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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    9

    Default Paying Out of Pocket vs Insurance Claim

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Pennsylvania.

    Friday 4/10 I opened a door on my husbands work vehicle. The wind caught it and it hit the neighbors fender down by the wheel well. I was a good neighbor and notified her. I do not want to open a claim on the work truck insurance as it was my fault. It really had nothing to do with the business the truck is for and I donít want to chance my husbands boss being angry with him. There was 0 damage to the truck but a surprisingly big dent on the car.

    The neighbor said she would just let it go but canít because the car is technically in her boyfriends name and insured under him. She immediately took the car for an estimate and called me with the results. The estimate seems high to me and she said there would be an added cost of $150 extra on top of it to reset a computer for pulling lights out! That seemed odd to me also. She later took a picture of the estimate and texted it to me. It included work for painting the whole side of the car, pulling the bumper off etc. Itís excessive to me so I asked for another estimate to be done. I also said I might know someone that can do the work but I was unsure if they were still in business and I would let them know when I found out. They agreed. I also noticed on the estimate it says insurance will pay all and customer pays 0 with 0 deductible. Iím not sure if that normal for an estimate or if they are trying to run it though insurance and collected the cash off of me.

    Sunday 4/12 I messaged the neighbor letting her know I still have not heard from the person that might be able to help me but with it being a holiday weekend I understood. And I didnít want her to think I was blowing her off. the boyfriend messaged me Back saying he wanted to get things taken care of ASAP and I had till Tuesday to get this taken care of. I didnít respond because I felt like he was being unreasonable and pushy and I didnít want harsh words to fly. Monday 4/13 I was finally able to contact the body work person I know. I sent him pictures of the damage and the estimate they got done. He agreed it was also way over the top. He also pointed out 2 paint color transfers (white and red) suggesting there was previously damage as the truck door is only red. There is also white scrapes down the door that I didnít notice myself. Just as I was getting ready to message them and say that I would really like a new estimate the boyfriend messaged again pushing for the truck insurance or cash.

    I have no problem paying for the damage i did. I donít want to pay for extra things I wasnít responsible for though. What are the laws I should be aware of? How should I proceed from here.

    Some tidbits of info that might matter or might not. The neighbor made it clear everything was in her boyfriends name so it would be his decision ultimately. She drives this car as hers, he has his own vehicle. They donít live together, as far as I know thatís totally illegal. She was also parked right on the dividing line of our driveway. If she parked reasonably in her part of the drive this would have never happened.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,004

    Default Re: Paying Out of Pocket vs Insurance Claim

    First of all, your last paragraph, with all the tidbits, is totally irrelevant. There is nothing illegal about the boyfriend allowing his girlfriend to use his car. It also doesn't matter where she was parked. You damaged a stationary, unoccupied vehicle. The fault is 100% yours. No excuses.

    There is also nothing wrong with the damaged party insisting on being paid for the damage right now.

    You have no leverage and the owner has no obligation to allow you to find somebody to fix it.

    If I'm reading your post correctly, the truck is owned and insured by your husband's employer.

    You either pay for the repair cost (and get a signed release) or report it to your husband's employer for handling. If you don't think the boyfriend's estimate is accurate, you can offer a lesser amount in cash, advising him that the truck insurance will have an expert inspect the car and reduce the cost accordingly. Again, get a signed release for whatever amount you agree to.

    Frankly, I think you are foolish not to report it. Your desire to withhold the incident from your husband's employer makes you vulnerable to the exaggerated repair bill.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Paying Out of Pocket vs Insurance Claim

    Thank you for the response. Do I have a right to question the repair shop as to what damage is being fix? That way I can make an informed offer on repairs. I’m not sure if it was clear above but it seems they are charging for previous damage that I didn’t do. Also what exactly is a signed release? Is this something I get from the body shop or a contract like thing between me and the neighbor?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,004

    Default Re: Paying Out of Pocket vs Insurance Claim

    Quote Quoting Rian
    View Post
    Do I have a right to question the repair shop as to what damage is being fix?
    Of course.

    Do they have any obligation to discuss their customer's business with you? No. Not without his authorization.

    Quote Quoting Rian
    View Post
    I’m not sure if it was clear above but it seems they are charging for previous damage that I didn’t do.
    Yes, it was clear. An insurance adjuster would know how to address that.

    Quote Quoting Rian
    View Post
    Also what exactly is a signed release?
    Google insurance claim release or damage claim release. You'll find samples that you can modify to cover your situation. Make sure it gets signed by the car owner before you hand over the money.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,663

    Default Re: Paying Out of Pocket vs Insurance Claim

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    First of all, your last paragraph, with all the tidbits, is totally irrelevant. There is nothing illegal about the boyfriend allowing his girlfriend to use his car. It also doesn't matter where she was parked. You damaged a stationary, unoccupied vehicle. The fault is 100% yours. No excuses.
    AJ, although this may have nothing to do with OP's situation.

    1. Is it considered insurance fraud to have a vehicle insured in a suburban area and housed in an urban area? For instance, you insure the vehicle in a lower rate area like Wayne, PA and the vehicle is housed in Philadelphia, PA where the rates would be higher?

    2. Shouldn't the policy owner have all drivers of the insured vehicle listed on that policy? I'm not saying if the owner lets someone drive the vehicle once-in-a bluemoon, but rather drives that vehicle everyday?

    Not that any of this will help OP, but rather make the law a little clearer for all us.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

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