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Questions About Auto Insurance and Accidents

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Comments

  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Had the debris fallen and hit the car before it hit the road, it would be comprehensive. Sorry about the bruise to the bumper.
  • Kinley, if I understand it correctly, it is collision because it is *road* debris we are talking about? But when you are on the road, isn't everything road debris? How can something hit me w/o touching the road first?
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    a deer jumping out of the woods....not road debris. A rock falling off a cliff and hitting the trunk...not road debris.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
  • tusstuss Posts: 11
    Hi there miagarfunkle, I saw would like to ask you a question. I recently purchased a 2001 325i bmw from an individual, who repeatedly assured me that the car had never had any accidents or bodywork. I ran a carfax on the car, and the carfax came up clean. The problem is, of course, that the car has had some bodywork, in fact, a lot of body work to the front end. It looks like the hood's new, and both the right and left front quarter panels are new. Moreover, there's these "buoy like" domes in the engine on which one has the vin number, but the other does not, so I think that some major work was done to the interior of the engine compartment as well. I bought the car, so I have no one to blame but myself--however, I'm really curious as to whether the car is structrually sound or not . . . and would like to have some idea as to whether the job done was a good job or a poor job. As insurance adjusters, how do you guys make sure that a cars work was done properly or not---ie, is the car usually just as solid as it was before the accident, or is driving the car really a treacherous proposition. I don't know if I should get rid of the car or if I should keep it, and want to make my determination after a competent body shop individual has looked at the car, and I don't know whom I should turn to. I can't believe that people are so dishonest, as this was a man who was showing me the car with his pregnant wife and his 5 year old son, and both he and his wife insisted that the car was great, which is an outstanding example for a little kid . . . and people wonder why kids today have no manners . . .
  • I have AAA full coverage. My car was hit from behind while at a stop light. Police report was made and I have a claim number. It is a leased car and I am close to the end of the lease. $500 deductable.

    The dealer mentioned to me that I did not have to go get the work done myself, that I could turn it into their dealership, they would do the repairs, and bill my insurance company.

    I liked this scenario since I was told that to do it the other way, I would need to take it into a shop, pay for it out of pocket, and AAA would send me a check a month later to reimburse me.

    Is the dealer situation a good move? Anything I need to watch out for?

    Thanks.
  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    When I renewed my insurance for my 99 GMC Yukon 4x4, my premium went up from $900 to $1550. Granted, I was atfault for a low speed accident with only new bumpers to both cars(mine & theirs). I questioned the hike to my long time family's insurance agent especially since this is my first claim, no history of tickets, etc... She told me it was because of the accident & the raise in rates that everybody is paying. To make matters even worse, I called her for a rough estimate for trading in my monster SUV for a BMW 3 series and she quoted close to $2000/yr! Does this seem outrageously high to anybody else or am I just caught in the past?

    I have Traveler's Ins. currently and they were a dream to work with during my accident so I am not badmouthing them. Maybe the cost is just high for an elite? company.

    I am single(about to get engaged!), male, 29, live in Houston.

    Thanks!
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    following the dealers advice is good. When your company goes after the adverse, at fault, carrier, they will also go after your $500 deductible and eventually it will be returned to you.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Due to a general hard market rate increase + 25%.

    Due to a chargeable accident rate increase + 40%.

    You didn't mention the bodily injuries claims, but the rate increase reveals that.
  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    I guess what you are saying is that the rate increase is to be expected. And if so, when will it start to trend down for me????

    There were no bodily injury claims as the other car was parked w/o anyone inside and the police were not even called. I waited 20+ minutes for the person to come out of the shop and it ended up being a friend of my grandmother's so I know there was no "funny business" about extra claims.

