Minor fender bender - how to approach

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Topic Author
RobLyons
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Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:12 pm

So today I was in a minor fender bender. It's snowing here in the northeast and the roads are slick. Accident was not my fault. Other driver took a turn way too fast, slid across the road and although I nearly escaped the accident by anticipation and early braking, she scraped the side of my car and there's a small dent in rear quarter panel. (plus who knows what damage cannot be seen by naked eye).

We exchanged papers, I have photo of her license and registration. However did not get proof of insurance.

I did take a video showing what happened, where her car ended up on the wrong side of the road, and pics of damage, etc.


My question is, how should I best approach this?


First thought is that I would like to be as courteous as possible to the other driver, and after getting 1 or 2 quotes from body shops, offer an out-of-pocket settlement that would not "ding" her driving record (causes 6-8 years of insurance surcharges, and overall increased insurance premiums for us all). But not sure the legality of this.

Second thought is to ignore it, it's minor damage and I can live with it. (but it's a 1 year old vehicle, so expectation is to be in perfect shape still)

Last option I'm considering is just go through insurance, get it fixed, and whatever happens, happens to her insurance.




What would you do?
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:15 pm

I would contact police and file a police report, in addition to requesting a copy of her insurance. I would then call her insurance and file a claim.

I have read on here too many times of drivers that agree to pay out of pocket, then change their mind or story, and then the not at fault party is stuck with the cost of repairs.

You are probably looking at $1000 minimum in repair cost.

Depending on your state, you may be entitled to diminished value and should ask for compenstation for that, if allowed in your state.

miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:17 pm

RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:12 pm
We exchanged papers, I have photo of her license and registration. However did not get proof of insurance.
Did she tell you the name of her insurance company? If so, you can call their claims department and open the claim using her name and address. If it were me, I would do that today, right away.

Regarding higher insurance rates, I woudn't worry about higher insurance rates of the other party. My experience (I was the at-fault driver for an accident that cost my insurance company $100,000), my insurance went up by about $100/6 months. I then switched to a different insurance company that reduced my premium to the pre-accident level.
Last edited by miamivice on Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm

Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.
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miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:26 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm
Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.
Except that the OP's insurance company won't pay diminished value. He'll need to file with the other parties insurance company to get that.

Big Dog
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by Big Dog » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:29 pm

I'd contact my insurance company, contact the local PD -- probably can file a report online, and let my insurance company fight it out with the other party. I'd get a 1-year old car repaired. And demand that the other company pay for a like rental while yours is in the shop. (Like rental means that you don't have to accept a Toyota Corolla if you have a full sized premium sedan.)

Topic Author
RobLyons
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:56 pm

RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:12 pm
So today I was in a minor fender bender. It's snowing here in the northeast and the roads are slick. Accident was not my fault. Other driver took a turn way too fast, slid across the road and although I nearly escaped the accident by anticipation and early braking, she scraped the side of my car and there's a small dent in rear quarter panel. (plus who knows what damage cannot be seen by naked eye).

We exchanged papers, I have photo of her license and registration. However did not get proof of her insurance.

I did take a video showing what happened, where her car ended up on the wrong side of the road, and pics of damage, etc.


My question is, how should I best approach this?


First thought is that I would like to be as courteous as possible to the other driver, and after getting 1 or 2 quotes from body shops, offer an out-of-pocket settlement that would not "ding" her driving record (causes 6-8 years of insurance surcharges, and overall increased insurance premiums for us all). But not sure the legality of this.

Second thought is to ignore it, it's minor damage and I can live with it. (but it's a 1 year old vehicle, so expectation is to be in perfect shape still)

Last option I'm considering is just go through insurance, get it fixed, and whatever happens, happens to her insurance.




What would you do?
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

Topic Author
RobLyons
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:57 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:15 pm
I would contact police and file a police report, in addition to requesting a copy of her insurance. I would then call her insurance and file a claim.

I have read on here too many times of drivers that agree to pay out of pocket, then change their mind or story, and then the not at fault party is stuck with the cost of repairs.

You are probably looking at $1000 minimum in repair cost.

Depending on your state, you may be entitled to diminished value and should ask for compenstation for that, if allowed in your state.

