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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    21

    Default Denting a Parked Car

    My question involves a collision that occurred in the state of: California

    Okay. Well, I have never caused an accident before but today I did, causing a small dent in the door of a parked car when I was backing up. The car already had prior damage, a 2006 Lexus.

    However: even though the dent was small, it also looked like somehow there was a tiny puncture and I'm not sure how that happened.

    I was in the middle of leaving a note for the owner of the car when he came out of the house, we immediately reported claim to insurance companies and now I realize that this is probably going to damage my record more than I first thought. I have Geico, they said they'd pay for damages to other car.

    I thought I was required by law to file a claim with my insurance company and let them pay for it, but then somebody told me the choice was mine and I could have told the owner of the car that I was going to pay out of pocket (also for rental car).

    I didn't even ask him about paying for the damage out of pocket. Last year I was rear-ended in an accident that was clearly determined not to be my fault.

    In ten years I have not even gotten a ticket and now I am going to have two accidents on my record, I would have much preferred to just pay out of pocket instead of messing up my record. My rates are most likely going to go up much more than it would to just pay for damage directly.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    15,925

    Default Re: Great. Dented a Parked Car, Less Than a Year After a Not-At-Fault Accident

    I had GEICO in 2010 when I backed into a car. GEICO paid about $1300 to the other driver and my next renewal premium increased by about 70%.

    I was able to find another insurance company that saved me about $50 per year off the GEICO rates. Wasn't much but I wasn't going to pay the scum at GEICO that kind of increase.

    Good luck to you.

    And, no, you could have paid it out of your own pocket but what often happens is that the other drivers knows you don't want insurance involved so they hand you a bill for a thousand or two and if you balk they just call your insurance company and get paid and you get surcharged.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Great. Dented a Parked Car, Less Than a Year After a Not-At-Fault Accident

    Thanks adjusterjack, you helped me with my situation last year, too.

    The thing is that with Geico I easily got two million dollars in umbrella insurance. Last year, when reading all the threads on here, I realized I must get umbrella
    insurance and this has given me peace of mind ever since and so I might be stuck with Geico. When it came to umbrella insurance, they
    offered the best deal by far - even though the customer service was mostly terrible.

    Just now, I called them to see if it was too late to offer to pay out-of-pocket and they said no, but that sometimes this leads to problems and that
    my premium won't necessarily go up because of one minor incident (personal stories on the internet say otherwise).

    The adjuster seemed genuinely helpful (of course who knows what they are told to say). He also said that the claim will be closed if I pay out
    of pocket but it will still stay documented. So it sounds like my premium could go up regardless, at the same time that it might not.

    He also said that it would be up to Geico to call up the person whose car I hit and see if it's okay with them that I pay out of pocket, and that if they say yes he urged me to get a letter from them in writing stating they agree to certain terms to avoid problems in the future.

    Is this all true? Basically, Geico will almost certainly profit from this incident, and it's already on record. Glad it wasn't worse though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    15,925

    Default Re: Great. Dented a Parked Car, Less Than a Year After a Not-At-Fault Accident

    The adjuster has no control over what GEICO's company policy is.

    Even if the claim is closed without payment, it's still on your insurance record and will affect your rates somewhat even if there is no big surcharge for the accident itself.

    All you can do is wait and see what your next renewal premium looks like.

    And check your CLUE report, too. It's free.

    https://personalreports.lexisnexis.c...7CEDC5B0B93A27

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Great. Dented a Parked Car, Less Than a Year After a Not-At-Fault Accident

    Hey, thanks. It's taken over a month but I just got the new premium and I am really surprised - they didn't count this against me.
    The rate only went up by about thirty dollars and then when I called to make sure there was no mistake they suddenly took
    about $200 off my annual premium from what it was last year. FYI, this was after I mentioned I had umbrella insurance.

    (The damage was just under $1,000, btw).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    6,552

    Default Re: Great. Dented a Parked Car, Less Than a Year After a Not-At-Fault Accident

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post

    I was able to find another insurance company that saved me about $50 per year off the GEICO rates. Wasn't much but I wasn't going to pay the scum at GEICO that kind of increase.
    And GEICO is somehow different than any of the other insurance companies out there? The fact that every other insurer was apparently going to charge you similar rates based on your accident history pretty much tells me that you ought to view them all as scum. Some might be a little more scummier than others, but auto insurers are all pretty much of the same ilk. That’s the nature of that business.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,230

    Default Re: Great. Dented a Parked Car, Less Than a Year After a Not-At-Fault Accident

    California has no statutory scoring for insurance rates (some states do). You're free to shop around, however, let me tell you that the few insurers that offer some relief for an automatic rate increase on a single accident (with an previously clean record) offer that only to their existing policy holders, not to those shopping around with an existing claim record.

    You can continue to shop for insurance and decide to switch or not while enduring the three years or whatever geico dings your rates for having an at-fault claim.

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