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Questions About Auto Insurance & Accidents

miagarfuncklemiagarfunckle Posts: 51
edited February 18 in General
This topic will be your opportunity to ask a real auto claims adjuster any questions you want about your accident and injury. Heck I might be able to help you for free instead of in attorney.
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Comments

  • I work for Prudential in New York City area. What about yourself, are you a multi-line property examiner or BI rep?
  • I recently got in a small car accident. I don't know who is at fault yet, I have spoke with my adjuster but she did not want to listen to me at all it was very odd because I'm close to my insurance agent, he's my future father-in-law. She gave me a number to call the other party's adjuster and tell them what happen. I really just like a professional opinion before I call the other adjuster.

    Here's the how the accident happen -

    We were driving on a 5 lane freeway. At the upcoming exit the Number 5 lane got off at the exit with the choose for the number 4 lane to get off or to stay on the freeway. We were in the number 4 lane at very slow speed, mostly stop and go. With the number 5 lane going about 20 mph. The car in front of me had been trying to get into the #5 lane for about 1/2 mile. Finally as we were almost at the exit there was room for her to change lane's. She moves 80% into the #5 lane, traffic goes from probably 15mph to dead stop in the #4 lane. At the last minute she decides not to change lanes, and comes back over to the #4. My right front light is scratched and my hood is messed up, with damage to my right front fender from the pressure. Here left back bumper is scratched.

    ( Just for irony - about 2 miles before this exit I had to bring #4 lane to a complete stop to let her in because I felt bad that she couldn't get over)

    Thanks for any advice you can give,
    Sarah S.
  • It depends on what state you live in but the fact that the other lady moved 80% into the other lane means that she had more possession of the other lane then the lane she was oringinally in which is your #4 lane. When she decided at the last minute to move back into your lane you would have had the right of way as you had full possession of your lane. The other lady would have the duty to watch for other traffic before changing lanes again. In this situation if the other driver did not signal her intention to move back into the other lane which was the 4 lane, then depending on your speed and whether or not this lady had sufficient room to take possession of your lane again I would more then likely have to rule in your favor and find the other lady at fault. First of all the fact that your right headlight and hood are damaged and the left rear of her car is damaged shows that she didn't fully get back into your lane. If the damage was middle of her rear to the middle of your front basically dead on then without a witness and if she didn't get cited then you would be at fault as it would be very hard to prove otherwise. In this situation I would call your adjuster not your agent as agents know nothing about fault they just sell insurance. You need to speak with the person handling your claim. The point of impact is in your favor definitely. If the other lady was cited for in unsafe lane change that is also a point for you. Make sure that you tell your adjuster and any other insurance company that calls you exactly what you told me and also make sure they know that you slammed on your brakes to avoid the accident even if you didn't. If I was your insurance adjuster I would deny liability and if the other insurance carrier would not agree then I would arbitrate it. Any other questions just ask.
  • I work for Progressive and handle property damage and bodily injury. At Progressive we are heavily trained to handle all injuries with the exception of atty repped which go to an extended handler. I write estimates and handle coverage and liability.
  • I did lock my brakes up. I really think writing the accident down helped me.
    It happened so fast. I live in California. Thanks for your advice, I know I can call the adjuster now.
    I'll come back and let you know how it ended up.
  • I feel sorry for you, I hear Progressive is tough to work for, I've heard horror stories from other collegues. I work for Prudential, and when I go into collision shops they think I say Progressive at first (partly because they sound similar) but mostly because they all seem to hate having to deal with Progressive appraisers. It can't be coincidence either has it happens to often. I always hear that your sups don't allow for many of the commonly accepted repair procedures and try to pass of payment on paint and materials as tools and not pay the hourly charge on them, etc. I can understand not wanting to over pay on something, but when a company takes absolute measures to pay as little as possible eventually their own customers will realize and try to locate other insurance. I have close co-workers who work in an agency (and I help them alot parttime) rating new business and Progressive is one of the companies we have to use. They are the most expensive, and usually only the poorer risks only qualify for that insurance. NOT STATING YOU ARE A BAD PERSON, NO WAY, just that I have heard so many poor things about having to work for Progressive, do you have any other experience with other companies, and if so how do you rate?
  • Progressive doesn't pay to little on supps or initial estimates what we do is require a person to go out to the shop to justify the supp damage.
    If a shop calls and wants a 1000 supp I would go out and be able to eliminate about half of it and the car would still get fixed correctly. Basically we don't take a shops word for anything.
    We don't like to be screwed and we investigate everything fully. Why is it that all other insurance companies constantly seek Progressive reps to work for them. Is it because we are the best trained reps in the industry as we handle everything ourselves and do not have specialized adjusters for everything. Also I have dealt with most other insurance companies and have found that most have experienced adjusters but the companies suck and the policys suck. For example I recently redlined a subrogation demand from state farm and they had the insured vehicle fixed at one of there preferred shops who wrote them in estimate for 5000 and we redlined based on estimate and pics. Our estimate was 1000 as the state farm direct shop replaced the decklid, and rear bumper assembly along withe the 1/4 panel that wasn't damaged. The shop also blended both sides of the car and none of the panels on the d/s were adjacent to the damage so didn't need it. Anybody with a frame machine or a chain tied between two trees can be a State Farm direct repair shop. State Farm paid for a bunch of crap that didn't need to be done. I wonder why insurance rates are so high. You tell me? Also how many lawsuits has Progressive had for bad faith. I only remember one. State farm and Allstate as well as Farmers let lost lawsuits drive there policy changes. Shops hate Progressive because they want to write a supp and get paid without any investigation. I have many more examples of the other big players like Allstate denying claims for stupid reasons and liability based on ludicrous things. I have no idea how Prudential is as have never dealt with them but will have to see. Thank you for the question. Progressive is not hard to work for actually they are the best insurance company to work for. How bout this we average about a 9% raise every year and also get raises for certifying. We are compensated a lot better then any other company where the only way you get a promotion there is when someone dies or retires. See ya
  • How is the value of a totaled car estimated? Progressive had estimated the value of my totaled car $2400 below the Kelley Blue Book retail value and about $1500 below the average price of similar cars on AutoTrader.com. Is it typical? Can I do anything about it?
  • Hi phil65. I am obviously not an insurance adjuster, but I can steer you towards an article that may help to answer your question. The following article discusses how and why insurance companies total vehicles that have been involved in severe accidents: How Auto Insurance Companies Total Your Vehicle After You Total Your Vehicle. If you have any additional questions on this particular subject after reading this piece, please feel free to ask. Also, perhaps the individuals who are involved in the insurance industry and have been nice enough to post in this discussion can shed a little more light on this subject for you.

