Author Topic: Dealing with Car Accident  (Read 3286 times)

Learner

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Dealing with Car Accident
« on: June 28, 2015, 09:01:23 AM »
Hello everyone.  I'm trying to figure out the optimal path to deal with a recent situation.  I haven't been able to locate the detailed paperwork yet to confirm since we're in the middle of preparing for a move.

We have a shared driveway with the neighbours.  Last week my wife backed our 2011 Toyota Sienna into the door of our neighbour's jeep.  We were planning to just pay cash to fix it.  They got the estimates back from the garage last week at about $1600, higher than we expected.  I haven't taken the van in yet to assess the damage, the back right rear panel is dented in quite far, and the covering for the rear light is smashed (but the light still works).  I plan to get an estimate from a garage, but I'll also look into local junkyards for replacement parts - lots of this make/model on the road.  Time is a bit of a limiting factor.  If done by a garage, I can see the estimated bill being in the range of $1000-3000.  Not sure of the cost via the junkyard route yet.

I *think* we have accident forgiveness with the current insurance policy, but I'm not that familiar with how it works.  Pretty sure our deductible is $1000.  Assuming this is the case, is it worth putting through insurance?  When we get to the new house (different province) we will likely be with a new provider - would we have to declare this as an accident?  Any suggestions on calculating the increased premium cost (I assume that *if* it affects the premium, it won't be worth doing)?

If it makes a difference, we're in Canada.

MsPeacock

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2015, 11:28:11 AM »
If you have $1000 deductible and your repairs plus the neighbor's repairs exceed $1000 it seems worthwhile to make a claim. That is one of the reason to have insurance. You can change carriers or whatever if your rates go up. If they do go up it is likely they they will go up less than the 3k or so you are estimating for repairs.

deborah

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2015, 03:50:27 PM »
I am sure you have to declare it as an accident with any new provider. As such, there is really no point not claiming it with your current provider.

Learner

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2015, 06:55:14 AM »
Thanks for the notes.  Also, I found my paperwork for the policy.  The "accident forgiveness" means no rate increase on this one.  As long as there is no additional claim in the next 5 years, the accident forgiveness will reset, otherwise the premium will increase for another at-fault accident.

poorboyrichman

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2015, 06:58:23 AM »
Some insurers ask if you made a claim as a result of the accident. Chances are you will pay back what you have claimed and more in increased premiums. It's your call really. If you have the cash, I'd just pay up and learn from the mistake.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2015, 08:10:13 AM »
Premiums increase whether you have accident forgiveness or not, it will probably just happen at an end of the year review, instead of you getting notice right after the accident.
My premium went up because someone ELSE hit me and I was injured.  I was 0% at fault (stopped at a red light).

My insurance company assured me that the premium did not go up "because" of the accident, but it went up because when all the liability information was run through the system, the fact that I had been injured in an accident made me a higher risk.

The system is bullshit.

poorboyrichman

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2015, 12:06:47 PM »
The difference is, if the claim is on your policy not the other guys, your next premium gets hiked even more! You can try this out by asking for a quote and seeing how changing non-fault accident, fault accident no claim, fault accident with claim affects the premium.

merula

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2015, 12:21:19 PM »
The fact that you're in Canada makes pretty much everything that people are saying about US coverage not applicable to your situation. Do you have a independant insurance agent? If so, give them a call and talk through the situation; that's what you're paying them for. If you don't have one, I would call one and say that you're shopping because of this, can they give you some quotes and also provide any advice on your current situation.

If an insurance carrier offerred a me coverage call "Accident Forgiveness" and cited an accident that qualified under that coverage in a rationale for increasing my rate, I would call my state Attorney General and/or Department of Insurance. They love going after insurance companies for that kind of thing. I'm assuming the same is true of provincial governments. iowajes, my guess would be that your forgiveness coverage was written specifically for at-fault accidents.


I'm a red panda

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2015, 01:01:45 PM »
iowajes, my guess would be that your forgiveness coverage was written specifically for at-fault accidents.

Accident forgiveness had no part in my rates going up.  It was really just to point out that you can't really buy into what the insurance company is selling. Your rate might not go up as much as if you weren't paying for this special coverage, but they will still get you.
The insurance company specifically told me that my rates would not go up because of a no-fault accident (why would they? All I was doing was exactly what I should be doing, afterall. The agent actually laughed when I asked if it would happen- of course it wouldn't!), and they did end up going up.

My rate went up because I stopped at a red light, with 3 cars ahead of me, and 1 car behind me.  Then someone plowed into the car behind me.  There is ZERO justification for that, but the insurance companies do whatever they want.  They are a business plain and simple. They aren't there to help you.

merula

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2015, 03:28:40 PM »
  They are a business plain and simple. They aren't there to help you.

Like any business, insurance companies exist to make money by providing something to their customers. In the sense that they're trying to retain you as a customer and providing you something of value, they are helping you. In the sense that their first object is to make money, then no, they're not going to give you insurance for cheaper than their rating plans say they should.

It's kind of like saying that your grocery store isn't there to help you because they promote high-margin junk food over low-margin produce. Yeah, that's kinda the deal, but you still need food so either switch to another store (but they all do the same thing) or find a way to make it work for you. Or call your attorney general.

Jack

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Re: Dealing with Car Accident
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2015, 06:58:36 PM »
2011 Toyota Sienna... the back right rear panel is dented in quite far, and the covering for the rear light is smashed (but the light still works).  I plan to get an estimate from a garage, but I'll also look into local junkyards for replacement parts - lots of this make/model on the road.  Time is a bit of a limiting factor.  If done by a garage, I can see the estimated bill being in the range of $1000-3000.  Not sure of the cost via the junkyard route yet.

The rear quarter panel is* part of the unibody, which means you're not fixing it yourself unless you know how to weld sheet metal.

Unless you never plan to fix it (which is an option, although maybe not a good one on a relatively-new car in the rust belt), you're probably going to want to make an insurance claim because it's going to be more expensive than you think.

(* I'm not familiar with Siennas specifically, but that's almost certainly the case.)