My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

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Topic Author
NorCalHiker
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My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by NorCalHiker »

Hello,

Really would appreciate Boglehead feedback here. My 7 yr old kid was riding his bike and hit my neighbors car. The scratch seemed relatively minor but this is a brand new SUV (took delivery of it a day ago!). It looks like the estimate from the dealer's collision agent and it comes out to $2400!!

I understand that I put out the neighbor but that seems crazy high. I also understand that it's a new brand car and he wants to be made right. He's quite nice about it considering it's a brand new car. I asked him if he would consider another collision person and he said no, he wants to go to the dealer specified one because it's a new car. Any thoughts?

I know I can't contact my car insurance about this, but should I contact my home owners or umbrella insurance? Is that even something that they would cover? Nervous about calling them and having them report it on some sort of CLUE system which could negatively affect my insurance for years.

Any help is greatly appreciated. We can handle this cost, but it's such a big cost that it's got me all freaked out.
oldlongbeard
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by oldlongbeard »

The price isn't high. Remember this when people tell you kids aren't expensive LOL.
GlacierRunner
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by GlacierRunner »

It should be covered by your home owners coverage. At least I know that if your seven year old intentionally damaged a neighbor's car, it would pay. There likely isn't a deductible for liability coverage. You could pull out your policy and see if it is helpful in explaining your coverage.
Topic Author
NorCalHiker
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by NorCalHiker »

oldlongbeard wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:20 pm The price isn't high. Remember this when people tell you kids aren't expensive LOL.
We are fortunate, our kids honestly hasn't been too expensive outside of daycare ... until now! :? I'm thankful they have been healthy!
GlacierRunner wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:22 pm It should be covered by your home owners coverage. At least I know that if your seven year old intentionally damaged a neighbor's car, it would pay. There likely isn't a deductible for liability coverage. You could pull out your policy and see if it is helpful in explaining your coverage.

Thanks. I'm digging around for the policy docs now! Any thoughts on how this would affect HO premiums and for how long? WOuld it also affect umbrella premiums going forward? Wondering if I should just eat the costs or pursue the HO route.

He'd like to get the car in for the repair on Monday, so I need to figure this out soon. Not sure if I pay him directly and then get HO to reimburse me.
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:31 pm
oldlongbeard wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:20 pm The price isn't high. Remember this when people tell you kids aren't expensive LOL.
We are fortunate, our kids honestly hasn't been too expensive outside of daycare ... until now! :? I'm thankful they have been healthy!
If your kid voluntarily told you the mishap, your kid's honesty is worth many times the repair cost.
Last edited by MathIsMyWayr on Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chuck107
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by Chuck107 »

Open your checkbook, write a check, swallow hard, hand it over.
Alas, I find moderation of this forum too restrictive for my tastes, farewell.
Ricola
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by Ricola »

NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:16 pm I asked him if he would consider another collision person and he said no, he wants to go to the dealer specified one because it's a new car.
It was a brand new car until he drove it off the lot.
fortunefavored
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by fortunefavored »

Woah woah.. don't make an home owner's claim for $2400 if you can possibly afford to pay it out of pocket. 2 claims and you can easily get your policy canceled and then have to pay extreme rates due to having a cancellation on your CLUE report.

Insurance is for things you cannot afford to absorb yourself.
RadAudit
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by RadAudit »

Chuck107 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:35 pm Open your checkbook, write a check, swallow hard, hand it over.
+1

My DW backed her Mustang out of the drive way and in to the side of our new neighbor's new pick-up truck. Had to do the same thing.
Last edited by RadAudit on Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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runner3081
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by runner3081 »

fortunefavored wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:37 pm Woah woah.. don't make an home owner's claim for $2400 if you can possibly afford to pay it out of pocket. 2 claims and you can easily get your policy canceled and then have to pay extreme rates due to having a cancellation on your CLUE report.

