    Disney did not handle this well at all. The offer of one night is an insult. And they seem to have forgotten that she came to Florida to be their customer, not a customer of a valet company that Disney can blame for the problems. I think a check from Disney for another $2K would be reasonable.

  25. What the OP needs to do, and this is how it’s done at the insurance companies, is to start a search for a replacement that is as close as possible in looks, mileage and extras as the minivan she lost.

    What Disney is offering her is “replacement value” not “let’s buy her a new minivan value”.  For a minivan with 120,000 miles on it, $7000 is pretty generous.  Also, I doubt the vehicle was in “very good” condition.  That’s pretty much near-show room condition and it’s not likely.  Not a minivan that has been home to kids…  

    It’s not uncommon for people to over value their car at times like this.  Chances are great her minivan falls somewhere in between fair and good.  Going to the Kelley Blue Book online allows you to enter into their system the parameters involving your car and get a retail, trade-in and private sale price for the zip code in which you’re looking.  Disney’s insurance probably looked in the wrong zip code, one that gives them a price THEY like.

    There will have to be some haggling, which I went through when my vehicle was totaled by a hit-and-run.  They came at me with a low figure, I did my research and got them to see I couldn’t replace my vehicle or less than XXX number of dollars.  They saw the light, they cut me a check.  (And this was my own insurance company)

    If the OP has already cashed the check, though, from the insurance company, she might be too late.  Cashing the check shows acceptance in some courts. (At least in some cases.  This isn’t a hard and fast rule)

    1. I suggest you look at the definition of a car in “very good condition”. it is one in which there is no body damage and all stuff is maintained. For a lot of people, this is the prime example of what they drive. In fact, her vehicle may have been near showroom condition. When I got my truck 3 years back it was 5 years old and had 100k miles. you couldn’t tell the truck had more than 20k on it as it was so clean and spotless.

      In fact, when I go to Edmunds and type in the info, her car can be worth as much as $10k or more in my area. -and that accounts for the mileage.

  26. Three points I’d like to make:
    1)  It sounds like Ms. Dunne is most concerned with the settlement on her minivan—she wanted more.  “Very good” condition is a ridiculous statement to make about an eight year old minivan with 120K miles that has likely been used and abused.  It sounds like what she was paid was more than fair.
    2)  Disney could have handled the incident more tactfully.  But these days (unfortunately) lawyers and company policies tend to mean that most issues get addressed in a pretty cold-hearted way.
    3)  The one thing I will say in Ms. Dunne’s favor is that I think Disney should take into account the fact that she seems to be one of their better customers, so it would probably help them in the long run if they did something to reward her beyond what they offered.  Not for the minivan, but a future stay of a week or so at the resort. 

  27. Wow – I am so disappointed in Disney for the way this was treated. They should be helping her in any way possible. They left her with an absolute mess .. insurance to deal with, no family car, vacation a mess, horrible! 
    COME ON DISNEY! Make this right!

    1. Of course, we don’t know what she has said to Disney — I WANT…. and they tend to get very unfavorable.  All said and done, though, they should have given her a week’s stay – it wouldn’t have killed them. 

  28. Give it up! Let’s say another driver (not Disney) did the same thing. The insurance company would pay you for the cost of your vehicle. Looked on Edmunds, and her offer was about right, if I do some guessing on what an 9 year old minivan would look like. Case closed. Be thankful no one was injured. But next time, I would call the police.

      1. No, I believe the supposition is that let’s say that this was not a valet/Disney vehicle accident. Suppose Ms. Duane was driving her car and some other random person rammed her and totaled her vehicle. The most the insurance company would pay (assuming no injuries) would be the KBB value of the vehicle and perhaps 30 days for a rental while looking for a new car. It sounds like that’s what she got. She’s not entitled to more than that just because it was a Disney vehicle and a valet that got into the accident.

  29. Outrageous that Disney has their employees and subcontractors involved in a cover-up!  That alone should afford Ms Dunne additional compensation and certainly, one night’s lodging is ridiculous!  Would a “famous” person be treated in the same way by Disney?  I think not!!

  30. “We want Disney to care about guests who have just spent a lot of money at one their top resorts for a long stay, especially since these guests did nothing wrong,” she told me. “We have been victimized.”

    I am sorry that she added this.