Never heard of diminished value. But will follow up tomorrow with local PD and my insurance. Thanks
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

Topic Author
RobLyons
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:58 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:17 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:12 pm
We exchanged papers, I have photo of her license and registration. However did not get proof of insurance.
Did she tell you the name of her insurance company? If so, you can call their claims department and open the claim using her name and address. If it were me, I would do that today, right away.

Regarding higher insurance rates, I woudn't worry about higher insurance rates of the other party. My experience (I was the at-fault driver for an accident that cost my insurance company $100,000), my insurance went up by about $100/6 months. I then switched to a different insurance company that reduced my premium to the pre-accident level.


No. Unfortunately I screwed up and forgot to ask.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

Topic Author
RobLyons
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:01 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm
Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.

I was so absent minded I did not even think about this. Just wanted to move on with my day.

One question is, does reporting this accident effect my insurance rate at all? Thank you
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miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:53 pm

RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:01 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm
Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.

I was so absent minded I did not even think about this. Just wanted to move on with my day.

One question is, does reporting this accident effect my insurance rate at all? Thank you
Your insurance company can set rates based on any information they have, within the laws of your state. So, if your insurance company feels that the fact you were involved in this accident is a reasonable reason to raise your rates, they are free to do just that. Keep in mind, like all businesses, insurance companies want to charge you as much as they can.

The truth of the matter is that none of us know what your insurance company will do. I can tell you what Geico did after my at-fault accident 15 years ago. That may or may not be what your insurance company does as a result of this not-at-fault accident. Some insurance companies have accident forgiveness, some do not. Some give safe driver discounts. Will this change your safe driver discount? Maybe, maybe not.

I can tell you that I have been involved in 3 not-at-fault accidents in the past 10 years and my rates were not increased as a result of any of them. However, my insurance company never heard from me about the accidents.

My philosophy is to not tell my insurance company about anything that they do not need to know, including not-at-fault accidents. Thus, I file insurance claims with the other party's insurance when they are at fault.

Topic Author
RobLyons
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:24 am

miamivice wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:53 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:01 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm
Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.

I was so absent minded I did not even think about this. Just wanted to move on with my day.

One question is, does reporting this accident effect my insurance rate at all? Thank you
Your insurance company can set rates based on any information they have, within the laws of your state. So, if your insurance company feels that the fact you were involved in this accident is a reasonable reason to raise your rates, they are free to do just that. Keep in mind, like all businesses, insurance companies want to charge you as much as they can.

The truth of the matter is that none of us know what your insurance company will do. I can tell you what Geico did after my at-fault accident 15 years ago. That may or may not be what your insurance company does as a result of this not-at-fault accident. Some insurance companies have accident forgiveness, some do not. Some give safe driver discounts. Will this change your safe driver discount? Maybe, maybe not.

I can tell you that I have been involved in 3 not-at-fault accidents in the past 10 years and my rates were not increased as a result of any of them. However, my insurance company never heard from me about the accidents.

My philosophy is to not tell my insurance company about anything that they do not need to know, including not-at-fault accidents. Thus, I file insurance claims with the other party's insurance when they are at fault.

Do you file a police report ?
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miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:23 am

RobLyons wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:24 am
miamivice wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:53 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:01 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm
Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.

I was so absent minded I did not even think about this. Just wanted to move on with my day.

One question is, does reporting this accident effect my insurance rate at all? Thank you
Your insurance company can set rates based on any information they have, within the laws of your state. So, if your insurance company feels that the fact you were involved in this accident is a reasonable reason to raise your rates, they are free to do just that. Keep in mind, like all businesses, insurance companies want to charge you as much as they can.

The truth of the matter is that none of us know what your insurance company will do. I can tell you what Geico did after my at-fault accident 15 years ago. That may or may not be what your insurance company does as a result of this not-at-fault accident. Some insurance companies have accident forgiveness, some do not. Some give safe driver discounts. Will this change your safe driver discount? Maybe, maybe not.

I can tell you that I have been involved in 3 not-at-fault accidents in the past 10 years and my rates were not increased as a result of any of them. However, my insurance company never heard from me about the accidents.