Insurance is for things you cannot afford to absorb yourself.
It is very likely the deductible would be >2.4k anyways and not pay!
hicabob
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by hicabob »

My understanding is that once you claim on your homeowners you are on the S-list. Amica will not insure you and others will make the $$ they spent back asap, but then I've never claimed. My Dad did once though. The neighbor obviously should be made whole.
finite_difference
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by finite_difference »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:35 pm
NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:31 pm
oldlongbeard wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:20 pm The price isn't high. Remember this when people tell you kids aren't expensive LOL.
We are fortunate, our kids honestly hasn't been too expensive outside of daycare ... until now! :? I'm thankful they have been healthy!
If your kid voluntarily told you the mishap, your kid's honesty is worth many times the repair cost.
+1.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
Chuck107
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by Chuck107 »

And when you hand over the check... have your son there (without his bike) and have him say he's sorry.
He needs to experience the conclusion.
Maybe have your son hand over the check.
Alas, I find moderation of this forum too restrictive for my tastes, farewell.
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ResearchMed
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by ResearchMed »

NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:31 pm
oldlongbeard wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:20 pm The price isn't high. Remember this when people tell you kids aren't expensive LOL.
We are fortunate, our kids honestly hasn't been too expensive outside of daycare ... until now! :? I'm thankful they have been healthy!
GlacierRunner wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:22 pm It should be covered by your home owners coverage. At least I know that if your seven year old intentionally damaged a neighbor's car, it would pay. There likely isn't a deductible for liability coverage. You could pull out your policy and see if it is helpful in explaining your coverage.

Thanks. I'm digging around for the policy docs now! Any thoughts on how this would affect HO premiums and for how long? WOuld it also affect umbrella premiums going forward? Wondering if I should just eat the costs or pursue the HO route.

He'd like to get the car in for the repair on Monday, so I need to figure this out soon. Not sure if I pay him directly and then get HO to reimburse me.
Ouch! :annoyed

Double check if this would be covered under "liability" or some collision/damage (perhaps also labelled "liability"?). And then double check for deductibles.
IF you'd have to pay most of it as deductible, then you probably don't want to report it.
$2,500, for many of us, is in the "deductible" range, since we aren't going to submit claims for low/modest amounts, and thus up the rates for when we need the coverage somethng pricy.
But this is personal, and also depends upon your stage in life/financial situation.

Also make certain that the quote includes *everything*. Is it even possible that there is more damage that can't be seen?

Finally, it's your neighbors brand new car. I can understand them wanting the work done by the dealer.
(It's plenty upsetting already that ANY "work" needs to be done on a brand new car. From the limited detail you provided, I'm guessing the neighbor is being really understanding about this.)

You might want to have your child somehow "pay you back something", from allowance or some chores/extra chores, etc. Nothing much if he's only 7, but just *something* so he starts to understand there are financial consquences, etc., that there are indeed "costs" for this type of thing, other than "just being upset" (which can be bad enough, depending upon how he's feeling about it, but that's not the financial issue here). That might depend upon whether you think it was totally unavoidable, or perhaps he "could have been more careful".

And yes indeed to the apology mentioned above.

RM
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student
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by student »

I agree with others that you should pay the $2,400 without involving insurance if you can afford it. I also have a joke suggestion. If you need a new SUV, buy the same model and swap with him.
jmw
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by jmw »

The $2400 price is not crazy. Open your checkbook and write the check. This is an open and shut case. You don't want to claim this on your homeowner's unless you like getting non-renewed and getting your premiums jacked up a lot for years.

I would be mad if the scratch was still there afterwards or if they switched to a cheap body shop to pocket the difference and I could still see evidence of the scratch. But c'est la vie.
GlacierRunner
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by GlacierRunner »

NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:31 pm
Thanks. I'm digging around for the policy docs now! Any thoughts on how this would affect HO premiums and for how long? WOuld it also affect umbrella premiums going forward? Wondering if I should just eat the costs or pursue the HO route.

He'd like to get the car in for the repair on Monday, so I need to figure this out soon. Not sure if I pay him directly and then get HO to reimburse me.
I don't have a good idea of what impact it would have on premiums or for how long. Hopefully someone with claim adjusting experience will chime in. Good luck.
whomever
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by whomever »

"And when you hand over the check... have your son there (without his bike) and have him say he's sorry.
He needs to experience the conclusion.
Maybe have your son hand over the check."

There was a torrential rainstorm when my bro and I were in 2nd/4th grade or so. For some reason, we decided it was a good idea to collect a bucket of muddy, gritty water and 'wash' the neighbor's car. We were trying to be nice, buuuut....

I'm SS age today, and I can still remember being dragged over to the neighbor's porch by my ear to apologize. I dunno if it improved our character, but I remember it to this day - that taking the heat for your mistakes is the way things are. I never asked, but I wouldn't be surprised if Dad choreographed the encounter with the neighbor before we went. So +1 for the suggestion above.

