State Farm nickel-and-diming me

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thewizzer
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State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:40 pm

My wife got hit while she was driving about a month ago. The other driver was changing lanes on the interstate, didn't see my wife, and struck her front passenger side quarter panel and the edge of the front bumper. The other driver had State Farm insurance. We called, they admitted fault, and agreed to cover costs to repair. So far, so good.

We took it to a local, reputable auto-body shop that is actually on State Farm's 'preferred' list. I didn't choose them for that reason, but it was an added bonus (or so I assumed). The shop told us there might be an issue with getting State Farm to cover the entire cost to repair the front bumper. They were right!

The shop explained that in order to fix the damage caused by the crash to the paint on the front bumper, they would need to sand it, repaint the damaged area, then clear-coat the entire bumper. This is where the problem begins. They explained that the car has some rock chips and small damage on the front bumper due to everyday driving. If and when they clear coat the entire bumper, if they don't 're-condition' the bumper first by fixing those minor flaws, then there is the potential for the end result to look worse than it did before the repair. The clear coat will accentuate the minor imperfections that occur on a plastic front bumper from everyday driving. The auto-body shop was upfront with my wife about this and showed her a sample bumper. My wife explained to me that it looked like dirt was trapped under the clear coat. The cost for reconditioning the entire front bumper prior to clear coat is $135. State Farm is refusing to pay this cost.

State Farm is making the claim that because they didn't cause the damage in the form of the rock chips to the front bumper, they are not going to pay the $135 to re-condition it prior to clear coat. My response is that I recognize they didn't cause the minor imperfections, but in properly fixing the damage that their client did cause, they are going to potentially return the vehicle to us in a condition worse than it was before the accident.

For what it's worth, it's a black 2015 Chevy Impala LTZ. It's been well maintained and otherwise in very good condition. I don't doubt that there are very minor imperfections in the paint on the front bumper due to everyday driving. I'm not trying to 'get one over' on State Farm. I just want them to pay the total cost to get the car back in the same condition that it was in before the crash. The crux of the argument seems to be that that is impossible. It will either be slightly better in that I will get a re-conditioned front bumper, or it will be slightly worse in that I will get a clear-coated front bumper that looks worse than it did before the crash.

Any thoughts on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated!

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StevieG72
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by StevieG72 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:55 pm

Its all about perspective.

$135 to repair the rock chips and preexisting damage is cheap!

If you are really bent out of shape, call around to other shops and see if they can complete the repair to your standard for the amount State Farm is paying.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

CorradoJr
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by CorradoJr » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:57 pm

Why are you getting involved? Your insurance company works with State Farm and tells them to fix it.

I’ve had this problem several times (all no-fault accidents involving the other party’s insurance) and after a few phone calls it gets resolved.

If you did not report this to your insurance company or trying to avoid your deductible that’s another story. If so, you will have to be more aggressive and tell them they should cover this cost.
Last edited by CorradoJr on Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Silk McCue
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by Silk McCue » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:58 pm

I would Just pay the $135 and move on with life. If this were a significant cost then it might be worth fighting for. BTW - I have been dealing with an auto accident for 3 weeks and just got the approval from the other drivers insurance to cover the repair. I spent a ton of time to help push that decision over the line and had to choose which battles to fight.

Cheers

thewizzer
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:59 pm

CorradoJr wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:57 pm
Why are you getting involved? Your insurance company works with State Farm and tells them to fix it.

I’ve had this problem severaltimes (all no-fault accidents involving the other party’s insurance) and after a few phone calls it gets resolved.
No, my insurance company is not involved. We filed no claim with our company, nor do I want do. The last thing I want is to have a claim on my record for an issue that does not involve my company.

AlphaLess
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by AlphaLess » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:03 pm

A relative going straight on a county road got hit by incoming car who took a left turn when it was not their right of way.

Relative could have died: it was that bad.

Opposing insurance started paying for some medical bills, but over time, stopped paying for additional tests.

Relatives health insurance picked up around $20K of expenses, with a lot of deductible, out of pocket, and co-insurance being covered by the relative.

