Questions About Auto Insurance and Accidents

1101102103105107

Comments

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 25,569
    >She�ll

    Why are there all these question marks throughout your post instead of certain characters or spaces?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Usually I see that kind of stuff when people compose off-line in MS Word or something and the punctuation code will tag along (that's she'll in this case).

    That said, I'm not seeing it.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    pristine cars, like that Caddy with low mileage, is that after 10+ years, it has lost much of its value, yet replacing it would cost much more than it is worth...esp after it is paid off...

    euphonium: I always walk a tightwire with some of these accident cases...does not matter if it is physical therapy or chiropractors, they are the two main healing arts that will see a person 2-3 times weekly for a number of weeks...I personally believe strongly in both of them as valid treatments, much better than pain pills and muscle relaxers from MDs that almost put folks to sleep or makes them feel loopy, rarely helps the pain and rarely helps the spasm...if asked, I usually recommend either the DC or the PT for treatment after the wreck...

    Having said that, I also have a few caveats...I tell the client that if they feel MUCH better before the recommended treatment regimen has ended, feel free to talk to the PT or DC about winding down the intensity of care faster...I am NOT playing doctor, but trying to help control bills that do not need to go any higher than they have to...same with the DC or PT...if this is a case with minor injuries, with mild vehicle damage under, say, $2,000.00 or less, I will inform the practitioner that we do not have a severe case and to be watchful of their treatment...

    Now, with $10,000 or more damage (on an average car, which implies a LOT of impact and damage, not a Ferrari where $10,000 damage is a scratch on the fender) I expect that the treatment bills will be higher, and that is quite reasonable...

    People REALLY DO get injured in car wrecks, and sometimes it is not herniated discs or fractured bones, but serious soft tissue damage...

    And yet, some folks run into a concrete bridge at 60 mph, stagger out of the car, and feel no pain at all, even after the shock wears off after a few days...it does make you wonder...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    They go something like this - "Your auto insurance company is hiding discounts from you. Why? Because if everyone knew this one trick, they would save an average of $455/year. That's $455 more in your pocket and $455 less in theirs. Find out what your lowest monthly payment could be."

    The one trick must be to sell your car and take the bus. :P
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,459
    Change how your browser interprets the page encoding.

    In Firefox, click the orange Firefox button (top left), select Web Developer then Character Encoding then Western (Windows-1252) or Unicode UTF8.

    In IE, right-click the page, select Encoding, then Unicode (UTF-8).

    In other browsers, look for a similar option.

    That normally fixes it.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • msjillmsjill Posts: 1

    My car was hit in a hit and run. It's a 2005 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport and I love it. Anyway, there's damage down the whole driver's side.

    Long story short, they left behind pieces of their car, from which I discerned it was a maroon 86-91 oldsmobile with chrome (hubcap and pieces of bumper), and I spent three days riding my bike around looking for the car that hit me and actually found them! The police talked to them and they admitted doing it. They also admitted it to their insurance company because the police officer told them if they didn't he would start working on a warrant for hit and run. I wish he would do that anyway.

    I think I should be compensated for the time and energy I spent finding the jerk who smashed my car up and tried to get away with it. The insurance rep I talked to said they only pay for repairs. Does anyone think I have any kind of chance at being compensated, no matter how small, for this? This whole thing has really pissed me off. This guy smashed my car up, no doubt drunkenly driving by my house, and just drove away and never came back, and he is getting the same consequences as if he had stopped and given his info to me when it happened. He's not even getting a ticket. The cop said 3 days was too long of a gap to give him a ticket, even though he has his confession on video tape as well as physical evidence from the scene the day it happened. Any advice? Maybe I should just be glad I found the guy

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    edited April 2014

    You could try calling the cop's supervisor or make a stink with the mayor or city/county attorney. Doubt that you'd get any money damages from the guy but you could give him "three days of grief" if his license gets suspended or his insurance gets cancelled.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482

    you ARE lucky you found the guy. Most people never do. I agree with Steve, a hit and run event should be a ticket-able offense---although the guy will probably be punished financially through his insurance company. I trust someone verified that he HAS insurance? Usually that's why they skip in the first place--they are not insured.