I was too young to remember, but I presume Dad paid whatever the neighbor asked.

In hindsight, maybe look at it as paying for some character building for your kid ... cheap at the price if the lesson takes. Dad didn't berate us or anything; we just absorbed the lesson that actions have consequences.
Scooter17
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by Scooter17 »

Unfortunate situation. I agree pay the claim. Insurance is used only for catastrophic events.
Candor
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by Candor »

I have been in the business for close to 30 years and $2400 for a "relatively minor" scratch sounds high. How many panels are damaged? Are any of them being replaced? My concern would be that the owner is requesting repairable panels be replaced because he doesn't want body filler on his brand new vehicle and he may have instructed the shop to replace them instead of repair them.
jbmitt
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by jbmitt »

If you’re doubting the estimate, you have two options.

Open a liability claim with your homeowners insurance. They’ll arrange an appropriate estimate with the shop of the neighbor’s choice.

Or

Neighbor presents a claim through his auto insurance and subrogates against you or your liability insurance.

I’m wary of estimates from shops, until insurance is involved, they’re welcome to charge whatever the feel is appropriate and don’t have to follow standard, accepted repair decisions.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by Whakamole »

Chuck107 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm And when you hand over the check... have your son there (without his bike) and have him say he's sorry.
He needs to experience the conclusion.
Maybe have your son hand over the check.
That, or have the parents who may not have been watching their kid ride their bike next to a neighbor's car there when the check is handed over.
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NorCalHiker
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by NorCalHiker »

Thanks again for the all the replies everyone. Man, I love this forum. The high repair cost, however reasonable considering it's a new SUV, just clouded my thinking so I'm thankful for the gut check. We aren't the type to have fancy luxury cars and we also don't care about scratches (obviously, see below) so it's a bit of a shock to us.
ResearchMed wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm Double check if this would be covered under "liability" or some collision/damage (perhaps also labelled "liability"?). And then double check for deductibles.
Completely forgot. I had already had my HO deductible at 2500 for over 15 yrs, so this isn't even an option; never mind it not being a wise decision as others have indicated!
(It's plenty upsetting already that ANY "work" needs to be done on a brand new car. From the limited detail you provided, I'm guessing the neighbor is being really understanding about this.)
Yup, that was my feeling and they have honestly been pretty understanding.
You might want to have your child somehow "pay you back something", from allowance or some chores/extra chores, etc. Nothing much if he's only 7, but just *something* so he starts to understand there are financial consquences, etc., that there are indeed "costs" for this type of thing, other than "just being upset" (which can be bad enough, depending upon how he's feeling about it, but that's not the financial issue here). That might depend upon whether you think it was totally unavoidable, or perhaps he "could have been more careful".
Chuck107 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm And when you hand over the check... have your son there (without his bike) and have him say he's sorry.
He needs to experience the conclusion.
Maybe have your son hand over the check.
Thanks, this is a good idea. He is a sensitive child, but I don't think he quite realizes the financial consequence of it. I love Chuck107's idea so I went over there now with my son and wife and had him apologize. They were appreciative and gave him some prepackaged snacks (I was thinking "enjoy your $2400 peanut snacks kid!" :twisted: ).

A few more details. This is his first bike with gears which he just got 2 days back and he's moved up to the next higher size, so he's getting used to the bike. The funny part is that he scratched *MY* 2019 econobox EV in the same morning and told my wife about it (which we were proud of for coming to us and admitting it). He was biking in a different area on our street when he hit the neighbor's car because he was worried about some other cars that were driving in this direction. My neighbor was there and called me over since he had some minor scratches. I guess I need to find him a different hobby or have him bike on a wide open field! As part of his consequences, I plan on working with him to buff out the scratches on my car.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by H-Town »

NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:16 pm Hello,

Really would appreciate Boglehead feedback here. My 7 yr old kid was riding his bike and hit my neighbors car. The scratch seemed relatively minor but this is a brand new SUV (took delivery of it a day ago!). It looks like the estimate from the dealer's collision agent and it comes out to $2400!!

I understand that I put out the neighbor but that seems crazy high. I also understand that it's a new brand car and he wants to be made right. He's quite nice about it considering it's a brand new car. I asked him if he would consider another collision person and he said no, he wants to go to the dealer specified one because it's a new car. Any thoughts?

