Filing a car insurance claim with unreported previous damage
July 22, 2014 3:29 PM Subscribe
I was in a fender-bender that was indisputably the other driver's fault, but I'm not sure how to proceed with the insurance claim because there was already some mild prior damage to my car from a couple of scrapes in my house's treacherous driveway that I never brought to my insurer's attention. Can I get in trouble with my insurance company (USAA) for failing to report those minor solo collisions, and how much will it complicate a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance?
posted by patnasty to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So, here's the deal:
The other day, I was took right at a T-shape intersection, after coming to a complete halt at a stop sign, and a woman apparently didn't notice, and, without signaling, pulled out from where she was parked (illegally, to boot) and drove right into the front-right side of my car.
Consequently, the side and bumper moldings are now misaligned, there's a dent in the front-right door, which now makes a bad clunking noise whenever it's opened, and I also somehow ended up with a flat in my rear right tire.
The complicating prior damage was some scratching and paint-transfer on the right side of the car (mostly on the rear door) and a shorn-off right side mirror, both from when my girlfriend had to move my car to get to hers, and brushed up against the side of the house where our very narrow driveway takes a 90 degree turn.
How should I go about filing this claim, given the proximity (and possible overlap) of the prior and current damage? Will it prevent my insurance company from collecting from hers? Could I end up having to foot some of the bill (which I couldn't actually pay for right now,) or even get dumped by my insurer (USAA) for failing to report the scrape in the driveway?
[Being a dick (and committing insurance fraud) by pretending that all of the damage was from the fender bender is not an option I'm considering.]