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Our minivan got wrecked -- file claim through which side?

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  • Our minivan got wrecked -- file claim through which side?

    Some jerk in a giant SUV rear ended my wife while she was at a stand still and waiting to get onto a highway, causing her to hit the car in front of her (another giant SUV).

    She's pretty sore but hopefully nothing major.

    My question is: my wife is definitely NOT at fault.  We're covered and the at fault party is covered.  Should we file the claim through our insurance or theirs?

    We called ours to report the accident and they said to file the claim through our company (Safeco) we would have to pay our own deductible and get paid back later.

    Paying the deductible isn't a big deal, but I really didn't want to take the chance of being on the hook at all since we weren't at fault so we called the other company (Liberty Mutual) and filed the claim through them.

    It will take longer to get things processed it sounds like through the other company, but I was sorta paranoid about what might happen to my rates if my company handled it, even though we are not at fault.  Our car insurance broker (who I think advertises on here but not sure) doesn't answer the phone after 5pm apparently so couldn't get any quick advice so I filed the claim through the other company just to get it started.

    The van (2014 Odyssey) itself has a ton of damage.  5-figures.  Rear lift gate door smashed in, rear bumper damaged, tail lights smashed, multiple side panels buckled, at least one of those big sliding doors damaged/buckled, front smashed in (bumper, hood, and area in between).  I'm sure there's damage on inside that we just can't see.

    Not that this question is intended to promote my blog, but I just wrote about purchasing this minivan last week (we just purchased it summer 2016):

    $ave Money: Buy & Sell A Car Online from Vroom

    Was filing the claim through their company instead of ours the wrong move?
    An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
    www.RogueDadMD.com

  • #2
    Thats weird that they say to file with the other company, I dont get the difference. You have insurance no matter who is at fault. I'd call to clarify.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was in a similar situation about ten years ago (on old highway 40). Yes, the procedure is to file the claim through your insurance company, and they represent your claim to the other insurance company involved. If the accident is as you say and can be substantiated by a police report (corroboration from the driver at fault, witnesses, if need be, etc.), you will get your deductible back (and a check for the estimated damages to your car).

      Comment


      • #4


        I was in a similar situation about ten years ago (on old highway 40). Yes, the procedure is to file the claim through your insurance company, and they represent your claim to the other insurance company involved. If the accident is as you say and can be substantiated by a police report (corroboration from the driver at fault, witnesses, if need be, etc.), you will get your deductible back (and a check for the estimated damages to your car).
        Click to expand...


        For some reason the police did not file a report despite our car having significant damage -- it apparently looked driveable to him and no one needed an ambulance so he declined to file a report.

        I just got off the phone calling the police district to complain because I am shocked the officer did not file a report.  Even the officer I was complaining to was surprised and said a report should have been filed based on what I told him.  The front of the car is smashed and without looking under the hood (which probably won't function properly) it would've been hard to assess for engine damage.

        A tow hitch from the car my wife got pushed into smashed up the front of our car and the hood got bent.

        The person that hit my wife did admit fault at the scene, but without the police report to back things up then it seems like things could become a big pain.  Especially since that person hit my wife's car so hard it then hit the car in front of her, and that person was trying to give my wife a hard time (even though all the blame should go on the person who hit my wife).
        An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
        www.RogueDadMD.com

        Comment


        • #5





          I was in a similar situation about ten years ago (on old highway 40). Yes, the procedure is to file the claim through your insurance company, and they represent your claim to the other insurance company involved. If the accident is as you say and can be substantiated by a police report (corroboration from the driver at fault, witnesses, if need be, etc.), you will get your deductible back (and a check for the estimated damages to your car). 
          Click to expand…


          For some reason the police did not file a report despite our car having significant damage — it apparently looked driveable to him and no one needed an ambulance so he declined to file a report.

          I just got off the phone calling the police district to complain because I am shocked the officer did not file a report.  Even the officer I was complaining to was surprised and said a report should have been filed based on what I told him.  The front of the car is smashed and without looking under the hood (which probably won’t function properly) it would’ve been hard to assess for engine damage.

          A tow hitch from the car my wife got pushed into smashed up the front of our car and the hood got bent.

          The person that hit my wife did admit fault at the scene, but without the police report to back things up then it seems like things could become a big pain.  Especially since that person hit my wife’s car so hard it then hit the car in front of her, and that person was trying to give my wife a hard time (even though all the blame should go on the person who hit my wife).
          Click to expand...


          Yes, the driver in the car that my car was pushed into me was initially angry with me, too, as she thought it was my fault. Until she realized that I was pushed into her.

          Your car has front and rear damage, the car in front has rear damage, and you can both point to the third car as the cause for damage for both. I do not think that it will be a problem for you.

          I forgot that I have another rear end story and the insurance twist. Our nanny was driving our car to pick up my daughter at pre school when she was struck from behind by a pregnant woman who was having contractions and lost control of her car. The impact drove our car into the a parked car, and my car was totaled (bummer, it was a great car). One wrinkle was that the nanny was not listed as an insured driver of our car (which I corrected the next day, for our future car), but it turned out to not be a problem, either. We received a check from the other woman’s insurance company (and used it to buy the worst car that I have ever owned, a story for another time).

          Comment


          • #6
            I also think it is typically filed through your insurance company, but I think it would be fine through the other persons Liberty Mutual policy.  I was hit by a semi truck with commercial trucking insurance.  Even with my company (State Farm) fighting for it, and a police report and dash cam video, the truckers insurance never paid a dime.