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425

    When no insurance, the state Financial Responsibility Law comes into play & the state revokes his license. Usually, a step in the process of keeping a license the guy has to get a "Release" from you. Before signing the Release, tell him to pay you for your cost in finding him & any other related expenses not covered by your insurance.

  • bzoubzou Posts: 1

    Hey I live in New York City and some guy rear ended me and scratched up my bumper paint, not too serious, some scratches were kind of deep, others shallow. I told the guy hey look for $100 we can just let this go. The guy refused; since it wasn't too serious I was honestly thinking about just dropping it entirely rather than deal with the hassle but then this guy files a claim with his smartphone right away; although he gives me a claim number. I have absolutely no idea what he wrote. So now just to be safe I had to call for a police report; waited over two hours.

    So my question is Do i contact his insurance company and provide the police report once it is available or do I first have to contact my own? Keep in mind this guy was speeding to change lanes and side swiped by rear bumper as he was merging into my lane. The police report is going to indicate this as well. Now I haven't been in accidents so I am clueless on how to proceed. Will this raise my premium even though it is absolutely not my fault?

  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 5,687

    Similar situation, wife was hit by driver with no insurance or license but police not called because we were given $500 for our deductible. Not sure where to go now since vehicle is old with over 120k and a wonkey a/c unit? Just not sure what to do here!!!

    The Sandman :)B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457

    A reporter would like to speak to someone who recently got into a car accident and was spared injury after the car's knee, hip, curtain and/or front airbags were deployed. If you believe a car's many airbags saved you from injury in a car accident, and you want to share your story, please send your daytime contact information to [email protected] no later than Friday, May 9, 2014 at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET.

  • I was wondering if anyone here can help me/ give me some guidance. I am not a mechanic and do not know the correct terms so please forgive the ignorance. I will try to describe my best the situation.
    I had a major car accident this past weekend. I was driving on the intestate and a car cut into my lane and in my attempt to avoid being hit by the car I ended up smashing into the retaining wall. I lost control of the car but thankfully did not flip or turned over. Both front and back axles (sp?) broke. My car is a 2005 jeep liberty limited 4WD, leather seats, sun roof, under 90000 miles. When I was able to stop the car in a safe spot (shoulder) I got off the car and saw that both front and back tires were gone, no rims, i could only see the metal parts (what you see when you get brakes fixed), there was yellow/green fluid leaking, my door (driver) cant close correctly, air bags did not come off since i did not have a collision front or back it was all on the left side of the car. Some of the car body - i guess bender around tires was gone. Both tow companies that arrived to the scene said it was total loss. Police and firefighters could not believe we were safe and had not caused major accident (THANK GOD!).
    So, my question is now that i released my car to the towing company that will take the car to the auto repair shop as per my insurance company instructions the guy in the tow truck says they will probably be able to repair it. Can you trust that a car with both axles broken, front door cant shut and fluid leakage be repaired and be safe to drive in highly congested interstate highways and freeways? Is there anything I can do to refute if the insurance company determine it is not a total loss. Dont get me wrong i do not want a car payment but i do want to be safe driving around town with my kids.
    Any help/guidance is much appreciated!

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425

    After discovering "hidden" damage, your Liberty will be a total.

  • leoblueleoblue Posts: 19
    edited August 2014

    Hi guys. I have a BMW 3-series and I'm 1 year into my 3-year lease. Yesterday, someone scratched by bumper in the parking lot (don't know who, won't know)

    The question is: Should I (or Do I have to) file an insurance claim now to fix it? Or should I wait to right before returning the car to the dealer to fix it once-and-for-all? It's very likely that something will happen again to the bumper in the next 2 years and I'll have to fix it again regarless if I fix it now or not.

    Visually, I'm not too bothered with the scratches but the dealer will certainly charge if I don't fix it before returning the car.

  • m3nphlsm3nphls Posts: 4

    I have a question regarding a accident I was involved here in NYC where a car rear ended my car. We did exchange insurance information and did not call the cops because it was rush hour and did not want to cause major traffic jam. I filed a claim with their insurance (Nationwide). Now the adjuster already inspected my car but they can not get in touch with their insured and the insurance agent says she needs to speak to her manager about handling this situation.

