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Questions About Auto Insurance and Accidents



  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,942
    so i think its quite possibly a company thing. you might try looking elsewhere. good luck.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,746
    The estimator talked to the original shop (and did no negotiating), but told me that the decision as to what would be done was up to the claims department. I may have very well been "on notice" that disputes about the quality of the repairs were with the shop and not the insurer, but ultimately it is their responsibility to ensure the car is returned to pre-accident condition. They may not be required to provide leverage against a bad repair shop, but it doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't. I'm really annoyed that I had to go as far as I did to receive an acceptable solution, and I will probably still complain to my agent about the first claims rep who advised me to get insurance elsewhere.
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    No one has answered you yet and I am not an insurance professional, but I would like to enter my .02.

    You are referring to Diminished Value. You might find the article below interesting. I understand it can be difficult to collect on this.

    "Court battles over diminished value provides no ready answers".
  • jaa37jaa37 Posts: 67
    I'm sure this has been asked before, but any help would be appreciated. My 2004 Civic EX sedan with side/airbags got totaled in an accident a few weeks ago (not my fault--the other driver swerved into my lane and sandwiched my car between her minivan and the guardrail). I have Geico, and they say they'll probably have a number for me today. How do I know the number is fair? Is there any way to dispute their valuation if I disagree?
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    I am not an industry professional, this is based upon my personal experience.

    The insurance company should offer you current fair value to allow you to replace your car as it existed just prior to the accident. (You should know they are not obligated to pay off your loan if you are upside down. I learned this the hard way years ago.)

    Since it is so new, to get a real and fair current market value, I would go to the dealer where you purchased your car and 2 or 3 other similar/Honda dealerships and get a quote in writing from them on what it would cost to replace your car with the same options and mileage.

    I did this when our trailer was stolen. We were able to get the insurance company to increase the offer because of the ACTUAL cost for replacement was greater than their first settlement offer.
  • jaa37jaa37 Posts: 67
    My Geico rep asked me for the bill of sale for the car when I bought it in December. She said that because the 2005 moddel was unavailabel at the time of the accident, Geico would reimburse me for the amount I spent to purchase the car. Does this sound right? Also, should I expect to recoup just what I paid or taxes, fees, etc. as well? I paid less than many people for the same car, I think, because I got a good deal -- does that make a difference?

  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    I got into a minor parking lot collision a few months ago in which we were both backing out of angled spaces almost directly across each other. I got out a few seconds earlier and my rear quarter panel was bumped between the rear tire well and the rear bumper cover by the left rear corner of the other vehicle. I was stopped and had just switched from Reverse to Drive when the impact occurred.

    The other insured, AIG, offered 50% of the $1170 estimate, which my carrier, GEICO, declined. The arbitrator awarded us 80%, which means that I will get back $400 of my $500 deductible.

    As I understand it, the other party made no claim against AIG. For my car, no crash parts were needed - the claim involved paint material and labor to straighten the quarter panel and refinishing.
  • kank2kank2 Posts: 2
    My car, 2001 Toyota Camry ce, 59k on it, is totaled by other driver.
    My questions are:
    1. How much is it cost to a replacement?
    2. How and what do I do if I don't accept insurance co's unfair offer?

    Thank you very much for any suggestion.

  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 211
    Thanks for the link.

    I all boils down to how well we can negotiate with the insurance company. Sometimes I feel that it would be better to hire a lawyer. You hate them but can not live without them...
  • Hi Kank2. You should be able to find out approximately how much money it would cost you to replace your car by looking up its True Market Value by visiting the following section of this site: Used Vehicle Pricing. You also may want to stop by the following discussion that appears right here on the Smart Shopper Message Board: "Real-World Trade-In Values". One of our most knowledgeable community members, Terry, frequents that discussion and he is often kind enough to give consumers his opinion on their vehicle's current value if they provide him with a detailed description of it, including its color, mileage, options, and what state they are in.

    If you feel as though your insurance company's offer is insufficient to replace your vehicle with an equivalent one, you can negotiate with them. Compile evidence to support your case, such as a statement from a local dealer or dealers, vehicle prices from newspaper ads, and information from the Internet and provide it to them.

    Smart Shopper Message Board
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    A relative got into accident while walking on road shoulder. The car speeded suddenly from driveway of a business, and hit him hard. My relative jumped back trying to avoid the car, but not far enough - he is 70+ years old and not strong. The last moment the car turned right, hit him, and broke the leg bones.

    Fortunately, my relative survived the loss of blood and the pain shock. Now he is recovering, and even walks again, with cane. However, he needs help even with so simple tasks as buying groceries or cleaning his room.

    The driver admitted in the police report that he did not look ahead while approaching the road. He looked at left to make sure there is no cars on the road, but not ahead of him. He did not realized that he is going to hit a pedestrian until heard the knock. I believe there is no question the driver was on fault. According to the report, police did not arrest the driver, because the accident happened on private land.

