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Questions About Auto Insurance and Accidents



  • blh7068blh7068 Posts: 375
    me-"Dont make this harder on yourself than it really is- If you dont actually live there, youre not a resident. PERIOD."

    you- "I don't think this is right. Residency is a legal incident that may or may not be the same place where you lay your head at night, and as far as I know there are many people for whom they are not the same."

    Nope. Your forgetting something. Here is the definition of a legal residence

    "the residence where where you have your permanent home or principal establishment and to where, whenever you are absent, you intend to return; every person is compelled to have one and and only one domicile at a time; "what's his legal residence
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A reporter hopes to interview individuals who had superfluous insurance policies and cancelled them because they felt they didn't really need them. Please send your daytime contact info and a few lines about your experience to [email protected] no later than Thursday, August 5, 2004.

    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Let's go ahead and veer off the discussion of claiming residency in a place you don't actually live. That is, in fact, illegal, and advocating illegal activity on these boards is a violation of our Membership Agreement. Thanks!

    Roving Host & Future Vehicles Host


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • joeciajoecia Posts: 2

    I totaled my new 2004 Mustang and the insurance company wants to pay me for the vehicle what it's worth BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE SALES TAX, LICENSE, DOC FEE, ETC.

    Shouldn't they to replace the vehicle -- that's what it cost to replace it!!! I already paid the sales tax once, SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY IT TWICE ???

    Thanks. URGENT
  • tornado25tornado25 Posts: 279

    From what I can tell in your message, it appears your company is offering you what you feel is a fair value for the vehicle, but ISN'T including sales tax, etc. I am understanding this correctly?

    If so, how do you KNOW they haven't included the sales tax and title fee? They should send a breakdown to you--I know my company does.

    Value: xxx
    Sales Tax: +yyy
    Title Fee: +zzz
    Total: aaaa
    Deductible: -bbbb
    Final Payment: cccc

    If you don't have those figures, you can't be sure they didn't already include them. I would simply ask. If they did tell you they don't pay sales tax or title fee, you need to talk to someone else. You should be paid sales tax and title fee. That's it, however. The license fee is irrelevant, since the plates from your totalled vehicle to the "new" vehicle will transfer. The doc fee is, ultimately, a part of the cost of the and is NOT an across-the-board, same for everyone, state mandated fee. Thus, you aren't going to be explicitly paid for that.

    YMMV, based on state laws and insurance company practices. I comment based on what my company does and how my state works.
  • Here is what happened to me:

    I was travelling on a one way 4 lane street in rush hour traffic in Washington, D.C. and had just crossed an intersection. The light at the intersection turns red. In lane # 1, about 10 feet from the intersection was a parked police cruiser. In lane # 2, was my car. In lane # 3 was a bus. In lane # 4 was another parked police cruiser (police were on site due to the increased security at the World Bank). A car runs through the red light in lane #1 and since it can't go straight due to the police cruiser, it starts trying to merge into my lane, but it cannot since the traffic is bumper to bumper. I honk to signal to him that he can't move into my lane. The car ignores my honks and proceeds to merge into the few feet of space that are between my car and the car in front of me. To avoid crashing into his car, I turn my car slightly to the right and the front right of my car is clipped by the bus in lane 3. As soon as there is impact, my car stops and the bus stops. Police who are on scene tell us not to move. The car from lane 1 that cut me off doesn't stop but keeps on moving ahead. The police jump in the parked cruiser in lane 1 and chase him.

    The bus driver and I exchange insurance information (it was hard to tell, but there may have been some damage to the bus, although I doubt it). A couple of the officers come back and tell both of us that they gave a ticket for running a red light to the car that cut me off. They also got the driver's license and insurance information for the bus driver and I to record. The bus driver's only real comment to me was that it is a shame that my car (6 month old Infiniti G35x) got hit. He writes down on his information that the accident was caused by the car that ran the red light.

    The police give us their names and badge numbers, tell us they witnesses the whole accident and saw the car that cut me off run the red light. They also give us their phone number for our insurance company to contact to get a copy of the police report.

    I have now called my insurance company (USAA) and am dealing directly with them so I can get my car fixed as soon as possible. This will require me to pay my $500 deductible and they will then go after the party who is at fault to get the money back. Taking the car to the dealer to make sure I get OEM parts and hopefully so I can also get the dealer to give me a loaner (I don't have rental car reimbursement on my policy, although USAA told me I could rent a car and seek reimbursement from the party at fault's carrier -- the driver of the car's carrier is State Farm and the driver of the bus's carrier in National Interstate).

    Question I have is what do I do if the carrier for Car 1 claims that they were not at fault since my car did not hit that car at all. I would not think this is credible since police officers observed the incident and ticketed that driver. Also, if the bus has damage, is this my fault, or Car #1? My main concern here is that USAA doesn't use this to increase my premium. Does the bus driver's insurance carrier get involved? Appreciate any comments.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 460
    1) Sorry to hear about you dent - no fun.