    What can the outcome be on this claim? I have their address from the info we exchanged and I was thinking on going to their address to speak to the insured, even though the person who hit me wasn't on the insurance policy.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482

    If the damage is over $1000, I think you are required to report this to DMV, so ask your insurance agent/claims person about this as well.

    "If the property damage of any person is $1,001 or more, all the involved drivers are required by the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law to file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident (MV-104). File form MV-104 with the DMV no more than 10 days after the accident. The DMV can suspend your driver license if you fail to report an accident."

    Your insurance company deals with the other person's insurance company. You shouldn't have to be tracking them down.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    New city, new state, new insurance. Got a quote last Friday for the one vehicle, 250/500/250 for around $650 a year. Collision and comp and towing, $500/$100 deductibles. And it's coming in about half of my Michigan rate.

    Still no umbrella coverage and I'm back in a fault state. So I'm back to how much med-pay I need - the default is $5,000 and few drivers here get more. (I know you're around @marsha7 :) ).

    I might even dial the coverage back to 100/300 and knock the premium down $70.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 12,407
    What's the best way to go about suing an insurance company for bad faith?
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • I own (or owned) a 2014 Odyssey. This past Wed. a guy pulled out in front of me & I ran right into his driver's door. There is no doubt he was at fault. I had 2 witnesses jump out to see if I and he was OK.. They spoke to the police & were included in the police report. My question is will my car be considered totaled? The entire front end was smashed up. The hood was completely bent up. The driver and front passenger doors were barely able to be opened. I know that the current value of my car was about 33,000. I still owe 36,000! I do have GAP insurance through Honda financing. I'm waiting to hear from insurance on his side and mine. I'm just hoping someone can give me an idea of what to expect. Thanks!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    The other guy should be responsible for replacing your car and for paying the difference between it's value and the payoff.

    Good luck!
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 180,695
    I doubt that it would be totaled ... generally, the cost of repairs has to equal some percentage of the car's value (I want to say 75%, but don't hold me to that).

    That means you'd have to have $24,000 worth of damage.

    But, I agree with @isellhondas‌ - the other party's insurance should cover your repairs or your loss.

    Glad to hear everyone is OK.

    Edmunds Lease Calculator
    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    "Detroit has the dubious distinction of being the most expensive location for car insurance rates, according to a new study that breaks down insurance cost by ZIP code.

    Brooklyn, New York took 2nd place on the most expensive list, followed by Philadelphia."

    Study Uncovers Top 10 Most Expensive Locations for Car Insurance Rates
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    It really all depends on what the estimate of damage is. If the estimate is a certain percentage of the car's value, the insurance company will total it. Insurance companies have discretion as to how much this percentage is. It can range from 50% to approx. 65%. In this case, you probably want to hope they will total it. If they don't, and you have to accept the repaired car, you can still make a claim against the other party's insurance company for "diminshed value"---that is, what % of value you have lost because the car now has a 'black mark' on it, and would be harder to sell for full value. You'll need to hire an appraiser who specializes in Diminished Value claims, since insurance companies don't like to pay this type of claim and will resist. So everything has to be done very professionally.

    If the other party's insurance company refuses to pay DV you have the option of suing them for "bad faith" (small claims?) and/or suing the party you hit you directly. By suing the party who hit you, that usually gets a rise out of their insurance company to settle up with you.

    Hopefully, none of this will have to happen, and you'll get paid off for a total.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 12,407
    I have a DV claim pending in small claims court for Feb. 4. I'm suing the guy that hit me because Mercury Insurance is a bad faith insurer that doesn't negotiate fairly. They told their guy to postpone the small claim so now it'll be 3/11. Just another unnecessary delay for BS reasons "scheduling conflict" when the defendant received notice more than a month ahead of time.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • Back in September I was in an accident where the other peron drove head on into my lane and hit me. The accident is still trying to be figured out seeing as it was a four car accident. My insurance is currently paying for everything while another insurance is investigating the situation to see who and how much the other insurances owes mine. Nothing will be finalized till the end of next month. My car is now totaled and I have a loan on the car, my insurance wants to give me 9600 when I owe a little under 12k. I don't see how it's fair that I am not at fault and I'm the one who gets screwed. My guy said that even when the other insurance companies finally pick up the tab that they won't pay what I owe and that's just how it works... Is this correct? 
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    Yes, that's how it works. The other insurance company will pay you what the car is worth and what it is worth has nothing to do with what you owe on it. You can always sue them for the difference but you probably won't prevail.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    edited January 2015
    @kkendraj, what's the make, model and year of your wrecked car?

