Pennsylvania Diminished Value
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations on torts is 2 years, this means that you need to file suit against the at fault driver within 2 years of the accident.
If the insurance company is offering you an unfair loss in value amount, you need to hire an independent appraiser to rebut their valuation.
You can also escalate the claim by contacting the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner.
To get the process started and to get a free estimate, please fill out the form below.
Insurance Bad Faith in Pennsylvania
Citation: 73 P.S. §201-1; §42 P.S.§8371
42 P.S. 8371
§ 8371. Actions on insurance policies.
In an action arising under an insurance policy, if the court finds that the insurer has acted in bad faith toward the insured, the court may take all of the following actions:
(1) Award interest on the amount of the claim from the date the claim was made by the insured in an amount equal to the prime rate of interest plus 3%.
(2) Award punitive damages against the insurer.
(3) Assess court costs and attorney fees against the insurer.
73 P.S. § 201-1 – 201-9.3
PENNSYLVANIA UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES
AND CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW
§ 201-1. Short title
This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.”
§ 201-2. Definitions
As used in this act.
(1) “Documentary material” means the original or a copy of any book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, map, chart, photograph, mechanical transcription or other tangible document or recording, wherever situate.
(1.1) “Internet service provider” means a person who furnishes a service that enables users to access content, information, electronic mail or other services offered over the Internet, and access to proprietary content, information and other services as part of a package of services offered to consumers.
(2) “Person” means natural persons, corporations, trusts, partnerships, incorporated or unincorporated associations, and any other legal entities.
(3) “Trade” and “commerce” mean the advertising, offering for sale, sale or distribution of any services and any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal or mixed, and any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situate, and includes any trade or commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of this Commonwealth.
(4) “Unfair methods of competition” and “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” mean any one or more of the following:
(i) Passing off goods or services as those of another;
(ii) Causing likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval or certification of goods or services;
(iii) Causing likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection or association with, or certification by, another;
(iv) Using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;
(v) Representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits or quantities that they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation or connection that he does not have;
(vi) Representing that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used or secondhand;
(vii) Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;
(viii) Disparaging the goods, services or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact;
(ix) Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;
(x) Advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;
(xi) Making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions;
(xii) Promising or offering prior to time of sale to pay, credit or allow to any buyer, any compensation or reward for the procurement of a contract for purchase of goods orservices with another or others, or for the referral of the name or names of another or others for the purpose of attempting to procure or procuring such a contract of purchase with such other person or persons when such payment, credit, compensation or reward is contingent upon the occurrence of an event subsequent to the time of the signing of a contract to purchase;
(xiii) Promoting or engaging in any plan by which goods or services are sold to a person for a consideration and upon the further consideration that the purchaser secure or attempt to secure one or more persons likewise to join the said plan; each purchaser to be given the right to secure money, goods or services depending upon the number of persons joining the plan. In addition, promoting or engaging in any plan, commonly known as or similar to the so-called “Chain-Letter Plan” or “Pyramid Club.” The terms “Chain-Letter Plan” or “Pyramid Club” mean any scheme for the disposal or distribution of property, services or anything of value whereby a participant pays valuable consideration, in whole or in part, for an opportunity to receive compensation for introducing or attempting to introduce one or more additional persons to participate in the scheme or for the opportunity to receive compensation when a person introduced by the participant introduces a new participant. As used in this subclause the term “consideration” means an investment of cash or the purchase of goods, other property, training or services, but does not include payments made for sales demonstration equipment and materials for use in making sales and not for resale furnished at no profit to any person in the program or to the company or corporation, nor does the term apply to a minimal initial payment of twenty-five dollars ($25) or less;
(xiv) Failing to comply with the terms of any written guarantee or warranty given to the buyer at, prior to or after a contract for the purchase of goods or services is made;3
(xv) Knowingly misrepresenting that services, replacements or repairs are needed if they are not needed;
(xvi) Making repairs, improvements or replacements on tangible, real or personal property, of a nature or quality inferior to or below the standard of that agreed to in writing;
(xvii) Making solicitations for sales of goods oor services over the telephone without first clearly, affirmatively and expressly stating:
(A) the identity of the seller;
(B) that the purpose of the call is to sell goods or services;
(C) the nature of the goods or services; and
(D) that no purchase or payment is necessary to be able to win a prize or participate in a prize promotion if a prize promotion is offered. This disclosure must be made before or in conjunction with the description of the prize to the person called. If requested by that person, the telemarketer must disclose the no-purchase/nopayment entry method for the prize promotion;
(xviii) Using a contract, form or any other document related to a consumer transaction which contains a confessed judgment clause that waives the consumer’s right to assert a legal defense to an action;
(xix) Soliciting any order for the sale of goods to be ordered by the buyer through the mails or by telephone unless, at the time of the solicitation, the seller has a reasonable basis to expect that it will be able to ship any ordered merchandise to the buyer:
(A) within that time clearly and conspicuously stated in any such solicitation; or
(B) if no time is clearly and conspicuously stated, within thirty days after receipt of a properly completed order from the buyer, provided, however, where, at the time the merchandise is ordered, the buyer applies to the seller for credit to pay for the merchandise in whole or in part, the seller shall have fifty days, rather than thirty days, to perform the actions required by this subclause;
(xx) Failing to inform the purchaser of a new motor vehicle offered for sale at retail by a motor vehicle dealer of the following:
(A) that any rustproofing of the new motor vehicle offered by the motor vehicle dealer is optional;
(B) that the new motor vehicle has been rustproofed by the manufacturer and the nature and extent, if any, of the manufacturer’s warranty which is applicable to that rustproofing;The requirements of this subclause shall not be applicable and a motor vehicle dealer shall have no duty to inform if the motor vehicle dealer rustproofed a new motor vehicle 4before offering it for sale to that purchaser, provided that the dealer shall inform the purchaser whenever dealer rustproofing has an effect on any manufacturer’s warranty applicable to the vehicle. This subclause shall not apply to any new motor vehicle which has been rustproofed by a motor vehicle dealer prior to the effective date of this subclause.