My philosophy is to not tell my insurance company about anything that they do not need to know, including not-at-fault accidents. Thus, I file insurance claims with the other party's insurance when they are at fault.

Do you file a police report ?
Yes, for each of the accidents that I was part of (both at-fault and not-at-fault) I called the police, who sent out an officer and did a police report. In the not-at-fault accidents, I did not receive a ticket. I assume the other party did but the police did not volunteer.

For one of them - a time I was rear ended while sitting at a red light - when I contacted the other parties insurance, they were a little dubious about filing a claim since I was not their insured party. I insisted and they finally agreed to do it (they do not have a choice). Then during the recorded interview, I very nearly discontinued the interview when they asked a leading question - "You describe the day as rainy and cloudy. Can I confirm that your headlights were on, which would have made your car more visible by having lit taillights." I asked the person doing the interview if stopping for red lights was optional on cloudy days, and they backed away from the question. (I also pointed out to them that I was operating the vehicle in a legal manner as headlights are not a driving requirement at 11:30 AM.)

Katietsu
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by Katietsu » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:47 am

I have been the successful on both sides of a minor incident at resolving without involving insurance. The time I was not at fault, the car was empty and parked. I accepted the $400 estimated for the repair. Since the damage was on the plastic bumper cover, I chose not to repair. Assumed there would be more to come and no rust prevention issues.

When I was at fault, the I paid the other driver with a cashiers check. I also had them sign a release. Interestingly, the other driver was worked for an insurance company and was OK with this arrangement. I think this one cost me around $800 at the time.

harvestbook
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by harvestbook » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:16 pm

My wife was just hit yesterday, by a car backing out. She called and I assumed from the way she was talking, she was parked in the lot and the car backed into her. I suggested she didn't need the police since it was relatively minor and she got the other driver's info. Then I find out it was different, my wife was moving, stopped in the parking lot, and then the person backed into her.

Later I find she only got the person's name and phone number (didn't look at her license), the woman called her "insurance company" and they didn't have a record of her policy, and my wife didn't get the alleged insurance info or the tag number. I'd guess it's a few thousand dollars in damage. The woman was eager to pay for it herself. It will probably turn out okay, but I think of all the things that could go wrong (I even played devil's advocate of going to court and claiming my wife actually drove into the rear of her car rather than vice versa). Since the person was apparently a client in a counseling practice my wife is party to, she can find out the person's name if it comes to that. If the person is out of state or from a state that doesn't require insurance, we might be out of luck. From now on, I call the cops every single time.

My wife gets hit a lot. Every couple of years somebody hits her, never her fault. Her insurance has never gone up (well, not since she stopped getting speeding tickets). So far she's escaped bodily injury but she's racked up a lot of money and inconvenience. It'll probably work out. Things always seem to with her. I once let someone off who hit an older car of mine, but the one time I backed into someone, I had to pay. Me, I want documents.
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123
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by 123 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:34 pm

You can be amazed by how much repairs for a fender bender can cost. If it's only the bumper cover/fender it's possible that it's $1,000 or less. If it involves a quarter panel costs can quickly escalate depending on how much labor is necessary to address the quarter panel. Some vehicles have body panels that have few seams requiring extensive labor to repair/replace.
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LiterallyIronic
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by LiterallyIronic » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:46 pm

harvestbook wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:16 pm
I once let someone off who hit an older car of mine, but the one time I backed into someone, I had to pay. Me, I want documents.
Yeah, it really depends on the car and the damage. My 2001 Stratus got rear-ended about three years ago when stopped at a red light and my wife's 2001 Corolla got rear-ended about four years ago when stopped at a stop sign. Since they weren't massive blows that crumpled our cars or anything, we both just waved the other drivers off. What's another scratch or dent to us? Nothing.

However, one day I'll get my DeLorean and you better believe that I'll want documents if anybody hits it (and I'll have comp/coll/uninsured/underinsured coverage, and I'll put a car cover over it wherever it is parked, including in the garage). :D

TropikThunder
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by TropikThunder » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:31 am

miamivice wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:53 pm

I can tell you that I have been involved in 3 not-at-fault accidents in the past 10 years and my rates were not increased as a result of any of them. However, my insurance company never heard from me about the accidents.