    Now my relative is receiving a lot of bills from hospital, doctors, etc. He is on Medicaid, who does not pay the bills, or at least most of bills. My relative is forwarding the bills to the insurance company of the driver who hit him. However, the insurance is denying payments, for strange reason: the victim is not a family member of the driver. I.e. the insurance company pretends that they were asked not for liability payments, but for health ones.

    How can my relative collect the medical payments from the driver or his insurance company? He did not ask anything unusual. No pain and suffering, no punitive damages. Only that hospital, surgeons and other doctors will be paid for their labor.

    Complicating factor: his English is rather bad. He reads fine, writes passably, but do not speak well, and barely understand spoken English. He have no auto insurance, because does not know to drive. And he is somewhat afraid of all the bureaucracy - bills, insurance, lawyers, etc. Just wants the driver and his insurance company to do the right things and left him alone.


    It is off topic, but let me to give vent to my anger.

    After hitting my relative, the driver went out from the car and looked on him, than returned to his car, drove back to parking and was sitting in the air conditioned car, waiting for police, while the victim was bleeding, lying on the pavement. Even without trying to call ambulance. I consider it equivalent to hit and run. Equivalent in substance, even if formally the driver did not leave the place of accident.

    Fortunately, a stranger driving by the road saw my relative in a puddle of blood on the pavement, and called 911.

    I searched on Internet for info on the driver, and found that he is M.D., a psychiatrist. I consider not professional for doctor not to trying to help an injured.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Where are they when they're needed? Surely there must be some ambulance-chasers out there.

    Did your relative file a formal claim? Those bills he's sending are going to be ignored otherwise.

    This is a medical expense claim for automobile liability insurance, not medical insurance. Pedestrians ARE covered!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    yurakm, I'm really sorry to hear about what happened to your relative. That is truly awful.

    It sounds like your best option is to contact an attorney. We can't give legal advice on this board, but contacting a lawyer who CAN is clearly your best option. I understand that language is a problem, but perhaps a family member can help with translation, or you can find an attorney who also speaks his native language.

    Since your relative is a pedestrian instead of a driver, he does not get help from his auto insurance company in fighting the driver's insurance company. So, you will need to find someone who can fight for his best interests.

    We wish the best to your relative.

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

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  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Thank you so much!

    No, he did not file any claim. Frankly, I also have no idea about the formal claims. What it means, and with whom he must file a claim? With police, or with court, or the state insurance commission?

    I thought that it is enough that the insurance company knows about the accident from the police and received copies of medical bills.


    The insurance company definitely knows about the accident. They bombarded him with letters and phone calls while he was in hospitals and couple of weeks after this. They offered him $5000 in writing.

    They even sent 4 times agents to the apartment where he lives: 2 times while he was in hospital (the agents put notes on his door), and two times just after he returned home. By the way, without invitation. It is directly prohibited to enter the building without invitation of a person who lives there. To my understanding, this is named trespassing and considered to be a petty crime in Connecticut.

    Later the insurance company continued to push on him to meet personally and to discuss the matter. Even after he told them he does not speak English well enough, and is in bad health. He is ready to discuss by exchanging letters, but the insurance company wants to discuss orally, not in writing.

    He believes that the insurance company is trying to use his weakness after the accident, his bad English, and lack of understanding of law and customs to press on him. Probably to let him say something what later would be considered that he agreed to a small settlement. Something not covering his medical bills. Even he understands that a 5 hours surgery, followed by more than week in hospital and a month in a rehabilitation center costs a lot in Connecticut. Substantially more than the $5000 they offered him.

    Personally, I think that very probably he is right. Insurance company must minimize its payments. It is OK with him, as long as they cover his direct expenses - primary the medical expenses. He does not know if there will be other expenses connected with the accident.

    He is a refugee, immigrated already retired, lives on welfare, and it complicates a lot of things.

    It is a good idea to hire a lawyer. Probably I ought to ask my lawyer to recommend a honest colleague specializing on traffic accidents, and to pay for his help. My relative definitely cannot afford hiring a lawyer himself.

    However, hiring a lawyer would substantially increase costs for the driver and/or his insurance company...
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Thank you!
  • ern35ern35 Posts: 11
    Although not an attorney, I work in the legal field (in NJ) - I definitely agree with finding an attorney as soon as you can. Not sure about CT regs, etc., but here in NJ, attys can take cases on contingency, and will take their fee out of any settlement awarded to their client - usually a third of what is awarded, so in many cases, it isn't necessary to pay them up front.

    And once he has an attorney representing him in this matter, all communication/correspondence from the other side should go through the attorney, and not him directly.