    This article has a good overview of the process:

    Confessions of an Auto Claims Adjuster

    (btw, I deleted your other discussion since you found this one).
  • @stever‌, thank you for deleting. 2008 mistubishi eclipse SE. I just don't see how I'm the party that isn't at fault but I'm the one who is basically being punished. I now have to drive a pos(atleast it's a car) and have 2 car payments now. How does the innocent party get screwed? I just want my life to go back to the day before the accident. 
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Well I think the argument goes like this---your insurance contract promises to pay you Fair Market Value, whereas your loan includes finance costs which are over and above FMV considerations; however, you don't have to accept their offer. You can counter offer or you can hire your own appraiser if he/she thinks they can come up with a higher number (and prove it). And even if the insurance company rejects your appraiser's appraisal, they might bump up their offer. If all else fails, you have the right to an arbitration hearing (which you pay 1/2 of) and the appraiser is your advocate in the hearing, facing the insurance company's appraiser, in front of (or by phone) a refereee that is mutually agreed upon by the two parties. Your appraiser has to be careful which referee he agrees to, because some are in the pocket of the insurance companies. This system is quite corrupt but it is still possible to get a good outcome. If you hire an appraiser and are forced to arbitration , this is going to cost you maybe an additional $600 bucks or so, so take that into account before you refuse the insurance company's second (hopefully better) offer.

    You might say that it would be foolish for an insurance company to hire an appraiser and pay for 1/2 an arbitration rather than just give you the money they will spend---but they will hire them anyway.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    kkendraj said:

    @stever‌, thank you for deleting. 2008 mistubishi eclipse SE. I just don't see how I'm the party that isn't at fault but I'm the one who is basically being punished. I now have to drive a pos(atleast it's a car) and have 2 car payments now. How does the innocent party get screwed? I just want my life to go back to the day before the accident. 

    What it boils down to is being upside down on a car loan leaves a person vulnerable when something like this happens. It may not sound "fair" but an insurance company is only liable for the market value of your car and what you happen to owe on it is of no concern to them.

    You can certainly take Mr. Shiftright's suggestion and find out what happens. Just the threat of arbitration may very well cause the insurance company to raise their offer but be aware they can be real stubborn too and they have people on their staff whose job it is to fight.

    Good luck!
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 180,695
    One other suggestion I can make is to go on-line and look for cars like yours (year, trim, mileage) that are for sale - this should give you (and the insurance company) an idea of the cost to replace your car with one just like it.

    Edmunds Lease Calculator
    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • Awesome! (Sarcastic) oh well, I'm suing them in any case for injuries so hopefully I'll get enough to finish off the loan and get me atleast a down payment on a better car than the pos I'm currently stuck in. 
  • Thanks for your help though.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 12,407
    Theoretically, if you are getting fair market value, you could rebuy the same car "age and mileage" and be just as upside down as you were before. That would be being made whole, which is the best you can expect from insurance. A lot of insurance companies are fine operating with a standard MO (method of operation) of making people 'almost" whole, and making them fight for that last 20%, and I'm not talking about including deductibles.

    Who'd of THUNK uninsurance doesn't cover underinsurance when it comes to waiving the deductible? I talked to several people about having the uninsured deductible waiver, and everyone was of the opinion underinsured and uninsured fell in the same category; well, it doesn't, not in CA. I'd of been better off if the guy that hit me and was at fault was UN-insured rather than Underinsured.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    kkendraj said:

    Back in September I was in an accident where the other peron drove head on into my lane and hit me. The accident is still trying to be figured out seeing as it was a four car accident. My insurance is currently paying for everything while another insurance is investigating the situation to see who and how much the other insurances owes mine. Nothing will be finalized till the end of next month. My car is now totaled and I have a loan on the car, my insurance wants to give me 9600 when I owe a little under 12k. I don't see how it's fair that I am not at fault and I'm the one who gets screwed. My guy said that even when the other insurance companies finally pick up the tab that they won't pay what I owe and that's just how it works... Is this correct? 

