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Discussion Starter #1
My wife had an accident this morning in her 2003 Grand Am GT. The car slid down a parking lot ramp backwards into a concrete wall. While the car was sliding down the ramp, the drivers side was scraping along a concrete wall. Single vehicle accident, damage to the side (scratches, dents), power mirror ripped off, front bumper cracked, rear bumper scratched and cracked. We were quoted $2500 tax included to fix. I'm trying to determine whether to claim this or pay out of my pocket. This would be my wife's first accident. How long can the insurance company charge inflated rates for this accident, does an accident stay on your records for 3 or 6 years? I'm just trying to weigh the costs of making a claim vs. paying out of pocket. Opinions?
 

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MARKUS2222 said:
Single vehicle accident, damage to the side (scratches, dents), power mirror ripped off, front bumper cracked, rear bumper scratched and cracked. We were quoted $2500
First thing is you have 48 hours to report the claim if you choose to.

Second, based on your description of damage, I doubt it will be fixed for $2,500 or less (i'm no bodyshop, but its pretty expensive to fix scrape to side of car and both bumpers, especially with a crack and dents). I had just a cracked rear bumper (4 inch) pvc welded and painted for $700 awhile back... not replaced.

You might be able to do a cash deal for the price you quoted...

Third thing is ask yourself are you risk averse? You might pay slightly more on your premiums for the next few years... Pull out the spreadsheet and amortize the 5 yr requirement for 6 star rating. HOWEVER, I think the biggest problem comes from the *possibility* of another claim within the next 5-6 year period. That's when they REALLY get you with rates... expect a min 30%+ jump if you claim twice within a 5 year period.

Reader's Digest version: Sub 2k, i wouldn't claim it... since the premium alone is 1k. But you are at that marginal price point... 2.5k cash. I'd get a second opinion on the repair costs because power mirrors aren't cheap... then again it is a USDM. :)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Cal,

I was researching this on the internet and CNN money basically explained it the same as you. I tried to calculate the increased premiums over 6 years but I'm not sure what our rates would be if we claim. The deductible is $500 and the shop quoted me $2500. I'm taking the car to two more places for quotes and then I'll decide. It's funny, you'd think a domestic vehicle would have cheaper parts.....hell no, GM talks about they're vehicles like they're all made of gold. On newer models, the parts are some of the most expensive I've seen.....I hate GM, I will never ever own another one.

Thanks for the reply!
 

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MARKUS2222 said:
Thanks Cal,

I was researching this on the internet and CNN money basically explained it the same as you. I tried to calculate the increased premiums over 6 years but I'm not sure what our rates would be if we claim. The deductible is $500 and the shop quoted me $2500. I'm taking the car to two more places for quotes and then I'll decide. It's funny, you'd think a domestic vehicle would have cheaper parts.....hell no, GM talks about they're vehicles like they're all made of gold. On newer models, the parts are some of the most expensive I've seen.....I hate GM, I will never ever own another one.

Thanks for the reply!
HAHAHA JDM d^^b ... USDM q^^p

Yeah - the cost to rebuild a brand new car with parts from a dealer is 7x the original MSRP of the car excluding labour. :evillaugh Go figure that one out...

Well from a business point of view, you think GM likes to give out money at 0% financing or various incentive plans on new cars because they like the consumers? They are desperate for revenue, but not that desperate. The driving force is getting the vehicles out the door (lost leader) and then getting the profits on maintenance, repairs and OEM parts... I figure that power mirror alone will cost you about $400 minimum. The one from Mercedes C240 (sure its import), with the blinking signal light is $1.0k EACH. :mad:

Well at $500 deductible, its a no brainer - I would claim it. Because if you don't you still have to tack on another 300-400 bucks or so for the week of rental car (out of pocket if you don't claim it) for the time the car is in the shop for repairs. However, it should be covered as a "loss of use" line item in your insurance policy.

If you work out all the details... it works in your favor to claim. Worst case is have a vehicle insured under YOUR name (assuming you have two vehicles split)... therefore, you can ride out the 5 star claim period. Premiums should only bump up ~10-15% next renewal period (about $200 for a 2003 car)... then NPV it 5 years. Tack on the $500 deductible...

You should still be ahead of the game...

I reckon I should find a new day job as an insurance consultant...

Calvin (Cliff Claven)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Haha.....as of today, I have hired you as my new insurance consultant. ;)
I'm going to go ahead and claim it. I was working it out last night and even with a rate increase, it is slightly cheaper to claim it than pay cash plus a rental for up to 5 days. Not sure how the insurance company is going to deal with this.....in November my wife's car was rear-ended by a guy with no insurance, it was her first accident and she unknowingly didn't get all of his information, only his DL #, no license plate. She called insurance but they have no way of finding this guy. They told us we were on the hook for a $300 deductible, but to this day we haven't even taken the car in for a quote because the damage was fairly minimal. Now, because of yesterdays accident, the same area that was hit in November has been hit again but this time there is much more damage.....I'm wondering if my crooked insurance company is going treat this as two separate claims with two separate deductibles. I'll let you know how it turns out (how my insurance screws me).

Thanks for all you advice!
 

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MARKUS2222 said:
I'm wondering if my crooked insurance company is going treat this as two separate claims with two separate deductibles. I'll let you know how it turns out (how my insurance screws me).

Thanks for all you advice!
If you haven't paid the $300 deductible (how is it that you have a 300 then a 500 deductible - should be same for "collusion and upset" term).

Anyways, if you filed a claim and never received paperwork / nor paid the deductible, then IMO it was never carried through. Irregardless of the fact that the bumper may have seen action twice... you are only processing your January claim. One single claim.

(side track: which reminds me that you should have your rear bumper REPLACED on the new claim instead of repaired - since any subsequent bump on a repaired bumper will show spider / crack paint on the original damage. It happened on my other car)

You better go in in person to deal with it... and make sure that you have only one claim on your record. If you do it over the phone, I would be a little more suspicious.

Good luck.

My bill is in the mail.
 

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It's also been my experience that ins cos will ALWAYS try to get the lowest cost work from the bodyshop to cover a claim that has no other "liable party" except for their own insured, which often means repairing rather than replacing parts, not paint matching or blending panels, etc - so I would say make sure you, the ins co, and the bodyshop all agree on what work is going to be done. And of course the bodyshop once they know it's an insurance job will ALWAYS try to go for the most expensive repair...it's quite the racket.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah Barry, I know what you mean, insurance companies are so crooked you have to be so careful. I went and got a quote from a body shop to see what it would cost if I paid from my own pocket. Then I made the decision that it would be cheaper to claim it, now an adjustor from the ins. co. will go and look at the car and decide what he thinks it will cost.
 
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