My philosophy is to not tell my insurance company about anything that they do not need to know, including not-at-fault accidents. Thus, I file insurance claims with the other party's insurance when they are at fault.
miamivice wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:23 am
Yes, for each of the accidents that I was part of (both at-fault and not-at-fault) I called the police, who sent out an officer and did a police report. In the not-at-fault accidents, I did not receive a ticket. I assume the other party did but the police did not volunteer.
So for each of the not-at-fault accidents you called the police, had a report filed, and filed claims with the other driver’s insurance but since you didn’t call your insurance, they don’t know about them? That’s not how this works......

miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:41 am

TropikThunder wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:31 am
miamivice wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:53 pm

I can tell you that I have been involved in 3 not-at-fault accidents in the past 10 years and my rates were not increased as a result of any of them. However, my insurance company never heard from me about the accidents.

My philosophy is to not tell my insurance company about anything that they do not need to know, including not-at-fault accidents. Thus, I file insurance claims with the other party's insurance when they are at fault.
miamivice wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:23 am
Yes, for each of the accidents that I was part of (both at-fault and not-at-fault) I called the police, who sent out an officer and did a police report. In the not-at-fault accidents, I did not receive a ticket. I assume the other party did but the police did not volunteer.
So for each of the not-at-fault accidents you called the police, had a report filed, and filed claims with the other driver’s insurance but since you didn’t call your insurance, they don’t know about them? That’s not how this works......
What I said is my insurance never heard about the accidents from me.

I'm pretty sure that on my CLUE report, there is a line item referring to the accident. And the police reports are public record. My insurance very well may know about the accidents, just not from me.

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8foot7
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:03 am

Despite what some posters are saying in this thread, call your insurance company and file your claim with them. If your state has a different custom, they'll inform you of this; if not, they'll handle all of the details and rigamarole and deal with the other party and their insurance company. This is part of the service you pay for. Many problems or headaches people run into in these situations are a result of dealing with the other party's insurance company when you could avoid all of the nonsense by filing with your own and letting the professionals handle it.

miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:06 am

8foot7 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:03 am
Despite what some posters are saying in this thread, call your insurance company and file your claim with them. If your state has a different custom, they'll inform you of this; if not, they'll handle all of the details and rigamarole and deal with the other party and their insurance company. This is part of the service you pay for. Many problems or headaches people run into in these situations are a result of dealing with the other party's insurance company when you could avoid all of the nonsense by filing with your own and letting the professionals handle it.
Except that if your insurance company decides that's it is cheaper/easier just to consider the accident your fault, you are subject to paying your deductible. If you call the other insurance party and they agree it's the other driver's fault, then you will not be subject to your deductible.

We carry $1000 deductibles on our car, and I don't want any chance that I will get stuck paying the deductible for an accident for which I was not at fault.

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8foot7
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:06 am

miamivice wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:26 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm
Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.
Except that the OP's insurance company won't pay diminished value. He'll need to file with the other parties insurance company to get that.
This is not true, at least in all cases.

Jags4186
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:07 am

Call police department, file report.
Call your insurance company, provide them with license plate # and person’s contact information. They can find out who the person insurance company is via license plate. File the claim through your insurance. It’ll take a few weeks but you’ll get a check back for your deductible after subrogation (assuming it is found to be the other party’s 100% fault.).
Last edited by Jags4186 on Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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8foot7
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:08 am

miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:06 am
8foot7 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:03 am
Despite what some posters are saying in this thread, call your insurance company and file your claim with them. If your state has a different custom, they'll inform you of this; if not, they'll handle all of the details and rigamarole and deal with the other party and their insurance company. This is part of the service you pay for. Many problems or headaches people run into in these situations are a result of dealing with the other party's insurance company when you could avoid all of the nonsense by filing with your own and letting the professionals handle it.
Except that if your insurance company decides that's it is cheaper/easier just to consider the accident your fault, you are subject to paying your deductible. If you call the other insurance party and they agree it's the other driver's fault, then you will not be subject to your deductible.