I think you should look at the big picture here.
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word." George Washington

CorradoJr
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by CorradoJr » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:06 pm

thewizzer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:59 pm
CorradoJr wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:57 pm
Why are you getting involved? Your insurance company works with State Farm and tells them to fix it.

I’ve had this problem severaltimes (all no-fault accidents involving the other party’s insurance) and after a few phone calls it gets resolved.
No, my insurance company is not involved. We filed no claim with our company, nor do I want do. The last thing I want is to have a claim on my record for an issue that does not involve my company.
Consider the cost of your deductible being used to pay for an “expert insurance adjuster and bill collector” vs. your time and effort to try to convince State Farm to eat the $135.

thewizzer
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:08 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:58 pm
I would Just pay the $135 and move on with life. If this were a significant cost then it might be worth fighting for. BTW - I have been dealing with an auto accident for 3 weeks and just got the approval from the other drivers insurance to cover the repair. I spent a ton of time to help push that decision over the line and had to choose which battles to fight.

Cheers
Thanks much. This is actually the direction I'm heading. It just doesn't sit well with me. I'm normally a 'path of least stress' kind of guy, but admittedly this did rankle my feathers a bit.

The 3-way call with the claims adjustor and the shop this afternoon was of no help. 20 minutes on the phone for nothing, other than my suggestion that they quit paying Aaron Rodgers so much to say discount double check and instead start paying out claims :D

RudyS
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by RudyS » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:48 pm

Might consider just paying it, as you seem inclined to do, and if it makes you feel better, complain to the State insurance commissioner.

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dwickenh
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by dwickenh » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:01 pm

As a prior collision shop owner, I would normally work between the Insurance company and the owner to try and reach a compromise in the additional cost. Usually compromise is acceptable. I would get 45 more from the Insurance company, 45 from the owner, and throw in 45 of my own labor to come up with the 135.00 added repair cost.

There is no doubt the Insurance company does not owe the damage, and it is actually better to have the chips sealed with clear coat even if they are not repaired first. They were there before the loss, and liability is to return to pre-loss condition.

Don't lose sleep over this one though, not worth the aggravation in my book.

Best to you,

Dan
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

gotester2000
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by gotester2000 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:35 pm

If you want perfection then pay $135. I dont think the insurance company should pay for prior wear and tear and everyday use.
By the way, why are you convinced that whatever bodyshop says is right? They will try to upsell.

Nate79
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by Nate79 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:37 pm

Not sure why you aren't getting your insurance company involved. It's not like they can not find out about it. Some policies require you to report all claims.

jbmitt
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by jbmitt » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:11 pm

Unfortunately, this is pretty common. Until the investing website with the same name appeared, betterment was commonly applied to things like tires, batteries, UPD (un-repaired prior damage). The premise is that they are bettering the condition of your car compared to it's condition prior to the accident. They only owe to indemnify you, not to better you (your car). In fact they are prohibited from bettering you (your car) in some states.

Essentially what is happening is that they will pay for the damage to the bumper that their policyholder caused, and refinish to that area. Based on the dollar amounts they might be trying to split the cost of paint & materials. You have a couple of options:
  • You can ask for an appearance allowance, meaning they cash out for the value of the bumper damage that they caused and it doesn't get fixed. You will pay more if you repair it later on.
  • You can hope that the shop 'discovers' a broken tab on the bumper that makes it unrepairable and then State Farm pays for a replacement, likely aftermarket, bumper.
  • You can tell the shop to respray it without repairing the rock chips, they may, but they won't warranty it. It's possible that the shop may quickly clean it up, but it wouldn't be as good as the recommended repair process.
No sense engaging your insurance. Technically they would need to do the same, but I'd guess their adjuster might be willing to let something like that slide to keep you as a happy customer. The difference is less than the deductible, and the at fault carrier already has an estimate, and probably would issue a check for the same amount sticking your company for any difference.

jjface
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by jjface » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:25 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:37 pm
Not sure why you aren't getting your insurance company involved. It's not like they can not find out about it. Some policies require you to report all claims.
I don't know if it works differently in different states or with different insurance companies but in a recent accident I had (other driver at fault) I contacted my insurance company (state farm) and they basically told me I was on my own and needed to deal with the other insurance company by myself. State Farm offered a bit of guidance here and there but said they couldn't directly help me eg pick up the phone and tell the other insurance company to stop messing me around. Dealing with the other insurance company drained my time and was a big pain in the a$$. It was like I had to manage the claim not them eg correct errors in paperwork. Anyway end of rant.

