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Auto Insurance Claims/Out of pocket settlement

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Question
I was rear ended in what I think was small traffic accident in North Carolina.  No one was hurt, but there was some damage to the bumper of the car.  I have not yet been to a body shop for a repair estimate.  There was a police report.

In talking with my insurance company the other party would like to pay for the expenses out of pocket rather than work through the insurance companies.  I am considering this option.  I am sure that being an insurance expert, you would probably recommend letting the insurance companies work it out. Do you have any recommendations if the other party were to pay the auto body shop or myself directly?  Any other thoughts on the subject would also be appreciated.  

Thanks,

Allen

Answer
Hi Allen,

It is perfectly fine for the at fault party to pay you for the damage. However, you should obtain all of their insurance info just as a back up. Get the name of the company, policy number etc. In my experience most people do not realize how expensive body repair can be. So before you start talking figures to this person you should have all of your ducks in a row.

Go to the body shop that you would have do the work. Have them inspect the vehicle and tell them you want an estimate as close to reality as they can do. Also ask them how many days it will take them to complete the repair. Then contact a local car rental agency to see what the daily cost is for a rental car including all taxes and fees. Now add the repair cost and the rental car cost and that is what you're owed. Then, already having the persons insurance info in your back pocket, call the person and tell then the cost of the repair and the rental car. If they do not have a problem with it get then to send you a letter or email stating they under stand the preliminary cost will be XXXX.XX and agree to pay that amount along with any additional amounts needed by the body shop to repair your car. If they are not willing to do that or if at any point you feel they are getting worried about the amount, then call the insurance company and file a claim.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbaugh

Auto Insurance Claims

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Richard Hixenbaugh

Expertise

Auto insurance claims procedure, auto coverage, liability issues, auto damage questions, how to deal with the insurance company, loss of use and diminished value.

Experience

I have been involved in the insurance industry for over 25 years. I have experience in underwriting, sales, claims adjusting, auto damage estimating, auto value appraising and diminished value appraising. I have testified as an expert witness over 35 times.

Organizations
Society of Certified Auto Appraisers

Education/Credentials
Completed all required courses for the Florida Property-Casualty agents license and the Florida claims adjusters license. I have attended various courses on auto damage estmating, vehicle appraising and am ASE certified in collision damage analysis.

Past/Present Clients
My company has done work for consumers nationwide.

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