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Questions About Auto Insurance and Accidents

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Comments

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    The damage to the vehicle was pretty extensive, but the paramedics had to cut the roof off to extricate my daughter, so I'm guessing the car is a total loss.
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    You might be ok...my experience is that you receive the cost to replace the car with an identical car. For example, in Dec 2991,I bought a 2001 saab 9-5 wgn for 30,500. 6 months later, I was hit broadide, and car was totalled. I looked at getting another saab, but a used car less equipped than mine was running about 33,000 . My Ins company saw the 33K, adjusted for the options, added in tax, etc...ended up getting a check for abouyt 37K.
  • lindaylinday Posts: 7
    I was involved in a single car accident (which I described in posts located under Maintenance).

    In a nutshell, I drove my car over a parking lot divider and caused extensive damage to the under carriage. A control arm is disconnected, dings and scuffs and bent axle.

    Currently, the collision shop is working with the insurance company to provide an estimate. I have signed paperwork with a collision shop stating that I authorize them to go forward.

    However, after a second thought...I am thinking that I want to put everything on pause.

    I need more time with my insurance agent to talk about my options.

    I am considering...
    -- Stop work at the collision shop (pictures have been taken for insurance company, parts have been ordered from dealer, but no work has been performed YET).

    -- Find a junk yard that will buy my car (2000 Nissan Sentra with 36K miles)

    -- or Donate my car to charity (for tax write-off).

    My questions...
    -- Do I still have the "right" to halt the start of the work after the pictures have been taken?

    -- How if at all, will my insurance premium be affected if no insurance $ is paid-out

    -- What type of place do I go to sell this car?

    Thanks! I'm losing sleep over this. Any and all feedback is much appreciated.
  • Hi linday. You definitely should discuss your options with your insurance company prior to having any repairs done to your car. If you are lucky and the damage is extensive enough, you may be able to convince them to total your vehicle and you would be able to walk away from it, only having to pay your deductible. There is a great article here at Edmunds.com on this subject: How Auto Insurance Companies Total Your Vehicle After You Total Your Vehicle. Having your Sentra totaled certainly would make your insurance go up, but probably not as much in total as the compensation that you would be able to get for your car. Unfortunately, given the fact that the shop that you took your car to has already done some work for you, in terms of taking pictures and ordering parts, they may want some sort of compensation if you decide not to move forward with your repairs. The bottom line is that you need to speak with a representative from your insurance company as soon as possible to discuss your options. If you wouldn't mind coming back and telling us, I would love to hear what they tell you and how things turn out. Good luck.


    Car_man

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  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    Settled with our insurance company yesterday. Like we figured, the Tracker was totalled. Got a check for $8088, which covered the value of the Tracker, sales tax, minus the deductible. Since we had to pay $600 in sales tax to transfer the title, we effectively got about $7500 for a car we paid $8000 for 6 weeks earlier.

    Not great, but I suppose it could have been worse.
  • lindaylinday Posts: 7
    Mr. Car_man,
    The Insurance rep told me exactly what you described. Because the collision shop has started work on the car (taking photos and ordering parts), I or the Insurance Company would still have to pay for the rendered services.

    I have decided to go foward with the repairs. Currently, my damage estimate is $3700, up from the initial $2100.

    And I will keep everyone posted.

    Thanks for all the good advice.
  • Thanks for keeping us informed about your situation, linday. I, and I am sure other comunity members, am always interested in hearing updates on stories that people have posted in the Town Hall. Let us know how everything turns out.

    Car_man
    Host
    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Not your car, so not covered by your insurance as you don't have "insurable intestest" in the car, but when you break it, you buy it. You are only responsible for the damage you did and not any pre existing damage. However, I would ask my insurance agent if your friends wheels could be considered a "borrowed" vehicle, but usually a substitue auto has to be replacing yours that is out of commission at the time of the crash.
  • y2kgtsy2kgts Posts: 48
    Recently I was involved in a pretty big accident and was not at fault (other driver ticketed and liability has already been assigned to and accepted by his insurance). Here is what my car, just three months old, looks like now:


    image


    It actually looks *better* in this photo, as they pulled the front end out to try and start the car. The lowest estimate is around $11,000 to fix it, so it is not a total. So the insurance company wants to repair it and call it a day, whereas I am trying to replace it one way or another, as it was a new car. I understand that they only have to repair it by law, but I am one of those guys that tends to fight the system, especially when I feel I have been wronged, and I most certainly do in this case. Ironically, my insurance (unofficially) suggested a third party that deals with these situations a lot. His company buys MANY of the damaged vehicles from the owner while the insurance company pays the damages and diminished value. The idea is that these three things will bring up enough money to replace the car at fair market value.


