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Questions About Auto Insurance and Accidents



  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341

    i don't want to lead you astray. i am just a driver, not an insurance guru. i personally don't think diminished value is specific to luxury automobiles...


    you might want to try posing that question over in the "Real-World Trade In Values" forum...ask them what is your vehicle worth retail and trade with it's present age, mileage, options, condition etc, (but asuming it was never hit) and then ask them what it would be worth retail and trade if it's been repaired (and i guess you'll have to provide your information on what has been damaged, and the estimate to repair).


    you could also ask them if a carfax report on your vin will show that the vehicle sustained significant damage.


    the expert there "Terry" (screen username: rroyce10) always qualifies his estimates of value assuming no significant repairs.


    as for parts, here's one site (there are many out there I guess) that provides pricing on OEM parts. I like the fact you can see diagrammatically the parts for the various sections of the vehicle.



    good luck.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    My 16 yr. old son got in a little fender bender. His 2nd one in less than a year. In the first one, it was claimed on our insurance, $3200 damage to my vehicle, don't know how much to the other car. He rear ended her car, said it wasn't too bad, but I'm sure there were some damages. On my most recent policy renawal, there's an accident surcharge of about $70, surprisingly small.


    In the most recent accident, he pulled out in front of someone, so it was definately his fault. Damage to their car was a scratched wheel and a few scrapes on the panel, don't have the estimate yet. Damage to my car was $2000.


    My collision deductible is $1000. I have State Farm and cannot be cancelled according to Florida law and my agent has confirmed this. Should I pay it or claim it?
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Sounds like the first accident was definitely his fault too if he rear-ended another car. I think your problem may be greater than whether to claim or not, the problem is your son's driving. Having said that I think you might do better to pay it yourself because I have a feeling your insurer may not take a second accident in less than a year quite so lightly.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    << I have a feeling your insurer may not take a second accident in less than a year quite so lightly. >>


    Thx for your input, but I'm looking for something more than that. Anyone have an idea how much my rates can be increased? Are there any other ramifications besides increased rates or my insurer looking for some other excuse to cancel my policy? Again, according to Florida law, my insurer can't cancel my policy for claims which has been verified by my agent.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Again, according to Florida law, my insurer can't cancel my policy for claims which has been verified by my agent.


    But they could raise your rate so high that you choose to take your business elsewhere.
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    while they may not be able to CANCEL your policy, you may find that they will decline to RENEW your policy. Unless someone in claims or underwriting from your company is reading these posts, I suspect most of the feedback you get from us on possible rate increases will be only guesses.


    If you can, I'd pay the 2nd accident out of your pocket. Whether you stay with your current carrier or find you self shopping, one accident for a male teenage driver is plenty. He's only 16 and has several more years ahead of driving on your policy.


    (I speak as a mom of two teenage boy new drivers and a recent fender bender. Also, I agree, with grandtotal, perhaps your son would benefit from more supervised driving time with you.)


    Good luck!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    I'm not an expert, but if he was ticketed for the accident and your insurer finds out, the rate could be raised anyway.


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  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    What does it matter? He consulted his agent. Can't his agent flag that, and isn't that enough? (I honestly don't know).
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    He's got a clean driving record, no tickets were issued for either accident. I haven't contacted my agent about the 2nd accident, yet. If we pay for it, they shouldn't find out. There were no injuries in either accident.


    I agree that he needs more driving time with me. But I don't believe that would do any good though, he's a typical bull-headed teenager. He's already on a short leash after the first accident. Of which, I will pull the leash shorter.


    He really is a good kid, maintains above a 3.0 GPA taking all honors courses, part time job, and plays high school lacrosse. He's just so pig headed sometimes.


    BTW, he also pays for his insurance, has paid the $1K deductible on the first accident and will pay for this one too.
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    It is not my kid or my life, but I am a driver on the road. DO what my parents did 25 years ago when I had my second minor accident: they prohibited me from driving.


    "bullheaded teenager" is enough of a reason for the kid not to be driving.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Let's keep the advice to insurance issues can we?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Yes - parenting advice doesn't really fit in to our format.


    If you haven't notified the insurance agent of the accident and there's no ticket, then it seems like his rate will at least remain the same. I feel for you - I've got one on a learner's permit now.


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  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    I feel for the poster too, but I think that the "parenting" advice may be necessary. This adolescent is a danger to himself and other road users and it is his parents resposibility to recognise this and act upon it. Until he is 18 they are legally responsible for him.


