Author Topic: Dealing With Auto Insurance Claim From Third Party Insurer That Hit Our Car  (Read 2164 times)

mr_orange

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The week before Christmas my dad was driving in east Austin checking on our properties under construction.  He works for us part time 2-3 days a week and we are fully insured.  An old lady from Cedar Park (a suburb of Austin) ran a red light and almost t-boned him.  He managed to swerve and she clipped the front of the truck he was driving.  Fortunately everyone in the accident was okay and nobody got hurt.  The lady that hit him agreed that the accident was her fault and was insured. 

We went through the process of filing a claim against her insurer.  Today we took the truck to Allstate's preferred repair shop and they gave us a quote for roughly $1500 or so to repair the damage.  I'm not a car expert, but this seems very low given the damage. 

From here we plan to take the truck to a few third parties to get an estimate of repairs.  Allstate is playing the fear game saying if the car gets opened up and new damage is found that we'd have to cover it somehow.  I guess that they may claim that this is a tactic used by third party shops to retrade the business somehow.  I can appreciate that, but I don't really trust their preferred shop.  My inclination is to use a third party, but I want to minimize the hassle of everything too. 

The truck is very old and we have intentionally used a beater for this work to avoid exposing the work truck to accidents.  I was wondering if anyone had any helpful words of advice about how to handle the claim.  I have used public adjusters for properties in the past, but given the size of this claim I am not sure it is worth messing with in this situation.  Maybe it is.  Given that we're not experts I just want the truck fixed correctly with good parts. 

Note that this is a work truck so the duration to process the claim really doesn't matter a ton.  We have other cars we can drive to wait things out and do it properly.  I am sure there are games the insurers play to rush people into sub-optimal decisions.  The timing really doesn't matter much for us as long as we don't pass some amount of time needed by law to get it fixed. 

Any advice?

soupcxan

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The insurer does not get to dictate the repair shop that you use, nor do they get to stick you with the bill for additional damage that is discovered (assuming the damage was caused by their insured). The insurer will have to agree to the scope of work that the shop recommends, but that's why they have adjusters - to verify the damage and repair costs.

lbmustache

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The insurer does not get to dictate the repair shop that you use, nor do they get to stick you with the bill for additional damage that is discovered (assuming the damage was caused by their insured). The insurer will have to agree to the scope of work that the shop recommends, but that's why they have adjusters - to verify the damage and repair costs.

x2. I've never heard of insurance saying that you have to pay for additional damage and they're only going to cover x amount.

However - given that your truck is very old, it might be that if the damage is over $1500, they will total the car, and you'll buy the car back from them and have to pay for the repairs yourself. Insurance will only pay for repairs totaling about 60-70% of the value of the car before they deem it a total loss. How much is the truck worth, less than $5k I would guess?

mr_orange

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Apparently they didn't want to total the car.  They claim the damage was only something like $1500 or so.  I find this hard to believe, but the shop people are the experts. 

I do realize that we can take it to any shop as long as the repairs are deemed "reasonable."  My major concern is getting it repaired correctly with as little brain damage as possible.  We can afford to go through the brain damage given our ability to drive another car, but our time is also valuable.  Whatever solution we come up with should hopefully get us to:

1.  A fully repaired and operational vehicle that won't have hidden problems later on
2.  Minimize the time spent dealing with the claim
3.  Minimize the amount of time that the vehicle is out of service

1 is far more important than the other two items.  2 is far more important than 3. 

mr_orange

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How much is the truck worth, less than $5k I would guess?

I'm really not sure, but without the damage I would guess less than $5k.  It is a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado with about 220k in miles if memory serves. 

Drifterrider

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What is the FMV (Fair Market Value) of your truck.  The insurance company CAN declare it a loss and just pay you the FMV.

If the truck is otherwise operational and safe, why not just take the cash (the quoted repair cost) and "keep on truckin'???