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Surprising insurance story
Old 04-05-2014, 04:23 PM   #1
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Surprising insurance story

I was in a minor accident last September. Driving in the right lane on a four-lane street in the city, when the guy next to me (in the left lane) suddenly decided to turn right into a driveway. Damage to the right side of his car, and left side of mine. No big deal, but ugly body damage.

We pulled over and the first thing he said was "I'm really sorry, it was all my fault." OK, I figured that was clear, so we exchanged insurance information and went our separate ways. He added that he was going to a job interview, looking for an address, and saw it at the last minute, which partly explains the event.

I talked to my insurance company, and of course they gave me the choice of going after his company or letting them take care of my repairs subject to my deductible.

I have a $1,000 deductible, but I really like my company so I swallowed hard and went with them, paying $1,000 to the body shop.

It turned out that the other guy's insurance company wanted to dispute it, and my company has been going through all the motions, including third-party arbitration, all this time. They finally prevailed, and today I got a $1,000 check in the mail, reimbursing my deductible.

My last accident (also not my fault) was nearly 40 years ago, and I well remember the hassles of dealing with the other guy's insurance, so I'm sure I made the right decision this time.

No real lesson here, just wanted to share an interesting story and comment that USAA will go the extra mile to take care of customers. (I've been a member since 1968, which probably helps.)
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:35 PM   #2
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Always call the police to get an official report.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
No real lesson here, just wanted to share an interesting story and comment that USAA will go the extra mile to take care of customers. (I've been a member since 1968, which probably helps.)
I've heard lots of good things about USAA insurance, auto and homeowners. Most of my relatives use them.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:03 PM   #4
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Always call the police to get an official report.
Good idea, if they will write one. Many departments won't if it is body damage only and no injuries.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:42 PM   #5
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I had a police report for my accident. The other guy's insurance company was holding out until they saw that report, then paid off without a fuss. Much safer that way.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:54 PM   #6
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Our local Sheriff's department feels it's easier to go to an accident and write a report than to actually go do some productive police work like hunt down drug dealers. Then, if you need a copy of the report, you have to go to the Sheriffs Department and pay for one.

Another thing they do at fender bender locations is pick which of the 17 tow truck drivers lined along the road blocking traffic is chosen to tow your car.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:10 AM   #7
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Good idea, if they will write one. Many departments won't if it is body damage only and no injuries.
You are correct, not all departments will. In bad weather they can't respond to all calls, no injury, no alcohol, walk it in the next day.
The last time I got rear ended, body damage, they did dispatch EMTs, I refused medical treatment. They did write one up, probably due to having to shut down West bound I-70 at 8:00 AM, for ten minutes. My truck had a bent bumper, the car that hit me totaled.

Odd thing, in this state the police only document the accident, maybe its different with injuries or alcohol.
Who's at fault is determined by the insurance companies. Maybe it works that way everywhere, seems strange. In my case I later learned the trick my (prior) insurance agent did to make my driving record look worse to other insurers, helping him to lock us into his agency.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:16 AM   #8
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A couple years ago I backed into a car and we called police. He came and then said since it was on private property and you have insurance there is no real reason for me to be here, so he left without writing down anything. I called insurance company and they took care of it all promptly. They even gave me the pleasure to pay them back in an installment plan. My rate was jacked up an extra $20 a month for 2 years. That just about covered the entire bill in itself. So if I pay for the bill anyways, what is the reason for insurance?


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Old 04-06-2014, 11:36 AM   #9
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My car was struck while parked in a parking lot. The witnesses (not me) had a plate number and cellphone video of the incident. We reported to the police who identified the other car and wrote a very short police report. It was private property, but maybe becuase it was hit and run they took the report anyway. Using that report I was advised to go through the other car's insurance. It was a nightmare getting anyone to return calls, when we finally made contact they wanted me to bring the car a hundred miles to their claim center, then use only their approved repair places, none of which were in my city. I pulled the plug on that, used my own insurance and paid the deductible, then let my insurance sort it out. About a year later I got my deductible refunded after they collected from Fly-By-Night insurance; but it was well worth it to me not to have to hassle with an insurance carrier who seemed to design their procedures to cause maximum inconvenience to claimants.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:40 AM   #10
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Yep, that was my point in posting. If your insurance company is good, you can save a lot of hassle by doing it this way. It can take a long time to get your deductible back, but the delay is well worth it.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:33 PM   #11
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A couple years ago I backed into a car and we called police. He came and then said since it was on private property and you have insurance there is no real reason for me to be here, so he left without writing down anything. I called insurance company and they took care of it all promptly. They even gave me the pleasure to pay them back in an installment plan. My rate was jacked up an extra $20 a month for 2 years. That just about covered the entire bill in itself. So if I pay for the bill anyways, what is the reason for insurance?


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Believe it or not, that's the insurance business.

Hit them with a claim, your rates get raised for 2-3 years (it's 3 years here). Best these days to have max deductible and pay the small claims out of pocket rather than file a claim which will lead to an increase in premium. DW wacked a small pole at church last yea. Estimate was $675 so I paid to get it fixed.

Insure for the big one.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:43 PM   #12
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Believe it or not, that's the insurance business.

Hit them with a claim, your rates get raised for 2-3 years (it's 3 years here). Best these days to have max deductible and pay the small claims out of pocket rather than file a claim which will lead to an increase in premium. DW wacked a small pole at church last yea. Estimate was $675 so I paid to get it fixed.

Insure for the big one.

I agree, as I plan to increase my homeowners deductible at renewal. In this case though it didn't appear to matter as they didn't increase my premium, just put a surcharge on it and that about equaled what my out of pocket would have been. I thought about paying for it, but the lady seemed more comfortable with insurance dealing with it, and then I didn't have to worry about getting screwed on an excessive claim repair. I had a few scratches on my car but didn't bother to mention that as I had a $1000 deductible and I didn't want to spend on it to fix the old car.


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Old 04-06-2014, 12:55 PM   #13
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About 10 years ago I noticed that my kitchen sink supports (under the sink and cabinets) were damaged due to a long slow leak. Long story short, after filing a claim with my HO insurance, an adjuster came by and inspected the damage and said that he would present the findings to the insurance company. I doubted that the claim would be approved. Less than a week later I received a check for $3000+ and a short letter that my claim had been approved. USAA is my HO carrier.
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