    Car_man
    Host
    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • Phil:

    Progressive at least in Arizona per the department of insurance we are not allowed to use the kelley blue book value as that is not in accurate value only a typical general value. The Value has to be a market based value. We will take into consideration the options and mileage as well as the conditions of the vehicle and then call CCC which is in independent company that will take your zip code and find out what similar cars with like miles and condition as well as options are selling for in your area and then take the average of these and come up with your ACV(actual cash value). We then add tax and title to the value and take out your deductible to get your value. Make sure you find out what we are offering you before taking out your deductible this will give you a better idea. Autotrader will tell you what a car is being offered at but we know the offering price and the take price are very different. We take averages of take prices and not offer prices.
    Some things you can do if not happy with your value is:
    1. contact your adjuster and ask him/her to fax you a copy of the ccc: report and verify the mileage and options are accurate as this will make a big difference in the value especially the mileage. A lot of times we don't know the mileage and run it as average which is considered between 12k and 15k a year which most people don't drive.
    2. Find comparables like yours online or in the newspaper and fax them to your adjuster and he/she has the ability if they are truly comparable to up the offer on your vehicle.
    3. With Progressive the one thing you can do per the policy as well is you can evoke the appraisal clause which allows you to get someone to appraise your car and if progressive agrees with them they will pay that. If they do not agree then Progressive and yourself will have to share the cost of an independent appraiser and there value will stand.
    Also I wouldn't take to heart much of that website that is supposed to tell you about insurance company policies on totalling cars. This is general info and doesn't apply to most companies as they are all different.
    Hope this helps.
  • ak4x4ak4x4 Posts: 126
    I could go on and on about my accident and problems with Idiotco(Geico) but since this forum is accident only I will stick to that topic.

