At-fault Accident : Should I Get Damage to Own Vehicle Assessed ?

Discussion in 'Auto Insurance Forum' started by voy82, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. voy82
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    voy82 New Member

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    Hello,

    My wife hit the parking fence in the apartment complex. We used the insurance to pay for the repairs, which came to $475.

    So far, I have not scheduled any appointment with the insurance company to have the damage to our own car (and the child seat) assessed. The child seat would need to be replaced (~ $300), and the (paint) damage to the car would likely be in excess of a few hundred dollars, based on my own past experiences.

    Given the above, should I even consider taking it for assessment, considering the likelihood of surcharge being applied to the premium later on ? The insurance rep said the surcharge would be applied if the total costs for "all" repairs (to parking fence, and to my own vehicle+car seat, etc) > 1000.

    I am okay with not having the repair to the paint done for my vehicle. Although I would very likely replace the car seat still. My collision and comprehensive deductibles are $ 250 each.

    Finally, is it "risky" to take it just for inspection, even if I decline the repairs ? Would the insurance company still make a note of the total damage, and apply a surcharge ?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  2. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'm a big believer in playing it safe with kids, but I also assume this is a very slow impact. How would the child seat be impacted at all? How is a child seat $300? Okay, I know they are not cheap, but I've never paid close to that much.

    Having it inspected will likely trigger the surcharge. It isn't the amount paid, its the amount of damage done being over $1000. At the same time, you could probably have the insurance do the repairs (minus your deductible) and then raise your deductible for collision to $500 and not really notice much change in premium. After a couple of years, lower the deductible back to $250.

    I don't know what state you are in, but in California, doing any painting will run more then a 'couple of hundred' dollars due to all of the environmental rules. Or, if you want, you can find one of the companies that come to you and fix your car, you pay cash and it gets done. As long as its not major damage, this is usually a decent savings.

    Take it into a body shop, get an estimate, go from there.

    Dan
     
  3. Josh
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    Josh Retired Agent, Current List Broker

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    I'm not sure that the insurance company would pay for a new car seat, but maybe djs could share more insight on that.
     
  4. hesse
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    hesse Guru

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    Some auto policies cover a little personal property. Just go to a body shop and get an estimate don't tell them its for an insurance claim. All body shops around here do estimates for free.

    That being said how fast was she going and what could it have possible done to the car seat?
     
  5. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Guru

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    Yes, car seats should be replaced after any crash. Honestly, I never replaced them after fender benders, but I probably should have.

    Now, $300 must be a pretty pricey model. I suspect the OP will have to replace it and submit a receipt for reimbursement. It can vary by company.
     
  6. voy82
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    voy82 New Member

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    Thank you for your advice. It is interesting you mention

    "Having it inspected will likely trigger the surcharge. It isn't the amount paid, its the amount of damage done being over $1000"

    This is what I have been wondering too, because the insurance representatives just seem so intent on me bringing the car in to have it inspected. No wonder the insurance premiums/surcharges are so fuzzy and complicated.

    Regarding the car seat, yes, it was one of the higher priced models, actually even more than 300 (close to 340). And the insurance said it will be covered, if I want to use the insurance, that is. And yes, I am in California.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  7. adjusterjack
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    I agree with the suggestion that you take the car to a body shop and get your own estimate without regard to any insurance. Then you can decide if it's worth it to have your insurance pay for it.

    The last time I had an at fault accident the insurance company paid the other driver $1300 and raised my rates by 75%.

    You still haven't explained why you think the car seat was damaged.

    Post a photo of your car damage if you like. See "Manage Attachments" below your message space under Additional Options.
     
  8. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Guru

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    Claims, who you have been speaking with, couldn't care less what your rate is. They aren't wanting you to come in so they can surcharge, they are wanting you to come in because it is their job. Their role is to fairly and accurate handle all claims. Right now you are an open item on their desk, they want to turn you into a closed item. So either get you to come up or follow up for so long that they can close you out. Also, every second the damage goes uninspected is a chance for additional damage that complicates their job.
     
  9. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    What VolAgent said. Seriously, open claims are not a good thing to an adjuster, they want to get it done.

    Josh - yes, they will always pay to replace a car seat. Not sure if that is true every where, but in CA, part of the reporting is if there was a car seat in use and if so, if you want to replace it, go buy one and submit the receipt. This is almost a no questions asked thing here. There is not a requirement that it gets replaced but the option exists.
     
  10. Josh
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    Josh Retired Agent, Current List Broker

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    It's a child car seat and those are recommended to replace after any accident. It's like dropping a helmet.
     
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