Claim check/deductible question

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:06 pm   Post subject: Claim check/deductible question  

Several months ago, while driving on a local interstate, a dump truck "lost" about 100 golfball sized rocks, which happened to make contact (ouch!) with my car. It shattered my windshield in several spots, and dented my car as well as many other superficial spots where the paint was chipped. I took down the phone number of this dumptruck's business and called to later find out the number was not a working number. Fortunately, I have full insurance for my car, which covers this sort of accidental damage with a $250.00 deductible. My insurance agent told me to get some estimates in the meantime.



At the time, I was in college, and had a horrible time trying to get this appraised. We got someone to come to my home to fix my windshield, which we did not have to pay a deductible for. Now I am ready to get the car fixed and we got two estimates.

One is for $1450, the other is for $1950. After calling my insurance company, they told me to make an appointment with an adjuster who would estimate the value of this damage.



1) Did I waste my time getting these estimates? Will they change anything for the adjuster, or will his amount be the amount I get no matter what? Should I present these estimates if I believe his estimate of the damage is unfair (I have read that they try to "lowball" the damage many times")?



2) I have a loan on my car. Does this mean the check will NOT be made out to me? The woman I talked to on the phone said that they will issue me a "certified check" at that time for the amount of damage in which I can choose the body repair shop that I want to go to. Will the check be made out to me or will it only be able to be cashed by the body shop in which I choose?



The reason I'm worried about this is that the body shop said it will take 6 days to complete. I am a new young professional, and cannot afford at this time to take that time off of work (and I am too young to get a rental-my insurance policy does not include rental cars for damage), therefore it may be quite a while before I can get this fixed (well into the new year).



Ideally, I want to put this check in a separate account to pay towards these expenses, when I can get the time off of work.



Sorry for this overly involved message; I just want to be sure that everyone gets the "whole story" when you respond...

thanks in advance for your assistance!


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nurse07
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:44 am   Post subject:   

Hi nurse07, you are taking about the prevailed notion that the adjuster tries to downsize the claim. Well, that's not true always. In fact, its their responsibility to compensate you such a way that you don't sustain any financial loss. But we also need to keep it in mind that insurance is not a mean of making money.



Now coming to your question…..



Quote:
Did I waste my time getting these estimates?




Well, I guess, No. When the insurer has asked you to obtain the quotes, he certainly has the intension to settle with the quoted amount. The adjuster may only ascertain a value between to issue the check.

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LaAgent
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:03 am   Post subject:   

Good morning nurse 09 and welcome to the community....



Quote:
Did I waste my time getting these estimates?
maybe, I assume an 'agent' told you to get the estimates right? Some times agents sell for many many different companies, all companies handle their claims in their own way. Some want a couple of estimates and will pay the lowest, combine the two, or write their own. It sounds like your company writes their own estimates...more than likely your agent either didn't realize how your company handled claims, or was hoping that the damage would be less than your deductible once you got the estimates.
Quote:
Will they change anything for the adjuster, or will his amount be the amount I get no matter what?
well no and yes, if the adjuster writes their own estimate that is the estimate that the loss will be paid from, however, six (in this case) sets of eyes looking at a vehicle is better than two...
Quote:
Should I present these estimates if I believe his estimate of the damage is unfair (I have read that they try to "lowball" the damage many times")?
yes, give them the estimates UP FRONT there might be something on one of them that the adjuster might miss, but don't expect to be paid from one of them. And where EXACTLY have you read about and adjuster 'lowballing' damage? By the way 500 difference in estimates for this type of damage is A LOT! So either some one is gouging, one of them blind, or perhaps 'low balling' Wink



Quote:
2) I have a loan on my car. Does this mean the check will NOT be made out to me?
Yep, that's what it means. If your insurance company has any sense at all. It will be made to either you and your lein holder or you and the shop minus your comprehensive coverage deductible. Remind them about the w/s already being replaced, that should've been considered a part of this loss. Unless your company doesn't charge deducts for glass claims, which would be different...It should not be made only to you if you have a lein holder. If you want to know the reasons for this let me know.



Quote:
The reason I'm worried about this is that the body shop said it will take 6 days to complete.
Then find a different shop, if this vehicle is peppered from rocks, and judging from the amounts of your estimates should be about a 3-4 day job MAX.





Quote:
Ideally, I want to put this check in a separate account to pay towards these expenses, when I can get the time off of work.