But yes talking to my insurance company and letting them know I was in an accident has no effect on my premiums. I think it is required too.

But for $135 I would just let it go.

thewizzer
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:32 pm

CorradoJr wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:06 pm
thewizzer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:59 pm
CorradoJr wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:57 pm
Why are you getting involved? Your insurance company works with State Farm and tells them to fix it.

I’ve had this problem severaltimes (all no-fault accidents involving the other party’s insurance) and after a few phone calls it gets resolved.
No, my insurance company is not involved. We filed no claim with our company, nor do I want do. The last thing I want is to have a claim on my record for an issue that does not involve my company.
Consider the cost of your deductible being used to pay for an “expert insurance adjuster and bill collector” vs. your time and effort to try to convince State Farm to eat the $135.
Do you keep your deductible under $135? If so, I'd counter that you're probably paying more than you should for car insurance.

thewizzer
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:37 pm

RudyS wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:48 pm
Might consider just paying it, as you seem inclined to do, and if it makes you feel better, complain to the State insurance commissioner.
Hey, thanks for the idea to look up the state insurance regulator! Totally forgot about that. I checked out their website and learned that legally, the insurance company is fully within their right to withhold up to $500 for normal wear and tear. So technically, I'm not going to win this fight. That still doesn't make me admit I'm wrong (lol, yes I'm stubborn :D ). But, it does make me feel that I've already spent more time on this issue than it's worth, so it looks like I'm paying for a newly refinished bumper!

thewizzer
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:39 pm

jbmitt wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:11 pm
Unfortunately, this is pretty common. Until the investing website with the same name appeared, betterment was commonly applied to things like tires, batteries, UPD (un-repaired prior damage). The premise is that they are bettering the condition of your car compared to it's condition prior to the accident. They only owe to indemnify you, not to better you (your car). In fact they are prohibited from bettering you (your car) in some states.

Essentially what is happening is that they will pay for the damage to the bumper that their policyholder caused, and refinish to that area. Based on the dollar amounts they might be trying to split the cost of paint & materials. You have a couple of options:
  • You can ask for an appearance allowance, meaning they cash out for the value of the bumper damage that they caused and it doesn't get fixed. You will pay more if you repair it later on.
  • You can hope that the shop 'discovers' a broken tab on the bumper that makes it unrepairable and then State Farm pays for a replacement, likely aftermarket, bumper.
  • You can tell the shop to respray it without repairing the rock chips, they may, but they won't warranty it. It's possible that the shop may quickly clean it up, but it wouldn't be as good as the recommended repair process.
No sense engaging your insurance. Technically they would need to do the same, but I'd guess their adjuster might be willing to let something like that slide to keep you as a happy customer. The difference is less than the deductible, and the at fault carrier already has an estimate, and probably would issue a check for the same amount sticking your company for any difference.
One of the reasons I like this forum so much is that there is an abundance of folks who will spend their time to provide reasoned, intelligent advice. Thank you for that.

thewizzer
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:44 pm

dwickenh wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:01 pm
As a prior collision shop owner, I would normally work between the Insurance company and the owner to try and reach a compromise in the additional cost. Usually compromise is acceptable. I would get 45 more from the Insurance company, 45 from the owner, and throw in 45 of my own labor to come up with the 135.00 added repair cost.

There is no doubt the Insurance company does not owe the damage, and it is actually better to have the chips sealed with clear coat even if they are not repaired first. They were there before the loss, and liability is to return to pre-loss condition.

Don't lose sleep over this one though, not worth the aggravation in my book.

Best to you,

Dan
Thanks for the insight. I'm not going to try to whittle away at the shop. I've worked with them before and I believe them to be a reputable company that does good work. Their explanation makes sense to me and I don't think it's necessary for them to 'eat' any costs because I don't like it. It's no question extra work to refinish the entire bumper, so I don't think it's fair to try to get them to do it for less than what they typically charge. Fair is fair. As previously stated, I'd be more than happy with 'pre-loss condition,' but it sounds like the only choices are better than or worse than. Oh well.