    Should I shop other insurance companies or is this about what everyone's rates will be?
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Stay with them when they are willing to continue with you. To another company you are a single male, under 30, with a chargeable accident. Another carrier will quote you perhaps a lower premium, but quotes aren't keepers. They are just advising what it would cost if they later decided to accept the risk. Tell your agent'company of your new marital status just after you kiss the bride. Results in a significant premium reduction. LOL
  • katiek33katiek33 Posts: 1
    Help! I was in an accident about a month ago and it was not my fault and the other drivers insurance has finally given me a settlement price. However the price is about $1000 - $1500 dollars less than the car was valued at. I don't know how to go about negotiating with the insurance company so I'd appreciate any help you could give me, thanks.
  • Hi katiek33. I am sorry to hear that the other person's insurance company's initial settlement offer was a little on the low side. Insurance settlement payouts definitely are negotiable. In order to help you in your dealings with them, you should collect evidence that their initial offer is too low. You can do so by looking up comparable vehicles in the classified ads, either in your local newspaper or on the Internet at sites like autotrader.com and printing out similar vehicles with higher asking prices. You can also look up your vehicle's Edmunds.com True Market Value right here and use that info to support your case as well. The more evidence you provide them that their initial offer was too low, the stronger your case will be.

    Car_man
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  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Often the adjuster just needs evidence to support paying a higher amount to his ignorant and out of the loop supervisor. It helps to justify values. I like immediate area values as they are usually more accurate than an average national figure. Areas of low unemployment usually have higher values than localities of high unemployment.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Upon finishing work, my daughter returned to find her '03 RSX damaged on the left corner of the rear bumper cover: deep scrapes, cracked lense of the light assembly, the bumper cover popped off the rear fender, and scrapes on the rear fender. The police were called to fill out an accident report as needed for a claim. There was no note from the wrongful party or any witnesses. The police officer noted that the collision was probably caused by the driver swinging too wide in attempting to get into the adjacent parking space. The RSX was in the middle space of three located between two pillars. I figured on about $1200 damage.

    The claim was filed and the estimator assessed it at $1250. My ex-wife was later contacted by the adjuster indicating she believed it not to be a "hit-and-run," but damaged by reversing out of the stall and hitting a pillar. This all based on her alleged "years of doing this sort of work." She then said that my ex was free to either have the company remit the check to the body shop ($1250 - 250 deductible), or to withdraw the claim. Sounded like a threat to have the insurance cancelled on the next renewal if they persisted with the claim.

    This is the type of attitude which enrages the public in their dealings with the insurers. No proof of any kind and the insinuation that my daughter hit the pillar, then moved the car to a different space, swept up the broken plastic from the light assembly, and planted the plastic debris before making the police report. The kid isn't jaded enough to think of or pull off a stunt like that.

    This idiot had no idea of our backgrounds or the kind of resources/connections we have. My ex worked as a claims adjuster back in the mid-70s and I've been in the insurance business for nearly 32 years. One phone call to a connection who probably knows her supervisor was all it took for her to call my daughter back and say that "the accident has been re-classified to a hit-and-run."

    It's unfortunate that other insureds have most likely been bullied into withdrawing legitimate claims because they did not have the experience, knowledge, or connections to press on.
  • jjj321jjj321 Posts: 11
    I am 32 years old and have never had car insurance in America; I have lived in South America most of this time and have been driving since the age of 16 without any problems or accidents. I have never had car insurance as it is not required in the places where I have lived.
    In about a month I will be moving to Florida and will be purchasing a new or used car; from what I have read and been told by acquaintances, I can expect to pay incredibly high insurance premiums because the Insurance companies don’t have any records about me.
    Please advise as to what I can do to minimize the $$$ that will have to be paid to my insurance company, besides shopping for a good deal.
    I have had a Florida License since the age of 18 and have never gotten a ticket, and I also have a good credit rating.
    I appreciate any advise you can give me.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    If you have family or friends in Florida, ask them who their insurance is through . Pick a company that has an agent you can sit in an office with and talk to. Take a friend who can vouch for your record with you and meet with an agent. If your friend knows his agent by name, all the better. Work off of their good relationship. Describe your situation. It might help to have documentation of your life in S.A. While you can't prove lack of accidents, you can prove that you take good care of your vehicles, have no police record, that sort of thing. Do your best to come off as a hard working, bill-paying person.
  • hest88hest88 Posts: 31
    Okay, here's my story. A few months ago, our car was hit by a guy going through a red light. The police took a full report include the testimony of two witnesses who said that my husband had been in the right. I spoke to my insurance agent who told me that we could go through the other guy's insurance but it might be a hassle to get a rental car. Since I needed a car that afternoon we let our insurance agency handle everything and when we were issued our claim check it was minus our deductible. They said they would refund the deductible if the other guy's insurance admitted fault. Well, it's been months and I'm just getting more and more irritated. When I talked to the other guy's insurance company way back when they said that they don't consider even a police report to be proof of fault. Of course that had me totally steamed.

