They said they'd "take care of me"... what does that mean?
July 14, 2010 1:43 PM   Subscribe

Someone hit my car and left a note, I have their insurance info and have started a claim with their insurance company. What can I expect? (Michigan, USA)

Earlier this week my car was hit while parked on the street. When I returned to my car I found a sizable dent and paint damage. The person who hit me left a note with a cell phone number. I first called my insurance company, who told me to get the other driver's insurance company and then make a claim with them. I called the other driver, and asked for their policy number. I then called their insurance company and made a report. Their insurance company (Progressive) said they will "get me taken care of" after they verify some things with the other driver. Since I've never been through this process before (I've been hit before, but this is the first time anyone's ever left a note!), I want to know just exactly what I can expect. Specifically:
  1. How long will it take the insurance company to process the claim?
  2. Will they send someone to inspect the damage?
  3. Will I be able to take my car anywhere I want for repairs, or does the insurance company get to pick where they send me?
  4. What compensation am I legally entitled to? Repair costs only? Do I get a rental car?
  5. Are there any "gotchas" in the process that I should be aware of?
This is in Michigan, USA. I promise not to treat answers as legal advice. Thanks Mefites!
posted by Vorteks to Law & Government (8 answers total)
Best answer: This is based on an experience with Allstate YMMV

1. 1-2 weeks.
2. Probably not you'll either have to get an estimate from a mechanic or possibly drive your car to an approved Progressive place where they can look at it.
3. You will get to choose, they just cut you a check
4. Progressive will probably do a parts and labor comparison on that type of damage on that type of car and offer you the bare minimum possible to handle that sort of damage. Not sure about legal nonsense. Probably just repair costs.
5. The only gotcha I can think of is that you didn't file a report at the beginning so they could potentially back out. It doesn't sound like they will do this.
posted by edbles at 1:57 PM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: 1. Depends. I've had some processed the same day.
2. Depends. Sometimes they'll send you to a "certified" repair place then they take care of it. Other times, there's an adjuster involved.
3. Depends. I've been able to take cars to a place on a long list of shops that included the place I wanted to go. I took the car there, got a rental car and a few days later returned and got my car with no money out of my pocket.
4. You should get a rental car for the time the car is in the shop.
5. It really depends on the insurance company you're dealing with.
posted by birdherder at 1:59 PM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: 5. They may just not pay it. I hope this doesn't happen to you, but it certainly happened to me. The person who ran a stop sign and hit my car changed his story and said it was actually me that hit him. I don't know if his insurance pressured him to do this or he was just being a jerk, but in the absence of a police report my insurance (State Farm, the worst in the world) declined to fight it any further. Thus I was stuck using my own insurance and was out the deductible.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:05 PM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: In my experience with a few different insurers, not Progressive though:
1. Couple days
2. Yes
3. Anywhere
4. They pay for a rental
5. If they do send an adjuster and there is more damage than the adjuster noticed you will have to wait for the adjuster to come back and re-inspect the car and approve the costs of fixing the additional damage, that can slow down the procedure. Plus every time there is a delay you may need to call the company to get the rental authorization extended. Last time I had to get the rental re-authorized like three or four times because of a million little delays.
posted by phoenixy at 2:17 PM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: Make sure YOUR insurance agent is aware of the situation. If there are any problems with Progressive, your agent can go to bat for you.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:18 PM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: I was hit by someone who was insured with Progressive. It wasn't a note situation, but the details may answer some of your questions. This was in CA, by the way.

The claim was processed super fast. They sent an adjuster to my workplace where my car was parked to check out the damage, I didn't have to bring it anywhere. They gave me a list of approved places near my house where I could take the car, and they provided a rental. They paid the mechanic, I didn't have anything to do with that.

Overall, the experience was really fast, really painless, and it impressed me so much, I ended up switching to Progressive for my own insurance needs later.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 6:05 PM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: I've been hit 3 times in the last year (grr). I've dealt with 3 different insurance companies, none of which were Progressive.

1. Depends, but fastest was about 1 week from getting hit to going into the shop.
2. Twice I've had adjusters come to me to inspect, once they sent me to a place very close to get the damage inspected.
3. Usually they say you can go to the shop of your choice, but once the insurance company had preferred shops to choose from as well. I've done both with no bad consequences either way.
4. I have been given the cost of the repair and a rental for the time of the repair. The shop usually deals directly with the adjuster/insurance company if additional damage is found once the car is taken apart. This last time my repairs ran longer than then authorized rental, and I didn't have to do anything to get the car re-authorized, the insurance company worked that out directly with Enterprise.
5. The only one I can think of is if the person who hit you changes his/her story.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 6:44 PM on July 14, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! Progressive asked me to visit one of their service centers and drop my car off, and they are providing a rental.

Bella Sebastian's experience has made me optimistic that things will go smoothly.

@Thorzdad - I actually don't think I *have* an insurance agent, believe it or not. I'm insured through AAA, and I've only ever dealt with their main office. I've never seen an agent's name mentioned.
posted by Vorteks at 6:18 AM on July 15, 2010

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