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jadd806
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by jadd806 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:18 am

thewizzer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:59 pm
CorradoJr wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:57 pm
Why are you getting involved? Your insurance company works with State Farm and tells them to fix it.

I’ve had this problem severaltimes (all no-fault accidents involving the other party’s insurance) and after a few phone calls it gets resolved.
No, my insurance company is not involved. We filed no claim with our company, nor do I want do. The last thing I want is to have a claim on my record for an issue that does not involve my company.
Any insurance company worth their salt will instantly drop your policy if they find out that you were in an accident and did not report it to them.

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F150HD
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by F150HD » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:46 am

request that the entire bumper be replaced w/ a new, color matched OEM bumper then. From there maybe they'll work their way down to covering the $135.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:16 am

If you believe by some magical protective cloak that your insurance company does not already know about the accident, I have a bottle of pixie dust I'll sell you.

Just stop it. Let your insurance company handle the whole thing. I've had similar kinds of accidents. I report it to MY insurance company. I drop the car off at the body shop. The body shop deals with any payment stuff directly with my insurance company. My insurance company collects from the other insurance company. In the odd case where the other insurance company is slow to pay because they take their time to admit fault, your deductible is with held. Once straightened out, you get a check for the deductible.

Why people play games with the other guy's insurance company is completely beyond me. This just complicates things.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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dwickenh
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by dwickenh » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:01 am

thewizzer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:44 pm
dwickenh wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:01 pm
As a prior collision shop owner, I would normally work between the Insurance company and the owner to try and reach a compromise in the additional cost. Usually compromise is acceptable. I would get 45 more from the Insurance company, 45 from the owner, and throw in 45 of my own labor to come up with the 135.00 added repair cost.

There is no doubt the Insurance company does not owe the damage, and it is actually better to have the chips sealed with clear coat even if they are not repaired first. They were there before the loss, and liability is to return to pre-loss condition.

Don't lose sleep over this one though, not worth the aggravation in my book.

Best to you,

Dan
Thanks for the insight. I'm not going to try to whittle away at the shop. I've worked with them before and I believe them to be a reputable company that does good work. Their explanation makes sense to me and I don't think it's necessary for them to 'eat' any costs because I don't like it. It's no question extra work to refinish the entire bumper, so I don't think it's fair to try to get them to do it for less than what they typically charge. Fair is fair. As previously stated, I'd be more than happy with 'pre-loss condition,' but it sounds like the only choices are better than or worse than. Oh well.
It is not called "whittle away" at the shop, it is called negotiation among the 3 parties involved. Compromise is a good thing- very little gets done without it.
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

m@ver1ck
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by m@ver1ck » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:32 am

Here's what I've always done -
Work though my insurance company to fix the damage. Pay them the $500 deductible.
Let my insurance company fight it out with the other insurance company to get paid.
When they get paid, (takes a few months, but they do eventually get paid), they refund my deductible.

jbmitt
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by jbmitt » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:54 am

The problem with the OP running it through his insurance now is that the other insurer has already seen it, done an estimate and has pictures. If his company decides to replace the bumper, the other one will say we already have an inspection that supports repair. Typically it will end in arbitration or his insurance will eat the cost.

I wouldn’t make a claim over $135 bucks. His insurance will get access to the accident via ISO and know that his car was damaged and the amount of damages. It won’t show as an at fault and won’t have any payments from his end.

Some of you are keyboard warriors who never spent a day working in this industry. Let me clear up a few misconceptions.

If the pictures show repairable damage, no insurer will authorize an OEM bumper. Aftermarket is a pretty common alternative especially when the OP noted the information about his car and that it has some minor wear and tear.

No insurance company will drop their customer for handling a claim via another insurer and not reporting it. They will be more likely to do that if you’re at fault and don’t report it, because it makes it significantly harder for them to defend.

Many adjusters are so swamped with claims that if you already have it in progress with the other company, it will be much faster just to go through them. I know that I would have been annoyed over someone trying to gain $135 in repair work not related to the accident.

