That is exactly my fear. :laugh Several people -- including a body-shop person and the policeman -- have said her insurance, AIG, is tight-fisted when it comes to paying for repairs. So yeah, I'm all paranoid I'm going to get screwed. I think I *will* call my own insurance company for some guidance. :up
Originally Posted by dreaminginblond
Thanks for the link, John -- helpful to know the minimum liabilities in my state. :nod
And there was no way this girl could have hit-and-run -- she lodged her car under the last one she hit, which she managed to flip on its side. :ohno :laugh
Insurance depends on the state where you live. In my state (Ohio), and my insurance co, you can go wherever you want to go for repairs. If you have a particular garage where you normally go, stop in and see what they say. If you don't have a regular garage, ask around and see who has a good reputation. We have particular garages that you can go to without having an adjuster look at your vehicle and the repairs are guaranteed for life. If you don't want to go there, you can choose your own. If the adjuster doesn't find EVERYTHING, the repairer calls them and they will send out another check to cover the difference. Rental vehicles cover only the time that you are actually having your vehicle repaired, no extra time. If you are not satisfied, you need to go up the chain of command. I always offer our Superintendant of Insurance phone number to anyone that is unsatisfied. That's the top dog of the state. But generally, you won't need it and most insurance companies want to do a good job for everyone involved. They don't want to deal with bad publicity, imo. And by the way, there's nothing wrong with going to get your own estimate. Forewarned is forearmed!
dreaminginblond has a good point. You probably need to contact your own agent. We were rear ended a year or so ago and called our agent immediately. He haggled with the other company about repairs. They wanted to put parts from a junk yard on the car That was not acceptable and our agent got it straight. If you get estimates yourself you might want to make sure you are getting new parts and I'd want it in writing.
Lucy, I worked for an embarassing number of years in the insurance field, and the best advice I can give you is to take pictures (which you have already done :up) and keep careful track of all paperwork and take notes (dates, times, etc.) from all phone calls from your insurance company, adjuster, body shop, and so forth. ALWAYS get the person's name with whom you are speaking with, as well.
You're unlikely to experience any problems, but keeping a detailed file on your claim will help immensely if anything goes wrong.
Originally Posted by Lucy
AIG is tight-fisted about everything.
bummer about your car, Lucy. That sucks. Sounds like people have good ideas here about documenting your efforts to get the damages repaired.
To add to everyone's advice.. if there's even the possibility that your car suffered underbody damage, I would make sure you take pictures of not only the underside, but also open your doors and take pictures of the door jambs, etc.
Originally Posted by veejer
The *hidden* damage is what adds a lot of cost to an insurance claim. AIG is going to try to do as little as possible to try to make the car presentable. If you don't have proof that there's extra damage, then that's where you can get hurt in the end.
And it's always been my understanding that if the accident is in no way your fault, then you would not be responsible for your collision deductible. That's the way it's worked for me with the two occasions that I've needed insurance (dayumed NY drivers!)
I actually went through this a couple of months ago. It was my own stupid fault actually. I side swipped a 2 foot wall pulling out of a parking lot. Anyhoo, I called my insurance company and got the honest truth from the girl on the phone. She said if the damage was less then $1000, my rates would not be affected. Well, I then went to my car dealerships body shop who gave me an estimate of $998. I then recalled my auto insurance company and told them what happened and that I already have an estimate from the auto body place for $998. They accepted that estimate. So, in the end insurance paid and my premium didn't increase.
Lucy, I worked for insurance defense firms for-ever! If you decide to take the adjuster's claim before-hand, don't take the check. The checks are issued as "full and final payment". Get a legit estimate or three. Also, the driver's insurance company will most likely call you on the phone to ask you a few questions about what happened and use that info to mitigate any damage their client may have caused. They are recording the call - and they will use any tidbit of info you give them against you (i.e., how far your car was from the curb, etc.). Insurance companies are sneaky. I'm surprised to read so many positive posts here, I've seen so many people taken for so much money. Just be so careful! And, as I'm sure you know, read the fine print! Best of luck. :up
Originally Posted by J.D.
Very well put...
The best point: If you decide to take the adjuster's claim before-hand, don't take the check.
Never ever accept settlement. Sign nothing. Make them deal with the bodyshop. That way the bodyshop is paid direct and you won't be left holding the bag if more damage is found while they are repairing the car.
Plus the insurance company will try to bully you into some fly by night body shop if they can. Contary to what they say... you can take it to any bodyshop to have it repaired.
Example: If you drive a GM take it to a certified GM dealer - body shop. Its the same with any make of car... take it to a LEGIT dealership. And let their bodyshop do the repairs. You have a warranty on the work and they rarely butch your car all to hell. A legit dealer certified bodyshop is set up to find all the damage and get it done correct.
I know from the crap that the insurance companies in Texas have pulled... they will flat out lie to you to get you to take your car to "their" chosen crappy bodyshop.
The Law clearly states you have to right to have it repaired at any bodyshop you chose. And lets face it there is nothing worse than a bad body repair on a car...
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