    2) At least you have insurance - and that's what it's for - situations like this. Your insurance company should go to bat for you. After all, their money is on the line. The merging driver will probably have some story but it shouldn't hold up especially with a ticket and a police report.
    3) Just pay the deductible and then try to get your money back. Same for a rental car if you need one. these things take time to work out so it may be a few months before you get any money you paid back.

    Good luck !
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    ..... that the police were on the scene and witnessed what happened. The fact that the other driver was ticketed will go a long way in your favor.

    Without the police involvement, you would have had a very difficult time persuading the other insurer to cough up. Just get your car repaired and let USAA subrogate against the other driver.
  • tornado25tornado25 Posts: 279
  • tornado25tornado25 Posts: 279
    I wanted to give a more complete answer, but I accidentally posted before I completed the message. I had to leave and could not come back in time to edit.

    What I was going to add is that you MAY indeed encounter some issues over the fact that the other driver and you did not collide. To an extent, the argument is you have to control your vehicle. (And for the record, I realize that means either evading the driver and having another accident or getting hit by him to prove he was at fault and I agree that's a bad deal all around). Part of why this way of thinking exists is collisions are objective evidence. He can't deny he screwed up if he tore your front quarterpanel off. OTOH, drivers can always say "this guy cut me off and if I didn't drive into the ditch, we would have collided". The problem is, "this guy" is never caught.

    That's why the driver getting ticketed (and the cops actually witnessing it) are so important. Just let USAA battle it out--SF is good enough to realize when their drivers are in the wrong and they'll pay.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    I was in the center lane of the freeway approaching a bend beyond which was the off-ramp to my destination. The car in front of me had the same idea and we both switched to the right lane. He had to jam on his brakes as the lane had been coned-off by two idiots who had a flat tire. Instead of driving another 25 feet to an area with a 7' wide shoulder lane strip, they stopped their car in the right lane and used traffic cones which were left by a road crew after work to cone it off.

    The police who arrived on the scene noted this and stopped those guys as they were leaving the scene. They were cited for the unauthorized use of traffic control devices and given a lecture by the cops, who gave us their driver and insurance information. I left it to my insurance company to pursue the matter. I had a BMW then and it took 5-1/2 months for the repair (lack of parts availability) and I don't recall ever writing a check to the body shop for the deductible.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    After a LONG absence, GEICO has returned to NJ:

    Smart Shopper and Wagons Message Boards
  • Hi everyone. Looking for some advice on my situation. This past weekend I was driving on the highway to work. It was raining so I was not pushing it. I was in the right hand lane on a 2 lane highway doing about 50mph. A car was passing me in the fast lane, it was about half a car length in front of me, when the car lost control and came over in my lane at an angle a few feet in front of my car. I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting him. Slid out, and hit the guard rail in the fast lane. The question I have is how likely is it that his insurance will cover this since I am a uninsured motorist. He was clearly at fault, but the state trooper told me that know one was at fault. I have 2 witness that saw the accident and can vouch for me. Could I get a lawyer to pursue his insurance company, or what else can I do. Thank you for your advice.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    You may have been better off if he had hit you. But, it's human nature to avoid getting hit and your reflexes were quick enough to avoid that hit. But, not the one with the guard rail.

    You could give it a shot since you have two witnesses, but you will have a problem finding a legal beagle willing to take the case - they're in the business for money, not "justice." It would have been a lot easier if you did have coverage. Then, you'd get the damages repaired under your policy and the insurer subrogates the claim through their lawyers.
  • tornado25tornado25 Posts: 279
    It's my opinion that you are entirely out of luck, unfortunately. The insurance company's view is that if you are not hit by another, you have the responsibility to maintain control of your vehicle. I totally understand that it's this other guy's fault, but from the insurance company's perspective, he didn't hit you and your overcorrection is what caused your crash.

    As prophet pointed out, had he hit you, then most of the liability would be on that guy, because not only was he so out of control that he hit you, but you also couldn't even avoid HIM. Unforunately, I think it's a tough break all around and I would point out that bombing around uninsured does ZERO to help your cause here.

    I'm not trying to be over critical or take sides, believe me--I've got nothing invested in it one way or another. Just trying to add perspective. It sort of brings me back to an adage we use here, where deer hits are probably the #1 loss we have. HIT THE DEER! (Not only is swerving to miss it much more dangerous, but if you do miss and hit the ditch or whatever, then it's collision and it's at fault).
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    as an uninsured motorist. It is a violation of the law not to carry minimum coverages by the state.

    No disrespect intended, but regarding Prophets reference to "justice", how can you expect to get coverage for the damages for someone who did not actually hit your car, when you admittedly do not carry your own coverage?
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    Virginia (where he is from) does not *require* insurance; however, if you are uninsured, there is a fee ($200 I think) that you have to pay.

    Frankly, anyone who drives without liability insurance is crazy! (that is not an opinion....that is a fact!).
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    This seems contradictory to me: VA has a law requiring insurance, the $500 fee just allows you to register an uninsured car. Why not simply use the $500 to insure the the car?