Rupert
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by Rupert » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:00 am

jjface wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:25 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:37 pm
Not sure why you aren't getting your insurance company involved. It's not like they can not find out about it. Some policies require you to report all claims.
I don't know if it works differently in different states or with different insurance companies but in a recent accident I had (other driver at fault) I contacted my insurance company (state farm) and they basically told me I was on my own and needed to deal with the other insurance company by myself. State Farm offered a bit of guidance here and there but said they couldn't directly help me eg pick up the phone and tell the other insurance company to stop messing me around. Dealing with the other insurance company drained my time and was a big pain in the a$$. It was like I had to manage the claim not them eg correct errors in paperwork. Anyway end of rant.

But yes talking to my insurance company and letting them know I was in an accident has no effect on my premiums. I think it is required too.

But for $135 I would just let it go.
Do you have collision coverage? Your insurance won't get involved unless you file a claim on your collision policy and authorize them to seek subrogation from the at-fault party. Insurance companies are only entitled to legally stand in your shoes (that's what subrogation means) when they have some obligation to you under your own policy. If you don't have collision coverage, your insurance company owes you nothing in the event of a not-at-fault accident and so they can't collect anything for you from the at-fault party. Typically, utilizing the subrogation process won't result in an increase of your insurance premiums, but different insurance companies have different policies on this.
Last edited by Rupert on Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rupert
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by Rupert » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:01 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:16 am
If you believe by some magical protective cloak that your insurance company does not already know about the accident, I have a bottle of pixie dust I'll sell you.

Just stop it. Let your insurance company handle the whole thing. I've had similar kinds of accidents. I report it to MY insurance company. I drop the car off at the body shop. The body shop deals with any payment stuff directly with my insurance company. My insurance company collects from the other insurance company. In the odd case where the other insurance company is slow to pay because they take their time to admit fault, your deductible is with held. Once straightened out, you get a check for the deductible.

Why people play games with the other guy's insurance company is completely beyond me. This just complicates things.
As stated in my prior post, this is only an option if you carry collision coverage on your vehicle. Drop collision, as many Bogleheads do, and dealing with the at-fault party's insurance company is your only option.

dknightd
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by dknightd » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:04 am

I'd probably pay the $135 to have the rock chips fixed. It would probably cost more than that if you were paying just to have those fixed. Smile and be happy :)

jjface
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by jjface » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:02 am

Rupert wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:00 am
jjface wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:25 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:37 pm
Not sure why you aren't getting your insurance company involved. It's not like they can not find out about it. Some policies require you to report all claims.
I don't know if it works differently in different states or with different insurance companies but in a recent accident I had (other driver at fault) I contacted my insurance company (state farm) and they basically told me I was on my own and needed to deal with the other insurance company by myself. State Farm offered a bit of guidance here and there but said they couldn't directly help me eg pick up the phone and tell the other insurance company to stop messing me around. Dealing with the other insurance company drained my time and was a big pain in the a$$. It was like I had to manage the claim not them eg correct errors in paperwork. Anyway end of rant.

But yes talking to my insurance company and letting them know I was in an accident has no effect on my premiums. I think it is required too.

But for $135 I would just let it go.
Do you have collision coverage? Your insurance won't get involved unless you file a claim on your collision policy and authorize them to seek subrogation from the at-fault party. Insurance companies are only entitled to legally stand in your shoes (that's what subrogation means) when they have some obligation to you under your own policy. If you don't have collision coverage, your insurance company owes you nothing in the event of a not-at-fault accident and so they can't collect anything for you from the at-fault party. Typically, utilizing the subrogation process won't result in an increase of your insurance premiums, but different insurance companies have different policies on this.
Yes I didnt have collision coverage as it was an very old car. Thanks Rupert for the explanation.

iamlucky13
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by iamlucky13 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:56 am

gotester2000 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:35 pm
If you want perfection then pay $135. I dont think the insurance company should pay for prior wear and tear and everyday use.
By the way, why are you convinced that whatever bodyshop says is right? They will try to upsell.
It doesn't sound like the OP expects them to pay for wear and tear either. But they would like the insurance company to restore the car to at least the condition it was in before the accident, when although it did have rock chips, it didn't have the permanent appearance of being dirt stained, as described from the sample his wife was shown.

