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  • Insurance Company Battle Ensuing?

    My wife was rear ended in her Audi a few days ago, luckily no one was injured. The Audi dealer gave us an estimate for repairs totaling about $1,100.00. Today I get home and there is a message from the other insurance company notifying me they have sent out a check for less than the estimate because they have decided to put a used bumper bumper on my car.
    Point #1 WTF? Now I realize that my bumper is in fact used, but I expect a new part to be installed, like the Audi dealer specified.
    Point #2: Before the days of CarFax people basically purchased a car on blind faith, not knowing if a vehicle has been crashed, in a flood, etc. Now the CarFax report will show that my car has been in a rear end collision, reducing its value! Certainly the insurance company is attempting to skirt this issue. I don't think I'm out of line here. Hypothetically speaking, if two people have identical cars, similar condition, same features etc. but the CarFax report indicates that one of those vehicles has been in a collision, I think a potential buyer will either purchase the one not crashed or at the very least try to get a price cut on the one that was.
    Point #3 Rental Car! No mention of how I'm supposed to get around for the 3 days the car is getting fixed, not to mention that the Audi dealer is 85 miles from my home. Hey, it takes time and money to get it there and back!

    So, What do you guys think? Should I settle for a used part? How much should I press them for reduced value? Bill them for my time and mileage to get it to and from the repair shop?

  • #2
    Based on my own fairly recent experience with collisions/repairs/insurance, it is common practice to specify used parts to replace collision damage on a vehicle once it is beyond about 3,000 miles on the odometer. Up to that point it is new parts.
    The insurance company - yours or theirs - should provide you with a loaner.
    My loaner was delivered to me at the repair shop.
    Unfortunately, the world of insurance and claims revolves around rules and technicalities. Fair doesn't enter into it.

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    • #3
      Every time I have dealt with a insurance company it has always been used parts prices they have given the shop I work at. They have never once offered new parts prices.
      Just see what you can do and contact the company.

      Good luck.

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      • #4
        Wow...The Hartford was sourcing NEW parts for our Saturn when it was wrecked. We had to specify to go with used parts. I think I understand that a like-new used part may be acceptable (to the adjusters), but the part must match the condition of the car...ours was appraised at the highest condition bracket, so they were shooting for the new parts. I know there are laws concerning that, but I really don't know for sure. Call your insurance company and ask them.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Gryphon View Post
          Wow...The Hartford was sourcing NEW parts for our Saturn when it was wrecked. We had to specify to go with used parts. I think I understand that a like-new used part may be acceptable (to the adjusters), but the part must match the condition of the car...ours was appraised at the highest condition bracket, so they were shooting for the new parts. I know there are laws concerning that, but I really don't know for sure. Call your insurance company and ask them.
          I called my insurance company. The girl on the other end of the line refused to speak for the insurance company, saying I would have to contact the other company. When I asked her "On a personal level, if this was your car..." at which point she wanted to agree with me, but again decided not to speak, cause she worked for the insurance co.

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          • #6
            Your own insurance company... do you have collision insurance, or is it just liability? If you have collision insurance, normally your company will ride herd over the claim (since they still insure the vehicle) and make the other company tow the line. If not, you have to manage the "case" on your own.

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            • #7
              I have been through this several times. You have a couple of options here.

              You can call your agent and ask them if they will help. Once I had my insurance company call the other guys and tell them they were going to fix my car and then go after them for damages. Almost immediately they agreed to use new parts. This is not guaranteed to work and your insurance may not want to help.

              You can have the body shop refuse to use the part or they can call the insurance company and point out there will be additional labor to clean up and fit the used bumper. Often times this makes the cost difference negligable where you can pay the difference. Sometimes the insurance company will fold and go for a new bumper at this point.

              I have also had a body shop tell the insurance they could not find a used bumper in suitable condition. It depends on how common your car is.

              You can find out what the difference is and pay the difference. Also ask the body shop if they can work with you on the price so the amount you pay is minimal. I have done this twice.

              Also look into filing a diminished value claim. This is essentially the loss in value you have experienced from your car being wrecked. Sometimes when you push this they may agree to use new parts. Either way you can still pursue a diminished value claim. I just finished this up on my truck from being hit 2 years ago.

              Unfortunately, the laws were changes years ago from using new OEM parts to allow Like Kind and Quality parts or certified replacement parts. Certified replacement parts are garbage in many cases. Several studies have been done comparing how the parts hold up to OEM parts and they fall short. A used OEM part is far better than a certified new (non OEM) part.

              Now for those of you who think I must be a terrible driver. None of these accidents I have been in were my fault or my wife's fault. If you look, I live in Mexico (Houston). I am lucky if the people who hit me are insured. This city is full of people of all races who cannot drive to save their life.

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              • #8
                I've been through this. You have the legal right to get it fixed the way you want it fixed and where ever you want it fixed as long as it looks like it did before the wreck. You get it fixed and file a court case, the insurance company will pony up before it goes to court and they'll pay your filing fees for the suit. I've had to do this three times and it went the same way all three times.

                I laugh when an adjuster says "Bring me 3 estimates". I bring the highest one and make them pay me up front. They know they have to do it and if you hold your ground they will.

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                • #9
                  Best of luck on gettin this solved.
                  Last edited by redtail; 05-19-2010, 09:13 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Nocheepgas
                    I would take some pictures, if it's not fixed yet. They have nothing to do with your current problem. However when it comes time to sell and if the buyer runs carfax and see's the report maybe you can then used the pics to show it wasn't all that bad. For $1,100 fender bender it truly isn't that bad of wreck

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                    • #11
                      I had a similar problem when we got rear ended in my old XJ. The body shop actually did all the fighting for me. Made my stand on only using new parts and demanded receipt of those parts to get my point across. I donno if the body shop was hungry for the business or just on their toes as I didn't have to raise my voice at all...kinda refreshing. But then again they could also have taken the cost of the new parts out of their inflated repair costs as well.

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                      • #12
                        Pictures pictures pictures. They are required to fix you car to equal or greater than what it was prior to the accident. By the way, they aren't called accidents anymore, so don't use that word with the insurance company. They are called crashes. Don't cash the check. Call and tell them that you will not settle for less than the estimate. I would also check into the reduced value due to the crash. I usually doesn't amount to much more than $500. The moment the check is cashed, the money dries up. You won't get anymore. Once fixed, the insurance will pressure you to sign the release of claim for the crash. Delay, delay, delay. Drive the car for at least a month prior to signing the release.

                        They are shooting their "low" offer, and have learned that folks usually are to lazy to fight, and to greedy when they find a check in the mail. Patients wins. Call them and ask which rental agency they use so you can drive a street legal vehicle between now and when yours is fixed. If you are driving a $70 a day rental while they are fighting over a few hundred dollars to settle, they will loose just because of the rental car costs. The faster you get a rental on their dime, the faster they will settle with you. Anyone go to the doc? Trebble damages is a scary word for every insurance adjuster to hear. Trebble...not tripple. It means the same though.

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