Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Car insurance claim question

I recently got rear ended. I have a $500 deductible (probabl finklebots11/29/17
Speaking only from personal past experience (where a boyfrie inho2solo11/29/17
Something similar happened to my wife a couple of months ago onehell11/29/17
Thanks, and never mind. My insurance just said they'd waive finklebots11/29/17
How's your back feeling? Takes 24-48 hours to set in someti jd4hire11/29/17
finklebots (Nov 29, 2017 - 12:41 pm)

I recently got rear ended. I have a $500 deductible (probably should lower that, lesson learned). Anyway, the other guy driving presented a current insurance policy card, but the car and policy are for another driver in another city. Might be the guy's mother or SO. My insurance is being wishy washy about waiving the deductible. If I end up on the hook, do I sue the driver, car owner or both?

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inho2solo (Nov 29, 2017 - 1:19 pm)

Speaking only from personal past experience (where a boyfriend of a cousin of the car/policy owner rear-ended me), the onus to pay should be on the car/policy owner.

At least it is in my state. In my case, his fly-by-night insurance kept throwing up obstacles, eventually had me come in to one of their Oh So Inconvenient adjuster places, gave me a low-ball estimate (off by $2.5K actual), kept throwing up more silly obstacles and then went silent for about 3 weeks despite my repeated emails and calls.

I finally gave up and turned it in to my own insurance, got it fixed (paid my $500 deductible). My ins co made its claim against his insurance, including my deductible amount, and eventually repaid me the $500.

I'm told that means they recovered the entire amount from fly-by-night insurance co, else they'd have returned to me a pro-rated amount of my deductible.

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onehell (Nov 29, 2017 - 1:49 pm)

Something similar happened to my wife a couple of months ago. We didn't involve our own insurance at all, just called up the other driver's insurance company and made a claim. They took like a day to investigate and then paid to fix the car and for a rental car while it was in the shop. It was really a pretty effortless process, took like 2-3 phone calls and everything was taken care of without even talking to our own insurance.

Rear-enders are pretty cut and dried in terms of fault, and insurance policies extend coverage to people who borrow the car so long as they aren't living in the same household (in which case they have to be listed or you sign an affidavit that they won't ever drive the car).

People borrow cars all the time; it's really not that unusual. So as long as this guy borrowed the car with permission and the owner didn't defraud the insurance company by lying about a household member driving it, and as long as no one is injured, it's hard to see why involving your own insurance or threatening lawsuits should be necessary, at least initially. Just file a claim with the other insurance and consider further action if that's denied. Unless you were injured, of course, in which case talk to a lawyer licensed in your state and experienced in personal injury.

Your own insurance could waive deductible and pursue the other insurer, but that's probably an unnecessary hassle, and frankly I don't blame them for being "wishy washy" about the deductible part. Remember, if you don't have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your deductible is essentially going to be the price of bad luck if you get hit by an uninsured driver in a stolen car. But here, the person clearly at fault presumptively had coverage under the owner's policy. Unless the other insurance finds a reason to deny, I don't see why your own insurance is even relevant here. It certainly wasn't when it happened to me. You have the owner's insurance info, just call the number on the card you were given and tell them you got rear-ended by someone who was apparently borrowing their insured's vehicle. That doesn't sound like an unusual situation at all because again, people borrow cars from family and friends all the time. Can you imagine if everyone driving a personal vehicle they didn't own was effectively uninsured? For all intents and purposes, that would make it highly unwise (and potentially illegal if the borrower didn't happen to have their own coverage) for anyone to let anyone else drive their car, ever.

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finklebots (Nov 29, 2017 - 2:22 pm)

Thanks, and never mind. My insurance just said they'd waive it.

Depending on the extent of the damage, I might call the other guy's insurance about a diminished value claim. My understanding is that repairs like this get associated with the VIN, so if I go to resell I'd get less than KBB value.

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jd4hire (Nov 29, 2017 - 4:18 pm)

How's your back feeling? Takes 24-48 hours to set in sometimes. Maybe 8 weeks of chiro treatment with a trip to the ER tonight are in order?

DV claims used to be unheard of, but are now part of about 30% of the cases in my jx.

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