We carry $1000 deductibles on our car, and I don't want any chance that I will get stuck paying the deductible for an accident for which I was not at fault.
You seem to misunderstand that insurance companies can't just decide it's easier or cheaper to make someone responsible for a loss. There are standards, duties of care, and regulations at play that govern this type of decision making. And even if this were true, it's much more likely that you will unintentionally "incriminate" yourself in discussions with the other party's insurance company, which has absolutely no incentive to decide in your favor.

You may be subject to advancing your deductible to the body shop to fix the car, but in a not-at-fault accident you will be reimbursed the amount you advanced to fix your vehicle through insurance subrogation. And many insurance companies will waive your upfront deductible if the facts are clear enough. If funds are tight, you can also work a deal with the body shop to pay the amount of the deductible to them once you receive your reimbursement. I consider loaning a body shop $1,000 that I'll be repaid in full to be a small price to pay not to get trapped in the details of claims.

miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:27 am

8foot7 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:06 am
miamivice wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:26 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm
Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.
Except that the OP's insurance company won't pay diminished value. He'll need to file with the other parties insurance company to get that.
This is not true, at least in all cases.
In the states I live in it is very much true. Diminished value can only be paid by the not at fault parties insurance.

Your insurance will also not pay bodily injury claims for a not-at-fault collision. You have to work with the other parties insurance for that. (Unless you carry PIP and your total bodily injury claim is under PIP limits.)

miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:32 am

8foot7 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:08 am
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:06 am
8foot7 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:03 am
Despite what some posters are saying in this thread, call your insurance company and file your claim with them. If your state has a different custom, they'll inform you of this; if not, they'll handle all of the details and rigamarole and deal with the other party and their insurance company. This is part of the service you pay for. Many problems or headaches people run into in these situations are a result of dealing with the other party's insurance company when you could avoid all of the nonsense by filing with your own and letting the professionals handle it.
Except that if your insurance company decides that's it is cheaper/easier just to consider the accident your fault, you are subject to paying your deductible. If you call the other insurance party and they agree it's the other driver's fault, then you will not be subject to your deductible.

We carry $1000 deductibles on our car, and I don't want any chance that I will get stuck paying the deductible for an accident for which I was not at fault.
You seem to misunderstand that insurance companies can't just decide it's easier or cheaper to make someone responsible for a loss. There are standards, duties of care, and regulations at play that govern this type of decision making. And even if this were true, it's much more likely that you will unintentionally "incriminate" yourself in discussions with the other party's insurance company, which has absolutely no incentive to decide in your favor.

You may be subject to advancing your deductible to the body shop to fix the car, but in a not-at-fault accident you will be reimbursed the amount you advanced to fix your vehicle through insurance subrogation. And many insurance companies will waive your upfront deductible if the facts are clear enough. If funds are tight, you can also work a deal with the body shop to pay the amount of the deductible to them once you receive your reimbursement. I consider loaning a body shop $1,000 that I'll be repaid in full to be a small price to pay not to get trapped in the details of claims.
What if you do not carry collision / comprehensive? (That was actually the case in 2 of the accidents - we had no comprehensive / collision because of the low value of our vehicles). It wouldn't make sense to call our own insurance company if we do not have collision.

Regarding my "misunderstanding", I am not misunderstanding anything. My dad was involved in a collision by another driver who had been drinking. They didn't get the police involved and the other guy, who was super nice, admitted fault. My dad called his own insurance. Several days transpired between the initial accident and when the insurance companies finally got around to interviewing the other driver. By then, his story changed. He wasn't drinking, he was driving just fine, and it was all my dads fault. It wasn't a lot of damages, and my dads insurance company decided it wasn't worth the trouble to sort out the two different stories and they just paid per the collision policy and my dad got stuck with the deductible.

My personal experience is that stories are less likely to change when the other driver's insurance company calls them first, and you have a greater chance of not being subject to your deductible when you just deal with the other parties insurance.

miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:33 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:07 am
Call police department, file report.
Call your insurance company, provide them with license plate # and person’s contact information. They can find out who the person insurance company is via license plate. File the claim through your insurance. It’ll take a few weeks but you’ll get a check back for your deductible after subrogation (assuming it is found to be the other party’s 100% fault.).
Again, you are assuming that the not at fault person carries collision and comprehensive insurance.

