Auto Insurance Claim...What You've Learned.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by twinrider1, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    Yesterday I was in a minor accident. A guy backed into the side of my car. His carrier, Nationwide, called me today and asked some questions. He said that my answers matched what the other guy said, and that Nationwide would be accepting responsibility. I'd rather have it in writing, but it sounds like I'm past the first hurdle.

    What should I be on the lookout for?
    I expect they'll call me back to arrange a time/place to have their adjuster examine my car. I'm fine, I don't want to make any money on this. I just want my car 100% whole again.

    Update: They just called. I have three options...
    1. A Nationwide approved body shop. Lifetime warranty.
    2. A body shop of my choosing.
    3. A Nationwide adjuster examines the car and cuts a check. If the body shop then determines additional work is needed, Nationwide is contacted.

    I'm amazed there was as little visible damage as there was. The front bumper wrap is tweaked where it meets the fender. It's popped out a bit and the gap widened. Similar situation in the rear, only the rear bumper wrap looks more like it was pushed down a bit. And the steering wheel is off maybe 1/2" CCW. If I hold it level, it pulls to the right. And that's all I can see. I was absolutely expecting caved in door panels, bent B column, something. I don't know how the hitch on his minivan didn't nail me somehow. My concern is that there could be bent/cracked brackets. And I know something is up with the steering. Maybe it was just knocked out of alignment.

    I know it was just a few seconds, but I'm mad at myself for not getting out of the situation. I thought to put it in reverse, then forward, and then I was just yelling at the guy and honking the horn. Then wham, he hits me square in the side.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  2. raph

    raph Member

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    If you bought your car new from a dealer, take it to the dealer (or a body shop you trust) and have them provide a full examination of what's wrong with the car, what they'd replace or repair, which body shop they use, and get it in writing, as if you were paying for the repair with cash or credit.

    Then ask the adjuster to deal with them. The adjuster will try to lower the cost of the repair. Repairing components instead of replacing, using third-party instead of OEM parts, etc. You want the dealer estimate in writing first.

    Then compare the dealer estimate with the adjuster estimate. That's how you'll be whole again.
     
  3. Chad-Chicago

    Chad-Chicago Member

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    Nationwide?? Expect junkyard(recycled) and aftermarket parts(lkq) repaired by their lowest bidding(drp) shop.
    Good luck!
     
  4. Chad-Chicago

    Chad-Chicago Member

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    Also, sounds like you have some suspension damage(possible control-arm, strut, tie-rod, knuckle & bearing.) have that looked over before you accept any final settlement. also, be sure you get a rental car, yo!
     
  5. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Member

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    Adjuster here, for another company. Sounds like the exact methods my company uses. The Nationwide shops will have a guarantee of their work and if you have any issues with their repairs then you can take the car right back to them to resolve the issues. Sounds like you at least need an alignment for the suspension issue. Make sure you point out the issue to whatever body shop you use. I personally stand behind the body shops my company uses. Sure they will use used or aftermarket parts, but, I know this is going to sound like insurance guy BS, coming from a rational point of view, what's the difference between factory and aftermarket parts? They're made from the same materials to the same specs, they just don't have the brand name. I'm not going to lie, sometimes the aftermarket parts don't fit quite right, but if the shop is good, they'll send it right back and get one that fits right.

    Honestly though, use whatever body shop you feel comfortable with. Most dealerships don't have their own body shop so they recommend one in the area that they work with. A lot of the shops my insurance company works with are body shops for dealerships in the area. The body shops insurance carriers use aren't shady holes in the wall. They're audited all the time to make sure that work is of high quality, if it wasn't we adjusters would get an earful constantly from everyone we work with.
     
  6. Jemplayer

    Jemplayer Member

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    Either use a dealership, I've never known a dealership that didn't have a body shop, or use the one that gives you a life time warrenty.

    Don't forget to asked for diminished value. To be made completely whole you need a check for the difference between what you car goes for with a clean car fax and one that had a negative report on it.
     
  7. bluwoodsman

    bluwoodsman Member

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    From what you describe I bet you will be surprised how much it costs to get it back to nearly new.

    I know a few good shops that I trust, and I generally find they have been one of the preferred dealers from various insurance companies I have had. I won't use a body shop I don't know much about unless I have good recommendations from people I know.

    I'd be interesting in the fine details of the lifetime warranty. Doesn't ring true.

    And I'd avoid #3. Anything you have to go back for could be a hassle. The other two are an agreement based on the estimate a shop has agreed to, so the shop takes on the risk of cost over runs...that estimate becomes a contract.

    I'm not as down on aftermarket parts either. Sometimes they come with a warranty that is a lot better than OEM parts.
     
  8. 84superchamp

    84superchamp Silver Supporting Member

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    this is something i never would have thought of. valuable info.:bow

    good luck, OP. funny how some accidents are like a dream sequence, like you should have had plenty of time to avoid it.
     
  9. ELmiguel

    ELmiguel Member

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    Most dealers do not have body shops. Most dealers do have service departments where they do mechanical repairs.

    You can't prove diminished value until you sell the car. Most insurance companies won't acknowledge that diminished value has occurred until you try to sell the car and take a loss because of the accident. This varies from state to state depending on the law. And a big factor is how old the car is and the mileage.
     