(xxi) Engaging in any other fraudulent or deceptive conduct which creates a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding.
§ 201-3. Unlawful acts or practices; exclusions
Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce as defined by subclauses (i) through (xxi) of clause (4) of section 21of this act and regulations promulgated under section 3.12of this act are hereby declared unlawful. The provisions of this act shall not apply to any owner, agent or employe of any radio or television station, or to any owner, publisher, printer, agent or employe of an Internet service provider or a newspaper or other publication, periodical or circular, who, in good faith and without knowledge of the falsity or deceptive character thereof, publishes, causes to be published or takes part in the publication of such advertisement.
§ 201-3.1. Regulations
The Attorney General may adopt, after public hearing, such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the enforcement and administration of this act. Such rules and regulations when promulgated pursuant to the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L. 769, No. 240), known as the “Commonwealth Documents Law,” shall have the force and effect of law.
§ 201-4. Restraining prohibited acts
Whenever the Attorney General or a District Attorney has reason to believe that any person is using or is about to use any method, act or practice declared by section 34 of this act to be unlawful, and that proceedings would be in the public interest, he may bring an action in the name of the Commonwealth against such person to restrain by temporary or permanent injunction the use of such method, act or practice.
§ 201-4.1. Payment of costs and restitution
Whenever any court issues a permanent injunction to restrain and prevent violations of this act as authorized in section 45 above, the court may in its discretion direct that the defendant or defendants restore to any person in interest any moneys or property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of any violation of this act, under terms and conditions to be established by the court.
§ 201-5. Assurances of voluntary compliance
In the administration of this act, the Attorney General may accept an assurance of voluntary compliance with respect to any method, act or practice deemed to be violative of the act from any person who has engaged or was about to engage in such method, act or practice. Such assurance may include a stipulation for voluntary payment by the alleged violator providing for the restitution by the alleged violator to consumers, of money, property or other things received from them in connection with a violation of this act. Any such assurance shall be in writing and be filed with the court. Such assurance of voluntary compliance shall not be considered an admission of violation for any purpose. Matters thus closed interest, pursuant to section 4.6
§ 201-6. Deleted by 1976, Nov. 24, P.L. 1166, No. 260, § 1, imd. Effective
§ 201-7. Contracts; effect of rescission
(a) Where goods or services having a sale price of twenty-five dollars ($25) or more are sold or contracted to be sold to a buyer, as a result of, or in connection with, a contact with or call on the buyer or resident at his residence either in person or by telephone, that consumer may avoid the contract or sale by notifying, in writing, the seller within three full business days following the day on which the contract or sale was made and by returning or holding available for return to the seller, in its original condition, any merchandise received under the contract or sale. Such notice of rescission shall be effective upon depositing the same in the United States mail or upon other service which gives the seller notice of rescission.
(b) At the time of the sale or contract the buyer shall be provided with:
(1) A fully completed receipt or copy of any contract pertaining to such sale, which is in the same language (Spanish, English, etc.) as that principally used in the oral sales presentation, and also in English, and which shows the date of the transaction and contains the name and address of the seller, and in immediate proximity to the space reserved in the contract for the signature of the buyer or on the front page of the receipt if a contract is not used and in bold face type of a minimum size of ten points, a statement in substantially the following form:
“You, the buyer, may cancel this transaction at any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of this transaction. See the attached notice of cancellation form for an explanation of this right.”