Jags4186
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:50 am

miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:33 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:07 am
Call police department, file report.
Call your insurance company, provide them with license plate # and person’s contact information. They can find out who the person insurance company is via license plate. File the claim through your insurance. It’ll take a few weeks but you’ll get a check back for your deductible after subrogation (assuming it is found to be the other party’s 100% fault.).
Again, you are assuming that the not at fault person carries collision and comprehensive insurance.
If the not at fault person is not carrying collision and or comprehensive then his options are to file with the other persons insurance company, sue the offending driver in small claims court, or eat the damage since they are not carrying insurance.

When you are the party suffering a loss in an auto accident it is almost *never* in your advantage to settle something outside of insurance IMO. I do not see any advantage in trying to help out a stranger. More likely than not, you end up getting screwed.

miamivice
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:09 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:50 am
When you are the party suffering a loss in an auto accident it is almost *never* in your advantage to settle something outside of insurance IMO. I do not see any advantage in trying to help out a stranger. More likely than not, you end up getting screwed.
I agree 100% with this. Far too often, stories changes, folks remember things differently, and all of a suddent the party that agreed to pay out of pocket doesn't actually pay.

I understand the fear of increases in insurance, but generally reality doesn't support the fear. It's way better to go through insurance than to settle up outside of insurance.

tea_pirate
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by tea_pirate » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:21 am

RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:01 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm
Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.
I was so absent minded I did not even think about this. Just wanted to move on with my day.

One question is, does reporting this accident effect my insurance rate at all? Thank you
It could affect your rate if you're found partially at fault. Which you probably will be given the accident description, unless the other driver tells the truth to their insurance company. Most stories I have heard where the other driver admitted fault on the scene, they then turned around and lied through their teeth to insurance.

Sideswipes are almost always 50/50 fault with no witnesses or dash cam evidence. Reason being it's your word against theirs, for example the other driver could easily say you strayed over the line and the reason that their car was on the wrong side of the road in your pictures is because they moved it after the fact to clear the roadway. The only way you're getting out of this without at least partial fault assigned is if the other driver tells the truth.

The other thing is you're probably required to report the accident to your insurance. I have USAA, I have read my policy and confirmed with the agent - if I do not report an accident to them (even one where I'm not at fault) and they find out about it later, they are free to drop my policy. I imagine most insurance companies have the same policy.

Topic Author
RobLyons
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:45 am

tea_pirate wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:21 am
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:01 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:21 pm
Yes, fill out a police report to have on file. Insurance companies like this because you fill it out under "pain of perjury", so you've given a sworn statement. Then call your insurance company and let them handle the whole thing. I know that my insurance company will send someone out to look at the car. Last time this happened with us, they looked and maybe 4 days later, we had a check. We didn't fix it.
I was so absent minded I did not even think about this. Just wanted to move on with my day.

One question is, does reporting this accident effect my insurance rate at all? Thank you
It could affect your rate if you're found partially at fault. Which you probably will be given the accident description, unless the other driver tells the truth to their insurance company. Most stories I have heard where the other driver admitted fault on the scene, they then turned around and lied through their teeth to insurance.

Sideswipes are almost always 50/50 fault with no witnesses or dash cam evidence. Reason being it's your word against theirs, for example the other driver could easily say you strayed over the line and the reason that their car was on the wrong side of the road in your pictures is because they moved it after the fact to clear the roadway. The only way you're getting out of this without at least partial fault assigned is if the other driver tells the truth.

The other thing is you're probably required to report the accident to your insurance. I have USAA, I have read my policy and confirmed with the agent - if I do not report an accident to them (even one where I'm not at fault) and they find out about it later, they are free to drop my policy. I imagine most insurance companies have the same policy.

I see your point about the possibility of partial fault claim. Makes me want to buy dash and for all our vehicles ! (Recommendations appreciated :happy )

The evidence against other driver in this particular crash was she side swiped me on the passenger side while traveling in the opposite direction.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

tea_pirate
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by tea_pirate » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:50 am

Also, everyone reading this thread should get a dash cam. It's under $100 for an extra insurance policy, which could save you tons of money and headaches down the road in situations like the OP is in.