    I'm at the point now where I understand why people sue. It's no longer about the deductible, it's about the principle of the whole thing. Can anyone give me some advice to see if anything else can be done short of calling a lawyer?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Hi jjj321

    In addition to mitzi's good advice, another thing you can do to reduce that initial hit is keep your car choices modest. A used small car will cost less to insure than the brand new larger car that you may very well be able to afford. Once you have two to three years of insurance history, you can shop for lower cost insurance. Most insurers work on a three year cycle in terms of driving/insurance history, so in three years, South America will mean nothing to them.

    kcram
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  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Hi hest88

    In addition to the police report, was a ticket issued at the spot for the other driver running the light? If so, that is public record, and you can call the municipal court to see if it was paid or dismissed. Payment of the ticket equates to guilty under the law, and the other driver's insurance company must accept that as proof of fault.

    If no ticket was issued, you can press charges yourself. Since you have witnesses, this should be pretty cut-and-dry. Even if they can't appear, your witrnesses can submit notarized affadavits as to what they observed on your behalf. A conviction will also force the insurance company to settle up.

    kcram
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  • hest88hest88 Posts: 31
    Thank you very much for the suggestions. It's nice to have some other options to look into.
  • jjj321jjj321 Posts: 11
    Mitzij I really appreciate your suggestions, I will do what you have suggested when the time comes.
    Kcram I guess it is better to start modest, I am just glad I found out about insurance costs before I actually bought a car.
    Thanks again
  • Hello - I will be buying my first car soon. (I'm 25). I assume I will purchase insurance asap after purchasing the car ... is this right?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    hest, keep us updated as to how things turn out.

    jjj, good luck and welcome home :)

    kcram
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  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Hi Laura

    You should actually intertwine the shopping. If you have an idea of what kinds of cars you want, you can get insurance rate quotes on that car before you buy it. All the major carriers will quote rates for you, and if you already have an independent agent, they can take your personal info down and do the insurance shopping for you - al you would have to do is tell them the year/make/model/equipment of the cars you're interested in while you shio for them, and the agent can give you a pretty good estimate of what you're facing in terms of rates.

    One thing you should be careful of is not shopping rate price only. You need to make sure you have sufficent coverage and that the company is large enough that they can follow through quickly when you have a claim. For example, most people don't carry enough property damage liability. $50,000 is just not enough with the price of vehicles these days - if you accidentally total someone's new luxury car, your insurance may not cover the whole cost, and YOU are responsible for the difference.

    kcram
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  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Property damage liability - a large number of insureds only carry $10K PD because that's the minimum required amount here. I consider $50K PD a MINIMUM starting point.

    The choice of carrier is important, too. What good is "cheap" coverage if claims aren't paid promptly, if ever ........

    Then again, for some people, the lowest price is all that matters ............ *sigh*
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    I carry $100K property myself.

    kcram
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  • Here's a couple of observations about insurance, and drivers, at least, in Florida.

    About 25% of the drivers on the road have no insurance or driver's licenses. It's scary. You NEED to have good uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, because invariably the person that hits you has no insurance, or just the state mimimum, which is worthless. UM coverage is important, because your insurance company will "step into" the shoes of the drivers company.

    as an example, if you are in an accident with someone with no insurance, and you are seriously injured, you will not be able to collect anything unless you have UM.

    Make sure it is as high as possible. It usually cannot be higher than your liability, so make sure you have good liablity insurance. Don't go to these goofy storefront places that advertise lowest rates on state minimums. choose a reputable insurance company and get good insurance.

    Jeff
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Absolutely agree, Jeff.

    I carry 250/500/100 liability and matching amounts for UM - you can get UM property damage in NJ, not all states have that. And I'm with Travelers (dva First Trenton in NJ) through my independent agent, a solid national company with a track record.