(2) A completed form in duplicate, captioned “Notice of Cancellation,” which shall be attached to the contract or receipt and easily detachable, and which shall contain in ten-point bold face type the following information and statements in the same language (Spanish, English, etc.) as that used in the contract:
Notice of Cancellation
(Enter Date of Transaction)
You may cancel this transaction, without any penalty or obligation, within three business days from the above date.
If you cancel, any property traded in, any payments made by you under the contract or sale, and any negotiable instrument executed by you will be returned within ten business days following receipt by the seller of your cancellation notice, and any security interest arising out of the transaction will be cancelled.
If you cancel, you must make available to the seller at your residence in substantially as good condition as when received, any goods delivered to you under this contract or sale; or you may, if you wish, comply with the instructions of the seller regarding the return shipment of the goods at the seller’s expense and risk.
If you do make the goods available to the seller and the seller does not pick them up within twenty days of the date of your notice of cancellation, you may retain or dispose of the goods without any further obligation. If you fail to make the goods available to the seller, or if you agree to return the goods to the seller and fail to do so, then you remain liable for performance of all obligations under the contract.
To cancel this transaction, mail or deliver a signed and dated copy of this cancellation notice or any other written notice, or send a telegram, to (name of seller), at (address of seller’s place of business) not later than midnight of (date).
I hereby cancel this transaction.
(c) Before furnishing copies of the “Notice of Cancellation” to the buyer, both copies shall be completed by entering the name of the seller, the address of the seller’s place of business, the date of the transaction, and the date, not earlier than the third business day following the date of the transaction, by which the buyer may give notice of cancellation.
(d) Each buyer shall be informed at the time he signs the contract or purchases the goods or services, of his right to cancel.
(e) The cancellation period provided for in this section shall not begin to run until buyer has been informed of his right to cancel and has been provided with copies of the “Notice of Cancellation.”
(f) Seller shall not misrepresent in any manner the buyer’s right to cancel.
(g) Any valid notice of cancellation by a buyer shall be honored and within ten business days after the receipt of such notice, seller shall
(i) refund all payments made under the contract or sale;
(ii) return any goods or property traded in, in substantially as good condition as when received by the seller;
(iii) cancel and return any negotiable instrument executed by the buyer in connection with the contract or sale and take any action necessary or appropriate to terminate promptly any security interest created in the transaction.
(h) No note or other evidence of indebtedness shall be negotiated, transferred, sold or assigned by the seller to a finance company or other third party prior to midnight of the fifth business day following the day the contract was signed or the goods or services were purchased.
(i) Seller shall, within ten business days of receipt of the buyer’s notice of cancellation, notify him whether the seller intends to repossess or to abandon any shipped or delivered goods. If seller elects to repossess, he must do so within twenty days of the date of buyer’s notice of cancellation or forfeit all rights to the delivered goods.
(j) Deleted by 2004, Nov. 30, P.L. 1553, No. 196, § 1, effective in 60 days [Jan. 31, 2005].
(j.1) (1) Rights afforded under this section may be waived only through the execution of an emergency authorization form:
(i) where goods or services have a sale price of twenty-five dollars ($25) or more;
(ii) are contracted to be sold to a buyer as a result of or in connection with a contact made by the buyer to the seller; and
(iii) the goods or services contracted for are needed to remedy a bona fide emergency on the buyer’s residential real property. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a seller contacted by a buyer as a result of a bona fide emergency from taking any immediate preliminary steps necessary to remedy a clear and immediate danger that may cause death or serious bodily injury to the buyer, the seller or other persons without having to obtain the emergency authorization form.8
(2) To obtain a waiver under this section, the seller must furnish the buyer with an emergency work authorization form as well as a written estimate of the goods or the performance of services. This authorization will allow the seller to immediately proceed with the delivery of the goods or the performance of the services necessary to remedy the bona fide emergency.
(3) The emergency work authorization form provided for in this section shall be:
(i) on a preprinted card at least four inches by six inches in size; and
(ii) the writing thereon must be in at least ten-point bold face type in the following form:
Emergency Work Authorization
(Enter Date of Transaction)
You, the buyer, having initiated the contract for the goods and services of (enter the name of the seller), the seller, for the remediation of a bona fide emergency hereby authorize the seller to immediately proceed with the delivery of goods or the performance of services necessary to remedy the bona fide emergency. By providing the seller with this authorization, you agree to make full payment for the goods or services provided. You agree not to exercise the rights afforded you by the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law to cancel the contract within three business days from the above date.