    Now, to keep this post strictly relevant to the topic, my question - isn't the poster legally bound to report his son's accident to his insurer whether he claims on his insurance or not?
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    << isn't the poster legally bound to report his son's accident to his insurer whether he claims on his insurance or not? >>


    Not in the state of Florida as long as there are no injuries.


    But then, why would an accident w/o injuries required to be reported to insurance? We'd get in to a situation like "How severe would the accident have to be in order to be required to report?" A simple door ding? A scrap backing in to a post?


    I'm surprised no one here has had experience where they have more than one accident, like my son, and can relate what their insurance company did.


    Oh, and BTW, my son has had 3 minor accidents, not 2. He hit a mail box when it jumped out in front of him when he first got his license. Of which, he paid for those repairs (and the mailbox), no insurance was involved. And please, no parenting advice.
  • My car (Toyota Camry 1999) was hit while it was parked. The guy who did the damage to my car has State Farm insurance. I went to the body shop (Toyota dealer) and got a repair estimate of $2700. I then faxed the estimate to State Farm. They called me in the next day and said that I can go ahead and fix the car at that body shop and they will deal with it directly since it participates in their "program". They also mentioned that I still may choose any other body shop but I have to let them know. I'm wondering is it possible to make State Form just to send me the check for $2700 and I will decide later what to do with it? What if I do not want to fix the car at all but want to take the money... Have anybody tried to do this?


    Thanks, Oleg
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,708
    Yes I 've done this; got a check and sold the wreck on my own.


    The ins co will have to send out an adjuster to look at the damage to make sure nobody's pulling a fast one, but it can be done. Be aware they kinda have you over a barrel; there's little to prevent them from calling it $1500 in damage instead. In my case, the estimate got lowered from $5900 to $5,850 or something, they were really on the up-and-up.


    They sure acted as if they didn't like it, though.

    And a friend of mine tried to get GMAC insurance to pay up, and they wouldn't. Three repairs later (and still leaking) he's not happy and has since switched.


  • sean3sean3 Posts: 158
    when my ex was driving my car she clipped someones bumper and did about 3,000 damage combined, and my agent said that she was not on my policy? but since I had full coverage they would take care of it, what's messed up is if she was named on my policy, my rates would have gone up..but they didn't..she got a ticket. I guess thats how they determine rate hikes, based on who is ticketed..My insurer (Farmers) said that Comprehensive claims can never cause a Rate Hike cause they are no indicator of driving skill..Sean
  • sean3sean3 Posts: 158
    I really don't know to much about ins but i know we have to have it to have a car.when i got my policy they had put rental and towing on my policy..which I never thought about but, $28 every 6mos extra in premiums for the both, I was sure glad I had it,when the body shop couldnt get a $14 part for 1 extra week.I figure I used $300 in reantal car fees that woulda been out of my pocket..Look over your policy..I had found about 4 very small adiitional premiums for rental towing and glass repair/replace options..
  • When I purchased my new motorhome I was led to believe that My car insurance would cover me until I could get home and get a new policy from my insurer for the motorhome. When I got home I called my insurer and was told that policy only applies to cars. Is there a law or regulation that requires them to cover a newly purchased vehicle for a grace period? And if so why would a motorhome be excluded?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    What grace period? And how dared your dealer to let you leave his lot without valid insurance?
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    They increase geometrically, depending on the company and state you live in.


    In my neck of the woods, it is not uncommon to see a 10% increase on renewal for the first chargeable claim. It goes up to 40% on the second, 90% on the third. This applies when the claims occur within a thirty-six month "rolling period."


    My daughter was a perfect driving school pupil, but her inexperience in the real world was another matter. Two at-fault accidents within five months with her mom's car, one with mine, plus a parking lot collision for which we paid $800 out-of-pocket to the other car's owner (no claim). Premiums on her mom's car went from $1200 to $2900 per year. It gradually went down while she was away at college for four years. She also totaled one of my cars in 2001 and her own in 2002.


    She has improved greatly since I bought her 2003 RSX two years ago. Two scraped rear bumpers and fender while parked by hit-and-run drivers - I paid the first ($600), insurance the second time which was much more extensive ($1500 - 250 ded.).


    I'd suggest paying for the second accident. If you go through insurance, you'll probably pay it anyway through increased premiums, assuming you get offered a renewal.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Now THAT was the kind of feedback I was looking for. Thanks prophet2..... Unfortunately, I already put in the claim on my insurance. My car's estimate was $2K and the other's was $1200, can't afford that. The policy is up for renewal shortly, so I'll let you folks know what happens. I don't expect it to be pretty though.
  • Hi, I was recently rear ended on a freeway offramp by an 18 yr old girl not paying attention

    cell phone etc..

    she hit me about 45 mph completely totaling her car and smashing in the whole back end of my car.

