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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Bronx, NJ
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    723

    Default Fender Bender - Car Insurance Question

    Today was not a good day for my car. I come out of the grocery store and there was foot long scratch in the side door. I went to the dealership to buy touch-up paint and when I get back, I have to stop at another grocery store so I park, walk around to get my son out the car seat and the car shakes. The car next to me starts to drive off so I walk around and there's a huge scrape on the back bumper so I wave him back and thankfully he does. Nice guy, gave me his phone number but I had to ask him for his insurance. He's not going through his insurance for his car and offered to pay whatever for ours but I'd rather go through insurance so to get to the point... Could our insurance go up because of the claim? and does our deductible applicable? This is one of those days that I wish I never left the house .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Los Alamitos, CA
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    1,916

    Default

    If the cost to repair is less than the cost of your deductible, I would say to have him pay for it out of pocket. But be sure to keep his information just in case he doesn't follow through on his end. Get an estimate from a dealer or reputable body shop, ASAP. If you go through your insurance company to cover it, you do risk a higher rate even though the incident was not your fault.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Bronx, NJ
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    723

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    Thanks Rancid13. I figured as much about the insurance going up. The guy seemed honest enough to pay but I would just hate to be in a situation of getting stuck with the bill because he refused after the work was done. Plus, I'm sure he wouldn't fork over extra $$ for us to get a rental. Our 2nd car is a '91 and not reliable enough to drive 2 two kids in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    13,286

    Default

    I would say that it depends. I've been in 3 accidents, none of which were my fault, all of which I handled through my insurance company. My rates have never gone up due to accidents and only on the major one did I have to provide proof of "not my fault" when I changed to a new insurance provider.

    Also, I never had to pay a deductible since the other party was at fault. Their insurance covered everything.

    Now, that all being said, if the guy who hit you changes his story or something along those lines, then yes, you can end up with bad things happening to your insurance. Esp if you did not file a police report at the time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    13,286

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    Another point, you can talk to your insurance company about this without filing a claim. Find out what their policy is. We started to file a claim when DH's vehicle was broken into, but then found out what was covered by insurance was less than the deductible, so it wasn't worth it. They let us cancel the claim and removed it from our record. Since they never paid out, our rates were not effected. But our agent talked us through the whole process and explained how everything would work. He certainly wasn't out to "get us" or raise our rates, I actually found his advice to be quite helpful and was glad we called.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Bronx, NJ
    Posts
    723

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by boilermaker View Post
    Another point, you can talk to your insurance company about this without filing a claim. Find out what their policy is. We started to file a claim when DH's vehicle was broken into, but then found out what was covered by insurance was less than the deductible, so it wasn't worth it. They let us cancel the claim and removed it from our record. Since they never paid out, our rates were not effected. But our agent talked us through the whole process and explained how everything would work. He certainly wasn't out to "get us" or raise our rates, I actually found his advice to be quite helpful and was glad we called.
    I thought about calling them but didn't know if it would raise too many flags if we didn't go through with the claim.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Middle America
    Posts
    4,514

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    Just so you know, some insurance companies/agencies will turn in the claim as soon as you notify them of damage. (whether you want them to or not)

    I'm confused... does the man that hit you NOT have insurance? and he wants to pay it out of pocket? Most states require you carry insurance by law. If he doesn't pay you could always file a police report. If he wants to pay for it out of pocket you are entitled to a rental car.

    If i read it incorrectly and he has insurance but isn't going to turn the damage on his own vehicle into his insurance company YOU can still turn in your damage to HIS insurance company. You wouldn't pay a deductible unless you turn the claim in on your policy.

    If you turn a claim into your insurance company your rates could go up. Either by losing a good driver discount or from an accident surcharge. If you turn in a claim to another company and never notify your company then they more than likely wont find out and your rates wont go up. Most companies only run claim audits at the start of a new policy and only maintain by running motor vehicle reports every few renewals.

    boilermaker- Your agent did it the right way!

    Miles : 11.03.06 Agnes : 03.25.11

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Bronx, NJ
    Posts
    723

    Default

    I'm a chicken. I called my ins. company just to ask about their policies and ended up making a report - not a claim. The rep said that since I'll be going through the other person's insurance (yes he did have insurance but I think this wasn't his first incident and he didn't want his rates to go soar) my deductible won't apply and since I wasn't even driving at the time and it was absolutely positively not my fault, my rates shouldn't be affected - key word is shouldn't . I'd just rather be safe than sorry later if the guy refused to pay up for damages or a rental.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    NV
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Before you do anyrthing, let me give you some advice. I am an insurance claims adjuster. I have also worked in subrogation (the dept that tries to get your deductible back from the at fault party or at fault insurance company).

    1st, it is against all state regulations for your insruance company to raise your rates based on a non-fault accident. Even if you use your own collision coverage to repair your vehicle, your insurance company CANNOT raise your rates because of it. The idea behind this is since you are the innocent party, your insurance company can tecnically "subrogate" the at fault party. This means sending them a bill for the amount they paid, INCLUDING your deductible. You are ALWAYS subjected to your deductible since that is the deductible you chose when you started your policy. BUT, since you are the innocent party involved, this should be recoverable from the at fault party or their insurance company.

    Now, a word of caution with going "out of pocket" with the at fault driver. As an insurance adjuster, I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER recommend this. It sounds good in the begining, but it can snowball for the worse. For example, this guy may ask you for an estimate of the damages and promise to pay you. But once you have that money and the repairs start on your vehicle, your bodyshop may find additional damages to the car that were not apparent when they wrote the estimate. Remember, ESTIMATE means just that, an ESTIMATE. So, now the repairs are more but this guy may not want to pay the "extra", or you may not even be able to get ahold of him to do so. Also, while your vehicle is in the shop, you are entitled to a rental vehicle. You are also legally allowed to have the repair shop of your choice, he cannot tell you he has a "friend" who will do it cheap. You have the right to go to the dealer if you want.

    My advice to you would be to use your own coverage to get your vehicle repaired. Have the at fault driver front you your deductible. If doesn't want to use his insurance to pay for the damages, fine. He can pay YOUR insurance company directly just as he was going to pay YOU directly. This way, you are the protected party, your vehicle gets repaired, and he won't have to report it to his insurance company.

    Remember, insurance is a HEAVILY regulated industry that is ultimately there to protect its consumers/policyholders. Don't be afraid to use the coverage you have paid for, especially if you are the innocent party.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Bronx, NJ
    Posts
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    kuklaki, thanks so much! That's why I love CC. I'll have DH call the guy tonight and see if he wants to go with your option or if we should go through his insurance. As long as our car gets fixed w/ the rental if we need it and it doesn't cost me anything, I'm happy. I guess it's just it's just one of those common misbeliefs that anytime you make a claim to the insurance co, your premium goes up. You make sense though. I wasn't even driving so why should I pay a bad driver penalty?

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