I'm the victim of a parking lot rear end accident. The guy who hit me has admitted all liability. I've gotten an estimate at a shop of my choosing. His insurance company (AAA) sent out to my house an independent appraiser. She did her report but failed to include pictures of the most expensive damage (There's a difference of $500.00 comparing her report and the body shop that I took my car to). After I received the appraisers estimate I called AAA and they said that if I wanted a cash pay-out I would be the one responsible for getting the proof that the part the appraiser 'conveniently' left out was really damaged. This would be at MY expense. AAA, says that my bumper has to be completely dismantled to prove this. I say, BULL!!!
U see, the problem is, it's my car that got hit. If the other party has admitted all liability I shouldn't have to pay a dime, not to mention that it's none of AAA's business if I get the car fixed or not. Am I right?
BTW, Totaling the car out is not an option seeing as though it's worth much more than the damage caused. This is not in dispute.
I live in California.
Thanx in advance.
Total Comments: 83
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 04:46 am Post Subject:
If the car is taken in to be repaired and they find additional damage that could not be seen, or was not included in the adjuster's estimate, the shop can submit a supplemental claim. At that point, Triple A would have to send an adjuster out once the car is torn down to see the additional damages.
They may have mentioned the additional cost since some body shops will charge a tear-down charge if they are not going to be the shop to repair the vehicle.
If the difference in the estimates is only $500, I'd go ahead and have a shop start working on it and let them negotiate the supplement with the insurance carrier. You may also want to inform the shop of what is going on.
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 05:51 am Post Subject:
Your best bet is to take it to a shop and have the shop go over the damages with the apprasier.
I can't speak as to if it can be known the part is damaged or not... this can only be told by viewing the damages. We discussed this in another post and it was asked if certain carriers did this on purpose. I think some carriers are more apt not to write up parts they don't _know_ are damaged but also I think those same carriers won't have a problem paying for that damage once it's confirmed that it is damaged.
Bottom line, law says you have the duty to prove your loss. I'm betting if a good repair center entered into a discussion with the apprasier that some agreement could be found.
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 06:05 am Post Subject:
Thanx for your responses. But let me make myself very clear. I want a cash pay-out. It's AAA who says that if pay out then I have to pay the cost out of my own pocket for the 'tear-down' to see if the bumper bar is actually in need of replacement. The body shop that I took it to didn't have to take anything apart to see that that's what I need. Haven't I already proved the damage to my car by taking it to a body shop of my choosing and that same shop writing me an estimate?
I find this to be scandalous. Isn't it the responsibility of AAA to pay for the 'tear-down'? Why should I have to pay for anything. I'm not the one at fault here.
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 06:10 am Post Subject:
It has not been proven... shops _guess_ at repaired _all the time_! What do they care if they are wrong? They just get paid more money. So they can "afford" to just guess at what needs to be repaired. Trust me... they do it _all the time_.
(I'm not saying the part does not need to be replaced, just that the fact that a shop wrote it down is not proof).
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 06:21 am Post Subject:
Understood. but what I don't get is why AAA is telling me that I'm the one who has to pay for the tear-down. Something is fishy there. I'm the victim.
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:33 am Post Subject:
When you have a vehicle in a shop for 'repair' there is no tear down fee...most shops however will not take off that bumper cover and put it back on (since you are not repairing it) for free...
The appraiser CANNOT pay for damages that they cannot see...It sounds like (from your post) the shop did not see the rebar either! and as tcope said just assumes it will need replaced, and maybe it does! But you wouldn't pay out of your own pocket to replace a part you couldn't see was damaged either, in fact once it's torn down there might be additional damage other than the absorber and rebar...maybe the rear body panel is pushed in as well...or and this is probably something you should be concerned about...when that bumper cover is off of your vehicle maybe there is no other damage, have you thought of that? maybe all that is damaged is the cover (which I assume is what the appraiser wrote) you have a choice to make...shop around and ask a few shops hey, what would you charge me to remove my bumper cover for inspection and put it back on...? some shops will charge you book rate whatever it pays for you particular car (if you want to give me year make model and if it's rear cover I'll look it up for you)) some may only charge you fifty bucks....how confident are you there is additional damage? If it were me and I knew there was damage under there I'd pay it...
It's up to you to prove your damage, and up to them (the carrier) to pay for the damage...not the tear down.....UNTIL they know there is damage, now if there IS IN FACT additional damage found once the cover is off, they would owe for that tear down as well as the additional damage.
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:54 am Post Subject:
Thanx, Lori. That's what I needed to know. If I take it to a shop and tell them that AAA needs proof that my bumper reinforcement bar is bent or not, am I right in assuming that they'll know that AAA is going to pay for the tear-down?
Also, I'm starting to learn something about depreciated value. Can U comment on the subject?
I own a 1984 Toyota Celica GT in EXCELLENT condition with 132k. I just bought it on Febr.3rd. Someone took very good care of this care. Even AAA's appraiser documented it as such. MOF, I've already registered it for our local auto-rama show on the 4th of July as a stock entry.
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:40 pm Post Subject:
am I right in assuming that they'll know that AAA is going to pay for the tear-down?not necessarily...make sure you are upfront with the shop and adjuster both, that you have no plans to repair this vehicle...then find out from AAA the date and time they can reinspect it after you have it torn down...also explain to the adjuster that 'if' there is damage to this rebar, they WILL be paying the shop directly for the tear down and the additional damage to you for you vehicle....get that all laid out prior..ok? also another reason to make sure the shop understands you aren't fixing it is so they are more careful in the removal of the cover (so they can get it back on the vehicle).....
Also, I'm starting to learn something about depreciated value. Can U comment on the subjectI think what you may be talking about is diminished value...honestly if you don't repair it then you don't have a claim, and on your vehicle there would be none (IMO)...also not all carriers will consider diminished value, many states don't require it...
I understand that it's in great condition...but what I don't understand is if so...and you plan to show it in a street show why on earth are you not repairing it? Is it just a scratch on the cover or what? My nada program only goes back to 1989...so an additional five years old even in excellent conditon, I doubt it would 'book' at much more than 1500-2000.00....
It's moot anyway, because you arent' repairing it (diminished value)....
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:50 pm Post Subject:
I looked up the labor time r&i on your vehicles rear cover, ( r&i means 'remove and install) the cover pays .5 (one half an hour) labor, however they may charge you to O/H (overhaul) the entire bumper assy, WHICH THEY SHOULD NOT DO! that pays 1.3 hrs...they should only be charging you to r&i (remove and install) the rear cover only which (as I said) pays .5, also shows me (duh) the rebar, absorber, and retainers are discontinued by the manufactor..doesn't mean they can't be found, and I would expect to see that on this year vehicle...
Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 02:30 pm Post Subject:
There is a problem with your Book time of .5 (one half of an hour -- thirty minuets).
Book times are based on New Undamaged Automobiles.
The auto in question is an 1984. California or not, a 24 year old auto is going to have Rusty fasteners, which could easily double or triple the labor costs.
What about Stall time waiting for the appraiser to show?? And a few other items that could come into play.
Your throwing out a book time on an old car like that could cause a consumer to unjustly suspect/accuse an legitimate labor bill for work performed as being a Rip-off or Scam.??
I'm sure it was unintentional, but still not a nice thing to happen.