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Person who hit my car has "insurance issues"
Old 12-30-2015, 02:22 AM   #1
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Person who hit my car has "insurance issues"

On December 22, I was in line waiting to pull out of shopping center parking lot onto the street. The light was red and the line was long. A 22yo backed up her car and hit mine and damaged my passenger side quarter panel and front bumper. She kept backing up despite the fact I was hitting the horn to get her attention. A witness raced up and told her to stop. I had no where to go as I was stuck in the middle and the left lane had people entering the parking lot. The bumper crumpled into the tire and the windshield wiper fluid was leaking. Thank God it wasn't worse.

We exchanged information and I forget to get her auto license plate number. She said she was covered by Mercury Insurance. I called Mercury and she hadn't filed a claim with them. So, I filed a claim and was later told there was a "coverage issue" and they would notify me after they investigate. After waiting for a week, I had my insurance adjuster come out and take pictures and give an estimate to the collision repair shop so that I can get my car repaired. My comprehensive coverage has a $500 deductible. I finally got a rental car as I needed to run some errands.
The repair shop will hopefully come and tow the car today (12/30/15) for repairs.

How successful are insurance companies at recovering the cost of repairs and refunding the deductibles? How long does it take for the deductible to be refunded. I'm unemployed with no income so I'd like to get my money back.
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by CABarb View Post
On December 22, I was in line waiting to pull out of shopping center parking lot onto the street. The light was red and the line was long. A 22yo backed up her car and hit mine and damaged my passenger side quarter panel and front bumper. She kept backing up despite the fact I was hitting the horn to get her attention. A witness raced up and told her to stop. I had no where to go as I was stuck in the middle and the left lane had people entering the parking lot. The bumper crumpled into the tire and the windshield wiper fluid was leaking. Thank God it wasn't worse.

We exchanged information and I forget to get her auto license plate number. She said she was covered by Mercury Insurance. I called Mercury and she hadn't filed a claim with them. So, I filed a claim and was later told there was a "coverage issue" and they would notify me after they investigate. After waiting for a week, I had my insurance adjuster come out and take pictures and give an estimate to the collision repair shop so that I can get my car repaired. My comprehensive coverage has a $500 deductible. I finally got a rental car as I needed to run some errands.
The repair shop will hopefully come and tow the car today (12/30/15) for repairs.

How successful are insurance companies at recovering the cost of repairs and refunding the deductibles? How long does it take for the deductible to be refunded. I'm unemployed with no income so I'd like to get my money back.
You probably won't get your deductible back...maybe, but I doubt it. Your insurance company will pursue getting reimbursed from the other persons insurance, but if it's not a large $$$, they may not waste their time. They will get it through your increased premium. Who is your insurance company BTW?
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:39 AM   #3
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Sorry to say this, but my guess is that you'll be out the $500. In my experience, when everything LOOKS right, the odds of getting your deductible back are about 50/50. And if there's a "coverage issue," things don't look quite right.
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:44 AM   #4
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Waiting a week for them to respond is more than long enough, so they should not dispute the repair charges you received via your insurance company and in my opinion they should not squawk about paying for the repair, including your deductible as well. Also, this was not your fault, so your rate really shouldn't go up, provided your insurer is reimbursed by the other party's insurer. Did you get a police report?
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:55 AM   #5
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If you are unemployed with not much else to do, why not sue the 22yo in small claims court?

Don't let them get away with this. The next person they hit they may injure and that might be a lot more than $500.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:25 AM   #6
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Also, this was not your fault, so your rate really shouldn't go up, provided your insurer is reimbursed by the other party's insurer. Did you get a police report?
In many jurisdictions, any collisions in parking lots are automatically "no-fault" (read: "both at fault"). In such cases, you'd have no hope of having your deductible refunded, and your premiums would increase, as it would be considered "50% at-fault accident."
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:24 AM   #7
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A couple of years ago I was in an accident where it was clearly the other person's fault. I had an uncomfortable feeling about their insurance coverage, so I took the easy way out and filed the claim with my own company using my comprehensive coverage (or collision, I can never remember which is which) and paid the $1,000 deductible, expecting that I had a good chance of getting it back.

Got my car repaired and let my company go after the other company. There was some pushback and it wound up going to arbitration between the two companies. Took over six months, but my company won and I got my full deductible back.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:43 AM   #8
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This sounds like what "uninsured motorist" coverage was invented for. As with a hit-and-run, your insurance company should not raise YOUR rates (since you did nothing to increase their risk exposure, other than being outside your home), but you would be liable for your deductible. As others have said, the ins. co. probably won't consider it worth going after the other person's company for small $$, but you never know. Sorry about this. I agree with the poster who said to go after the offender in small claims court, if only to make their life miserable and teach them a lesson...but it may not be worth your time and trouble, either.
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:40 AM   #9
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If the total damage wasn't too much over $500, your insurance company may not bother with the subrogation process and try to recover from the other party's insurance. If they do subrogate they should try to recover the total cost including your deductible to make you whole.

Again, if this was a $700 repair and they only "ate" $200, they might not bother. But if it's thousands of dollars, they are more likely to go after it. As mentioned before, small claims court is also an option to recover your deductible if insurance doesn't do its job.
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:46 AM   #10
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We exchanged information and I forget to get her auto license plate number.
Apparently you didn't exchange sufficient information since you didn't get her insurance policy # & nor the insurance's effective dates. I wouldn't leave without that or having the police arrive.
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:54 AM   #11
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This sounds like what "uninsured motorist" coverage was invented for.
Uninsured Motorist was invented to protect the policy holder from high medical bills when the other guy doesn't have insurance coverage. Very few companies offer uninsured motorist for physical damage claims.