You, the buyer, attest that the attached estimate is an accurate description of the goods and services which will be provided by the seller for the correction of the bona fide emergency:
(j.2) Prior to the buyer signing the emergency authorization form, the seller shall provide the buyer with a written estimate of the total cost of the goods or services, including any fee for the service call. The estimate shall be provided prior to the delivery of the goods or the performance of the services necessary to remedy a bona fide emergency. If the cost of the goods or services actually provided exceeds the estimate provided, the seller must obtain further written authorization from the buyer to perform the additional work or service. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the seller from charging the buyer a fee for a service call for the purpose of determining the cause of and the appropriate remedy of the bona fide emergency, regardless of whether further goods or services are provided. The seller shall immediately disclose to the buyer whether a service call fee shall be charged upon initiation by the buyer of a contract for goods or services for the remediation of a bona fide emergency. The seller may also charge a fee for immediate preliminary steps without having to obtain a written emergency authorization.
(k) As used in this section, merchandise shall not be construed to mean real property.
(l) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the sale or contract for the sale of goods or services having a sale price of less than twenty-five dollars ($25).
(l.1) This section shall not apply, however, to the sale of precious metals, bonds or foreign currency when the value of the items can fluctuate daily.
(m) A “Notice of Cancellation” which contains the form and content required by rule or regulation of the Federal Trade Commission shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this section.
(n) As used in this section, “bona fide emergency” means any condition existing on the buyer’s residential real property which renders or has the capability to render the residential real property uninhabitable. The term includes, but shall not be limited to, conditions significantly affecting the heating system, electrical system, plumbing system, ventilation system, roof or outer walls of the residential real property.
(o) As used in this section, “immediate preliminary steps” means only those steps necessary to eliminate a clear and immediate danger that may cause death or serious bodily injury to the buyer, the seller or other persons. The term includes, but shall not be limited to, termination of the carrying of gas, oil or oil product, sewage or water through an underground pipe or the carrying of electric or communication service through an underground conductor, pipe or structure. The term shall not be construed as including any other steps necessary to repair and remedy the bona fide emergency.
§ 201-8. Civil penalties
(a) Any person who violates the terms of an injunction issued under section 47 of this act or any of the terms of an assurance of voluntary compliance duly filed in court under section 58 of this act shall forfeit and pay to the Commonwealth a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation. For the purposes of this section the court issuing an injunction or in which an assurance of voluntary compliance is filed shall retain jurisdiction, and the cause shall be continued; and, in such cases, the Attorney General, or the appropriate District Attorney, acting in the name of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, may petition for recovery of civil penalties and any other equitable relief deemed needed or proper.
(b) In any action brought under section 4 of this act, if the court finds that a person, firm or corporation is wilfully using or has wilfully used a method, act or practice declared unlawful by section 39 of this act, the Attorney General or the appropriate District Attorney, acting in the name of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, may recover, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a civil penalty of not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation, which civil penalty shall be in addition to other relief which may be granted under sections 4 and 4.110 of this act. Where the victim of the wilful use of a method, act or practice declared unlawful by section 3 of this act is sixty years of age or older, the civil penalty shall not exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000) per violation, which penalty shall be in addition to other relief which may be granted under sections 2 and 4.111 of this act.
§ 201-9. Forfeiture of franchise or right to do business; appointment of receiver
Upon petition by the Attorney General, the court having jurisdiction, may, in its discretion, order the dissolution, suspension or forfeiture of the franchise or right to do business of any person, firm or corporation which violates the terms of an injunction issued under section 412 of this act. In addition, the court may appoint a receiver of the assets of the company.
§ 201-9.1. Powers of receiver
When a receiver is appointed by the court pursuant to this act, he shall have the power to sue for, collect, receive and take into his possession all the goods and chattels, rights and credits, moneys, and effects, lands and tenements, books, records, documents, papers, choses in action, bills, notes and property of every description of the person or persons for whom the receiver is appointed, received by means of any practice declared to be illegal and prohibited by this act, including property with which such property has been mingled if it cannot be identified in kind because of such commingling, and to sell, convey, and assign the same and hold and dispose of the proceeds thereof under the direction of the court. Any person who has suffered damages as a result of the use or employment of any unlawful practices and submits proof to the satisfaction of the court that he has in fact been damaged, may participate with general creditors in the distribution of the assets to the extent he has sustained provable losses. The court shall have jurisdiction of all questions arising in such proceedings and may make such orders and judgments therein as may be required.
§ 201-9.2. Private actions
(a) Any person who purchases or leases goods or services primarily for personal, family or household purposes and thereby suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of the use or employment by any person of a method, act or practice declared unlawful by section 313 of this act, may bring a private action to recover actual damages or one hundred dollars ($100), whichever is greater. The court may, in its discretion, award up to three times the actual damages sustained, but not less than one hundred dollars ($100), and may provide such additional relief as it deems necessary or proper. The court may award to the plaintiff, in addition to other relief provided in this section, costs and reasonable attorney fees.
(b) Any permanent injunction, judgment or order of the court made under section 414 of this act shall be prima facie evidence in an action brought under section 9.215 of this act that the defendant used or employed acts or practices declared unlawful by section 3 of this act.