            Also, with that amount of damage, you could also consider filing for a diminished value claim.  This is done through a separate company (there are several that come up if you google it).  My insurance company had no idea what I was talking about when I asked them about i.  It was enough of a pain that I didn't do it, but I have friends who have gone through the process and simply received a check for $3000+ dollars.  They paid about $300-400 to the company to file the claim.  It's based on the fact that your vehicle now carries a significantly decreased value since there is an accident on the VIN now.  So if you tried to sell or trade in the car, you will get a much lower value.

            In retrospect, I think I probably should have done it, but I was too pissed off about the $15K in damages and just wanted my car repaired correctly.

            Comment


            • #7
              Keep in mind the police report doed not assign blame, the insurance company does. Person in the rear is at fault for the whole thing. Just relax and enjoy a glass of wine. Pick a new car. Accidents happen.

              Comment


              • #8


                Also, with that amount of damage, you could also consider filing for a diminished value claim.  This is done through a separate company (there are several that come up if you google it).  My insurance company had no idea what I was talking about when I asked them about i.  It was enough of a pain that I didn’t do it, but I have friends who have gone through the process and simply received a check for $3000+ dollars.  They paid about $300-400 to the company to file the claim.  It’s based on the fact that your vehicle now carries a significantly decreased value since there is an accident on the VIN now.  So if you tried to sell or trade in the car, you will get a much lower value.
                Click to expand...


                The idea that they could do $10-20k in repairs but then leave me with a minivan with no resale value had occurred to me. I've never heard of a diminished value claim -- I'll need to look into it.  Is that something I can initiate after the initial insurance claim is processed?
                An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
                www.RogueDadMD.com

                Comment


                • #9


                  Keep in mind the police report doed not assign blame, the insurance company does. Person in the rear is at fault for the whole thing. Just relax and enjoy a glass of wine. Pick a new car. Accidents happen.
                  Click to expand...


                  I'll admit I'm not an expert, but if a police report assigns blame, won't an insurance company on the benefiting end use that to ensure the other side pays up?  If there's no 3rd party report then if any of the people involved dispute what happened then doesn't that report also provide grounds to determine who should be at fault?

                  I don't drink wine, but if they give me a "new" minivan of comparable years/miles I'll take it and have a nice frosty mug of my favorite root beer from my favorite local drive in burger joint.
                  An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
                  www.RogueDadMD.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was in a similar wreck in August.  Rear-ended and forced into another car on the interstate.  I filed with my insurance. One of the involved drivers had the same insurance (Allstate).  My car was totaled.  It took 3-4 weeks for them to decide this and write me a check.  The deductible check came from the rear driver last week.  The process was slow enough that I went ahead and bought a new car while the insurance decided if it was a total loss.  The process of getting your deductible back is called subrogation.  I think this will not effect my rates because it was not my fault.  The driver in front saw the truck that hit me in her rearview mirror.  It is an irritating process.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As I looked it over again last night and then looked up prices, I am not sure they will write us a check for a new car.  I checked online, and buying a similar vehicle (make/model/year/miles) is around $30k.  However there are very few of them actually available for sale.  If they do cut us a check it'd probably be worth looking at other minivans too... the hybrid Pacifica sounds nice.  Then I won't feel as bad when I read Mr. Money Mustache.

                      I'm guessing there is around $10k in damage, but won't know until an adjuster and repair place see it.
                      An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
                      www.RogueDadMD.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If the minivan has lots of electronics like a backup camera etc I think the repair costs go up quickly.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It has the rear camera and front/read collision sensors, all contained within areas that received some damage.

                          However I wonder if they will salvage working electronics.  We had a sliding door that had to be replaced last year after a different minor accident, and the repair company bought a new shell and apparently moved the electronics to the new door.
                          An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
                          www.RogueDadMD.com

                          Comment


                          • #14





                            Keep in mind the police report doed not assign blame, the insurance company does. Person in the rear is at fault for the whole thing. Just relax and enjoy a glass of wine. Pick a new car. Accidents happen. 
                            Click to expand…


                            I’ll admit I’m not an expert, but if a police report assigns blame, won’t an insurance company on the benefiting end use that to ensure the other side pays up?  If there’s no 3rd party report then if any of the people involved dispute what happened then doesn’t that report also provide grounds to determine who should be at fault?

                            I don’t drink wine, but if they give me a “new” minivan of comparable years/miles I’ll take it and have a nice frosty mug of my favorite root beer from my favorite local drive in burger joint.
                            Click to expand...


                            Interestingly a police officer just writes what he/she thinks the story is, they do not say whose fault it is. The insurance companies assign fault. The adjuster who comes out to look at your car is supposed to have some knowledge relating the damage observed to the dynamics of the accident. Years ago I had an accident where someone lost control of their car on ice and ran into my side. They tried to say I sideswiped them. When the adjuster came out he saw the damage and quickly verified they run into me just by looking at the pattern of the damage.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ah.

                              Well this is a pain either way.

                              Our other car has a blown tire that was already scheduled for replacement today.

                              So we are borrowing 2 cars from family to get through the week (thankful to be able to do that). My wife went to work sore because she wasn't injured enough to miss.

                              Sitting getting my regular one repaired while trying to get a rental. And of course no minivans are available and have an ER shift coming up in the afternoon.
                              An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
                              www.RogueDadMD.com

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