I know I can't contact my car insurance about this, but should I contact my home owners or umbrella insurance? Is that even something that they would cover? Nervous about calling them and having them report it on some sort of CLUE system which could negatively affect my insurance for years.

Any help is greatly appreciated. We can handle this cost, but it's such a big cost that it's got me all freaked out.
If I were your neighbor, I would just take your apology and move on. A car is a car. You drive it for for a few years, it gonna collect scratch and whatnots. No need to put a young child and you through an ordeal.
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FIREchief
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by FIREchief »

I agree with just paying out of pocket with two caveats.

a) you have every right to request him to obtain an estimate from a (reputable) body shop of your choice
b) "next Monday" is not your deadline

If the independent shop comes in at $1500, pay him that and he can get it repaired anywhere he wants. I would ask him to sign a receipt indicating that the matter has been settled in full before handing over the $1500. Of course, he could approach your insurance company requesting damages (assuming he can figure out who provides your insurance).

Also, keep in mind the possibility that you pay him for it and he just pockets the money without getting the scratch repaired.
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rkhusky
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by rkhusky »

If you pay cash, I would hope your deductible is $2K+. No sense paying for insurance you have no intention of using.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

Chuck107 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:35 pm Open your checkbook, write a check, swallow hard, hand it over.
Now that's just crazy talk. Use your credit card and get the points. Unless the shop will give you a discount for writing a check.
Topic Author
NorCalHiker
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by NorCalHiker »

NotWhoYouThink wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:59 pm
Chuck107 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:35 pm Open your checkbook, write a check, swallow hard, hand it over.
Now that's just crazy talk. Use your credit card and get the points. Unless the shop will give you a discount for writing a check.
Haha, way ahead of you! :) When life gives you lemons ...
Candor wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:37 pm I have been in the business for close to 30 years and $2400 for a "relatively minor" scratch sounds high. How many panels are damaged? Are any of them being replaced? My concern would be that the owner is requesting repairable panels be replaced because he doesn't want body filler on his brand new vehicle and he may have instructed the shop to replace them instead of repair them.
The edge of the handlebars scratched one panel and the body of the bike scraped the paint on the bumper. The labor costs are $1600 of the $2400 quote.
Scooter17 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:07 pm Unfortunate situation. I agree pay the claim. Insurance is used only for catastrophic events.
Absolutely agree and thanks for the reminder. I just was freaking out about the cost and should have taken a deep breath!
FIREchief wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:54 pm I agree with just paying out of pocket with two caveats.

a) you have every right to request him to obtain an estimate from a (reputable) body shop of your choice
b) "next Monday" is not your deadline

If the independent shop comes in at $1500, pay him that and he can get it repaired anywhere he wants. I would ask him to sign a receipt indicating that the matter has been settled in full before handing over the $1500. Of course, he could approach your insurance company requesting damages (assuming he can figure out who provides your insurance).

Also, keep in mind the possibility that you pay him for it and he just pockets the money without getting the scratch repaired.
Yeah, I was thinking an independent shop at first, but he didn't jump on the idea and I didn't want to inconvenience him further by having him drive to another shop to get a quote. Good idea on the receipt. I will ask him to sign that when giving him the check. I also offered to pay the body shop directly. He definitely sounds like he wants to get it repaired.
H-Town wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:51 pm If I were your neighbor, I would just take your apology and move on. A car is a car. You drive it for for a few years, it gonna collect scratch and whatnots. No need to put a young child and you through an ordeal.
THis is the way DW and I would have handled it. But we don't really value cars, new or otherwise, as much as others.
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ResearchMed
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by ResearchMed »

NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:51 pm Thanks again for the all the replies everyone. Man, I love this forum. The high repair cost, however reasonable considering it's a new SUV, just clouded my thinking so I'm thankful for the gut check. We aren't the type to have fancy luxury cars and we also don't care about scratches (obviously, see below) so it's a bit of a shock to us.
ResearchMed wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm Double check if this would be covered under "liability" or some collision/damage (perhaps also labelled "liability"?). And then double check for deductibles.
Completely forgot. I had already had my HO deductible at 2500 for over 15 yrs, so this isn't even an option; never mind it not being a wise decision as others have indicated!
(It's plenty upsetting already that ANY "work" needs to be done on a brand new car. From the limited detail you provided, I'm guessing the neighbor is being really understanding about this.)
Yup, that was my feeling and they have honestly been pretty understanding.
You might want to have your child somehow "pay you back something", from allowance or some chores/extra chores, etc. Nothing much if he's only 7, but just *something* so he starts to understand there are financial consquences, etc., that there are indeed "costs" for this type of thing, other than "just being upset" (which can be bad enough, depending upon how he's feeling about it, but that's not the financial issue here). That might depend upon whether you think it was totally unavoidable, or perhaps he "could have been more careful".
Chuck107 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm And when you hand over the check... have your son there (without his bike) and have him say he's sorry.
He needs to experience the conclusion.
Maybe have your son hand over the check.
Thanks, this is a good idea. He is a sensitive child, but I don't think he quite realizes the financial consequence of it. I love Chuck107's idea so I went over there now with my son and wife and had him apologize. They were appreciative and gave him some prepackaged snacks (I was thinking "enjoy your $2400 peanut snacks kid!" :twisted: ).

A few more details. This is his first bike with gears which he just got 2 days back and he's moved up to the next higher size, so he's getting used to the bike. The funny part is that he scratched *MY* 2019 econobox EV in the same morning and told my wife about it (which we were proud of for coming to us and admitting it). He was biking in a different area on our street when he hit the neighbor's car because he was worried about some other cars that were driving in this direction. My neighbor was there and called me over since he had some minor scratches. I guess I need to find him a different hobby or have him bike on a wide open field! As part of his consequences, I plan on working with him to buff out the scratches on my car.
Er... hmmm...

Dare I suggest that your son might (should?) have had a bit more supervision when learning to ride a significantly different bike, and in an area with parked cars (not an open lot, for example), and... moving vehicles...!?

I think I'll add to my comment that you all may have gotten off **VERY** easily after all, given what could have happened.
(Sorry, but reading your additional info really got to me... I had a child - age 8 - struck by a car. Walking, in marked crosswalk in front of main entrance to elementary school [nope, apparenty not alcohol, and driver lived about 2 blocks away so clearly knew there was a school there!??]...

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

have the neighbor's kid scratch your car with his bike and call it even?

take the $2400 out of your kid's allowance?
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Taylor Larimore
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A Good Neighbor

Post by Taylor Larimore »

NorCalHiker:

You said that you can afford the cost. It is your responsibility.

Having a good neighbor is far more important than $2,400.

If you think it is worth the trouble, try and collect from the insurance company later.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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NorCalHiker
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by NorCalHiker »

ResearchMed wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:04 pm Er... hmmm...

Dare I suggest that your son might (should?) have had a bit more supervision when learning to ride a significantly different bike, and in an area with parked cars (not an open lot, for example), and... moving vehicles...!?

I think I'll add to my comment that you all may have gotten off **VERY** easily after all, given what could have happened.
(Sorry, but reading your additional info really got to me... I had a child - age 8 - struck by a car. Walking, in marked crosswalk in front of main entrance to elementary school [nope, apparenty not alcohol, and driver lived about 2 blocks away so clearly knew there was a school there!??]...

RM
Oh no, so sorry about your child getting struck! Hope everything turned out ok. That's my biggest fear as well since we spend a decent amount of time biking with the kids, especially post pandemic.

No worries about your suggestion. My wife was supervising him in the morning when he scratched my car. My car was parked in our driveway and he made a sharp turn but it was on the other side of the car and that's when he hit the car and came and told my wife who was about 20 ft away. As far as the neighbor incident, I was watching him, but he was on the sidewalk on the other side of the street and I saw him go behind the SUV but didn't see him come out the other side. There are always lizards and other insects there so it's not uncommon to have them park their bikes there, which is what I assumed happened. Turns out he heard a car rev its engine way down the street and turned around (out of my view) and then didn't hit the SUV at that point.
Taylor Larimore wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:13 pm NorCalHiker:

You said that you can afford the cost. It is your responsibility.

Having a good neighbor is far more important than $2,400.

If you think it is worth the trouble, try and collect from the insurance company later.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "It is character, not numbers, that make the world go ‘round. How can we possibly measure the qualities of human existence that give our lives and careers meaning? How about grace, kindness, and integrity?"
Absolutely, thanks Taylor! Not gonna bother with my insurance company.
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8foot7
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by 8foot7 »

You should just pay it.