    Her car was registered in her parents name, but when I went to contact the insurance co listed on the State Patrol's collision report, they said the policy had lapsed. I only had liability myself

    so they said I have to pursue damages on my own.

    Anybody have any advice? I now have no car, not to

    mention I had to go get it out of impound myself

    for an accident that wasn't even my fault.

    Safeco says they're looking into it but it could take 4 weeks or more? Can I go after the parents

    in this case if they own the car? help!

                                 thank you


  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Well my sad story just took a detour. My son's car was just hit in the school parking lot, not his fault 'cuz it was parked. It was hit in the front bumper, different part of the bumper from his other accident, but there are damages to the same body parts as the other accident. That should be loads of fun for the body shop and insurance company to figure out. The owner of the car that hit my son's car has said they will pay it out of their pocket.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    << Can I go after the parents in this case of they own the car? >>


    Yes, I believe you can as long as they're the registered owner. There was just a case here in Orlando where a 22 yr old girl ran a red light and killed two little girls. The parents of the girls are sueing the parent of the driver since they were the registered owners.


    I just transferred title of the vehicle that my 20 yr old drives in to his name just in case he gets in an accident, I'm shielded, still carry the same amount of insurance though. And I will be doing the same when my 17 yr old turns 18 next year.


    Keep receipts for every out of pocket expense, impound fees, rental car, etc. Get a good estimate of what your car was worth. Then go after the parents. Good luck, and let us know how things progress.
  • My story is a good one. In 97, I was involved in a weather related accident. Ins. totaled my 85 325e. I paid 6K for the car in 96. Between the time of ownership, I put 45K miles on the car(150mile/day commute for 14 months of the ownership time.).............Anyways, they sent me a check for $6500, and I was only hoping for 3500. Talk about an early Christmas present, happened on Labor day.


    However, I did find out the importance of rental coverage, didn't have it. But was able to borrow a car from future inlaws, since I was going to purchase with insurance money. It did take about 5 weeks to get the money, tho.
  • rickvhrickvh Posts: 28
    You should see a lawyer on this one. If you had collision your car would have been covered and UM/UIM would go towards bodily injury for occupants of your vehicle.


    Depending on the situation, if the girl lives with her parents, you might be able to go after them under the personal liability on the parents homeowners (since family members residing in household are.. in my state anyway.. also covered).


    You can win a judgement against her and garnish her wages for your losses of property, loss of use, loss of earnings if you had to miss work, and if you were injured, loss of future earnings. Bankruptcy wont even shield from this.


    Lack of insurance just means that they left their assets wide open to liability.
  • rickvhrickvh Posts: 28
    Should check your state laws on this one. Where I live, insurance follows the car. If its your policy, it will pay BI/PD to other parties up to its limits and stop as long as you werent the driver, your liability *might* stop there. As noted in the other post, if your child lives with you, you are still open to liability. And this isnt just in auto related losses.


    So even if the car is in their name and they have their own policy, if they live with you, you can still be liable under your auto policies on your vehicles and your personal liability policies. Anyone in this situation should put all family members on their policy and make sure limits are high enough. Umbrellas give the best bang for the buck in this situation. $20/month can buy you a million in coverage to save you after your auto/personal libility limits are exhausted.


    Worst that can happen is your out some money short term if policy rates go up because of a loss.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    << if your child lives with you, you are still open to liability. And this isnt just in auto related losses. >>


    I don't believe so in the state of Florida. Based on the advice I was given, "Parents are not liable for negligence caused by their adult children that live in their household. That includes auto accidents."


    I also checked in to the umbrella policy. And from State Farm in Florida, they required high liability limits on the auto policies before they'd write an umbrella policy and those high liability limits were expensive.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    High liability limits are not expensive, at least in Connecticut. As well as I remember, about $100 or $150 per year to go from the legal minimum, 10/20/40, to 50/100/300. This is with one car. $100 to increase the limits second time, to 50/300/500 - with two cars on policy. Less than $10 per year to increase property coverage from $50,000 to $100,000.


    Big damages happens, but very seldom. Most accidents are fender-benders and/or rear-ends. Even if a car is totalled, what is probability that it's value was higher than $50,000? Even for MBs and BMWs which cost more than 50 grands new...


    Body damages mostly are whiplashes, fractures, etc. Expensive, but seldom more expensive than $100,000 per person.


    In addition, the cautious people, who are buying the high-limits insurances, are less prone in average to be involved in accidents.


    Thus, the average of distribution ("mathematical expectation") for high insurance payments is low. Hence the additional premiums also are low.
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