  10. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    Auto insurance is one of those place that I no longer shop for 'cheap' rates.
     
  11. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Member

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    To clarify the lifetime warranty, if it's like my company which it likely is, if you soothe work at one of the insurance affiliated body shops, the repairs are guaranteed for the lifetime of your ownership of the vehicle, it doesn't transfer to a new owner. I've seen it work. An insured or claimant comes back a year or two later with an issue that seems to be related to the repairs and we resolve it.

    EXACTLY what I was going to say. You must be an adjuster too.

    Exactly, I'll be the first to say you don't have to. Find a body shop you're comfortable with and repair with them. One thing that I always mention though is, if something goes wrong with the repairs at a shop of your own choice though, your on your own to deal with the shop to have them resolve it. If they're a reputable shop, you shouldn't have a problem. If not, then good luck.
     
  12. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    I appreciate all the input; keep it coming.
    I am pretty cynical by nature. #3 sounds like trouble. Once they cut a check, I have to wonder how difficult it would be to get them to consider reopening the case, so to speak.
    It's a 2012 Nissan Cube, only 15k miles. I've only had it 6 months. I plan on keeping it a very long time.

    Tell me more about the estimate process. I'm curious how they can give accurate estimates without pulling parts, etc. And how do they handle mechanical issues. Seems like the body shop and the mechanical world are pretty specialized and separate.

    Also, would using a Nissan-certified body shop be important?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  13. pjs ire

    pjs ire Member

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    I have read that some leasing companies require that repairs be made with OEM new (not used) parts. If the lease car is fixed with used or "after market" parts, they ding you when you return the leased car. I have State Farm- they will let me require that my car is fixed with OEM new parts, but I have to pay the difference between that and after market parts. I know there are some class action lawsuits addressing this very issue. Let's face it- insurance companies are not your "friend"- they are in the business of making money and used or after market parts are but one means of doing this. They are not like a good neighbor either- more like a "cheap underwear", hillbilly cousin named "eddy". yes, the say they will fix your car "perfectly" with the used parts. I have heard more than one horror story about this! I like my agent- most are pleasant- but make no mistake that the companies they work for are for profit businesses. Prr
     
  14. Trout

    Trout Member

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    You only get what you pay for with any company.

    On our Nationwide policy it provides for New OE parts on repairs, we pay extra for that but in the long run it is worth it.
     
  15. ELmiguel

    ELmiguel Member

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    If the OP chooses, he can contact his own insurance company and file a claim with them. They can handle the repairs. When the repairs are completed his insurance company will subrogate Nationwide and get all of the money back. Including car rental fees and his deductible. Nationwide may even send him a check for his deductible while the repairs are being done (if he asks for it). That was the OP is not out of pocket any money.
    The OP's insurance rates won't be affected by doing this because he is not at fault. This is his right to file with his own carrier. They can't refuse to handle it if he chooses that option.
     
  16. russ

    russ Supporting Member

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    Last may we had an incredible hail storm. My cars sustained a lot of damage. Most ins. company's set up an area to bring to cars to.
    My car's repair was estimated to be about $2200. They cut me a check for the amount, less my $250 deductible.
    I brought it in to a body shop in December. The cost of the repair was $7200!

    The body shop was an authorized S.F. body shop. All I did was pay back the amount of the check, and the $250 deductible.
    I couldn't believe how far apart the actual cost to repair, was from the initial assessment.
     
  17. chrisjw5

    chrisjw5 Supporting Member

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    My thoughts too.

    why are you dealing with this? That's what you pay your insurance company for.
     
  18. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Member

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    Some people think that if you file a claim with your own insurance carrier your rates will automatically go up, not the case. It may also be the case here that he does not have Collision coverage on his policy so he is forced to go through the other insurance carrier.

    Another thing I forgot to mention earlier is that the initial estimate is just an initial estimate. The body shop cannot see what's going on underneath what they can see on the outside so if your shop finds more damage when they start disassembly, they just call the insurance carrier back out for a supplement, it's as simple as that. The initial estimate is not a contract as stated above. The insurance carrier is responsible for taking care of all of your damage, not just what they see in the beginning.

    To be completely honest, Nationwide is a pretty good company, they're not going to screw you and they're pretty easy to deal with, you're not going to have any problems if you repair with them directly. There are a lot of smaller companies that are more difficult to deal with, but eat assured, Nationwide is not one of them. It will likely be just as easy to go through Nationwide as it would be to go through your own carrier.
     
  19. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    Again, thanks. Oh, thrashmetl, I always just figured that was a music-related choice. Was it job-related too? :)
     
  20. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Member

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    Years ago I was rear ended in my BMW E46. Other driver's insurance paid out $7700 for the repairs, which included entire exhaust system up to the manifold. When I went to an appraiser to discuss a diminished value claim, he said I'd be lucky if State Farm didn't come after me for appreciation, since I got a whole new exhaust on a 60k mile car AND the accident never showed on Carfax. So I dropped it.

    FWIW, years later a pedestrian claimed I tapped her as she jaywalked in front of me, cops said I did nothing wrong, but my insurance co. paid for her ambulance ride. That did show up on Carfax. Don't put too much stock in a Carfax report.
     

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