State Farm is refusing to do so, on the argument that the minimum required to fulfill their legal obligation would accidentally leave the car in better condition than it was.

I'm unclear what the state law's $500 wear and tear exclusion really is intended to cover (eg - cost of repairs vs. impact to resale value), but I suppose State Farm might have an out there.

And most others in this thread have pointed out, $135 is not a big expense in the grand scheme of things. Still, it would irritate me probably more than it seems to be irritating the OP, especially since $135 is probably about the labor cost that State Farm has already spent opposing the request. So I concede, it doesn't seem worth fighting, unless they simply want to make a stand on the principal that State Farm has not made them whole.

barnaclebob
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:04 am

AlphaLess wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:03 pm
A relative going straight on a county road got hit by incoming car who took a left turn when it was not their right of way.

Relative could have died: it was that bad.

Opposing insurance started paying for some medical bills, but over time, stopped paying for additional tests.

Relatives health insurance picked up around $20K of expenses, with a lot of deductible, out of pocket, and co-insurance being covered by the relative.

I think you should look at the big picture here.
Other people have had loved ones die in car crashes, your relative should look at the big picture.

Just because there are worse problems in the world doesn't mean you shouldn't fight the smaller ones.

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N1CKV
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by N1CKV » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:59 pm

You are stuck dealing with Snake Farm? I feel sorry for you.
If you have comprehensive insurance have your insurance fix the whole thing and send the bill to State Farm. You will be out of your deductible in the mean time, and if they can't collect for the full amount you'll be out that too. It won't affect your insurance rates though.

Also, make sure your wife gets that stiffness in her neck and lower back checked out...
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

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dm200
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by dm200 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:10 pm

Over the decades, having made several claims of this type - State Farm always properly and satisfactorily dealt with body shops for repairs - even when there was additional work needed when the body shop encountered something when doing the work.

Finridge
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by Finridge » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:27 pm

You're not stuck dealing with State Farm. Get one or two other estimates and go with the lowest one. Send a letter to the driver with copies of all the estimates and demand that he pay the full amount (or cause his insurance company to pay the full amount) of the lowest one, or you will sue in small claims court. Then proceed to do so if they don't pay.

criticalmass
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by criticalmass » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:05 am

Personally I would just pay the $135. Actually I wish I could get wear and tear repaired on a bumper for $135.

Since State Farm is being ornery, I’d be happy to send them (actually their insured, who is the actual defendant; Farm is just the defendant’s representative) a small claims notice for the $135 afterwards, and include all their documentation that led you to pay the $135. That costs about $10 plus a few bucks for certified mail. It will likely cost Farm far more than that just to respond, but that’s their choice. Likely they will pay, but small claims court can be fun and educational, or you might even get an offer to appear on a TV court show. (Farm would never allow that to happen of course, they’d be fighting to pay you even faster.)

PS. After all repairs are complete, don’t forget to file your diminished value claim, especially since your car is only three years old. Lots of information on that on this website and elsewhere. Last time I made a DV claim, I ended up with a check for several grand after repairing minor damage on a new car. Of course many insurance companies balk at DV at first until they realize you are serious and know what to do.

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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:07 am

criticalmass wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:05 am
Personally I would just pay the $135. Actually I wish I could get wear and tear repaired on a bumper for $135.

Since State Farm is being ornery, I’d be happy to send them (actually their insured, who is the actual defendant; Farm is just the defendant’s representative) a small claims notice for the $135 afterwards, and include all their documentation that led you to pay the $135. That costs about $10 plus a few bucks for certified mail. It will likely cost Farm far more than that just to respond, but that’s their choice. Likely they will pay, but small claims court can be fun and educational, or you might even get an offer to appear on a TV court show. (Farm would never allow that to happen of course, they’d be fighting to pay you even faster.)

