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Old 04-01-2013, 04:26 PM   #1
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The Insurance Company Screwing Starts...

This is an update to http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/43878-ahhh-my-car-hit-bad-today.html

I spoke to the lady's insurance company today. They said that the insured may not have sufficient coverage to pay for my car AND pay the utility company for the replacement electric service pole.

In this situation, the insurance company won't even authorize a rental car for me to get to work because they cannot be sure how the dispersement of funds will go IF the total costs exceed the insured's amount of coverage.

Furthermore, they said that it might take 3-5 months for the total bill to be provided to them for the replacement of the electric service pole and hence, that is the order of magnitude of time that I should expect before they will be able to settle my claim and repair or pay out for my car.

The insurance company suggested that I rent a car on my own money and HOPE that they will be able to pay for it when all of the bills come in.

In California, the minimum liability insurance required is only $15,000. I have no idea what the replacement of a utility pole costs, but I can see why the insurance company is concerned that she may not have enough coverage if she is only carrying the absolute minimum. $15K coverage is nothing in this day of $38K+ Camry's (yes, you can load one up that high).

I called the lady and of course, first I asked how she was doing (people first, stuff second). She said that she had broken her hand but was otherwise ok. She was very apologetic and nice. I eventually told her about the coverage issue but she is quite elderly and couldn't really carry on a meaningful conversation about it. She said that her daughter was helping her to handle things and that her daughter would call me.

I also called my insurance agent and tomorrow we will contact my insurance company to see how they would like to proceed. I may end up having to deal with my insurance company to repair or pay out on my car and then let them go after the other lady's insurance or herself directly if her insurance doesn't pay out enough.

What a pain in the arse!

Now, before anyone starts defending the insurance company, please understand that I get their side of the problem. They can't be expected to pay out more than the coverage and they have to be careful how they payout anything before all of the costs are known or they risk getting sued for paying me for a rental car when the utility company wants to be paid for their replacement pole. So maybe the title to this post was a cheap shot at the insurance company but from my point of view, it sure seems like I'm getting screwed around a bit.
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Last edited by thstone; 04-01-2013 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
This is an update to http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/43878-ahhh-my-car-hit-bad-today.html

I spoke to the lady's insurance company today. They said that the insured may not have sufficient coverage to pay for my car AND pay the utility company for the replacement electric service pole.

In this situation, the insurance company won't even authorize a rental car for me to get to work because they cannot be sure how the dispersement of funds will go IF the total costs exceed the insured's amount of coverage.

Furthermore, they said that it might take 3-5 months for the total bill to be provided to them for the replacement of the electric service pole and hence, that is the order of magnitude of time that I should expect before they will be able to settle my claim and repair or pay out for my car.

The insurance company suggested that I rent a car on my own money and HOPE that they will be able to pay for it when all of the bills come in.

In California, the minimum liability insurance required is only $15,000. I have no idea what the replacement of a utility pole costs, but I can see why the insurance company is concerned that she may not have enough coverage if she is only carrying the absolute minimum. $15K coverage is nothing in this day of $38K+ Camry's (yes, you can load one up that high).

I called the lady and of course, first I asked how she was doing (people first, stuff second). She said that she had broken her hand but was otherwise ok. She was very apologetic and nice. I eventually told her about the coverage issue but she is quite elderly and couldn't really carry on a meaningful conversation about it. She said that her daughter was helping her to handle things and that her daughter would call me.

I also called my insurance agent and tomorrow we will contact my insurance company to see how they would like to proceed. I may end up having to deal with my insurance company to repair or pay out on my car and then let them go after the other lady's insurance or herself directly if her insurance doesn't pay out enough.

What a pain in the arse!

That is putting it mildly. I feel for you, I went through this about 5 years ago, it was a COMPLETE pita!! Even though the other driver was at fault and cited his insurance company was very difficult to deal with, fought me every step of the way. In hindsight I should of retained a lawyer which is something I swore I'd never do prior to that experience. Good Luck.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:43 PM   #3
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thstone,
I believe your insurance company will cover your loss and then go after her insurance company if it was a repair. I'm not sure how it will be handled if they decide to total. I recommend getting a list of Boxsters for sale, same year, similar mileage, to get current values plus any upgrades you have prior to talking to your insurance company. Push the replacement value and negotiate hard.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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Jäger is right.

In the best case when everyone agrees the other party is at fault, the other party's insurance company may pay you directly for damages. This just happened to me when another person damaged my rear bumper cover.

In your case (and when the is any question over who should pay), your, company pays you first to cover your losses and then decides if it wants to go after the other party's insurance company to recoup what they paid you.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:57 PM   #5
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And that is why you carry uninsured and under-insured motorists insurance. I carry as much of that as I do to insure others because I live in a state where an amazing number of drivers don't even have licenses.

Your insurance company will handle it, I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised. I was.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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I am no expert at this kind of thing but you could say that you were going to contact a lawyer shortly if there was no financial satisfaction in the short term. I am just talking off the top of my head here but I do not think that you should suffer. If you go to Pelican Parts Forum and join up for nothing and then go Pelican Parts Forum off topic discussion then there are members who can give you tips. Do not be in a hurry to sign anything at this point in time. There are lawyers/ insurance experts that can give you direction there. I hope this helps.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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Presuming you have collision on this car, your insurance company should be acting as your advocate here and settle your claims as quickly as possible. There is really no reason for you to have to deal with her insurance company at all. If you don't carry collision, your insurance company may not be of much help, but your agent might be helpful in how to deal this, but in the end you might have to deal directly with her insurance. If I remember correctly, uninsured / under-insured does not apply to damage to your car.