    Sadly, this is how it works...when you owe more than a car is worth, an at-fault insurance must pay what your car is worth, not what you owe...realize that your loan may have negative equity rolled into it from a previous car loan where your trade-in was worth less than you owed, so the negative balance was included in your current loan...or, another possibility is that when you bought your current car, you only put down $500 or $1,000, which means you drove off the lot in negative equity, meaning you then owed more than the car was worth...now, add a few years, the car is depreciating rapidly, but your loan, over 4 years (maybe 5,6, or 7) is being paid down slowly, and your negative equity "grows."...this is a good reason for GAP insurance...

    Things like this never happened back in the 1960s, 70s and even the 80s (I know, ancient history...but it IS relevant as to how we got this way now, about as close to cause-and-effect as you can get)...back then, folks almost ALWAYS put a down payment of 20%, which solved the depreciation problem on day one...then, loans rarely went longer than 3 years, so your loan balance went down about the same "velocity" as your depreciation...so if your car was totaled at the end of year 2, you probably walked away with a little money in your pocket after paying off the loan balance...

    Now, jump forward to today, or about the last 15-plus years...down payments rarely exceed $1-2,000, so you start out on Day 1 owing more than the vehicle is worth...most cars are financed at least 5 years, maybe 6 or 7, so your loan balance takes forever for the principal to drop, as you pay mostly interest for the first 3-plus years...

    These 2 factors add together to make it worse...small down payment with longer loans means that you literally have no equity in your car until year 4 in a 5 year loan, maybe year 5-6 in a 7 year loan...THEREFORE, when your car is totalled (totaled?) you will owe more than the car is worth, and the liability insurance (or, even your OWN insurance) will only pay what the car is worth, not what you owe, because what you owe is your fault for taking advantage of lower down payments and longer loan terms...you didn't think you got all those "benefits" for free, did you???
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,350
    60 month loans are bad enough but some people go for a 72 or 84 month loan which is NUTS!

    They are buying cars that they really can't afford and leaving themselves in a very bad position should something happen.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 12,407
    edited March 2015
    I had a small claim court case the other day, I think everything the judge said was favorable to me, but I don't know the final judgment as he said he'd like to further research and take the case under advisement for up to 2 weeks.

    He did mention he questioned the validity of Mercury's Appraisal report which is another way of saying that report was doctored.

    An insurance company hiring a sham shill appraisal company to do their bidding; no way! LOL.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • mrkkmrkk Posts: 6
    my 2008 nissan quest s got flooded
    kbb private party - good condition is 8.3

    costco ameriprise insurance wants to pay 8.2

    if you try searching the van you cant find it below 10k

    i only had <70k miles on the van

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 12,407
    mrkk said:

    my 2008 nissan quest s got flooded
    kbb private party - good condition is 8.3

    costco ameriprise insurance wants to pay 8.2

    if you try searching the van you cant find it below 10k

    i only had

    They'd probably go up to 8.3 if you insist, not far from it's KBB good condition value. The asking price is not the value/cost of the vehicle.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • drostendrosten Posts: 2
    So I am in a very large pickle and not sure what to do to get out of it. So for the last four months I have not had any car insurance, (long story short, I tried to buy policy and mistyped my credit card info and never finalized the purchase, never went back to fix.) Either way, now my license is suspended and my car registration/inspection is up. I am trying to buy a new car, part of the reason I never fixed the insurance on the old one. I got approved for the loan through the dealer but don't know where to start for insuring my new vehicle since I am currently uninsured and suspended. Any advice on what to do?
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    I thought I should share my recent experience of being involved in an accident, insurance experience, repairs and DIMINISHED VALUE claim.