    I will be the very first to acknowledge that this is emotionally motivated. Nevertheless, here are a few points I made to the third party guy:


    1. The other party was clearly at fault and is 100% liable. This, according to both the police and the insurance company. They were ticketed for disobeying posted traffic laws.

    2. The car was NEW – all of three months to be exact. I had just completed the entertainment system in it three days before the accident.

    3. The car will NEVER be the same, and the body shops and dealers acknowledge this. Not only is there at least $7,000 in diminished value (according to the GMC dealer), but also that very real satisfaction of owning a new car is GONE and cannot be repaired. The new car smell will be replaced by the smell of paint and glues. I am a car fanatic, as anyone that even knows me a little can attest. My cars are always spotless and perfectly maintained. This car will always have evidence of previous damage.

    4. All replacement mechanical parts are generally covered by a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty – not the vehicle’s original 3/36 or extended warranty coverage.

    5. The car may no longer eligible for the General Motors Protection Plan (extended warranty), as there will be permanent marks on the car’s records of extensive damage. This will show up for any Carfax viewer or auto dealership.

    6. The car will be very difficult to sell, if it ever comes to that. Even with “diminished value”, there are enough SUV’s on the market that a previously wrecked one will be difficult to sell. That, and just DRIVING a vehicle with extensive repairs when you had a BRAND NEW one three months earlier is simply not acceptable.


    Much as it pains me (and it really does), I fully understand what the laws are and my rights under those laws. I may be reluctantly singing that ol' tune: "I fought the law, and the law won..." Is there anything else I should or could be doing? Oh, and there was some injury on my part and I am seeing a doctor for neck and back injuries (the airbags did not deploy!).


    Chris

  • I was in the same boat a few months ago. My 1 month old Civic SI was totalled fortunately and I didn't have to worry with driving it after having repairs to the front end. The difference between my car and yours might be whether or not your truck sustained any engine damage. That was the deciding factor for the other party's insurance company. From the pictures it doesn't look like your engine was under any stress. That's the bad part of buying a $50,000 car .. the damage has to be extremely extensive to total it.

    On the bright side, since it wasn't your fault you can demand that they use OEM parts and you can get it fixed at a shop of your choosing. There is a place here in Atlanta that makes the cars look better after the accident than it did before. You'll pay for it but it's definitely worth it if you have to drive the car afterwards.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    You are not required to have it repaired at the lowest estimate shop, but at a shop of your choice. Most shops give a low ball estimate at first so as to "get it in the shop". There will be significant hidden damage that may raise the damage total up to $15,000. You are entitled to rent a comparable vehicle while yours is being repaired. The rental expense could approach $2,000 for such a replacement. Diminished Value is part of the equation. Thus, I recommend you buy another new Denali by trading yours in, as is, and let the amount allowed for diminished value and rental expense offset any depreciation. You would assign the proceeds of the claim draft to the dealer who would sell another new Denali to you, have a project for his body shop, & the sale profit of selling your old repaired one. The insurance company will save money, you will get a brand new Denali, and the dealer just has to work out the details with the insurance company. Good Luck to you.
  • y2kgtsy2kgts Posts: 48
    Thanks for the reply. It is now two weeks later and STILL no resolution! The insurance company finally decided to officially "extend coverage" based on the fact it was 100% their insured's fault. They say they will pay the repairs ($10,500), rental car, and *possibly* diminished value of a few thousand dollars. Mind you, this was a $52,000 car three months earlier when we bought it brand new. I have been offered $20,000 for it "as is". The insurance company will not total it nor come up with anything additional. Bottom line is that I am about to get stuck with a vehicle with extensive repairs when it was NOT my fault and the car was new before the hit. Very unhappy and frustrated, but no idea what else I can do at this point...

    Thanks again for your suggestion, I just wish my dealer would consider it (not interested they say).