PS. After all repairs are complete, don’t forget to file your diminished value claim, especially since your car is only three years old. Lots of information on that on this website and elsewhere. Last time I made a DV claim, I ended up with a check for several grand after repairing minor damage on a new car. Of course many insurance companies balk at DV at first until they realize you are serious and know what to do.
I made my way to the repair shop yesterday to take a look. I decided to go ahead and authorize the extra $135 work. I've already put more time and effort into this that I wanted, but such is life I suppose.

Thanks for the information on 'diminished value.' I've never heard of such a thing before, but it's got the gears turning. In for a penny, in for a pound at this point!

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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by AlphaLess » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:45 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:04 am
Other people ...
That is what we call hearsay, your honor.
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word." George Washington

youngin87
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by youngin87 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:29 am

I just posted a thread earlier today. My car got rear-ended (not that bad) and the other insurer (state farm) accepted responsibility. Took it to an state farm approved shop and it looks like they will accept the $4600 bill. I'm going to decline repairs and take the cash instead.

$135 is a drop in the bucket

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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by criticalmass » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:42 am

AlphaLess wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:45 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:04 am
Other people have had loved ones die in car crashes, your relative should look at the big picture.
That is what we call hearsay, your honor.
No, it is not hearsay, it is a provable fact that folks have had loved ones die in car crashes, me included— although perhaps less relevant to getting repairs completed properly.
Last edited by criticalmass on Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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djpeteski
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by djpeteski » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:10 am

You could consider yourself very lucky State Farm is willing to pay any portion of this claim. Despite their marketing, they are pretty terrible.

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8foot7
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by 8foot7 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:53 am

I might mention to the Star Farm adjuster that you’re starting to get a headache and you’re not sure if it’s from dealing with them or maybe it was caused by the accident and maybe you’re thinking of getting that checked out...

thewizzer
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:22 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:42 am
AlphaLess wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:45 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:04 am
Other people have had loved ones die in car crashes, your relative should look at the big picture.
That is what we call hearsay, your honor.
No, it is not heresay, it is a provable fact that folks have had loved ones die in car crashes, me included— although perhaps less relevant to getting repairs completed properly.
I'm also unsure what car related fatalities have to do with getting my bumper repaired, but to each their own I suppose.

thewizzer
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:36 pm

Does anyone have any direct experience filing a diminished value claim? I've done some reading, but I assume State Farm will likely just ignore me in the hope that I go away. I'm not sure if I should just bring it up over the phone, send them a certified letter, or what?

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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by greg24 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:43 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:53 am
I might mention to the Star Farm adjuster that you’re starting to get a headache and you’re not sure if it’s from dealing with them or maybe it was caused by the accident and maybe you’re thinking of getting that checked out...
Encouraging illegal behavior such as insurance fraud is against forum policy.

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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by dm200 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:56 pm

greg24 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:43 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:53 am
I might mention to the Star Farm adjuster that you’re starting to get a headache and you’re not sure if it’s from dealing with them or maybe it was caused by the accident and maybe you’re thinking of getting that checked out...
Encouraging illegal behavior such as insurance fraud is against forum policy.
Yes..

thewizzer
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by thewizzer » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:59 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:56 pm
greg24 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:43 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:53 am
I might mention to the Star Farm adjuster that you’re starting to get a headache and you’re not sure if it’s from dealing with them or maybe it was caused by the accident and maybe you’re thinking of getting that checked out...
Encouraging illegal behavior such as insurance fraud is against forum policy.
Yes..
Agreed. No one was injured, which is much more important than anything else regarding this incident.

criticalmass
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by criticalmass » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:39 pm

thewizzer wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:22 pm

I'm also unsure what car related fatalities have to do with getting my bumper repaired, but to each their own I suppose.
For clarity, If the car suffers another accident before the bumper is repaired, an important safety device that would otherwise reduce occupant injuries and/or death is gone.