Doubt that will happen, (them paying you directly). Most claims drafts are good for six months, and even then after they have expired all you have to do is call the adjuster they will stop pay on the originally and send you another...so your problem about having the time to get your vehicle repaired is really no problem at all! Just get it repaired when you have the time, and the deductible, or if you don't want to repair it, make sure it's made to you and your lein holder and apply it to your loan. I don't understand the need to take off work...Can't you get a ride or borrow someones car for a couple of days even?



Quote:
Sorry for this overly involved message; I just want to be sure that everyone gets the "whole story" when you respond...

thanks in advance for your assistance!




Don't be sorry, posts with a lot of information thrill us to pieces! Laughing More times than not we have to ask about ten questions of the OP to get a grasp of the situation, in order to provide a decent response. Thank you for being so thorough!



Let us know if you need any additional assistance, there is always someone here ready to help....
Lori
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:35 am   Post subject:   

Buddy….you are probably aware that as long as you have a lien on the car you are not the rightful owner of it (the title of the car remains with the financer). Therefore, can't make independent decision. You need to involve the banker in the decision making process.


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Percy17
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:24 pm   Post subject:   

Yes, your agent screwed up a little if they told you to get estimates as your insurance company inspects it's own damage. Yes you agents screw up a lot (!) if they never bothered to pass on your loss information to the carrier when you reported.... and it appears they did not as you don't mention anyone from the carrier calling you in the long time it took you to have a shop give you an estimate. Your agent did not do their job... and it was a simple job. If they had done their job, the insurance company would have probably come out, inspected all the damages, and you'd already have had a check in your hand.



It appears your in a state where your deductable is waived for the replacement to your front windshield. If your agent never reported your loss and the windshield was replaced, the glass company sent the bill into your carrier and they should have a claim for that bill. You want to make sure your carrier knows this is all _one_ loss. Two comprehensive claims on your policy might not make a difference as opposed to one... but there is no reason to take a chance.



Depending on the amount, your carrier _might_ make the check just payable to you. Most will not. Most will make it payable to you and _either_ your lienholder or a body shop. If your lien holder is on the check it can be a pain to get cashed. I think it's always better to have the body shops name on he check. If you want this, you need to tell your carrier who will repair your vehicle before they issue the payment.



You can take the carriers appraisal into any shop of your choice and that shop will repair your vehicle for the amount listed (the short version of the answer).



"Certified Check"...? I doubt that. More likely it's actually not even a check, it's a "draft". Makes no difference to you... it's check just like any other check (if it's a draft, that person should _not_ be calling it a certified check)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:59 pm   Post subject: Got the check...  

Hey everyone. I got the check which was about 600 less than the higher estimate, and a couple hundred less than the lower. (The estimate was 1200). They assured me that when I get it fixed, the body repair shop will contact them for the difference, if there is one, and it will be paid by them, not me.



I am a little disappointed that it is made out to me AND the body shop, as I planned to put this in a separate savings account until I'm ready to get it fixed (which will probably be May, when I get married-I am not old enough to rent a car, and it will take SIX!! days unfortunately... so the only time is when I'm on my honeymoon).



Is there a way to get them to sign the check over to me, or is this a lost cause? Thanks for all the advice.


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nurse07
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:54 pm   Post subject:   

Ah Nurse, Nurse, Nurse,



I went to all that trouble and you didn't read my post well apparently, to recap Wink ;



Quote:
Is there a way to get them to sign the check over to me, or is this a lost cause?
THEY CAN'T....you do not own this vehicle. The bank does. So they have to make the draft either to you and the lein holder or you and a shop, thus assuring the vehicle is repaired. And this is why. The leinholder is also (basically) an insured under the policy. Let say they make the draft payable to only you. You blow the money on popcorn and candy and do not fix the car. You further stop making payments and the vehicle is repo-ed, the bank takes the car back and after it is their possession they say, 'Hey insurance company this car has some damage we need to file a claim, oh there has already been a claim paid on this and you failed to protect our interest? Guess what insurance company now you get to pay the claim AGAIN'' and yes, I've seen it happen. THAT is why you don't get the money.



Your only alternative is to have the draft made to you and the lein holder rather than you and the shop.



Also
Quote:
They assured me that when I get it fixed, the body repair shop will contact them for the difference, if there is one, and it will be paid by them, not me.
This is correct and standard practice.
Lori
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