If I were your neighbor, and you started in however politely on a “i need two different written estimates” path or a “I need you to waste your own time getting a second opinion from an independent shop” on damage your ilk caused on my one-day-old new car, I’d just smile, say, “no worries, since it is a brand new car I want everything aboveboard so I will go through my auto insurance and they will probably contact you at some point” and then I’d get the scratch repaired to my liking. So I don’t recommend this approach.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by Mr.BB »

That really does sound high for a scratch. Ask your neighbor for a copy of the estimate before you write him the check.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by RJC »

NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:16 pm Hello,

Really would appreciate Boglehead feedback here. My 7 yr old kid was riding his bike and hit my neighbors car. The scratch seemed relatively minor but this is a brand new SUV (took delivery of it a day ago!). It looks like the estimate from the dealer's collision agent and it comes out to $2400!!

I understand that I put out the neighbor but that seems crazy high. I also understand that it's a new brand car and he wants to be made right. He's quite nice about it considering it's a brand new car. I asked him if he would consider another collision person and he said no, he wants to go to the dealer specified one because it's a new car. Any thoughts?

I know I can't contact my car insurance about this, but should I contact my home owners or umbrella insurance? Is that even something that they would cover? Nervous about calling them and having them report it on some sort of CLUE system which could negatively affect my insurance for years.

Any help is greatly appreciated. We can handle this cost, but it's such a big cost that it's got me all freaked out.
What make and model was it?
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by LadyGeek »

First, I removed a post providing an analogy which was about our family-friendly threshold. The language was fine, but the subject matter was not intended for young persons.

Next, discussions of dishonest behavior or bypassing the law is totally unacceptable. I removed a post which suggested filing a false insurance claim (insurance fraud). I also removed the replies.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by 000 »

Was the car parked on a public road? Was it parked in a lawful manner?
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by Sandtrap »

1. You've learned a lot about "who" your son is.
2. You've learned a lot about "who" your neighbor is. Really.
3. You have to live with your son.
4. You have to live with the neighbor.

The neighbor's damage claim is legitimate. Pay as soon as possible, take son along, have son hand neighbor the check and apologize. Neighbor might feel like an unforgiving "heel", or call it, "everything's fair and square", and so forth.
If neighbor pockets the money and never fixes the dent or goes to another place for cheaper or has "uncle harry" fix it, it not your concern so leave things behind and move on.

5. Smooth relations with son going forward.
6. Smooth (hopefully) relations with neighbor going forward.
(The money is a small amount to pay for #5 and #6)

7. Have son promise not to drive his bike close to parked cars.
8. Maybe get a bike your son can handle a bit easier as a transition bike.

j :happy
Last edited by Sandtrap on Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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NorCalHiker
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by NorCalHiker »

000 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:26 pm Was the car parked on a public road? Was it parked in a lawful manner?
Yes, it was parked legally and on a small public road.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by neverpanic »

FIREchief wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:54 pm a) you have every right to request him to obtain an estimate from a (reputable) body shop of your choice
b) "next Monday" is not your deadline
Yes, he can request the aggrieved party seek another estimate or 2, but the request does not place any obligation upon the other person.
Also, keep in mind the possibility that you pay him for it and he just pockets the money without getting the scratch repaired.
Not his concern, not worth considering. It's probably safe to say the little boy had no intention whatsoever to cause any damage and maybe he rode to close because it was shiny and attracted him. But whatever it was that brought him to that place at that time, he is responsible for the neighbor's damages, which means the parent of the minor is responsible for making the neighbor whole. The cash in the neighbor's pocket would satisfy that requirement, regardless of where the money goes from there.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by bogledogle »

LadyGeek wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:24 pm First, I removed a post providing an analogy which was about our family-friendly threshold. The language was fine, but the subject matter was not intended for young persons.

Next, discussions of dishonest behavior or bypassing the law is totally unacceptable. I removed a post which suggested filing a false insurance claim (insurance fraud). I also removed the replies.

I think my post was removed and I don't think the subject matter was the problem. I'd like to know which part was a suggestion to file a fraudulent claim - I am genuinely curious.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by RTF »

NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:16 pm Hello,

Really would appreciate Boglehead feedback here. My 7 yr old kid was riding his bike and hit my neighbors car. The scratch seemed relatively minor but this is a brand new SUV (took delivery of it a day ago!). It looks like the estimate from the dealer's collision agent and it comes out to $2400!!

