Insurance Overpaid by 3 Times! what Can I Do?

Oct 9, 2016

  1. nestorishere
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    nestorishere New Member

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    Hi,
    recently I was involved in an "accident" (my nephew opened the car door too wide and hit a parked car).

    Long story short, the repair estimate came out to be around $400, which my agent said is low enough that it won't affect my premium. Couple of weeks passed and I found out that the adjuster had paid out more than $1300!!

    She claims that she had delayed the claimant so she had to pay more. I don't know if my premium will go up yet but I think it will affect it. Is there anything I can do? Should I switch insurance?

    Also, this is AAA in California.

    Thanks for any suggestion
     
  2. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    How was the accident rated? Comprehensive or collision? Nothing in CA cost $400 to repair if paint is needed, so that sounds very, very, very low. How much of the claim was for property damage? How much rental car?

    Switching insurance will probably cost you more then staying put. Your rates won't get affected until at least the renewal, if then. If you switch, they can get impacted right away.

    Dan
     
    djs, Oct 9, 2016
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  3. nestorishere
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    nestorishere New Member

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    Thanks Dan,

    I believe it is under property damage since both of our cars are parked. I believe the estimate is the initial estimate with him not going through insurance, so it's probably higher. But it's a simple paint chip on the back passenger car door, it should not be over $1000 to fix. I don't think the adjuster mentioned rental car so I'm not sure. She only said she delayed the claimant so she paid more.

    So do you suggest switching insurance once we see the renewal?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Anytime painting is involved in CA, the rates are normally around $1000 and up. Some places can do it for less by not using the proper systems in the paint booth to meet CA regs, but the insurance company is going to require they do it correctly. So yes, it could be higher with insurance company paying it because they actually do a better job (better as in complying with all the regs, the quality of repair may be the same).

    I'm not sure why the delay would make any difference to the payment amount, except maybe storage or rental fees, but that doesn't seem practical for a door ding.

    Heres the thing, this is probably a collision claim (car hit car), but accidents are rated to drivers, not vehicles. This is where it can get complicated and I could be wrong, but this is a driverless collision. Because of this, there is no driver to rate the accident to, and because of this, there is no significant rate impact.

    You will likely fall into a loophole of how accidents are rated to policies. Of course, its minor enough anyway.

    I'm guessing and am often surprised on these type of claims, but I doubt you'll see a rating change due to this. Its going to depend how the adjuster codes it.

    Dan
     
    djs, Oct 10, 2016
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  5. INSUREGEEK
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    INSUREGEEK Super Genius

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    My take?

    This is why you buy insurance. Let AAA handle the claim.

    As a body shop manager in OH, about the only thing we do that costs less than $500 is buy, paint, and install a side view mirror.

    Even a simple door ding in the the center of a door is gonna be $750 minimum depending on the color of the car. If I have to blend paint into the adjoining panels, which is the SOP, it runs about $1200 depending on which body panels are involved. Add in a rental car for 3-4 days, and you're easily at $1300. It's usually more than that. That's because the insurance company and/or the body shop have to guarantee the repair. We do it right, or we don't fix the car. I'm sure it's worse in CA.

    SO your renewal increase, if any, will depend on how AAA views this type of claim (like Dan said) in consideration of any others you may have had in the past. Wait and see what happens? Shop it with a good independent agent in your area if it goes up any appreciable amount.
     
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