Auto insurance, parking lot accident, etc

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Auto insurance, parking lot accident, etc

Postby AQ » Sun May 13, 2012 4:25 pm

Happy Mother’s Day!

DW was involved in a parking lot car accident last week. Guess a good time to revisit the car insurance issue. Hope getting your inputs on a range of questions below:

1. A simple parking lot accident. We called the police. But when he came, the policeman didn't bother asking our license, or what happened, or issued any ticket to either party. He said parking lots are private properties not governed by traffic law. Guess he’s right? We’re in California.
2. We called our insurance company to report the accident. As a boglehead, we bought a high deductible policy so don’t expect to get any payment since the car body damage is minimal (just some scratch and paint problems). But we are concerned if the other party would claim against our policy, though he didn’t claim any injury on the spot. Is this a right way to do to report to the insurance company even though both sides consider a very minor accident? The agent told us an adjuster would call us later. Not sure what to expect. Any general advice for this type of accident.
3. I took our policy. Currently we have 500K bodily injury coverage, 50 K property, but no medical payment coverage. Two questions here: do you think this is about right, or should I increase this further?
4. I got a bit confused about medical payment insurance. I didn’t buy it because I assumed: if I were injured, my health plan pays it. If my passengers got hurt, the bodily injury coverage pays it either from my policy (if I were at fault), or the other driver (if he/she were at fault). Is this true? What if the other driver were at fault, but he/she didn’t have coverage, would my passengers have any legal grounds suing me then? In this hypothetical case that I were not at fault, would my insurance refuse to pay and I were left defending on my own? If so, what could I do today to help in this type of situations?
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Re: Auto insurance, parking lot accident, etc

Postby Quasimodo » Sun May 13, 2012 7:00 pm

AQ wrote:Happy Mother’s Day!

DW was involved in a parking lot car accident last week. Guess a good time to revisit the car insurance issue. Hope getting your inputs on a range of questions below:

1. A simple parking lot accident. We called the police. But when he came, the policeman didn't bother asking our license, or what happened, or issued any ticket to either party. He said parking lots are private properties not governed by traffic law. Guess he’s right? We’re in California.
2. We called our insurance company to report the accident. As a boglehead, we bought a high deductible policy so don’t expect to get any payment since the car body damage is minimal (just some scratch and paint problems). But we are concerned if the other party would claim against our policy, though he didn’t claim any injury on the spot. Is this a right way to do to report to the insurance company even though both sides consider a very minor accident? The agent told us an adjuster would call us later. Not sure what to expect. Any general advice for this type of accident.
3. I took our policy. Currently we have 500K bodily injury coverage, 50 K property, but no medical payment coverage. Two questions here: do you think this is about right, or should I increase this further?
4. I got a bit confused about medical payment insurance. I didn’t buy it because I assumed: if I were injured, my health plan pays it. If my passengers got hurt, the bodily injury coverage pays it either from my policy (if I were at fault), or the other driver (if he/she were at fault). Is this true? What if the other driver were at fault, but he/she didn’t have coverage, would my passengers have any legal grounds suing me then? In this hypothetical case that I were not at fault, would my insurance refuse to pay and I were left defending on my own? If so, what could I do today to help in this type of situations?


1. Presumably the officer knew what he was talking about.
2. You did the right thing reporting the incident to your insurer. Who knows whether or when the other party might claim some sort of injury?
3. I would suggest asking your insurer to quote an umbrella liability policy for you. It's probably going to be pretty cheap. Simply raising your auto PD coverage to 500k is also probably going to be inexpensive.
4. Med pay coverage is inexpensive and worthwhile. It's broader than your medical insurance in some ways and has no deductible. We carry $10,000 limits for med pay. We also buy uninsured motorists coverage for the same limits as our auto BI limits. It isn't expensive.

Good luck to you, and happy Mother's Day!

John
Last edited by Quasimodo on Sun May 13, 2012 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Auto insurance, parking lot accident, etc

Postby Mudpuppy » Sun May 13, 2012 7:00 pm

The big thing in CA is the DMV reporting. If either party had more than $750 of damage or was injured, even if the accident occurred on private property, you're supposed to report it to the DMV within 10 days using Form SR 1: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/sr/sr1.htm
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Re: Auto insurance, parking lot accident, etc

Postby ejvyas » Sun May 13, 2012 7:24 pm

Dont want to scare you but I remember a friend saying the other party claimed for depression, loss of job etc etc months after the accident. The case is still on..

(This is not verified and I dont know him very well)
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Re: Auto insurance, parking lot accident, etc

Postby Muchtolearn » Sun May 13, 2012 10:40 pm

2 things.
Check with your health plan about this. I recall mine said that in a car accident the auto had to go first, so I added it.
Funny about the policeman: I recall a horrible traffic jam on a Memorial day in the mall (I will never go again on that day). I called the local police from my cell phone and told them they needed to get somebody there right away as everything was gridlocked. The guy told me that it was a private area like you were told and they wouldn't send anybody. I said, you mean I can ignore the one way sign and head into the one safe area and get all around it. he said something like, I guess so. I did as there was zero traffic one way. about 50 yards later, bingo, I was clear and out of there.
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Re: Auto insurance, parking lot accident, etc

Postby sscritic » Sun May 13, 2012 10:54 pm

CA here. I had one. I exchanged information. My beater was not damaged in any noticeable way (what's one dent on top of another?). I reported it. The agent said that what would happen would depend on which party was more than 50% at fault (we were both backing up at the same time). I kept waiting for a claim, but it never came.

So whose fault was it? You may use percents if you like.
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Re: Auto insurance, parking lot accident, etc

Postby ilmartello » Sun May 13, 2012 11:02 pm

I think you are over-reacting. How fast was each car going, can't imagine anything more than a scratch or a small dent going 5-10 mph
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