I understand that I put out the neighbor but that seems crazy high. I also understand that it's a new brand car and he wants to be made right. He's quite nice about it considering it's a brand new car. I asked him if he would consider another collision person and he said no, he wants to go to the dealer specified one because it's a new car. Any thoughts?

I know I can't contact my car insurance about this, but should I contact my home owners or umbrella insurance? Is that even something that they would cover? Nervous about calling them and having them report it on some sort of CLUE system which could negatively affect my insurance for years.

Any help is greatly appreciated. We can handle this cost, but it's such a big cost that it's got me all freaked out.

I think you’re handling this brilliantly and is a great lesson for your son. We are all human and make mistakes, this is just part of life. This neighbor has every right to have it repaired at his dealers collision center, I would do the same exact thing if I was in his shoes. As much as people don’t want to admit it, body shops are not all created equal. I’d personally give him a check and put it behind you, getting any type of insurance involved would only make this much more costly in the long run.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by jumppilot »

NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:16 pm Hello,

Really would appreciate Boglehead feedback here. My 7 yr old kid was riding his bike and hit my neighbors car. The scratch seemed relatively minor but this is a brand new SUV (took delivery of it a day ago!). It looks like the estimate from the dealer's collision agent and it comes out to $2400!!

I understand that I put out the neighbor but that seems crazy high. I also understand that it's a new brand car and he wants to be made right. He's quite nice about it considering it's a brand new car. I asked him if he would consider another collision person and he said no, he wants to go to the dealer specified one because it's a new car. Any thoughts?

I know I can't contact my car insurance about this, but should I contact my home owners or umbrella insurance? Is that even something that they would cover? Nervous about calling them and having them report it on some sort of CLUE system which could negatively affect my insurance for years.

Any help is greatly appreciated. We can handle this cost, but it's such a big cost that it's got me all freaked out.

I am not a lawyer, but if you end up just writing a check I’d also see about having the neighbor sign a waiver or release from future liability. You don’t want to write him a check and then a month later come after you for the extra costs of repairs, eg “when your child hit my car, he damaged a $5000 sensor.”

When I was 12 I sold a classmate a guitar. I had him sign a waiver (however poorly written) that said when he paid all future damage was his fault, in case he tripped when leaving my house.

Maybe I’m still paranoid. :shock:
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by dodecahedron »

ResearchMed wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:04 pm Er... hmmm...

Dare I suggest that your son might (should?) have had a bit more supervision when learning to ride a significantly different bike, and in an area with parked cars (not an open lot, for example), and... moving vehicles...!?

I think I'll add to my comment that you all may have gotten off **VERY** easily after all, given what could have happened.
(Sorry, but reading your additional info really got to me... I had a child - age 8 - struck by a car. Walking, in marked crosswalk in front of main entrance to elementary school [nope, apparenty not alcohol, and driver lived about 2 blocks away so clearly knew there was a school there!??]...

RM
My thoughts exactly! It really upsets me to see young unsupervised kids biking in the roadway!

Either supervision or find your child a safer venue for biking, for his sake (above all!) as well as the integrity of your neighbors´ cars.

I got my first bike at 9 and I was only allowed to ride it on a quarter-mile circular track at an elementary school about half a mile away from my home. My aunt owned a home about a block from the school, so I stored my bike locked up in their garage. When I wanted to ride, I walked the half mile to my aunt´s house, unlocked the bike, and *walked* my bike on the sidewalk over to the elementary school track. Once off the road and on the asphalt track of the elementary school, I happily rode my bike round and round and round. When I was done riding, I walked my bike back to my aunt´s garage, locked the bike up there, and contentedly walked half a mile home.

(I lived in a city where it would have been insanity for a small child to ride a bike in the street. Technically I could have biked on the sidewalks but my parents did not want me to do that either, too many dangerous driveways with cars backing out. Also lots of tree roots made sidewalks rather hard to navigate.)
Last edited by dodecahedron on Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Chuck107 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm And when you hand over the check... have your son there (without his bike) and have him say he's sorry.
He needs to experience the conclusion.
Maybe have your son hand over the check.
Wow! That’s a bit much isn’t it? The kid is 7.
Tell the neighbor to keep his suv in the driveway or in the garage, it’s going to get dinged and scratched up on the road and parking lots.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by FIREchief »