    Question: I hit a snow bank with my 2001 Silverado extended cab 4x4. Causing 3+ grand damage to the truck. Why is it that Geico never investigated the claim??? I hit black ice and did avoid getting into a bigger accident by missing a few cars and trucks(It happened on the onramp to a highway). Geico claims that it was my fault and not due to weather. I was going about 25 MPH and the point of impact and loss of control point can clearly be seen to anyone that you cannot be going more them 25-30 MPH. I undersatnd that I was driving, but shouldn't they at least investigate the accident?? They claim that the accident could have been controlled. Furthermore, I will advise anyone to stay away from Geico as they have the rudest adjusters around. Just a few questions. I can tell you the whole story if you e-mail me. Tburner@hotmail.com

    Thanks.
  • man, after reading all your posts and it's no wonder your angry. STAY OUT OF ACCIDENTS, will you. What is there to investigate after hitting a snow bank in a single car accident. EVERY INS company that ever did business would rate that as a 100% at fault accident. You are the driver, what other factors caused the accidents. When the road conditions are poor, drivers are supposed to adjust their driving patterns accordingly. You obviously didn't and I'm a young guy like you and I can tell you are an aggressive driver by the other posts you made. You were in an accident in a VW GTI, wanted quotes for an CL type s and a Subaru WRX, all enthusiast cars. Look you'll never escape high surcharged premiums by getting violations and accidents. Don't complain, ice and rain never causes accidents, if they did, how come parked and unoccupied cars in rain and snow storms don't get into accident on their own because it's raining or snowing. It's always the drivers fault in single car accidents, just because the road conditons were poor made your driving errors more severe in terms of losing control of the car YOU WERE DRIVING!
  • ak4x4ak4x4 Posts: 126
    First of idiot, I never got into an accident in my GTI, it was stolen. But to you morons in the industry that is that same.

    Second, you can't discrimate on the types of cars people drive. I have seen old ladys driving Integra type-R's so shut up.

    And you tell me Mike, how you would avoid something you can't see like black ice??? If you can re-create the type of accident I had and not hit anything, I will give you 10K cash right now.

    And this is the best stetement yet from this bonehead:ice and rain never causes accidents.

    Ummm so Ice no longer causes accidents?? Not even black ice??? Yes driver control is a factor, but Ice does cause accidents by making the car slide even with more distance to stop.

    Think I am lying? Come to Alaska some time, and let's see how fast you will get into an accident.

    This guy is an adjuster so he will take the industry side and continue to scam and cheat the consumer out of money!
  • Hi everyone. Remember that it is a violation of the Edmunds.com Member Agreement to act hostilely towards other community members or call them names. Please feel free to continue this debate in a civil, mature manner. I will delete any future violations of the member agreement on sight. Thank you.

    Car_man
    Host
    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • Dear Ak:

    You will have to excuse the previous post by twins as he obviously cannot answer your question in a mature manner. He does however make some very good points with his statement. #1 If you are travelling in adverse conditions and you hit black ice and are not speeding but still slide into something else you will always be considered to be at fault regardless. I know this sounds pretty crappy but as an adjuster I will try to explain why. First of all regardless of what vehicle you are driving if you hit ice, snow, black ice or hydroplane on water you are always liable regardless of the conditions as you have a duty to maintain control over your vehicle. 25 mph is pretty decent speed to hit black ice at. I am not saying that you were speeding but if you would have been going 5-10mph in these types of conditions then I imagine you wouldn't have had the accident. I do realize however that a lot of times it is impossible to see black ice. I understand that the ice was partially a cause to the accident and you were as well and you do not feel that you are at fault for the accident at least not all of it but you have to understand that you have the following duties as a motorist:
    1. Maintain a safe speed
    2. Maintain control over your vehicle.
    3. Maintain proper lookout.
    4. Display evasive action accordingly
    The ice may have caused the accident but the ice has no duties like those listed above so would not hold any liability. There is nothing for Geico to investigate. They can't investigate the ice. If you had swerved to avoid another car and hit the snow but not the car depending on what the car did there may be some duties for the other motorist that could have been violated.
  • Check out AK4x4's topic about a class action against GEICO, you may re-think your comment twins' response above. AK4x4 is complaining about his premium increasing after getting into an accident. With each post, more and more information came out. I now have a pretty good idea of what's going on, AK4x4 is mad because he got into an accident and can't accept responsibility for the result.

    I also have a feeling why Mr. 4x4 thinks the GEICO adjusters were so rude. Look how he responds to those of us who are trying to explain this to him. He berates us and calls us names. I wouldn't treat him very nicely either, and I feel sorry for the poor adjuster who had to deal with this guy.
  • ak4x4ak4x4 Posts: 126
    Thank you for actually answering my question.