    Chris
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    will you wish you had sued? IMO you are entitled to more than just a few thousand for diminished value. What is the $ cost of renting another Denali while yours is in the shop? Where did the "as is" offer of $20k come from? My crystal ball sees an attorney in your future. Good Luck.
  • y2kgtsy2kgts Posts: 48
    In answer to your questions:

    1. Yes, I suspect a lawsuit would probably be the best way to go, but whom do I sue?

    2. I agree I should get more for diminished value, but how? The only site I found that offers any such service wants $90 up front to give me a number.

    3. The only rental company that will direct bill is Enterprise. They mostly have low-end cars. When I finally raised a stink I managed to get a beat up Land Rover which reeks of smoke (so the family refuses to ride in it). I can't imagine anybody rents Denali's or anything close. If they did, I would have to pay out of my own pocket and hope to get reimbursed. With the way I am getting treated so far, that is not a risk I wish to take.

    4. The $20,000 comes from a company that buys wrecked vehicles. Ironically, the company name was given to me by my insurance company. Unfortunately, even with that $20,000, the repair cost, and a few thousand for diminished value, I am still short $9,000 of my payoff. Not to mention the down payment, 0% financing and everything else that goes away.

    And one other semi-amusing note: The car was a head-on (T-bone) collision at roughly 45 mph. Yet the airbags did NOT deploy. I contacted GM and asked them about this repeatedly. They said they would get someone in touch with me and never have. I wrote them again today and filed a complaint with the NHTSA (National Highway & Transportation Safety Administration). I had pipe dreams that between GM and State Farm I could simply replace the vehicle with the same model and move on. No such luck...

    Thanks for your help and feel free to let me know anything else you might suggest!

    Chris
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    The at fault driver delivers the Suit to his insurance company and from then on the adjuster deals only with your attorney. Be sure your attorney understands what you expect out of the company including your attorney fees, court costs, and other related expenses. Currently the adverse insurance company is betting your will not develop testicular fortitude, but will roll over and accept their egregious offer. Surprise them.

    As for the air bags failure, that is a separate issue with GM. What are the injuries sustained as a result of the failure? Any future correspondance with NHTSA should be cc'd to GM.

    Good Luck with a real good attorney.
  • I just found this board and need some advice on an accident that happened 6 months ago. My brand new Acura RSX-S was rear by a clunker that was uninsured. It wasn't bad enough that my brand new car was damaged but than to find out the guy was uninsured. I had to fork out my $500 duductible and now my car has an accident history.

    I call my insurance company every month to follow up on the case to do some justice on the guy but there is yet no action taken. The guy that hit me is dirt poor but I feel he needs to be punished some way for his negligence and actions. Any help from other insurance companies would be helpful.

    TN
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    UM Bodlily injury and not Property Damage. Your car was then covered under your Collision coverage involving the $500 Deductible. Had you carried UMPD the deductible would have been $100 at the most.

    The insurance policy does not provide Punitive Action against the at fault party so you can't by contract use your company as a whip or pistol.

    When the adverse party is judgement proof, it is not profitable for your insurance company to try and get something out of nothing. The company has fulfilled its contract of insurance with you and that is all they are going to do. As to the punishing of the other driver, that too is not up to you. That your car has an accident history is too bad, but that's life and there's not insurance for "accident history".
  • PAmanPAman Posts: 207
    My 1970 Buick GS (NOT a Skylark, a documented GS) was parked in my driveway, when a hailstorm hit Monday night. The storm included 1-3" of 2-2.5" hail, gusts up to 60MPH. I have full coverage, including comprehensive coverage, through my carrier, USAA. While there is hail damage on the driver's side (facing the storm) and top, the hood is the worst. It looks like the Dallas Cowboys had their pregame warmup drill on the hood while wearing cleats.

    Here's my question for the adjusters: I think the fenders and trunk can be repaired, the hood is very bad. What do the adjusters normally do when a part is not available new, and hard to find used or in the aftermarket? I suspect a good used hood is about $450-500, but at $60-70 per hour for shop labor, it won't take long for the labor to fix the old one to exceed the cost of a new one.

    Any suggestions you can offer will be appreciated.

