Need help with making an insurance claim...
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Old 01-20-2004, 05:15 PM   #1
jread
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Long story short, I was in rush hour traffic Friday evening on one of our major freeways. Car in front of me slammed on their brakes, so I slam on my brakes, we're in the middle lane so I can't go anywhere to avoid them, end up sliding into the back of them. Their car just had minor damage on the bumper.... mine was pretty bad.

I had two estimates done and both came out to $3500-$3600. I called Allstate and told them the estimates and that I wanted to go ahead and claim it. They set me up with an appointment to go let one of their people see it, then they're going to cut me a check.

I was told that they are going to say that the repairs do not cost $3500, and that they will try to undercut me and write the check for less money. I was also told that I should not accept anything less than what the body shop quoted me at.

Ok, I've never been in a wreck or made an insurance claim in my entire life, so I don't know how this all works. Do I need to bring the paper copy of the claim I received from the body shop? Do I just need to take it to the body shop and let them deal with the insurance company?

If you've done this before and have any advice, please let me know.
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Old 01-21-2004, 12:38 AM   #2
theTick
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Hi jread,

Take it to the bodyshop you're gonna have repair the car and let them fight with the insurance company. I'm a bodyman in Ky. and i can tell you that when the bodyshop tears the car down they will more than likely find more damage. The final estimate will probably be a couple hundred dollars more, just let them deal with it and you should only have to pay your deductible.

hope this helps


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Old 01-21-2004, 01:34 AM   #3
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Not sure about the laws in Texas but here in Oregon you are allowed to use the body shop of your choice. You definitely want to stay away from any body shop the adjuster tries to steer you toward. Also here in Oregon the body shop will normally fight with the insurance company over the repair costs.
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Old 01-21-2004, 01:42 AM   #4
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Thanks, guys! I talked with the body shop today and they said that no matter what, I won't have to pay a penny over my deductible. They'll get the insurance company in there to give them more money if they need it.

Only thing that sucks is that my deductible is $1000.00
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:46 AM   #5
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Higher deductible, lower rate. What can you do? :roll:

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Old 01-21-2004, 01:47 PM   #6
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Oof! $1000 deductible. It saves you money until you use it, I guess! With the rates in NJ, you pretty much have no choice, I guess!
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Old 01-21-2004, 08:03 PM   #7
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ok 2 comments here:

when a friend of mine backed into my car a few years ago i had to get estimates from 2 body shops. the insurance company wanted to make sure that i wasn't just picking the most expensive company, i guess. i really didn't pursue it farther than this as it was my friend's insurance company that was paying, and i figured 2 estimates was reasonable, especially since i told the guys at both shops i was shopping around for the best price. so i guess the rules definitely vary from region to region, no doubt from company to company.

if i were you i'd do the math before having your insurance pay. you'll save $2500 by going through your insurance. so, ask your insurance co how much more your insurance rates will be if you make the claim? i really have no idea, but if your rates are going to skyrocket, perhaps you may be better off after a few years by paying all that dough at once. but again, i'm not sure, you'll have to check; maybe they'll jack your rate up anyway just because you've had an at-fault accident???
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Old 01-28-2004, 03:41 PM   #8
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You are lucky, in most states you are guilty if you slam into the back of any car. That is from tailgating, if you were driving the safe distance, you would have had time to stop. The only exception here would be if you had stopped in time, but the person behind you slams into your car, and knocks you into the other car/cars. Then, that person who is last in line gets the bill for, up to four cars in front of him, up to twelve cars if the last person was in a mac-truck.

The legal distance in USA states is one car length per 10 MPH in ideal conditions, and twice that in hazardous conditions. (Snow/Rain/Ice) Up north, you also have to drive ten miles under the limit on rainy days, and twenty below the limit when there is snow on the ground.

If they established that you were not guilty, and the only question is that of money, then I would recommend getting at least three quotes, and take the highest quote to submit as your claim. Do not stand down... It costs what it costs! The purpose is to get your car back to the same condition as it was prior to the accident, this is also not only limited to paint and body, this also includes alignment, glass, safety checking of any air-bags and belts, frame alignment or shell alignment (For unibody constructed cars.), and personal medical expenses, including the appointment to see if there is any-thing wrong... even if nothing is wrong.

(Twisted frames/unibodys can be seen by looking at the door alignments and panel alignments. Doors or panels may be higher on one or both sides, not exactly matching the contour of the car. Unibodys are designed to fold in half to reduce injury, and low impact crashes slightly crush their folding points. Without proper reinforcement, this can cause injury in your next crash, or even cause you to crash. When the body gets a slight twist, a wheel alignment will limit vibration, but vibration may still be present.)
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Old 01-29-2004, 12:58 AM   #9
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Yeah like anyone follows the rules for safe following distance on the freeway at rush hour.
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Old 01-29-2004, 05:04 AM   #10
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In South Africa it is also by default the fault of the person hiting you from the rear, regardless.
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Old 01-29-2004, 05:48 AM   #11
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Here as well (Belgium).

Even when a cars slams in your back and knocks you forward against the back of another car, you need to prove that you kept a reasonable distance..

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