    The two guys posting against me are what I have encountered from the beginning. As you see why I am so enraged. I will never will deal with Geico again just based on how they treated me when I got into the accident. Regardless of whose fault it was. And if these guys did their job, they would understand the customer is right. They wouldn't want to be treated that way either. and I don't deal with adjusters anyway, I deal with the location claims office head. My qualifacations put me in that position due to my degrees. I seem to find alot more damage then some adjusters can see. but I do point this out to them and we both look at it together and determine the situation. These guys made no effort to be nice nor are they even looking at the situation. They would see I don't care about the accident or high rates or any of that. I am upset because the company changed the preimum in the middle of the policy after 45 days had passed. But then again these guys can't add either. This is why I am upset and would like an answer. If those guys respond, ignore them, like most consumers probably do! I wonder what company they work for?? Probably Geico! seems like it.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    If you cannot discuss issues without taking personal shots at each other, I will start shutting down discussions.

    This is the LAST warning from Car Man or myself.

    kcram
    Host
    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • Hey lets all act like adults in this forum. I don't want it to be shut down.
  • Thank you for taking the time to dispense some of your knowledge so that we all can become a little bit more learned about the mysterious workings of our insurance carriers after we've gotten into an accident.

    I saw your post in another topic about determining when a car is totalled. Let me pose my situation to you so that I can get your take. I am the owner of a 1997 Honda Accord SE with approximately 70K miles on it. I was involved in an accident in which the other driver was at fault. My car sustained front end damage that cost $9800 to repair. Much to my surprise, replacing the airbags cost a significant amount. I have a $500 deductible which was paid by the other gentleman's insurance (which was also my insurance carrier). Insurance also paid almost $400 for rental car costs. The accord was in decent shape'; it had been involved in one previous accident when I was rear-ended at a red light. In that instance the rear bumper and a sway bar (??) were replaced. I understand now that KBB isn't the guideline used for determining the value of a car, but I find it hard to believe that it makes sense for my insurance carrier to pay $10k to fix a 5 year old Accord. I saw similar sounding vehicles being sold in my local paper for not much more than the cost to repair my car.

    Can you shed some light on the rationale to repair such a vehicle? Even after reading some of the posts here and in the other thread, I still come to the conclusion it would make sense to total it. Could you provide any insights in to what drove the decision to repair instead of total in this instance.

    Thank you again for your contributions to this board!
  • Eimeria:

    It depends on the particular situation. Every insurance company is different in how they determine when a car will total. For example some use a percent of value so when the estimate gets to that point the car is considered a total.
    Some companies use 80% and some companies just use the value of the car minus its salvage value for a total loss. In your case I doubt they used a percentage formula as a 1997 honda accord with 10,000 worth of damage I would think would be a total especially with a front end hit because safety then becomes in issue. Can it be safely repaired? Sometimes an insurance company will take a vehicle to a shop thinking that it can be repaired and discover a lot of additional damage and figure out the car should be totaled but decide to repair it as they have already invested a lot into the car in order to discover that damage such as towing, storage, teardown costs and re-stock fees for ordered parts. A lot of times an insurance company will decide based on that. I am not sure about your situation but without more information then if they paid your ded. and $400 in rental then I myself would like to ask them why it is repairable. If I were you I would bring up the safety issue to repair the vehicle.
  • Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I did bring up the safety issue with them when I was told they were going to repair the car. They told me part of their decision was that the cost to replace the dual side front airbags was close to $2k. Otherwise the repair costs were not all that significant to them and there would be no difference in safety after the repairs were completed. To me, $8k still seems like a pretty significant repair cost, but I then again I'm not privy to the info that they used to decide to repair and not total the car. My foremost concern with the vehicle is safety. The car is now fixed and seems to run ok, but ... I still don't feel comfortable with my wife driving it to and from work everyday. I'm sure at this point I have no recourse, but I am left with a car with diminished value and uncertain safety.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    neither do the numbers. Attitude more than amptitude determines your altitude in business.
  • Uh Oh...

    Didnt we just give ya a value over in RWTIVs? =O

    Seriously, you need to pursue a diminished value claim.

    I'm honestly shocked that your car was NOT totalled.... $9800 on a 97 Accord SE with 70K?

    wow.