    Feb 26th I was rear-ended by a Honda Accord on the way to work in my 2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS. Farm Bureau TN insured the other drive who was deemed to be at fault. Damages did not look that bad, but due to damage to a brace rail that runs underneath the length of the unibody, trunk lid and some taillight stuff repairs came to about $5700 plus 2 weeks in a rental vehicle. An adjuster I dealt for my insurance at Allstate told me that Tennessee was a state that allows diminished value.

    After repairs were finished I did not hear from FB about the diminished value. Over a month later after selling a third vehicle ('04 Envoy XL) I was in the market for a larger vehicle to replace both the Elantra and Envoy. I ended up trading the Elantra for a 2015 Chevy Traverse 1LT. During trade discussions the dealership estimated the accident decreased the market value by as much as $1000, on-line GM trade estimates showed range of $8,500 - $10,500 in the Elantra and Edmunds and KBB seemed to be in the same range. Original trade offer was $8500 which increased to $9300 to match net offer from CarMax just across the street.

    Several days later I contacted FB and they said we don't automatically ask you about diminished value, you have to request or file a claim for that. So, I amended the claim to include diminished value. About 4 weeks later the adjuster called. He summarized the accident, repair cost, rental, etc. and said they usually try to come up with some percentage of that. I gave him a rundown of the information I had. I thought before the accident the Elantra would probably fall in the $10,000 - $10,500 range based on the info I had, likely $10,000- $10,200 realistically. He said he was thinking $750 but if $800 would do it he would mail me a check and consider it done. I told he that was fair.

    I think that additional $800 just about got me the full value for the Elantra. Since I did trade it, I guess you could say I did actually realize the loss. If I had kept it then I guess it would estimate of decrease in value.

    Anyone else have any experience with Diminished Value claims? Just curious.

    Bill in Memphis, TN
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 12,407
    wlbrown9 said:

    I thought I should share my recent experience of being involved in an accident, insurance experience, repairs and DIMINISHED VALUE claim.

    Feb 26th I was rear-ended by a Honda Accord on the way to work in my 2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS. Farm Bureau TN insured the other drive who was deemed to be at fault. Damages did not look that bad, but due to damage to a brace rail that runs underneath the length of the unibody, trunk lid and some taillight stuff repairs came to about $5700 plus 2 weeks in a rental vehicle. An adjuster I dealt for my insurance at Allstate told me that Tennessee was a state that allows diminished value.

    After repairs were finished I did not hear from FB about the diminished value. Over a month later after selling a third vehicle ('04 Envoy XL) I was in the market for a larger vehicle to replace both the Elantra and Envoy. I ended up trading the Elantra for a 2015 Chevy Traverse 1LT. During trade discussions the dealership estimated the accident decreased the market value by as much as $1000, on-line GM trade estimates showed range of $8,500 - $10,500 in the Elantra and Edmunds and KBB seemed to be in the same range. Original trade offer was $8500 which increased to $9300 to match net offer from CarMax just across the street.

    Several days later I contacted FB and they said we don't automatically ask you about diminished value, you have to request or file a claim for that. So, I amended the claim to include diminished value. About 4 weeks later the adjuster called. He summarized the accident, repair cost, rental, etc. and said they usually try to come up with some percentage of that. I gave him a rundown of the information I had. I thought before the accident the Elantra would probably fall in the $10,000 - $10,500 range based on the info I had, likely $10,000- $10,200 realistically. He said he was thinking $750 but if $800 would do it he would mail me a check and consider it done. I told he that was fair.

    I think that additional $800 just about got me the full value for the Elantra. Since I did trade it, I guess you could say I did actually realize the loss. If I had kept it then I guess it would estimate of decrease in value.

    Anyone else have any experience with Diminished Value claims? Just curious.

    Bill in Memphis, TN

    I do!

    From what I have gathered, legally the date that matters regarding Diminished Value is the date of the accident. That is the date the negligent driver has caused the value of your property to diminish, so it is the only relevant date. Your property can't truly be sold for approximately 30 days; it is unsalable, as it is in damaged condition prior to repairs, but that is through no fault of your own. Insurance companies would probably argue the contention that the date of relevant value is the date of the accident (loss) , but I see no merit for their side here.