    Joe
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    exceeds the TMV of the vehicle, it's a total. Unless that 33 year old Buick is worth a lot more than the typical common car of that year, don't expect a repair at all.
  • PAmanPAman Posts: 207
    The CPI guide (Cars of Particular Interest) used by several banks and credit unions around here rates the value at $8300 for average condition. The NADA guide values it at $8600.

    The estimate from the shop used by USAA as a direct estimator (they recognize the shop's estimate) is $4200. That's nowhere near the 80-85% value of the car in order to total it. However, my past few claims with USAA have all been very adversarial, so I expect them to come in and REALLY low ball me on the value of the car. When I had a '72 El Camino SS totalled by an uninsured driver, their first offer was $2300. HA!!! Ended up settling for about $7700, but only after I did a TON of research on the value of the truck. See why I expect them to be difficult?

    I expect the fun to start soon, with the usual dodges and stalls, such as them insisting their field adjuster come look at the car. This is in spite of the fact that the shop sends a ton of digital photos along with their estimate to USAA.

    I'll keep you posted as details develop. The saga continues......
  • Coming out of Ikea parking lot in Long Island, NY, I got into a car accident with a LONG BIG TRACTOR-TRAILOR.

    There were only two lanes. The right lane can only make right turns, and the left lane can only make left turns. You cannot go straight on this road. There are blatant signs as well as markings on the road that the right lane turns right and left lane turns left.

    So while I am driving down the street coming out of parking lot, I see the trailor stopped at the stop sign COMPLETELY ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD. Automatically, I assumed that he was going to make a right turn, as that is what the signs say. So I pull up on the left of him, because I wanted to make a left turn. I stopped about halfway to the very front of the trailor, when I realized that I was not able to see oncoming traffic on the right hand side. I came to a complete stop when ALL OF A SUDDEN, the trailor proceeds to make a left turn on the right lane. He completely sideswiped the side of my car and there is SUFFICIENT damage to the entire right side of the car. He didn't even realize what he was doing and I had to honk like crazy for him to stop.

    When the officer was talking to me, he kept on saying that you should stay clear of large vehicles and that they make wide turns and that the driver of trailor cannot see me because I was in his blind spot.

    Of course, I know they make wide turns. I just thought he was going to make a right instead of left. I did not notice his blinkers, because if I had, I would have stopped behind the truck.

    The truck driver claims that I was in his blind spot and points out the sign in the back of the trailor, that says "WIDE TURNS." But my point is that
    1. he was in the wrong lane
    2. although i may have been in his blind spot, does not mean that nobody is there. Cars have blind spots too, and that is why people turn their heads back and to the side before turning or changing lanes, etc.

    Who is at fault here?
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    trucker is responsible for his. When any vehicle makes a left turn from the right lane, the burden of safety in doing so rests 100% on the vehicle in this case the trucker. The sign on his truck is advisory only and does not give him permission to drive in the manner he did. Same with the blinkers. They could have been blinking for miles before he arrived at the intersection. Bottom line is not the sign, nor the blinkers, but the driving behavior of the trucker. Many insurance contracts have up to $1,000 deductible for Property Damage claims of Commercial Auto policies & that is usually paid by the driver so he will be very defensive.
  • But if the truck had his blinker on and the space was limited the driver should have yielded because it would've been obvious what his intentions were. And it's also a little fishy that the driver stopped halfway to the front of the trailer. Maybe the driver saw that the truck was turning but it was too late to get out of it's way. It's too hard to make a judgement in this scenario with only one side of the story.

    Was anyone issued a citation for a traffic violation?
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    ,,,but I remember a 'Judge Wapner' on Peoples Court about something like this. Trucker turned right, sideswiping someone that had driven into the lane to his right.

    The only thing the trucker had to say was 'I've got to use both lanes to make that turn with the truck and trailer'.

    Only thing Wapner said was 'You are legally responsible to keep your vehicle in its marked lanes'. And the trucker lost.

    Apparently the USofA has lots of trucks that have no possibility of obeying the 'lane displine' laws of the country.
  • If the truck had his blinkers on and a sign saying that it makes wide turns then it wasn't his fault. I know that I personally always give the 100 ton truck right of way when I am in my 1 ton car.
  • PAmanPAman Posts: 207
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Just re-inforcing 'kinley', the expert's, opinion.
  • If your state has compulsory liability insurance laws, you can contact your state DMV to see how you get the character reported to them.

