Auto Insurance Claims/insurance claim

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Question
I was involved in an auto accident which was 100% the other driver's fault. So I took my vehicle to that person's insurance company in order that an adjuster could give me an appraisal.

I received a check for around $500. The adjuster told me that I should take my car to a body shop, which would check for damage which the adjuster could not see. If there was additional damage, the insurance company would pay me the balance.

I took my car to a body shop and left them the estimate from the insurance company. I thought that in those two weeks, they would call the insurance company, discuss the estimate, and have any additional amount necessary to cover the damages sent to me.

I called the body shop today and it seems that they never did anything with my car in the past weeks.

They want me to come to the shop later this month and at that point they will contact the insurance company. However, I was told that I won't receive any additional money for the damages unless I choose to get the vehicle fixed.

I think that since the accident wasn't my fault, I should receive the difference between the two estimates, whether or not I choose to have it repaired.

Is this the correct procedure? Does the insurance company only pay out an additional amount if it can be shown that the body shop is definitely handling the repairs?

Thanks.

Answer
Hi John,

Unfortunately, this is correct. Insurance companies get to steal tens of millions each year from consumers based on this policy.

They write a low-ball estimate and only pay the true cost to repair if the vehicle is actually at a body shop being repaired. So in this case the only things you can do are as follows:

1) accept the $500.00 and be done
2) get an estimate from a shop willing to go to court with you and sue the at fault driver
3) file a complaint with your state insurance commissioners office
4) contact you local TV investigative news team to do a story on how insurance companies keep money legitimately owed to consumers.

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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