    One day your property is worth X amount, the second after the accident it is now worth Y amount (assuming repairs will be made to industry standards). The difference between X and Y (not including the damage that is promised to be repaired to industry standards) is the diminished value. There is no need or reason for the sale to actually be made to prove loss. The loss exists whether you sell or not.

    Granted, if you keep the car your diminished value losses get lower over time, but the fact is you can't sell right away without incurring that cost and loss, so by default your options are limited in your ability to sell the vehicle. One day you had the option to sell the vehicle for its full value, the next you do not have that option; that's a loss in my book any way you slice and dice it.

    Lastly, it is important to remember that no State can exclude Diminished Value claims from 3rd parties. I believe 49 States exclude it from 1st party claims, but when someone causes you losses through no fault of your own, that is a 3rd party claim; which cannot be limited since you don't have a contract with them prior to the loss.

    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    Thanks for the comments. I agree with the timing. Talking with the FB adjuster, I think he was glad I had some research and an idea what might be a fair compensation. We took about 5 minutes on the phone to come to agreement and finish, assuming my check comes next week. Reasonable with little additional stress. Now if I had tried for say $2500 (don't know where I would find any data to support that anyway) we probably would not have worked anything out yesterday. If my Allstate adjuster had not said anything about DV, I might have missed that. I think I pretty much got my use out of the Elantra and with the trade and DV compensation feel I came out about where I should.

    good day

    Bill
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 12,407
    I unfortunately didn't come out where I should. The data showed my DV to be about 7,700 to 10,000; depending on who you asked or how you calculated it looking at actual cash values vs. it's actual as-is conditional value. That is because it was a 4.5 month old 54,095 MSRP Audi S4. DV is highest on a new or nearly new vehicle.

    Insurance company hired a criminal appraiser to come up with 1K in DV, the most they offered was 1.5K in
    DV just to appear they weren't acting in bad faith (which they were). After a small claim trial the judge awarded me $3K, twice what they wanted to pay, but still far less than what I actually lossed. I don't know how the judge came up with 3,000 to be honest. My best guess is he used the "average length of time an American keeps their car before they sell it" and used that date rather than the date of loss.
    '15 Audi S4 quattro AWD Prestige, '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD 2.0T, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 8,358
    edited December 2015
    andres3, sorry to hear, sounds like the justice system did not work for you (as it often doesn't). I doubt "average length of time an American keeps their car before they sell it" is an appropriate legal standard and the whole point of DV is that you should be able to immediately sell the car without incurring a financial penalty beyond the normal depreciation a non-wrecked car incurs.

    It seems as if a lot of insurance carriers run their auto claims departments as profit centers. After an accident a couple of years ago, which I will not repeat the details of, but suffice it to say my vehicle should have been totaled but wasn't, I am looking for a new carrier. (The fact that I have four personal and commercial policies with this carrier and have paid thousands of premium each year for seven plus years was not a concern to them, and still isn't.)

    I do not believe I am eligible for USAA. Consumer Reports says Amica is pretty good. I'm looking for a financially solvent company which does what is best for its customer when faced with a "grey area" decision like whether to declare a clean vehicle with a lot of expensive damage a total loss. In the event I cause a crash, I also want my carrier to be generous with the other party. I do not want a company that will automatically lowball the other guy's damages and cause me to get sued (this happens a lot).

    Any suggestions for companies I should consider, besides Amica? I also do not believe I meet Chubb's acceptance criteria (my house isn't expensive enough).
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 5,687
    Do not understand USAA and how one can join? My mom and dad plus my father-in-law, were all in the military in WW11, all had somewhat high ranks. When I tried to get a policy with them and told them of this fact, they told me we were not eligible which I still do not understand. They all served honorably and served their country, my country, so why were we turned away??

    The Sandman :)B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 8,358
    Their eligibility criteria has changed over the years. If a parent was a USAA member you might be eligible. If a parent served in the armed forces but never had a USAA insurance policy, you are probably not eligible. 
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    That's my situation.

    My brother qualifies for membership, but every time he's checked the rates, they haven't been competitive.
Sign In or Register to comment.