Accident car insurance advice
July 22, 2006 3:11 PM   Subscribe

My car rolled today and hit another parked car .. i guess I forgot to apply the emergency brake .. My car is fine .. her car has a huge dent in the back :(

the lady whose car i hit is from bulgaria and her english isnt all that great .. i'm wondering what the proper procedure is to take care of all this ..both of us are insured .. she's wondering if i shouldnt just get an estimate and not involve the insurance companies ..and pay her in cash instead because my rate would go up ? i'm a responsible driver ..not many wrecks .. shouldnt go up that much .. any advice would be appreciated on next steps to take and what to do ! thanks!
posted by jason9009 to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total)
Call your insurance company. Insurance repairs aren't cheap and they're usually inflated until the insurance company dickers with the body shop. I'm a veteran of numerous accidents.

I suspect that this will turn into nothing but trouble -- particularly since she's so eager to save YOU money? Something's rotten in Denamrk IMHO.

...and I thinnk that there was an askme thread not long ago similar to this that turned into a nightmare for the poster.
posted by bim at 3:36 PM on July 22, 2006

Those cash settlements seem to end up going sour way too often.

Let her insurance agent deal with it. That's what they get paid for.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 3:52 PM on July 22, 2006

Oops. Let your agent and her agent work it out.

And as bim said, something seems wrong. I bet she doesn't have insurance or a license or both.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 3:54 PM on July 22, 2006

Contact your insurance -- this is why you have it! Sure, maybe your rates will go up, but that will be a cakewalk compared to what could happen if this situation goes south -- which believe me, it could.
posted by scody at 3:57 PM on July 22, 2006

Call your insurance company, give them all of her vehicle and contact information, and let them contact her. Provided you have Property Damage coverage, they'll take care of everything from there, and that's the extent of your involvement. That's why you have insurance!

Paying out of pocket almost never goes well, and the estimate would likely be much more than you might anticipate (think parts, body labor, paint, paint labor, etc).
posted by mewithoutyou at 4:09 PM on July 22, 2006

She may be trying to defraud her insurance company by getting cash from you and then filing a claim. Whether or not she gives them your info is not really under your control, so you may find that you pay her cash, and then get a call from her insurance company wanting compensation (again). You can probably protect yourself to some extent by keeping receipts and such, but that may be more of a pain than just going through insurance.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:31 PM on July 22, 2006

Let insurance handle it. My husband, when he was young and green, was soaked by an unscrupulous asshole who asked for money and then claimed the pre-existing dent in his trunk hood was as a result of the fender bender caused by my husband.
posted by oflinkey at 4:36 PM on July 22, 2006

Some insurance companies will let you reimburse them for the cost of the claim, instead of hiking your rates. I did this in BC once when I saw my rate hike, and realized that it would be cheaper in the long run to take the immediate hit and pay the claim.

That said, I have settled accidents with a couple of people without involving insurance companies, and it went fine. In one case, I chose to forget about an accident that was the other person's fault, because I didn't give a crap about the car. In another case, I paid $100 to a couple that I very slightly dinged in a parking garage with no issues.

The proper procedure is to go through insurance, but you don't have to do that if you don't want to. It's really up to you. Personally, I suspect the lady is driving a crappy car and would like to take the cash and not fix her car. Or maybe she just doesn't trust big companies or institutions, and thinks she'll get her money faster from a private individual. I don't jump to the insurance fraud/evil conclusion.
posted by crazycanuck at 5:23 PM on July 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

Most insurance companies allow you to decide after reporting an incident whether you pay for the incident or the insurer pays. Check your policy. You want to have as much information about your situation as possible before you make a decision.
posted by randomstriker at 5:45 PM on July 22, 2006

I would take her up on the offer. Unless the damage is very expensive. A several hundred dollar repair could easily cost you several thousand in increased premiums, especially if you live in a high cost insurance area. If your car hit mine, I would offer to let you pay it out of your pocket rather than report it.
posted by caddis at 5:49 PM on July 22, 2006

Do not accept her offer, unless you have it in a signed contract.

If I were the least bit dishonest, I'd have you pay me in cash, and then turn around and file an insurance claim against you, too.

Maybe she's just being nice, but maybe you're being conned.
posted by fogster at 10:39 PM on July 22, 2006

A several hundred dollar repair could easily cost you several thousand in increased premiums...

Several thousand? Thousand? Nah. Don't scare the dude.

Years ago I had the misfortune of three accidentrs in a short period (my favorite was being rear-ended and then hit and run while the damaged car was parked at work). I did get screwed on my rates for a while but it was only a couple hundred more per year. But that was lots of damage and three accidents.

Besides, if this woman's car is illegally on the road, I'm not sure the OP will have to pay at all.

And...there's nothing that prevents her from keeping an insurance company check and not fixing her car. It's done all the time. I did it once and scrapped a car. Hence, I am still suspicious about her motives.
posted by bim at 3:21 AM on July 23, 2006

In my experience, keeping small fenderbenders off the records is a *good* thing. Depending on what kind of car it is, whether it's an actual bumper or a bumper cover, etc, it can be quite a bit cheaper to pay for it outright. Esp if it's less than, or only marginally more costly than your deductible.
posted by notsnot at 9:37 AM on July 23, 2006

« Older Ultimate camping in northern California?   |   Raising a nine-year-old Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.