    Insurance companies pay the Blue Book value on a damaged car.  I admit to not understanding why you can’t get ‘replacement’ value coverage like you do on your home.

    As for Disney, they didn’t want the poilce called because they didn’t want the incident made public.  They are very good at keeping ‘incidents’ quiet and out of the news.  On night, many years ago when we were at Disneyland with the kids, my husband saved a cast member from drowning.  As soon as Disney security arrived, they quickly ushered the young woman away and in the process gave a quick thank you, never taking a full report so the way she had slipped into the water at the ride would never happen to another person.

  31. In the discussion below, it is assumed that the Valet Driver is UNINJURED.  In California, the police must be notified if there is BODILY INJURY, or the property damage exceeds $500.  Also, our ‘disney guest’ is presumed to be completely rational following the loss of a vehicle that she has owned/used for many years.  Cut her a little slack..

  32. A car was damaged and the insurance company paid Blue Book. Everything else is noise.  Disney gave her a free night’s stay as a goodwill gesture.

    Every other detail in the story — her “victimhood,” her patronage of Disney properties, not needing a police report, the vehicle’s “very good condition” is irrelevent.

    This lady thought she had won the lottery, but her carriage fantasy turned into a pumpkin.

  33. The fact that Disney would not allow her to contact the police is enough to hold Disney 100% responsible. The driver esponsible could be charged with a criminal charge of leaving a scene of an accident. Any supervisor who told the driver to leave should be charged as well.
    All large corporations now routinely evade their responsibilities & must be brought to heel on this abuse of consumer protection.
    There must be some lawyer who would love to take on Disney..

    1. I bet the Orlando police tells Disney to handle minor fender benders on their own. Costs cities about $500 to roll a police car and have the officer write a report. Why would Orlando want to spend that much money when Disney, this lady and the insurance company could handle this on their own? I think some people watch too much CSI if they think the police should write a report on every fender bender.

  34. The reason a driver should never leave the area of the accident is that he may have been impaired by alcohol or medication, maybe he did not have a drivers license, revoked or suspended. I would have demanded to speak to the driver and called the police..

  35. The valet at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas crashed my car into a taxi.  They were adamant that I not go to my insurance company for repair, and eventually after 3 weeks of broken promises and pulling of teeth, they wrote me a check to cover the extensive repair and rental car. 

    Due to the level of damage involved in simply “parking” a vehicle and that it was a fairly new Corvette, I suspect they were trying to cover up some hot-dogging bad valet driver behavior.  Looking back, I think if I’d called the police, obtained a real report rather than a “security” one, and notified my insurance company, the event would have been less of a headache.

    And no, I was never offered a free night at the hotel — which I would not have accepted.  I’ve also avoided the property since.

  36. Chris,
        I just had an idea. What do you think of printing contact information with each story you publish… in this case, for Disney’s Grand Floridian and maybe Disney itself. I think a lot of the posters here would love to have that information so they could give these skeevy folks a bit of feedback.   

  37. Chris, 

    Can you clarify? Did Disney’s insurance pay Dunne’s claim? or did Dunne have to file her own insurance?

  38. Disney’s agent, the valet company, totaled her minivan. The compensation Allstate offered is unlikely to cover the replacement cost of a vehicle in similar condition and of similar age. Disney should provide her with just that sort of minivan, perhaps with even fewer miles on it, since the damage was 100% their fault. If there is a lawyer reading these posts, can he/she offer an opinion about whether Disney can be sued successfully in Small Claims Court for the full value of replacing the totaled minivan?

  39. If she put the claim through her insurance company, they would have paid out the $7,000 and then gotten the money back from Disney.  If she wanted Disney to pay her directly, then she would have gone through their insurance and corporate officer – whoever handles that.  It would have taken longer then going through her own insurance.  I’ve been in a few accidents 🙁

    I don’t think the issue of the police coming or not coming is much of an issue.  The car was in the care of the valet so their is no question of fault.  Where a police report comes in handy is when there are differing stories of what happened in the accident.  

    Doing a quick look on the internet at the value of a 2003 Honda Odyssey she might have been slightly short changed, but that depends on the exact model and the condition.  But I’m a bit skeptical that an 8 year old mini van with 120,000 miles is in “Excellent” condition.  Either way, it’s likely the insurance company paid out the standard amount for that car and I think it’s unlikely that they’ll get anything more then they were offered from Disney already. 