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Old 12-30-2015, 12:02 PM   #12
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CABarb, why don't you ask these questions directly to your insurance carrier? If they are any good, they'll answer and maybe reduce your worries. You might even let them know you need results in a more timely fashion as it is the holidays.

I was rear ended by someone and it was clearly their fault. But I was a bit flustered and would have probably missed some important info too.

Luckily I was carrying my wife's smartphone and took several pictures including the person's drivers license. That's one reason I bought my own smartphone recently.
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:06 PM   #13
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Apparently you didn't exchange sufficient information since you didn't get her insurance policy # & nor the insurance's effective dates. I wouldn't leave without that or having the police arrive.
In a lot of places, the police will not be dispatched to a minor accident where nobody is injured.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:04 PM   #14
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OP - Next time, copy down 3 things: drivers licence, insurance info, and licence plate #

Do it yourself, holding their paper, so they don't copy down the wrong numbers for you.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:06 PM   #15
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OP - Next time, copy down 3 things: drivers licence, insurance info, and licence plate #

Do it yourself, holding their paper, so they don't copy down the wrong numbers for you.
Even easier, use your phone to take photos of these items and the damage to the cars.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:44 PM   #16
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My insurance 21st Century is now part of Farmers group. I had the other party's drivers license info as well as her insurance info. Because my hands were shaking, I had her write down the info. She showed me both her DL and insurance card. And she admitted she as at fault at the site.

I'm surprised that Mercury didn't have her phone number as I provided the adjuster with her number. The woman made no contact with her insurer! Another Mercury adjuster was assigned to the case and I had to inform her also as to what happened. Don't these people share info?

My witness spoke with Mercury and backed up my story. The 22yo lied about what happened and made it look like it was my fault. Thank God for the witness! He made it clear that I was not at fault. He had to bang on her car to make her stop because she hit me, paused and then proceeded to back out. Apparently she didn't hear the metal crunching or my car horn. smh.

This is holiday week so the car will not be worked on until next week. I missed out on some shopping I had to do before Christmas because I didn't want to incur costs that I may be liable for. People were out of the office and we were playing phone tag.

You know, I had my iphone but didn't think to take pictures or record her as we were talking. She had admitted fault right away and then changed her story for the insurance company. Lesson learned.

I had a stiff neck, headache and earache but wasn't injured. The witness says I can make a claim for "pain & suffering." I'm not sure what to do. Tylenol helped the stiffness and pain.

So.... the $500- if Mercury now knows their insured was at fault, I should recover the deductible, correct? The damage was estimated to be at $2500+ the $100 towing- so $2600 total plus the deductible. We'll see if there are other damages once they open the car up.

I try to live my life honorably and expect the same from others. It's sad that I have to jump through hoops to prove I'm not at fault. I've spoken to 6 people total at the insurance companies.

Oh, the witness says I shouldn't have gone through my insurance, but I needed my car repaired. I hope everything resolves itself in my favor. Too stressed out dealing with the adjusters.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:47 PM   #17
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It can also be useful to step back and take some wide angle shots of the cars to put it in context. That can also be useful to show who is at fault in the case of (for example) one car out of its proper lane, etc.

Maybe unlikely that your photos would do you a lot of good if it came to legal proceedings, but they might help. Take them from a few different vantage points.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:44 PM   #18
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CABarb, you did the right thing claiming. That is what car insurance is for.
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Old 12-30-2015, 04:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by CABarb View Post
On December 22, I was in line waiting to pull out of shopping center parking lot onto the street. The light was red and the line was long. A 22yo backed up her car and hit mine and damaged my passenger side quarter panel and front bumper. She kept backing up despite the fact I was hitting the horn to get her attention. A witness raced up and told her to stop. I had no where to go as I was stuck in the middle and the left lane had people entering the parking lot. The bumper crumpled into the tire and the windshield wiper fluid was leaking. Thank God it wasn't worse.

We exchanged information and I forget to get her auto license plate number. She said she was covered by Mercury Insurance. I called Mercury and she hadn't filed a claim with them. So, I filed a claim and was later told there was a "coverage issue" and they would notify me after they investigate. After waiting for a week, I had my insurance adjuster come out and take pictures and give an estimate to the collision repair shop so that I can get my car repaired. My comprehensive coverage has a $500 deductible. I finally got a rental car as I needed to run some errands.
The repair shop will hopefully come and tow the car today (12/30/15) for repairs.

How successful are insurance companies at recovering the cost of repairs and refunding the deductibles? How long does it take for the deductible to be refunded. I'm unemployed with no income so I'd like to get my money back.
The issue here is the 'coverage issue' response from Mercury, which may mean you were struck by an uninsured driver. Mercury is investigating because, my best guess as a former insurance professional, the policy of the driver that struck you is in lapse.

If the other driver is deemed at fault, and has insurance, you would absolutely be entitled to reimbursement of your deductible. It may take a few weeks, but it will occur. This is simple legality, not a 'discretion' issue of the insurance carrier.
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Old 12-30-2015, 04:10 PM   #20
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Uninsured Motorist was invented to protect the policy holder from high medical bills when the other guy doesn't have insurance coverage. Very few companies offer uninsured motorist for physical damage claims.

Rita
We got hit by an uninsured motorist. They covered our vehicle without a problem. We did not have comprehensive and it was covered under the uninsured motorist clause. We were not at fault--the vehicle was parked.
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