    In some states, you must get a judgment against the party. In others, all you need is an accident report and their failure to file proof of insurance with DMV.

    The driver's license of the offender will then be revoked until damages are paid and insurance obtained.

    If the person has any property, you can sue in small claims court (with your ins co's permission). Then, levy on any non-exempt assets the person may own.

    At least you'll bust his cojones. You can also register the judgment at the courthouse to screw up his credit and make it impossible for him to get a mortgage w/o paying you.
  • im about to finance a used car through my credit union and theres this question bugging me for the last couple of days ...

    since it is the first car i have to finance(all previous cars were paid cash) i am wondering what will it happen if i get in an accident with that car that i finance and that is not paid off. will the insurance company pay the amount of money owed to the bank or will i get the full value of that car at that time so i can pay off the rest of the loan and get my money back(payment money).

    i'd really appreciate your inputs on this matter.
  • It is bad enough that drivers have no insurance but what when they don't even have a license and can't read the signs in English?! My Nissan was busted 2 years ago when it was only 6 months old by a 18 year old with no license, no insurance (and no income) failing to yield at a light. There was a cop on the spot and he was cited but IMHO he should have been jailed too! I didn't have UIM at the time and had to go under my collision coverage. My insurance company was able to eventually recover my deductible and got the guy to pay $50/mo but forget about diminished value!
  • First off, you won't get any check initially. If you should get into an accident, the insurance co. will call your lienholder(CU) and find out how much money you owe. They will then cut a check to your lienholder for the amount of the vehicle. If there is anything leftover, you will get it. At least this is the way my last accident was dispursed.

    This assumes that you don't have any negative equity in your vehicle, though. I honestly wouldn't expect to recieve any money back within the first year or so, since as soon as you drive off the dealer lot on a new car, you will lose a few grand.

    Insurance payouts are based on "replacement value" usually. This means that they will give you what it would cost to replace your vehicle in the current market conditions. If your vehicle is only "worth" 18k on the market when it is totalled, that's how much you get. If you owe 23k on the vehicle, you are on the hook for 5k unless you have GAP insurance which will pay the balance. It shouldn't really matter if you initially paid 23k or 35k for the vehicle, it's what the market conditions call for.

    For example, a buddy of mine owe's about 16k on a 4x2 Ranger Edge '01. Should he total it today, he would probably get approx. 11k for the truck, as that is the market value right now, and theoretically, that is how much he can purchase a "comprable replacement vehicle" for.

    I think this is accurate. I'm sure someone will post if I am not.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I've about settled a theft claim. I say 'about' because the final detail is the arrival of my check, LOL.

    Although I didn't get hurt too badly in the settlement, I'm still dissatisfied; and I want to file a complaint with the appropriate regulatory agencies. My state (TN) has an insurance commission, and I will write them. Are there other regulatory agencies to which my insurance company is accountable?

    Anybody read John Grisham's THE RAINMAKER? I've never dealt with an insurance claim that didn't validate some truths in that book.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
  • zhizhi Posts: 3
    My adjuster said the person hit my car did not report the accident, we were insured by the same insurance co. They also blamed me I did not have full coverage for my own vehicle. My estimate is over $3,000.00, one third value of my car. It looks like they are trying to delay this claim process or paying much less money to fix my car.
    Should I find a lawyer to handle it or any suggestion will be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance
  • I'm dealing with USAA right now (Washington State) I'm a third party claimant. They've been slow, but otherwise OK. They've just given me the first lowball offer on a totalled car, so we're just getting going on the negotiations. Here's some things to remember when dealing with third party companies.

    1. They have internal policies and will want to tell you what they will and won't pay for, how long after their offer they will pay for a rental car, what kind of car you can rent etc..

    Remember that unlike their policy holders, they don't have a contract with you, so none if this is pre-defined. Their internal policies are nothing more than what they prefer to do. It is all negotiable.