Rupert
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by Rupert » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:06 pm

thewizzer wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:36 pm
Does anyone have any direct experience filing a diminished value claim? I've done some reading, but I assume State Farm will likely just ignore me in the hope that I go away. I'm not sure if I should just bring it up over the phone, send them a certified letter, or what?
I do but not with State Farm. Typically, you just tell the insurance company representative you've been dealing with that you intend to make a DV claim, and they'll send you a form to fill out. They may send an adjuster to examine your repaired car. Then you negotiate with them. Their initial offer will be a low-ball offer. Don't accept it. Google "17c formula" to get an idea of what you can expect them to offer you. Don't believe them when they say they can't pay you more than that though. I once used a Carmax estimate, which I got after my car was repaired, to successfully negotiate a higher DV payout. There are also companies you can hire to help you maximize your DV claim. I don't know how much you have to pay those companies. It must be a good business for them because they advertise all over the internet. Their ads will start popping up everywhere after you Google "17c formula." :annoyed

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Toons
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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by Toons » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:12 pm

135.00?
Pay It
1350.00
Now we have something to discuss
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by SoAnyway » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:58 pm

thewizzer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:39 pm
jbmitt wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:11 pm
Unfortunately, this is pretty common. Until the investing website with the same name appeared, betterment was commonly applied to things like tires, batteries, UPD (un-repaired prior damage). The premise is that they are bettering the condition of your car compared to it's condition prior to the accident. They only owe to indemnify you, not to better you (your car). In fact they are prohibited from bettering you (your car) in some states.

Essentially what is happening is that they will pay for the damage to the bumper that their policyholder caused, and refinish to that area. Based on the dollar amounts they might be trying to split the cost of paint & materials. You have a couple of options:
  • You can ask for an appearance allowance, meaning they cash out for the value of the bumper damage that they caused and it doesn't get fixed. You will pay more if you repair it later on.
  • You can hope that the shop 'discovers' a broken tab on the bumper that makes it unrepairable and then State Farm pays for a replacement, likely aftermarket, bumper.
  • You can tell the shop to respray it without repairing the rock chips, they may, but they won't warranty it. It's possible that the shop may quickly clean it up, but it wouldn't be as good as the recommended repair process.
No sense engaging your insurance. Technically they would need to do the same, but I'd guess their adjuster might be willing to let something like that slide to keep you as a happy customer. The difference is less than the deductible, and the at fault carrier already has an estimate, and probably would issue a check for the same amount sticking your company for any difference.
One of the reasons I like this forum so much is that there is an abundance of folks who will spend their time to provide reasoned, intelligent advice. Thank you for that.
OP, thank you for starting this thread; it's been very educational. Times have changed, for sure. It's been decades since I've been in an auto accident. (I can't believe I just wrote that out loud, thus putting a hex on myself. SoAnyway....) I completely concur in your statement in blue above. Back to my point: Back in the old days, shops would always do what they could for the customer if it was an insurer paying, and jbmitt's statement in red above is what would've automatically happened. After all, the guy in the shop had a family to support and bills to pay just like his customer. Back then, "Did you get any freebies?" was a common question to anyone who'd gotten in a wreck that insurance was covering. Nothing crazy fraudulent like replacing every panel when only one was damaged, but things like getting a new bumper that had plenty of pre-accident dings that the owner hadn't bothered to repair. I suspect that in the tech/data-gathering age, the threat of getting kicked off an insurer's "preferred list" is much higher for the shops than in the old days, so they have to be much more mindful.

Secondly, thank you for clarifying that you didn't have collision coverage - and thanks to Rupert for asking the question. I've always had collision coverage, so much of your experience was as baffling to me as it was to many of the other posters. In my last accident sometime in the 90s (other driver admitted fault at the scene, with apologies, so no issue there), I simply informed my insurer (State Farm), took my car to one of the shops on their list, and that was that. Side issue: After several interstate moves, I do realize that different states do things different ways, and auto insurance is FAR more state-regulated than federal.

Lastly, I too can be stubborn when I don't understand something. That whole, "It's the principle" thing. It sounds like the feedback has provided the understanding you need, and you've got your priorities in order. As others said and you've agreed, be grateful you're not a widower.

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Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

Post by AlphaLess » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:46 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:42 am
AlphaLess wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:45 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:04 am
Other people have had loved ones die in car crashes, your relative should look at the big picture.
That is what we call hearsay, your honor.
No, it is not heresay, it is a provable fact that folks have had loved ones die in car crashes, me included— although perhaps less relevant to getting repairs completed properly.
It is definitely NOT 'heresay', because the latter word does not exist in the English dictionary.
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word." George Washington

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