    4. Meet Virginia's insurance requirements (your vehicle must be insured when you register it)

    Virginia law requires the following minimum insurance coverage for all registered vehicles.
    $25,000 for injury or death of one person;
    $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people; and
    $20,000 for property damage.
    Or, if insurance is not an option, pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee (UMV). Paying this fee does not provide insurance coverage, but it does allow you to register and operate your vehicle in Virginia for one year.

    If you register your vehicle in Virginia and it's not covered by liability insurance and you do not pay the UMV fee, you face a $500 fine, suspension of your driver's license and vehicle registration(s), and higher insurance premiums for the next three years. Whenever you obtain or cancel a liability policy, or add or remove a vehicle from a policy, the insurance company notifies DMV immediately.
  • Thank you everyone for you advice
  • tornado25tornado25 Posts: 279
    No, he's pretty much right--aside from the fact the fee is $500, not $200.

    Anwyay, WI's law is the "Financial Responsibility Law". Basically, you are held financially responsible if you cause bodily injury or property damage. Failure to pay the amount of the damages (WHATEVER they might be, one dollar or $500,000) or at least establishing a repayment plan results in revocation of your license. Which never stops anybody anyway.

    The point is mandatory insurance laws...DO NOT WORK. Study after study has shown that the percentage of uninsured drivers in states without mandatory insurance laws is close to equal to that in states without mandatory laws. Why? Because for the same reason people still speed despite speed limits. There will ALWAYS be a segment of the population who either a) cannot afford even the most basic level of coverage (or claim they cannot, anyway), b) simply doesn't believe in it--(the "I won't have an accident" or "insurance companies suck" types), c) flat out losers who simply do not care one way or another. You cannot legislate against that. People will sign up for a policy and let it lapse, only to sign up again next year when registering the car. Some states have gotten better at catching this, but it's a big struggle to do so.

    So in WI, despite not having this wonderful law, uninsured drivers are an issue, but no more so than any other state.
  • crikkitcrikkit Posts: 9
    I know this can be a sensitive subject, and laws vary from state to state, but does anyone know whether I might be able to make a diminished value claim?

    The other driver was at fault, and ran into the side of my 2-day-old BMW 330i. Allstate's appraiser estimated the damage at about $1200, but the body shop I took it to yesterday thinks that amount will go up once they get inside the door panels and look at it.

    I normally wouldn't give much thought to diminished value, but the fact that I only had the car for two days makes me sick. I certainly would not have bought the car if it had been wrecked, no matter how good the repairs were.

    Oh, and I'm in Texas.
  • janzjanz Posts: 129

    "4. Meet Virginia's insurance requirements (your vehicle must be insured when you register it)"

    However, evidently this is not mandated.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    Just sold an '01 Lexus ES with 17k miles, absolutely perfect except for a early on fender-bender requiring a new bumper, fender, and paint. I was told by a friend in the business any car guy worth his salt could see paint and body work in a 2 minute walk-around. He suggested my 3yr. old car would take a minimum $1000 hit. Seems the newer and more luxo the car, the more it hurts.
        How ever well the repair is done, you've got a car with paint and body work, and it will be money outta your pocket come trade time. It's a cost of the accident and shouldn't be your expense. Good luck.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ....... How did you do on the deal.?

  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    you were one of the ones who helped me out this spring. . .suggesting without the collision I might be looking at $24k in a private sale. I took $21k. Think I coulda held out for another thousand, but, darnit, time is money and I had a buyer with the cash in hand when nobody else was calling. I figure the oollision costs me 1500+ bucks.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    BTW, did a search on this thread for "diminished value" and got nada. Will insurance companies negotiate such things without involving lawyers?
  • Hi - I hope I am posting in the correct place.

    My 1997 Ford Taurus LX sedan was totaled while it was parked. I'm trying to do some research and see what the insurance company is going to pay me - I'm concerned because I still have car payments left to make - not to mention need down payment for another car.

    The adjuster called and said that the car needs to be taken to another location to have a value set and they use "ADP" to determine the market value.

    The car has many options - power moon roof About 14K miles less than the norm (has 68K not 84K). Leather/power seat, cd changer, keyless entry, new tires (4 months old now) etc.

    Any ideas? suggestions? Tips on what to do or say If I don't like their quote? (BTW other drive is obviously at fault and did have insurance)

    Thank you in advance very much for any input.
  • I am sorry to hear about your accident, njrobert. To determine your vehicle's current value, I suggest that you check out the following section of this site: - Used Cars. There you can look up its "True Market Value" and get a pretty good idea of how much it is currently worth. You may also want to stop by the "Real-World Trade-In Values" following discussion that appears here on the Smart Shoppers Message Board. One of our most knowledgeable community members, Terry, hangs out there and he is often willing to provide consumers with his opinion of the current value of used vehicles if they provide a detailed description, including what state they are in.

    Smart Shoppers Message Board
  • <<...but when you are paying close to $3K a year for a married couple where neither has ever been the cause of an accident or cost their insurance a dime in claims,...>>

    That sounds high even by NJ standards. Sounds like you have a few moving violations...
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