    I am surprised she never got a response from the resort, Disney is typically quite good as responding.  But depending on the wording of her letter it might have gotten tied up with their legal team.

  40. I have no idea if she was properly compensated for her auto, but I do believe that Disney owes her much more than a free night, she just checked out after 12 nights and had stayed with them many times over the years.  I think a more appropriate response from Disney would be at least a 10 night stay at one of their resorts as a good will gesture or reimbursement from her last stay when they ruined her auto.

  41. So many good comments here, but the bottom line is that her car was totaled on Disney property, by an agent of Disney. They removed the driver, which, in and of itself, sounds illegal. They intimidated her into not calling the police. Whether the police have jurisdiction or not, it was in her best interest to have it legally documented. Disney strong armed a very loyal customer. Do you have any idea what it costs per night at the Floridian????? Not to mention what she spent in the parks for admission, food and entertainment? And then they left her high and dry having to replace her minivan. which she most likely had no intention of doing for at least another 120,000 miles with an Odyssey. Disney need to man up and negotiate a better settlement for her….

  42. Although Disney could have been more solicitous, that is the reason you have INSURANCE.  The insurance company will go after Disney’s insurance company to collect the amount on your behalf, but for a decade old van, it is NOT going to be retail price for a new van today.  She COULD have asked for a replacement vehicle (same age, same mileage) and that may have worked out better for her.  But to expect Disney to buy her a new van is ridiculous.  (What they could have done was throw in a free stay, and i don’t think that should have been only 1 night!)

    1. From the article it doesn’t seem that Mrs. Dunne ever asked for a new van.  It seems that she has been asking only for a van of the same age and mileage as the one that the valet totaled, or at least the appropriate amount of money to replace that van.  Since it was a Disney valet at a Disney hotel that hit a Disney vehicle, Disney is responsible for compensating her adequately.

      1. Actually, it states she feels her van is worth twice what she was paid — closer to a new van than an old one with 120K.  And insurance doesn’t give you more money because YOU feel it was worth more — she wnet shopping for a new van — doesn’t sound like she just wanted it replaced at all. 

  43. I’m not sure what or why – but insurance value does not generally reflect the true market value of anything – and why did HER insurance company pay HER for an accident obviously caused by third party liability?

    Here it seems pretty clear – while in Disney’s custody and control her property was damaged. 

    She gets:
    a.  the value of the property as of the date of destruction
    b.  reasonable loss of use – meaning until Disney pays up – she gets the cost of renting equivalent transportation until they pay.  Disney controls when they decide to pay –

    It really is that simple. 

    1. That’s the way insurance works.  Her company pays, she subrogates to them so they collect.  Of course they could have paid her, not resulting in an insurance claim.  But they were jerks.

  44. The car owner should get retail value.

    Also, if the insurance check is considered an insulting offer to a Craigslist or other private seller of a similar or identical car, then the insurance check is likely too small.

  45. She was paid wholesale for her van.  I traded a similar van last November and after extreme bargaining ended up with $17,000 against a new Odyssey EX-L.  Granted she was not trading but she should have been able to recover more than the insurance company paid.  Her insurance company did what it has to do but Disney needs to have an aggressive lawyer knocking on their door.  Customers are ignored by companies when they get as big as Disney.  Why isn’t her insurance company going after Disney/valet service for the money they paid out?  That would establish liability for her.

  46. I think Disney did what they should have done, absent the unresponsiveness before Chris became involved.  I looked up the value of the vehicle on Edmunds and KBB and the almost 7k is a fair deal from the insurance company.  I am not sure why she thinks an 8 year old car (possibly 9, since it may have been purcahsed in 2002) with 120k miles on it is worth 13-14k.  It also sounds like Disney (or her insurance) provided her with a rental vehicle after the van was totalled.  Most insurance policies only cover up to 30 days of a rental vehicle, so maybe she did not have the insurance check in hand before the end of the insurance coverage period.  However, if she was unhappy with this, she should have been contacting the insurance company to move things along.  In most states insurance companies only have so long to respond to a claim and then to get a check out to the proper party. 

    As for as telling her she could not call the police.  Since this is hearsay, and we do not know what was discussed, I am not sure what to make of it.  In some cities, police will not come out to a private property vehicle damage claim because there are not enough police officers on duty.  However, you can always go and file a police report.  Maybe she was told that she could call but it would not make any difference because the police would not come out.  And if it bothered her that much, why didn’t she just call at the time and have spoken directly to a police officer instead of taking an employees word on it? 

