Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

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Anon64
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Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:38 pm

Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by Anon64 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:24 am

Hi all,
I was sitting in my parked car at a rest stop and a large SUV backed right into my driver's side door leaving a substantial dent and some scratches. The driver apologized and I called the police who wrote up a report. It's been over 3 weeks and I am still waiting for the police report. I have collision on my insurance but when I called my carrier they said I had the option of going through my insurance and paying my deductible or dealing with the other party's insurance carrier directly. The other driver has USAA. My carrier said that some people when it's clearly the other party's fault prefer to just deal with the other insurance company so they don't get this on their record and don't have to pay the deductible.

Anyone have any experience and suggestions on whether to wait for the police report (I expect it any day but who knows) and directly deal with the other side's insurance or go through my own insurance (looking for the best financial option)?

Thanks!
Last edited by Anon64 on Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Apostrophe
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by Apostrophe » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:40 am

I just experienced something very similar. Another car backed into my one-year-old car in a parking lot. We exchanged information---she coincidentally had USAA,as well---and I filed a claim with my carrier, American Family. They recommended a repair shop and my car was good as new within a week. The total repair bill was just under $1,000. I paid $500 of it, as my deductible and American Family paid the balance. My insurer then pursued subrogation against the other driver and USAA. They kept me informed periodically as they went through the process. It took nearly six months, but I eventually received a check in the mail for $500, my insurer did all the work, and the accident is not on my record.

I have to admit I'm still a little bit surprised at how painless the whole thing was, and also that my insurer was willing to do that much work when their own loss was less than $500. I've been with American Family for more than twenty years and have always been satisfied, although I'm sure I could probably pay lower premiums elsewhere. This experience has convinced me to stay with them.

bob60014
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by bob60014 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:57 am

In my area, Illinois, the full accident report may not be automatically sent to you. You must contact the police department that took the report and ask for a copy.

Anon64
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by Anon64 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:25 am

Thanks. They gave me an incident number so that I can purchase the report online at Buycrash.com. I contacted the turnpike authority and they said it just has not uploaded yet and I need to wait.

cherijoh
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by cherijoh » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:37 am

Apostrophe wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:40 am
I just experienced something very similar. Another car backed into my one-year-old car in a parking lot. We exchanged information---she coincidentally had USAA,as well---and I filed a claim with my carrier, American Family. They recommended a repair shop and my car was good as new within a week. The total repair bill was just under $1,000. I paid $500 of it, as my deductible and American Family paid the balance. My insurer then pursued subrogation against the other driver and USAA. They kept me informed periodically as they went through the process. It took nearly six months, but I eventually received a check in the mail for $500, my insurer did all the work, and the accident is not on my record.

I have to admit I'm still a little bit surprised at how painless the whole thing was, and also that my insurer was willing to do that much work when their own loss was less than $500. I've been with American Family for more than twenty years and have always been satisfied, although I'm sure I could probably pay lower premiums elsewhere. This experience has convinced me to stay with them.
I think the OP's insurance company was misleading by suggesting that his/her insurance would be adversely affected by an accident for which they were not at fault. (Always get a police report!) I would have handled it the same way you did in terms of filing with your own insurance company.

At least the other insurer in the OP's case is USAA which I think has a good rep for customer service. I have heard of non-name insurance companies giving non-customer claimants the run-around.

Rupert
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by Rupert » Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:54 pm

Many insurance companies will waive your collision deductible when it's clear that the other party is not going to contest fault. You should ask your insurance company if that's their practice.

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grabiner
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by grabiner » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:17 pm

Anon64 wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:24 am
My carrier said that some people when it's clearly the other party's fault prefer to just deal with the other insurance company so they don't get this on their record and don't have to pay the deductible.
Since this accident was reported to police, it will be on the record whether you file a claim on your policy or not. You'll have to check the terms of your policy to see whether it affects your premium. When I lived in NJ, the very top tier was reserved for drivers who had no not-at-fault accidents, although I don't know whether damage to a parked car would count even for that.

You will not have to pay the deductible once the other driver's insurance makes a payment. If your insurance arranges the repairs, you will pay the deductible, and then your insurance company will collect the full damages from the at-fault driver. Assuming it collects the full amount, you get your deductible back.
Wiki David Grabiner

Anon64
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by Anon64 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:42 am

Thanks for the responses.

The consensus seems to be to just go to my insurance company, pay the deductible, and my insurance company will get reimbursed. I'm completely fine with paying the deductible and taking that route. But here's my possibly bigger financial concern and I'm not sure I can do anything about it: at what point does this show up on Carfax as a accident? The dent is big enough that I want it fixed but has no impact on the ability to drive the car and can easily be fixed.

Like many here, I plan to drive the car a long time and then sell it. If there's an accident on the Carfax, that could really impact the value at the end of the day and I'm really not being put in the same position (as before the accident) just by getting the dent popped out.

Cigarman
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by Cigarman » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:16 am

I had someone rear end me earlier this year. Clearly their fault. My insurance company (Amica) suggested I could either pay my deductible and then work to get it back or deal with the other driver's company. I told them, point blank, that they needed to handle it with the other insurer (Geico) since that I why I pay them every month.

Fast forward the damage was more severe than originally thought once it got into the body shop. Amica ended up totaling the vehicle and I had to fight with them enough to get a decent settlement. Imagine the headache if A) I had to try and get my deductible back or B) had to wrestle with Geico even though they accepted fault on behalf of their client.

Bottom line: Make your insurance company do the leg work. They are experienced in that sort of thing and deal with it every day rather than you and me who might deal with it once or twice in a lifetime.

Anon64
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by Anon64 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:09 pm

OP here with a Follow Up:

I got the accident report and the cop made up quotes to support his conclusion that both parties were at fault. Anyway, not sure I care because all parties (all witnesses, drivers, and both insurance companies) agreed that the other side is 100% at fault and have covered the cost of my repairs. So that got me thinking, why would the cop not just state the facts and let the courts/insurance companies figure out fault? It almost seemed that he was really trying to help one side over the other.

mariezzz
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by mariezzz » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:59 am

cherijoh wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:37 am

I think the OP's insurance company was misleading by suggesting that his/her insurance would be adversely affected by an accident for which they were not at fault. (Always get a police report!) I would have handled it the same way you did in terms of filing with your own insurance company.

At least the other insurer in the OP's case is USAA which I think has a good rep for customer service. I have heard of non-name insurance companies giving non-customer claimants the run-around.
Where I live, the police won't come out if the incident happens in a parking lot. A few years ago, someone backed into me in a store's parking lot. She admitted she was at fault. I called the police - they said they don't come out if the incident wasn't on a road and there were no injuries. I called my insurance from the parking lot; she called hers. I got some compensation for the damage from her insurance company. They paid some quickly but tried to avoid paying for certain things. I fought, and got them to cover about $400 more (should have been about $800) but not without a lot of hassle, aggravation, and time expended on my part.

SoAnyway
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Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

Post by SoAnyway » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:09 am

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