Auto Accident and how to use auto insurance

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Polar_Ice
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Auto Accident and how to use auto insurance

Post by Polar_Ice » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:57 pm

I was rear ended the other day. I have never had any claims for my auto insurance. I have full coverage on this car. The rear bumper is not too bad but I want to get it checked out and make sure nothing is damaged under it and get it fixed.

I got the other driver's auto insurance. Should I contact his auto insurance and leave my auto insurance out of it or should I contact my insurance since I have full coverage and let them handle everything and collect from the other drivers insurance? I doubt they would raise my rates but wondering if I just call the other drivers insurance it would be more favorable to having my rates raised.

Thanks

ataloss
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Post by ataloss » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:35 am

if you are not at fault I don't see how it could hurt your rates.

tomd37
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Post by tomd37 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:40 am

Polar,

I hope you have a police report that will support your statement that you were rear ended and that the other driver is at fault. Without that I believe your insurance rate might be affected.
Tom D.

SamB
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Post by SamB » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:45 am

Always notify your insurance company if you have an accident. You never know how these things will turn out.

Sam

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Quasimodo
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Post by Quasimodo » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:05 am

SamB wrote:Always notify your insurance company if you have an accident. You never know how these things will turn out.

Sam
Absolutely right.

John
Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions. | | Frank Lloyd Wright, architect (1867-1959)

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AAA
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Post by AAA » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:25 pm

I'm not an expert, but from my experience, you have two options:

1. File a claim with your company. You will have to pay your deductible, but generally will be reimbursed when your company gets paid by the other party's. In my last such accident, I didn't even have to pay the deductible, not sure why not.

2. File a claim through the other party's company. No deductible involved. They are supposed to be impartial, but I always wondered in whose best interest they would act.

The one possible risk to #1 is the following: if the your company can't get fully reimbursed by the other party's, and therefore they have some expense involved, it could lead to higher rates even though it wasn't your fault. But in all cases, you should notify your company and then decide later whether to file with them.

I have had two such accidents in recent years and filed with my company. But by calling the other company, I got them to reimburse me directly for my out of pocket expense of a rental car as my company's coverage would only give me a car that was too small for my needs, so I rented a larger car.

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krantcents
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Post by krantcents » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:33 pm

I would go on record and report it to your insurance company. They will not increase your premiums as long as it is not your fault. They can help you have it fixed and collect from the other company, although you will have to pay your deductible. They will reimburse you when they collect it from the other company. You can have the other person's company take care of it and if they do not, your company steps in. Good luck.

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Opponent Process
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Post by Opponent Process » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:40 pm

also consider that you can take that repair check and invest it in something that will appreciate.
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zinnia
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Post by zinnia » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:48 pm

call your insurance agent and explain what's happened.......he/she should handle it, it's why you pay insurance?

Candor
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Post by Candor » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:17 pm

There's really no need to notify your insurance if everything goes smoothly with the other insurance co. Contact them and present the claim and if they take care of it you're done. If you run into a problem then you can contact your insurance. Like others have said if you are not at fault it won't count against you. If you don't have a police report and there isn't an independent witness and the other party changes his story and says you backed into him or slammed on your brakes in order to cause the accident etc. then it becomes more complicated.

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AAA
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Post by AAA » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:29 pm

A couple of respondents have stated that if it's not your fault it won't count against you but I repeat - my insurance company told me after a recent accident that wasn't my fault that if I file the claim with them it could possibly lead to increased premiums if they couldn't recover from the other company everything they paid me. My feeling is that is not a likely scenario, but that's the case nevertheless.

I had three such accidents in the past few years. For the first two, I filed with my company and everything went smoothly, including return of the deductible. For the last one, I didn't decide right away which company to file with, but I got a satisfactory settlement from the other party's company.

Candor
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Post by Candor » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:52 pm

There is a difference in whether you are not at fault and whether you can prove you are not at fault. If there are conflicting accounts of the accident from the involved parties and no independent resource which would support one over the other then that would likely affect your premium. If an ins. co. can't recover from another co. in subrogation that would indicate fault on their insured's part or at least the inability prove there was no fault.

tim1999
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Post by tim1999 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:09 pm

My car was also rear-ended a couple of years ago. I had a police report showing the other guy was clearly at fault. I was stopped at a light and the guy, who probably wasn't paying attention, hit me doing probably 25mph. I initially went through his insurance. Got delayed several weeks because he would not respond to the insurance company's inquiries, which they claimed was necessary to proceed. I was almost ready to pay him a visit with a couple of my larger buddies and have some words with him. I eventually got an estimate for repairs from them and it seemed low. I then went to my own company and got an estimate that was 50% higher and sounded in the right ballpark. I then had my company handle the claim and subrogate against the other company. I received my deductable back about 4-5 months later. Overall, the process was pretty smooth. If it happened again I would deal only with my own company.

I was able to get the guy's insurance co. to pay for a rental car while mine was being repaired, as I did not have this in my policy.

My insurance rate did not rise after filing the claim; in fact, about a year later, they went down about 5% for some unknown reason.

tim1999
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Post by tim1999 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:11 pm

Opponent Process wrote:also consider that you can take that repair check and invest it in something that will appreciate.
After my accident, my insurance company (big one we've all heard of) insisted that it be made out to the body shop doing the repairs. They would not make it out to me personally. I wasn't not going to get the car fixed, regardless, as it was almost brand new.

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bru
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Post by bru » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:38 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:
Opponent Process wrote:also consider that you can take that repair check and invest it in something that will appreciate.
After my accident, my insurance company (big one we've all heard of) insisted that it be made out to the body shop doing the repairs. They would not make it out to me personally. I wasn't not going to get the car fixed, regardless, as it was almost brand new.
It's been a while but I was able to have the check made out to me because I owned the car. If there is a loan on it then they won't give you the check. At least that's how I understood it at the time.

I never did have the car fixed (hail damage). I suppose a very small portion of my portfolio can be attributed to the settlement.
Last edited by bru on Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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grabiner
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Post by grabiner » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:43 pm

AAA wrote:A couple of respondents have stated that if it's not your fault it won't count against you but I repeat - my insurance company told me after a recent accident that wasn't my fault that if I file the claim with them it could possibly lead to increased premiums if they couldn't recover from the other company everything they paid me. My feeling is that is not a likely scenario, but that's the case nevertheless.
In many states, your policy has rating information which determines which accidents are counted. For my own policy (in NJ), an accident in which I am less than 50% responsible does not count as at-fault, nor does a rear-end collision unless I get a ticket.

However, not-at-fault accidents are also used in ratings; the top tier in my policy requires no not-at-fault accidents for five years and at most one comprehensive claim for three years. (I don't know what they consider a not-at-fault accident for these purposes; if my car is badly damaged while parked and the other driver properly files a police report, is that a not-at-fault accident charged against me?)
Wiki David Grabiner

Harold
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Post by Harold » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:58 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:My insurance rate did not rise after filing the claim; in fact, about a year later, they went down about 5% for some unknown reason.
Maybe your rate went up 5%, then down 10% for some unknown reason?

(I have no idea -- just pointing out the mathematical possibility.)

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