    I think Disney could have at least offerred her 2 nights (come on, make a weekend out of it at least), but accidents happen and that does not mean you get a freebie just because it happened on Disney property. 

  47. Disney’s response is off the mark.  While they can’t control the amount of the insurance check, they CAN offer more from their own coffers.  How do you justify an employee totalling a guest’s vehicle and not doing more for the guest than the situation warrants?  Poor PR, Disney.

  48. Failing to file a traffic crash report in Florida is a criminal matter.    I would suggest that the vehicle owner retain counsel to sort the matter out.  Personally I would have sued Disney, their subcontractor, and the driver after a week had gone by without adequate compensation.    We have courts for a reason.    I’ve always found people who were unwilling to even take my calls have much more time to chat once they are served with a lawsuit. 

    You are under no obligation to involved your insurance company if someone else wrecks your car. 

    1. Good point, Irv, and to expand on that, when my car was hit by another (totally their fault), my insurance co. offered to pay for repairs and then obtain reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s company.  When I inquired, I was told that by accepting my insurance co.’s money, there would be a notation on MY insurance of an accident, even though it clearly was not my fault.  I chose to have my co. pursue the other company, but it made me think twice about handling a future claim the same way.

  49. Unfortunately this is life with an insured vehicle.   Depending on the state she lives in the insurance company is only required to pay the fair market value of the vehicle.   The offer may have been low from the insurance company.  Generally you give a car to a valet it is park at your own risk.  

    Disney may have handled this poorly and I will agree.   If the insurance check has been cashed it may be too late.  Disney could well afford to have done better in light of this unfortunate incident.
      

  50. $7k was fair for her van.  We traded a 2003 Oddy in 2008 with 80k and didn’t get much more than that.  That was 3.5 years ago!

  51. Most people have an inflated sense of he value of what they own.  That said, Disney should have bought her a new van.  Yes a new van, just for the  massive inconvenience. 

  52. If you check Kelly Blue book (kbb.com) the private party resell value of that type of car in excellent condition is a around 7000$.  So I’m not sure what she wants.  You don’t get a better car after an accident just back to your pre-accident state.  That is exactly what the insurance company gave her.  There are comments that Disney gave her nothing.  Question, what are they supposed to give her. Free stays at Disney for the rest of her life or a brand new car?  Get real.  Either Disney or the valet company will have to reimburse the insurance company in the long run.  I think an apology and refund from valet (of course) should be in order.  As for the comment about the person being removed from the scene.  It is carefully worded but it doesn’t say where he went.  Even if he wasn’t hurt, anyone who has ever dealt with on the job injuries or accidents knows the first place that employee goes is to a medical facility (ER or MD’s office) to do a workman comp evaluation.

    1. “Even if he wasn’t hurt, anyone who has ever dealt with on the job injuries or accidents knows the first place that employee goes is to a medical facility (ER or MD’s office) to do a workman comp evaluation.”  Excellent point, CS.  Anyone who drives on company time will have a drug eval done, which can speak to liability issues.  I don’t know if that is something that anyone can sue to have revealed, or that the court can force transparency, but I’m sure it won’t be willingly released.

  53. I am wondering if this is the same Joyce Dunne who is a travel agent from Michigan?  That may have an impact on the offer from Disney for free nights, as she may not have been paying quite as much as folks may think!

  54. I Valeted at the grand Floridian and 8 minutes later my 5 day old expedition was totaled when driven into a palm tree in the parking lot. The police came, the President of the valet company was on the spot, managers of the resort were there, all saying they were going to take care of this. They gave us a car to drive home, but once we were gone, they were done with us. Their insurance company will not pay and Disney does not want to know anything about it as the valet company is contracted out. It is Disappointing that Disney does not make their contracted labor treat their guests better. My trip was ruined and the aftermath is still ongoing! My car was only 5 days old, therefore the insurance company(Chubb) for Cars Valet out of Orlando says the claim is too big and they don’t know how to handle it! Unbelievable! I am considering a suit against the driver and the valet company just because of the annoyance. I think if you got anything it was a miracle because they certainly won’t pay for my car and the police did come out to the parking lot. He hit a palm tree at 45 miles per hour after going only 70-75 yards.

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