Aren't you glad to be getting all of this free worthless advice?! Seriously though, good luck, it will all work out in the end.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:28 PM   #8
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Laws differ from state to state, but I'm under the impression that your insurance co is legally obligated to protect your financial interest, even to the point of paying you first and then suing the other company for the correct damages.

Hope it works out with a minimum of drama.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:58 PM   #9
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OK, so this might sound a bit harsh, but don't talk directly to the other party.
As other have mentioned, your insurance company should protect your interests and negotiate with the other parties insurance company. Your contacts with the other party will just interfere with that process. You also don't want to get into the situation that you know the other party personally and have to feel sorry when your insurance company sues the hell out of them because they are under-insured.
Under-insured people and not insured people are the reason that we suckers are paying an arm and a leg to cover all eventualities. Another thing driving up the insurance rates is that here in New York State they don't even seem to bother to agree on the guilty party. My insurance agent told me that the insurance companies usually just split the costs or each pays its own clients damage. So, doesn't matter how careful you are driving, you are still paying for all the idiots out there. So wrong!
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
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Yes, it seems that the most likely scenario is that I will file a claim with my own insurance company tomorrow morning and then deal with them to determine whether the car will be repaired or totaled since I have comp and collision and under and non insured coverage. Then my insurance will have to worry about getting paid.

Just seems like a crazy bass-ackward solution.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:50 PM   #11
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Oh boy, that really sucks :-(
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:00 PM   #12
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thstone,
I believe your insurance company will cover your loss and then go after her insurance company if it was a repair. I'm not sure how it will be handled if they decide to total. I recommend getting a list of Boxsters for sale, same year, similar mileage, to get current values .
That is correct. I have dealt with this issue twice in CA, and just ended up paying my own deductible from my own insurance, and seeking later reimbursement from the other party. Both times I had to go to court for the difference so keep pics , estimates, police reports, etc. I did get the money, eventually...one was a drunk driver and it she made me payments over 6 years! The other paid me immediately on the court day.
One thing i did discover is, don't expect your insurance company to help you much toward getting paid back. I had State Farm and then Geico, and neither seemed very concerned with helping me get reimbursed from the other party.
BTW, I heard a utility poll runs 10k + to replace, depending on what it's hooked up to.

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Old 04-02-2013, 04:25 AM   #13
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Situations like this are the reason I am insured with Hagarty. Each car has an agreed upon value and If it is damaged they fix it and if it is totaled they pay the agreed value and then deal with the other company themselves.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:18 AM   #14
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She drives a Lexus and carries the bare minimum? Excellent. Evidently she's getting great advice from sales people in her old age.

Lawyer up. If she took down a light pole and totaled a Porsche, then there are already multiple lawyers on this case. Just none that have your interest in mind. Don't make the mistake of thinking that your own insurance company and their lawyers see you as anything other than a policy number, or alternatively, a bet that went against them.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:45 AM   #15
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BTW, I heard a utility poll runs 10k + to replace, depending on what it's hooked up to.
Sounds about right - Southern California Edison had 4 trucks and at least 8 guys working from 9pm to 2am to replace the pole. That's got to be expensive.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:52 AM   #16
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She drives a Lexus and carries the bare minimum?
I am guessing that she is carrying at or near the minimum. I'm sure that her insurance company did a quick check to conclude that she may not have sufficient coverage. I'm sure they know that the value of my car would top out around $10K and if a pole replacement is $10K, then she must have around $20K or less in insurance.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:15 AM   #17
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That is putting it mildly. I feel for you, I went through this about 5 years ago, it was a COMPLETE pita!! Even though the other driver was at fault and cited his insurance company was very difficult to deal with, fought me every step of the way. In hindsight I should of retained a lawyer which is something I swore I'd never do prior to that experience. Good Luck.
I had the exact same thing happen to me with one of my other vehicles. I didn't hire a lawyer either, but I can't say that I wouldn't, if it happened again. I do wish I would have gone through my insurance company instead of the person's that hit me. Either way, my days of the other's insurance company hasseling me over their driver's mistake are over.

Good luck and don't be afraid to get you a lawyer. Sadly, these insurance companies/adjusters make so you almost have to. Ok...I feel myself about to go on a rant. ...I will go ahead and stop now lol
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:19 AM   #18
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I am guessing that she is carrying at or near the minimum. I'm sure that her insurance company did a quick check to conclude that she may not have sufficient coverage. I'm sure they know that the value of my car would top out around $10K and if a pole replacement is $10K, then she must have around $20K or less in insurance.
You're probably right. $20K won't cover sticker, taxes and title for the average mid size car. And I don't see the utility giving out any discounts for their materials and labor. Given her age she must have very high premiums and rolls the dice with low coverage. Or at least that's the decision someone who handles her bills decided to take. So her insurance company may have been collecting high premiums from her for quiet some time.

Funny how if you smash a light pole you're on the hook. But if a gaping crater in the street swallows one of my factory wheels and leaves a giant dent/crack the local/county govt will tell me tough break dude.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:10 AM   #19
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Frankly, there isn't enough money at stake here for you to lawyer up.

File the claim with your insurance company and pay the deductible. Then, ask your insurance company to subrogate against the other company to get your deductible back. Most likely, your company will do the math and not pursue it with the other insurance company.

In that case, make sure that the release you will sign with your insurance company to settle the claim allows you to sue the other party in small claims court and keep whatever you win. Once you jump through these hoops, file in small claims court, show up and you'll probably win. Then you just need to collect, which is easy to say but often hard to do.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:16 AM   #20
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What a nightmare. Here in KS we have to carry way more liability than that. Way more... My little brother took out a power pole years ago and I'm thinking it was around $2-3k to replace. Shocking at the time (mid '80s) and probably worse today. I can't even put on this forum what he was doing when he hit that pole :-)

Good luck with this. Things have a way of working out.
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