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#5079 of 5325 Re: waiting for other driver's insurance [euphonium]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Sep 18, 2012 (8:24 pm)
Gee, you'd think that if you were in an accident, the procedure would be to call your insurance company and make them sort it out ("activate your insurance"). And if the accident wasn't your fault, your rates shouldn't be affected. Proactive to me means paying the premium so I can enjoy the protection and expertise of the insurance company.
Dream world (and an expensive one at that).
#5080 of 5325 Re: waiting for other driver's insurance [euphonium]
Sep 18, 2012 (9:21 pm)
Thank you for your replies. So if I'm to understand euphonium correctly, we file a claim... and we fax all this stuff to the AF driver's insurance company? (photos, police report, etc.). This might take a while, but our immediate concern is needing a car ASAP. We demand a rental from that other insurance company, and they're obligated to give us one even if their driver does nothing? That requires their insurance company to accept 100 percent liability, doesn't it? The company says we need x time to review the claim before they can give us anything, so we say, sorry, we need a rental car by the end of the day, or else...? What's our likelihood of reimbursement if we start the rental process before we win the argument?
Also, is the only at-fault driver the one who hit our vehicle? Seems unfortunate that the driver of the stalled van, who was never hit, will have no involvement whatsoever. As far as insurance is concerned, it only matters that someone else hit our vehicle, which happened because the van in front of us stalled?
Our and others' experience suggests that it's a lot easier to go through your own insurance company... though naturally you pay for it later. My wife has been in touch daily with both our and the hitter's insurance companies. The proactive approach sounds empowering, but we do have two little kids to be dropped off and picked up every day, and two jobs, all in different locations... I understand insurance companies take advantage of the fact that people ultimately won't pick the more difficult route, and that really sucks, but we have different factors to weigh here. Our smashed car sits in the driveway and my wife hasn't been able to go to work. So I'm most interested in the: what happens if we get the damn thing done and fight the liability later?
#5081 of 5325 Re: waiting for other driver's insurance [justpick]
Sep 19, 2012 (4:13 am)
The van was not the cause of the accident. The AF driver's failure to slow and avoid an accident was. You took the appropriate action; slowed and maneuvered to not cause a collision; the AF driver didn't. Whatever triggered the need to slow is immaterial - it being a stalled van is no different that a child or animal entering the roadway, debris, etc.
Consider this scenario: the car in front of you has no working brake lights. While driving, they slam on the brakes & come to a sudden stop. Not seeing any brake lights you wind up hitting them. You'd be at fault because, as above, you failed to slow to avoid an accident. It's your job as a driver to be aware of the driving conditions. That means monitoring the distance between you and the car in front of you & not just looking for tell-tale signs like brake lights (or turn signals).
#5082 of 5325 Re: waiting for other driver's insurance [euphonium]
Sep 19, 2012 (9:24 am)
It may have counted against you because they deemed you were comparatively negligent by a certain percentage.
Nope. They told me flat out that, although fault had yet to be determined since the case was in litigation, I was being charged with an accident on my record because they had to pay to fix my car. They were very specific about it.
Almost 1 year later, it was finally settled and the AF's insurance paid my insurance company back for the repairs, and they in turn cut me a check for my deductible .... but, in the meantime, I paid for 1 full year of DOUBLE my usual premiums ... and, no, the insurance company would not give me a refund for the extra premiums, no matter how much I pleaded and threatened.
#5083 of 5325 Re: waiting for other driver's insurance [qbrozen]
Sep 19, 2012 (10:51 am)
Don't know your residence, but I'd sure shop for a different insurance company. Contact the insurance commissioner with a copy of letter to your company regarding their not granting a refund for the unearned extra premiums. Insurance companies grant refunds to their commercial vehicle insureds all the time. You are due the refund & it is obtainable.
#5084 of 5325 Re: waiting for other driver's insurance [euphonium]
Sep 19, 2012 (11:38 am)
Well, this was now about 11-12 years ago. And, unfortunately, it is the best insurance company in NJ.
#5085 of 5325 This happens all the time, sadly...
Sep 19, 2012 (11:41 am)
"When the AF driver fails to communicate with his company, that does NOT prevent you from making the claim. His lack of cooperation does not control your progess to indemnification. Ignore him for now and advise the adjuster you expect your car to be repaired and they are to provide a rental vehicle until the repair is completed."
Yes, you can file and open a claim with his insurance company, but they have a duty to check with their insured (the guy who hit you in the rear) and get his side of the story, no matter how obvious it is whose fault it is...sometime, the at-fault driver does not respond to their phone calls, so the claim is stalled until they get in contact with him...another reason why I tell folks to carry rental car insurance so they can get a rental car if they need THEIR insurance to fix the damages (less your deductible) and get a rental car while the at-fault insurance LEGALLY stalls processing the claim until they complete their investigation, and talking to their insured is part of that investigation...
And the van driver has NO fault or portion in this wreck...in GA, when you rear-end someone, the charge is "following too closely"...the only guy at fault is the one who rear-ended you...his insurance is responsible for fixing your car and any damages to the van if you ran into the rear of him...which brings me to another item I recommend that folks carry, and that is Uninsured (Underinsured) Motorists insurance...
If his liability policy only has, say, 25K in vehicle damage coverage, and your car is a MB S500 and so is the car in front of you, the damages could exceed the amount of his insurance...the UM policy will kick in and give you extra coverage, if you have amounts over his coverage, and you also can use your collision coverage for the same thing...
U/M gives you coverage for pain and suffering in the event he is uninsured...in GA, we have sufficient illegals that the possibility of an uninsured motorist is quite high...
#5086 of 5325 Re: This happens all the time, sadly... [marsha7]
Sep 21, 2012 (9:23 pm)
You are getting opinions all over the board here, but one thing is for certain ... the best and most efficient way to resolve this is to utilize your own coverage if it exists. Additionally, as the days tick by you have a duty to mitigate your damages. Go through your carrier if you have full coverage and suck up the potential rate increase as well as the deductible ... you will come out better in the long run.
The other party failing to communicate with his carrier does not prevent you from making a claim; however, his carrier VERY MUCH could deny coverage for his failure to cooperate. Despite the clarity of liability, coverage may not be in order and they may require his statement to resolve any coverage issues. His carrier has very little obligation to you ... you are not really any concern of theirs. They care about two things, duty to indemnify and duty to defend. If they cannot clear up coverage you are not even in their world.
I'm not familliar with GA; however, I very much believe that liability could be assessed to the van, depending on why that van was stalled in the road, how long that van had been stalled in the road, what steps the driver took to warn other traffic, etc.... Essentially, it's a question of fact. Liability is never clear, it's never decided by the policy, it's rarely decided by the law, it's only informally agreed upon by carriers and attorneys ... and a jury (the only ones that solidly assess liability) knows less about negligence than any of the above parties.
Call your carrier, get them moving on your vehicle. Call Geico, see if they will front your deductible once they accept liablity and clear coverage. Otherwise you can file suit, that will force Geico's hand to either deny for non-coop or defend ... and really really catch them off guard.
Marsha ... I no longer believe you are a PA. I can't imagine any situation like this where an attorney wouldn't pursue the back car for 100% of injuries, settle and release and then go after the van for 100% of injuries (or if no information on the van, their own carrier for UM at 100%). Someone must have dropped an ethics bomb in GA that missed the rest of the country.
Sep 26, 2012 (5:15 am)
"Marsha ... I no longer believe you are a PA"...My brain must be in hibernate mode...what is a PA?