    It sounds like this is a bit complicated, and an attorney will (hopefully) help him to resolve the situation. Your suggestion about asking your attorney is a good one too; this way you know you will get someone fair and who will have relative's interests in mind.

    Good luck
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    The fact that they've made him an "offer" ($5K is a JOKE) is a mere smoke-screen that they are trying to take advantage of the situation to get him to sign a release. ALL THE MORE IMPORTANT THAT HE GET AN ATTORNEY INVOLVED.

    As mentioned earlier, all communication should be through his attorney only. Then, and only then, will there be a serious offer from the insurance company. Pain and suffering should definitely be part of the equation, as well as rehab expenses.

    The main thing at this point is that he should not sign ANYTHING without legal representation.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Thank you, ern35 and prophet2!
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    Anothr thing you might be able to do is to find an attorney that speaks you language. THat might help. Or, if the ins. co. contacts his again, counter with a high figurem, something like 2x actual medical expenses + 100K for pain and suffering (maybe more).

    What I do no is that the ins co will not pay on his medical claim until the matter is settled.
  • jaa37jaa37 Posts: 67
    Geico has set the value of my 2004 Honda Civic EX four door with side airbags at $16,500 or so. At the time of the accident, it had 15,000 miles on it. The 2005s were NOT available, which means (according to Geico) that they must reimburse me for the cost of a new 2004, since that's the only way I could replace it. My question is, how do I know if that's accurate? The Edmunds TMW for a new 2004 is higher than that, and I imagine it was even higher a few weeks ago before the 2005s came out. Any advice?
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    The only thing complicating the figure is the 15K miles. If we figure $0.10/Mile, we are loking at $1500 below new. Also, they should reimburse you for taxes and all of that.

    If you do not think you can get one for that price, ask them to find one for you. I suspect that you could get an '04 with Side Airbags for around 16500 + Tax/Tags.

    I would ask Geico for Taxes + tags.

    When I totalled my car, USAA gave me (1) more than I paid, (2) taxes/tags, and (3) dealer processing charges.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    jaa, when a vehoicle is totalled, insurance is only responsible for making you "whole", or in other words, replacing what you had before the accident. In your case, you're only entilted to the value of a 2004 Honda with 15K miles, not a new vehcile with the same equipment. 15K is a substantial amount of mileage for a year-old car, thus the difference in value vs a new Civic.

    I agree with the last post though, you should ask for tax/DMV. Worst they can say is "no".

    Smart Shopper and Wagons Message Boards
  • I was involved in an accident and the woman at fault was insured with Geico. They gave me way more than I paid for the car and covered sales tax as well. I think you should definitely ask them to give you compensation for taxes on the vehicle.
  • jaa37jaa37 Posts: 67
    Kelley Blue Book sets the private party (the closest thing to "market") value of the car at $16,005. Dealer price is more than $17K. Which is more accurate? Which should I use as "evidence"?
    Also, if the value is $16,005, then I would owe approximately $1,500 in taxes and fees. So I figure I should get MINIMUM $17,500, and possibly more.
    Any thoughts?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    jaa, market value is going to better derived from what cars are actually selling for in your area. Check the local papers and possibly AutoTrader for similar Civics in your area. You might also want to check in woith Terry at Real World Trade-In Values with a detailed list of how your Civic was equipped, and he can give you a good idea of what wholesale is in your area. Add a reasonable amount for reconditioning and profit, and that should be what you can expect to pay.

    Smart Shopper and Wagons Message Boards
  • connon1connon1 Posts: 15
    Hi, I am new to this category. Am currently paying approx $1950 through Liberty( north NJ.) to cover a 2004 F250 KR and a 76 stingray. Am considering dumping the vette for a new Mustang GT or Cobra.Any input as to what kind of hit I would take for this change? Clean record , age 46, home and auto through same carrier, full collision on both vehicles.I know there would be a major difference between the GT and Cobra but am curious just how bad it could be dollarwise.thanks.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Why don't you just pick up the phone and ask your insurer, they should be able to tell you.
  • connon1connon1 Posts: 15
    The last time I was considering adding a vehicle to my policy the agent really couldn't get too specific without VIN #'s. I'm not really to that point yet. Maybe I caught the rep on a bad day. Right now I am just exploring possibilities.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Connon, check to see if your carrier has a website configured to give quotes. If so, you can at least get a rough idea what it will cost you.

    Smart Shopper and Wagons Message Boards
  • I have just moved from Illinois to California. I was insured under my parent's policy and the car was in my father's name. Now I'm looking to purchase a car from a private party and insure it in my name. Two brokers have said that they will need to see the vehicle in person prior to covering it. The broker in Illinois says they can't cover [a car in my name] in the interim. So my question is, how do I drive the car to the broker without insurance?

    I know a dealer will sell you a waiver, do I have any option like that private party?
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