    Still, that's easily (Undamaged.. no paintwork..etc..) a $8,500 wholesale car at the moment.. So $10,500 or so is what I'd say you should shoot for ona private party sale...If it hadnt been hit.

    It just doesnt make sense to me that this car was fixed.

    Bill
  • I posted in the RWTIV about my Pathfinder. I was in the market for an Acura TL-S when I was involved in an accident in my wife's Accord. I was just driving along in the left hand lane when some jack@ss driving oin the other direction decided to make a left hand turn into one of the stores on my side of the road. He didn't even look and pulled out about 15 ft in front of me. Driving at about 35 mph, I never even had a chance to hit the brakes. Thank god for airbags and seatbelts. I was able to walk away with a concussion and some whiplash, but more importantly I walked away.

    I was shocked that the car wasn't totalled. I'm sure you're probably not going to be an expert on this topic too, but I figure it doesn't hurt to ask. Your advice on these boards so far hasn't steered me wrong (got fair value on my pathfinder based upon your estimate, and used your fax attack method to get what I consider to be a great price on my new TLS). What does a diminished value claim entail? Who would I even make the claim to (thoughts of me standing on a tall rock, thrusting a sword into the air and declaring "I now claim that my car has diminished value!" are rushing through my head =). )

    When I was arguing with them to total the car, they claimed that the car was worth about $12500. I disputed that figure, but I wasn't sure if I was shooting myself in the foot with that arguement. Me: "the car isn't worth that much. It's only worth $8k." Them: "OK. here's your check for $8k".

    If it were you, how would you procede?
  • Oy! I got nervous there..thought I might said "Yeah its worth 8K-8,500.. expect that" and you're running around getting hit at $5,500-6K thinking Im a twit! Whew :)

    You need to have the car appriased, in writing, with a statement like:

    Wholesale Value: $8,500, Retail Market Value:$10,900
    Deduct $2,000 for previous accident repairs.

    Then claim against the ins. co.

    Bill
  • eimeriaeimeria Posts: 12
    I looked into filing a claim for diminished value by calling my agent to find out if there were any addendums that excluded those types of claims. They were shocked to hear that the car was repaired given the amount of damage it had received. The agent decided to look into it with the adjuster who handled my claim. The adjuster claimed that I gave permission for the repairs to be done. To me, that's an interesting defense. At no point was I given a choice in determining whether to repair it or not. Instead I was told that the car was repairable and given a ballpark estimate. At that point in time I argued vehemently that the car should be totalled, but the only satisfaction that discussion brought was that I was able to yell at some claims guy in the central office for 30 minutes. If you only tell me it is repairable, you aren't really giving me a choice. The agent has asked me to write a letter so that they can investigate the matter. I don't think that is going to do me any good in the end.

    As far as a diminished value claim goes, my agent told me they are not covered under my insurance in PA. Said my only recourse would be to take the other driver to small claims court when I go to get rid of the car.

    While the money that I will lose in value of the car is important to me, the safety of the driver (my wife) is more important. At this point, I don't see any great options that I have. I'm going to write the letter so that they can start an investigation, but as I said, I doubt anything would come of that. I've documented all conversations I've had regarding the car, but they have no incentive to do anything at this point. do you have any advice? this is all uncharted territory for me.
  • I got hit in a parking lot by a Progressive driver about a year ago. My car was stopped and he backed into me. I honked at him, but he kept on coming back. But since nobody saw the accident other than the two drivers (well, one of us - he never saw me) - it was a cold, rainy day so nobody was outside - Progressive denied paying my claim. Police won't come if you're in a parking lot - it's private property.

    To make a long story short, the other driver lied to my insurance company, Progressive didn't work with State Farm at all (my ins. co). When I gave my statement to Progressive, the agent asked me why I didn't get my car out of the way before he hit me (remember, I wasn't moving at all)! To make a long story short, I got screwed out of my $250 deductible because Progressive wouldn't pay (they said it was 50% my fault even though I wasn't moving) and the other driver lied.

    The end.

    Moral of the story: If you hit someone and there are no witnesses, just lie. You'll get away with it.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    50/50 is acceptable because you could have been lying as well. No independent witness? No case.
  • Something told me you'd say that.

    I'll ask you this: How can someone be 50% responsible when their car WASN'T MOVING?
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