    As far as diminished value, all the case law regarding whether insurance companies owe this or not is based on contracts law. The legal questions has always been what does the contract say. With a third party case, its common law torts. Its a no brainer, you're owed diminished value to the extent that you can demonstrate it. This isn't too hard, would you buy a wrecked car for the same as a nonwrecked car is the same condition? When buying a used car, wouldn't you ask if it was wrecked? Just get a dealer to tell you how much less a wrecked and repaired trade in is work vs. a "no stories" car. If you want them to total your car, mention this up front before they do an estimate, this will encourage them to total it. If you don't want them to total it, wait until they've fix that car and then ask for it before you agree to settle.

    Here are a couple of things I have learned that may help. Remember any help you give an adjuster will help you. 1.) be nice, these people are human and will be nicer to you if you are nicer to them. 2.) Get a rental and then be patient. Their meter is running then, not yours. Adjusters live in fear of two things: Paying more out in a claim than they have "reserved" this get's the insurance company in troube with auditors. So suggest to them up front a big number so they reserve a big amount of money. This will become a value they base their final settlement against. 2.) Document any and all expenses you claim. Adjusters get in trouble if they pay expenses they cannot document. If you can document it, they can pay you without getting in trouble.

    Lastly, remember that their time is money, they want to settle quickly and move on, that is your common interest. Keep that in mind, document everything and remember that it's all negotiable.

    I've got some offers on my car. It's a 2003, so there aren't man comparables to work from. They made me an offer 24,100 on a 2003 Subaru Legacy GT. We're about $2000 apart on price, so we'll see.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    When you buy a new Subaru in King County the sales tax is 8.8%, but if you buy it in other rural counties it can be as low as 7.6% and the sales tax rate is determined by the dealer's location, not your home. If you want to total your car get a higher salvage bid than the adjuster has. Keep us informed as to how your claim turns out. You have a very good handle and attitude in working with the adjuster.
  • My wife recently ran the car off the road to avoid a truck that swerved into her lane. She brushed a bunch of bushes in the median snapping off a mirror and scraping up the car. The truck driver went merrily on his way,in all probability, unaware that he caused an accident. My insurance companies spin on it,lacking other evidence to the contrary(she can't describe or identify the truck),is that she lost control of the car and was 100% responsible for the accident. I can only infer from the tone of their letter that they would prefer that a person take the hit rather than avoid an accident. I'm sure they are only attempting to justify increasing my premiums. What can I do to fight this?
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    an adjuster has heard, many times over, about "phantom" cars, animals, and even little kids chasing a ball, etc."causing the driver to take evasive action". The adjuster thinks she ran off the road while applying make up or was distracted by tuning the radio. You need someone to corroborate her story.The adjuster doesn't have to believe her, she, in making the claim, is obligated to prove her loss with substantiated facts. That she take a hit is your interpretation so as to excuse her from presenting facts.
  • Insurance companies are only interested in cold, hard facts. Unfortunately, if your wife had taken the hit, the truck driver would have stopped, and most likely, police called, and based on the glass, skid, etc, she wouldn't have been at fault.

    Unless you have that eye witness, you probably won't have much to stand on.

    It kinda goes against your instinct to just slam on the brakes and prepare for impact, but if you swerve into another lane to avoid an accident, and you cause one, you are at fault. Been through it with my insurance co. and found this to be the basic "attitude"... so I buy safer cars/trucks and I'll take the hit from now on... not my fault that there are inattentive drivers on the road, and I am not about to have my rates increase AGAIN for another 3 years because of someones you know what.
  • Reached agreement today with USAA on a number we both can live with. It took only a couple more days from their first offer and they were pretty good about it. They faxed the offer this afternoon. So I would say that I'm so far satisfied with the way USAA is handling it. I don't have the check yet so anything is still possible, but so far so good.
  • PHANTON VEHICLE CLAIMS ARE TRICKY AND IT DEPENDS ON WHAT INSURANCE COMPANY YOU HAVE WILL DETERMINE HOW IT IS HANDLED. THE RULE OF THUMB IS THAT IF THE PHANTOM VEHICLE DOES NOT HIT YOUR VEHILCE AND YOU THEN HIT SOMEBODY ELSE IT WILL LIKELY BE MOSTLY TO FULLY YOUR FAULT WITH ONE EXCEPTION. WHETHER THE VEHICLE HITS YOU OR NOT CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY AND MAKE SURE ON THE POLICE REPORT THAT THEY MENTION THE PHANTOM VEHICLE THAT WAY IT IS DOCUMENTED ON SOMETHING OFFICIAL AND NOT JUST YOUR WORD VS. SOMEBODY ELSE. THE CLAIMS ADJUSTER FOR YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY SHOULD GIVE YOU THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT BUT IF THE STORY SOUNDS FISHY THEY MAY FIND YOU AT FAULT BUT IF IT IS ON THE POLICE REPORT LIKELY YOU WILL BE FOUND FAULT FREE.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    it is highly recommended you have some fur in your grille.
  • I just got into an accident - completely the other guy's fault. I'm now waiting to hear back from the adjuster on what they will do to my car (fix or total it).