    Forgot to mention this in my previous post... the other thing to consider is, comp and collision deductibles. Make them as high as you can safely cover out of pocket. I carry $500 on collision, and the only reason I have $250 on comp is because my agent showed me the difference was just a few bucks for the year (I have a 12 month policy and pay it in full at once). Even then, a collision under $1000 damage, I won't bother to file - I can afford that. The deductible you select can be the difference between affordable coverage from a reputable firm and fly-by-night coverage from the storefront.

    kcram
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  • jjj321jjj321 Posts: 11
    I posted before about never having car insurance in America.
    As it happens my grandmother put my name as an additional driver in her car insurance for the few times a year that I came by.
    She had a lease that expired about a year ago, and did not renew as she does not want to drive anymore.
    I would think this would qualify as record of insurance.
    I would greatly appreciate any comments on this matter.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    jjj, that will help. It's not a policy in your name, but it definitely shows you as a recently insured driver in the US.

    kcram
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  • jjj321jjj321 Posts: 11
    Kcram,
    Just got various quotes, it actually does not help.
    Well, I guess US$3500 for my first year of car insurance is not that bad, I thought it was going to be closer to US$5000.
    Thanks again
  • Kcram, thanks for the advice.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    you're welcome, everyboidy :)

    kcram
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  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    This must vary considerably by state.

    So don't assume how your state insurance 'works' without checking with an insurance agent.

    In my state, UM is 'required' to be offered by the company, but you can 'reject' it.

    But, the coverage is only for Medical for other people riding in the vehicle, not the insured person/s. No vehicle damage coverage.

    So, understand what you are getting. My states UM coverage will not get your car fixed if you are hit by an uninsured motorist.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Exactly! Same for "UNDERINSURED MOTORIST" (UNM) coverage. Not applicable for physical damage on the car. Except in our state, the driver and passengers are covered first under his "PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION" (PIP), then the wrongful driver's BODILY INJURY (BI), if any, then UM and UNM. With some companies here, buying higher limits of PIP is cheaper than taking basic PIP and UM/UNM.

    You can't imagine how often I run into this misconception. Many people think their vehicles will be fixed when the other driver is uninsured or carries a PD limit that's less than the estimate. They don't realize that they have to have their own collision and comprehensive.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Just got a call from my client who said that her fellow worker, who was injured in a company vehicle a year ago, was told by a supervisor that the Verizon regional office sent a memo to tell the injured employee to desist regarding a $300 medical claim which arose out of that accident. The employee was a passenger, not the driver.

    Insurance is regulated by the state in which the vehicle is operated. We have partial no-fault here in regard to medical here (no-fault is assessed up to the threshold limit, after which tort liability then takes effect). I suggested that the claimant contact the state insurance department for help. The department will tell Verizon what the facts are regarding insurance law. Any deductible is applicable to the insured (Verizon), not the driver, passenger, or any pedestrian injured.

    It may end up costing Verizon more than the $300 in dispute.
  • This guy hit me & I gave all my paperwork (ya stupid) to my soooooo called lawyer... anyway long story... 3 months later having to do it all myself & can't get correct contact info... I remember the name was Old County American or Old America Country anyone heard of them... I've searched everywhere & can't find their info. I won't back home for 2 weeks & can't get the police report over phone, but work really like this settled now...
  • never heard of them. 3 months and you still havent gotten the police report? do you still have a lawyer? if so why dont u contact them, you are paying them to represent you...insurance companies will not talk to you, and definitley not settle with you if you are represented by a lawyer.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    .......the question of "how long after" has come among dudes at our construction sites in California.

    The law says three years and seven years. The question is how long does the insurance remain at an elevated level (after a DUI conviction)....ez
  • Hi all. I was just in a single car accident (hit bad area on 2 lane road, lost control and hit an embankment)and tow guy thinks it will be totalled b/c air bags came out and the front end is pretty banged up. Its a '95 Mazda 626 ES w/ 120k mi. This and kbb gives vales for private, trade and retail. Which is used by the appraiser? And what should I expect if it is totalled? How does the deductible, payoff and salvage values I'm reading about apply? I'm kinda panicing b/c its my only car and the accident kinda shook me up. Can someone provide some advice?
  • Hi iianointed. You will be able to find out the answers to a lot of the questions that you have on this subject by checking out the following article that is available right here at Edmunds.com: How Auto Insurance Companies Total Your Vehicle After You Total Your Vehicle.

    As far as how much money you should receive if your vehicle is indeed totaled goes, your insurance company is supposed to provide you with enough for you to purchase a comparable replacement vehicle right now. If you feel as though your insurance company's initial offer is too low, you definitely should try to negotiate with them using current classified ads from your area and even pricing reports from Web sites as ammunition.