neverpanic wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:36 pm
FIREchief wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:54 pm a) you have every right to request him to obtain an estimate from a (reputable) body shop of your choice
b) "next Monday" is not your deadline
Yes, he can request the aggrieved party seek another estimate or 2, but the request does not place any obligation upon the other person.
Also, keep in mind the possibility that you pay him for it and he just pockets the money without getting the scratch repaired.
Not his concern, not worth considering. It's probably safe to say the little boy had no intention whatsoever to cause any damage and maybe he rode to close because it was shiny and attracted him. But whatever it was that brought him to that place at that time, he is responsible for the neighbor's damages, which means the parent of the minor is responsible for making the neighbor whole. The cash in the neighbor's pocket would satisfy that requirement, regardless of where the money goes from there.
Did I say anything suggesting that the OP was not responsible?? You seem to be making a lot of points that have already been made and that nobody is disputing. I merely suggested that the OP might want to gain some confidence that he was putting a "fair" amount of cash in the neighbor's pocket.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by theplayer11 »

H-Town wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:51 pm
NorCalHiker wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:16 pm Hello,

Really would appreciate Boglehead feedback here. My 7 yr old kid was riding his bike and hit my neighbors car. The scratch seemed relatively minor but this is a brand new SUV (took delivery of it a day ago!). It looks like the estimate from the dealer's collision agent and it comes out to $2400!!

I understand that I put out the neighbor but that seems crazy high. I also understand that it's a new brand car and he wants to be made right. He's quite nice about it considering it's a brand new car. I asked him if he would consider another collision person and he said no, he wants to go to the dealer specified one because it's a new car. Any thoughts?

I know I can't contact my car insurance about this, but should I contact my home owners or umbrella insurance? Is that even something that they would cover? Nervous about calling them and having them report it on some sort of CLUE system which could negatively affect my insurance for years.

Any help is greatly appreciated. We can handle this cost, but it's such a big cost that it's got me all freaked out.
If I were your neighbor, I would just take your apology and move on. A car is a car. You drive it for for a few years, it gonna collect scratch and whatnots. No need to put a young child and you through an ordeal.
no way , no how. The guy just got the car a day before. I would not have been pleased at all.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by 123 »

For body damage to a day-old new car I think everyone who does an estimate can figure out that someone is going to have to pay through the nose. I doubt you will see anything significantly lower.
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by 260chrisb »

Chuck107 wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:47 pm And when you hand over the check... have your son there (without his bike) and have him say he's sorry.
He needs to experience the conclusion.
Maybe have your son hand over the check.
Yes, absolutely this!!
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Re: My kid scratched my neighbor's new car

Post by stoptothink »

dodecahedron wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:53 pm
ResearchMed wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:04 pm Er... hmmm...

Dare I suggest that your son might (should?) have had a bit more supervision when learning to ride a significantly different bike, and in an area with parked cars (not an open lot, for example), and... moving vehicles...!?

I think I'll add to my comment that you all may have gotten off **VERY** easily after all, given what could have happened.
(Sorry, but reading your additional info really got to me... I had a child - age 8 - struck by a car. Walking, in marked crosswalk in front of main entrance to elementary school [nope, apparenty not alcohol, and driver lived about 2 blocks away so clearly knew there was a school there!??]...

RM
My thoughts exactly! It really upsets me to see young unsupervised kids biking in the roadway!

Either supervision or find your child a safer venue for biking, for his sake (above all!) as well as the integrity of your neighbors´ cars.

I got my first bike at 9 and I was only allowed to ride it on a quarter-mile circular track at an elementary school about half a mile away from my home. My aunt owned a home about a block from the school, so I stored my bike locked up in their garage. When I wanted to ride, I walked the half mile to my aunt´s house, unlocked the bike, and *walked* my bike on the sidewalk over to the elementary school track. Once off the road and on the asphalt track of the elementary school, I happily road my bike round and round and round. When I was done riding, I walked my bike back to my aunt´s garage, locked the bike up there, and contentedly walked half a mile home.

(I lived in a city where it would have been insanity for a small child to ride a bike in the street. Technically I could have biked on the sidewalks but my parents did not want me to do that either, too many dangerous driveways with cars backing out. Also lots of tree roots made sidewalks rather hard to navigate.)
:shock: Both of my kids were riding pedal bikes by 3. My 5yr old son does wheelies and makes his own ramps. There are at least a handful of <10yr olds riding their bikes on our block at all times. There is a group of us (5 different households) that basically take turns sitting on our porch to make sure nobody dies. No casualties - or scratched doors - yet.
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