    My 1st question - if they total it & I don't agree with the price they are giving me for my car, can I refuse it & argue for more money? Example - say he comes back and says "we're cutting you a check for $7,000 for your car." and I KNOW my car is worth at least $10,000 - can I tell them I want $10,000???

    2nd question - the insurance company has to give you "retail" value for your car correct? - not trade in or private party sale value, right?

    Thanks for your help.
  • maybe I can help a bit...
    You can usually negotiate with the adjuster. It may require some footwork on your part. Car ads for the exact(best) or similar trim line same year, similar mileage would definitely help you out here. KBB, Blackbook, NADA, TMV, etc are all guides and you may get some help there as well... They may offer you something good at first, though.. you never know.

    The insurance co I believe has to pay you out the "replacement value" of your vehicle. This means the current cost of replacing the vehicle with the same model, trim, mileage, etc. So if you have a '02 Taurus, or something like that where all the rental fleets are unloading them, I wouldn't expect to get full book on it at all.

    I would start the homework early and you can prevent surprises.

    KBB- www.kbb.com
    NADA- www.nadaguides.com
    blackbook- http://www.cars.com/advice/advice_carprices.jhtml?aff=national
    TMV- edmunds

    Hope this helps some
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    of the adverse party's insurance company. You can "do his job" by determining the market value of your vehicle or you can exercise your collision coverage and because the crash was not your fault, your insurance company will work for you. That's why you pay them. Your company, knowing they will subrogate the adverse company, will be more liberal & will even recover your deductible. What is your agent doing for you? Or did you buy insurance "on the cheap"... purchasing coverage from a "direct writer"?
  • My insurance adjuster is basically doing nothing for me - including returning my calls! I have an attorney on my side, so if it comes down to it, he can do the negotiating for me.

    I have checked Kelly Blue Book, NADA, Edmunds, Black Book & Carsdirect.com (5 sources!)- the average RETAIL value of my car (2000 Dodge Intrepid) is $12,152. My atty said to insist on retail value because that is what I'll be paying when I replace the car. If they won't do it - I should tell them to either - (1) call my atty or (2) find my exact car for me.

    I'm going to call my insurace adjuster now & leave yet another message for him. I'll let you know how things go. Please let me know if you have any additional infor for me that would be helpful. Thanks so much!
  • The adjuster came back with a figure of just under $13,000! I didn't even have to fight for it. Thanks so much for all your help. I'm off to another board - to figure out which used vehicle I want to get now!
  • I'm glad to see that everything worked out so well for you, heidigreenlaw. Good luck in your search for your next vehicle.

    Car_man
    Host
    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • Our 2000 Saturn SL1 was totalled by a hit-and-run driver on New Year's Day. Luckily, son & his GF were not seriously injured on their aborted trip to work at 6AM.

    Metropolitan was wonderful. Even though my son is 20, they got us a rental on our collision policy. Unfortunately, as explained by the adjuster, replacement value isn't paid in North Carolina. He made an initial offer that we discussed since the car had nearly new Michelin X-One tires and a fancy aftermarket stereo. He was very fair and got me enough to only owe just about my deductible on the loan.

    Met is the greatest! Really glad I switched to them about 6 years ago.
  • Freaking piece of road debris hit the bumper of the 911 a week ago and cracked it. It then bounced off the bumper and proceeded to put a rock chip on the fender. If I claim this (replacing the bumper is going to be at least $2K +), is this considered comp or collision? What, if any, are the ramifications? I was doing about 30 - 35 mph when this happened on a clear evening around 7:00 pm on a major road.

    Thanks.
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