    Car_man
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  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    How do I go about finding a good attorney to file suit for a accident? My wife was slightly injured in the accident, I was told by my insurance company to wait until she was done with treatment for injuries. Should I wait?
  • You need to do some digging. Talk to your friends, or your family attorney and get some recommendations. Then, go talk to them and see who you're most comfortable with.

    They will want to see the accident report, your insurance info, etc, so you might as well get that stuff together.

    Jeff
  • A lot will depend on whether you had collision insurance. If you didn't, you probably won't get any recovery. Insuarance companies will give you the value of your car, usually the wholesale value. You can dispute the value though. You'll need to get some classified ads showing what a similar car costs. also, see if you have any photos showing that your car was immaculately maintained.

    Jeff
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    I am trying to help out my sister.

    The other day, she was driving her 99 Taurus on
    icy roads. Since she know the road was bad, she
    was driving very carefully. Unfortunately, she slid into a curve at about 5 MPH. The only damage
    from the direct impact was a blow tire and damaged steel rim.

    However, the airbags deployed (even the responding officer was surprised). That to a incident with maybe $200 dollars worth of damage into a $3000+ Accident (Airbags, plus damage to the interior and windows from the Airbags).

    My question is: if the airbags should not have gone off, should Ford fix that part of the damage? My sister can not afford to have her insurance go up.
  • Thanks guys. I still haven't gotten a cash value from the appraiser but I've begun looking for internet and classified ads. Any other tips on getting the best value? I was planning to pay the car off and then I have an accident :-( So I still owe the bank.
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    however assuming you have collision coverage, (from my experience) while the offer will be "replacement value", if you have a loan, it will have to be paid off, then you can look for a replacement car.

    Also, if you have documentation and receipts for regular oil changes and maintenance, they should help bump the offer if it comes in low.

    Regarding finding a good attorney, you will need the ongoing documentation from her injuries to substantiate a claim or settlement. As you look for an attorney be sure she continues treatment.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,706
    ok, here's the scoop: while driving home from work 2 days ago on a busy freeway here in Jersey, someone struck me on the passenger side, pushing me into the dividing wall. We both stopped and she took full responsibility and repeatedly apologized (said she was changing lanes and not paying attention). Both cars were still driveable and nobody was hurt, so we exchanged information and continued on our way.

    I reported the accident to both of our insurance companies. My company told me I would need to contact hers and file a claim against them. I asked both companies if I should have gotten a police report and they both said it wasn't necessary at all.

    Now everyone I talk to who isn't a professional insists I was an idiot for not calling the police to the scene and getting a report. I still haven't gotten a determination from her insurance if they will fully pay and, as of yet, she has not contacted them and hasn't returned their calls. I have talked to her on the phone since the accident because she thought she might want to pay out of pocket. But her offer was a little late and I had already put the claim through her insurance.

    anyway. how does this sound so far? should i go ahead and file a police report now? will it do any good? everyone has me paranoid that she will change her story at this point. but would a police report really make a difference with no witnesses?

    '19 Ioniq plug-in, '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 50-car history and counting!

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Qb, I was in a similar hit here in NJ exactly a year ago. A young woman changed lanes into my truck and did a fair bit of physical damage to her car, and a bit of suspension damage to my truck - as it turned out, she hit me dead on my right front tire. We ended up away from each other when we came to respective stops, so I never actually talked to her. The semi who was behind us pulled over and the trucker made sure we were both ok - he did a masterful job of avoiding the woman when she slammed her brakes and over-corrected. The state trooper who responded initally saw no damage to my truck and essentially released me. I called the station and had him return when I found my steering wheel was now off a full 90 degrees to the right. That's when we found the car's paint smeared around the tire (it was a Friday night and dark where we were - took both of us with MagLites to find it). That was enough for him to add me to his report.

    I was driveable with the cockeyed steering wheel, and a suspension shop made me whole for a few hundred bucks. Since it was low cost and we both had the same insurance company. Didn't want to take a chance on my rates going up with a claim, so I let it go, but having the police report with the woman's statement that she was at fault was the detail I needed to make that decision.

    ALWAYS call the police immediately and get a report when on a public road, even if it's your fault. That document means the officer has investigated the situation, and you may not know if someone else has received a summons for their actions until you get the report.

    kcram
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