I get in my car, turn it on and my dash cam powers up with the car and tells me it has started recording so I know it's working. If I need a video from the camera I open the app on my phone, connect to the camera's built in Wi-Fi network and each 3 minute video segment can be downloaded directly to my phone. The installation took under an hour; the hardest part is running the wire properly along all the trim pieces in your car so it isn't visible. The camera is low profile and hidden behind my rearview mirror while I drive.

I have the Blueskysea B1W ($50 at Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/Blueskysea-B1W-R ... ics&sr=1-3

With this Samsung Pro Endurance 64 GB MicroSD card ($20 at Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Enduranc ... 2-fkmrnull

Recommended shopping tips:
- Don't get a cam with an internal battery, they don't last as long due to thermal stresses in hot weather. Look for one with a supercapacitor instead like the B1W.
- Make sure you get a microSD card like the Samsung Pro Endurance, which are designed for many more write/re-write cycles so they last much longer before becoming corrupted compared to any old microSD.
- Wi-Fi file transfer is almost a necessity, if you get into an accident and the police are called to the scene you can easily show them the video on your phone. The officer can assign fault in their report which, while the insurance companies do not have to agree with, is another powerful piece of evidence. It also raises the chances of the other driver being cited by the officer, which helps if you're petty and want to feel better about the whole thing. Without Wi-Fi transfer you would need to plug your microSD card into a USB card reader and plug it into a computer to view your files.

(Funny, I was already typing up this post as you replied about dash cams Rob!)

Topic Author
RobLyons
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:52 am

123 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:34 pm
You can be amazed by how much repairs for a fender bender can cost. If it's only the bumper cover/fender it's possible that it's $1,000 or less. If it involves a quarter panel costs can quickly escalate depending on how much labor is necessary to address the quarter panel. Some vehicles have body panels that have few seams requiring extensive labor to repair/replace.

You're spot on.

As an update, I notified other owners insurance. Went to their location for estimate. $1366.87. Check being mailed out to me.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

Topic Author
RobLyons
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:12 am

As an update, here's what has taken place since I originally posted:


1. Called other driver's insurance company

2. They took my report, asked if other driver admitted fault, and could not place fault until they talked to other driver

3. They directed me to one of their insurance locations for an estimate of damage.

4. Estimate: $1366.87

5. Confirmed today with insurance adjuster that check has been mailed out to me.


They told me to bring check with me to an auto body location of my choice and a rental car would be paid for if I supply the rental company with my claim #

What I actually will do is in question. If check is made out to my name, I may just keep it and not get damage fixed. I can live with it.

Or I'll get it fixed and add on another small area that needs to be addressed.

Thanks for all the help everyone!
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

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grabiner
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by grabiner » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:28 pm

RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:01 pm
One question is, does reporting this accident effect my insurance rate at all? Thank you
You have to check with your own insurance policy. Mine has a section called "Rating" which shows what type of violations and accidents will affect the rate, and how they affect it.

Exactly what is allowed varies by state. When I lived in NJ, a not-at-fault accident disqualified you from the very top tier, as did more than one comprehensive claim. My MD policy doesn't have either of these clauses; my rate will go up only for a moving violation (and not for one minor violation), or for an at-fault accident costing more than X dollars.
Wiki David Grabiner

Topic Author
RobLyons
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Re: Minor fender bender - how to approach

Post by RobLyons » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:58 pm

grabiner wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:28 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:01 pm
One question is, does reporting this accident effect my insurance rate at all? Thank you
You have to check with your own insurance policy. Mine has a section called "Rating" which shows what type of violations and accidents will affect the rate, and how they affect it.

Exactly what is allowed varies by state. When I lived in NJ, a not-at-fault accident disqualified you from the very top tier, as did more than one comprehensive claim. My MD policy doesn't have either of these clauses; my rate will go up only for a moving violation (and not for one minor violation), or for an at-fault accident costing more than X dollars.


Thanks for this response. Insurance is such a scam to me.
We cannot offer you our best rates because, you did not need the services you pay for, but somebody else had an accident.. and needed to use their insurance benefits... simple money grab is all.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

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