Plow damage to car while at Aamco - need claim people advice

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by piccolopat, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. piccolopat

    piccolopat DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,565
    DD had her transmission replaced by Aamco in November and it failed again just before Christmas so back to Aamco it went. Aamco still has the car to fix again (under warranty) and they just told her that their plow guy hit the car clearing the lot last week. Plow guy says he will fix the car but they are telling her it will go to their shop.

    I know there are some auto claims folks on Dis and have some questions. First, shouldn't she have the right to say where her car is fixed? Shouldn't they pay for a rental car while the work is being done? How do we make sure we know that there isn't any hidden damage if our shop isn't doing the work? Should she call her insurance company as well?

    Car is a 2006 and likely would be totaled if it goes to her insurance. She needs to keep it a couple more years until she can afford to replace it.

    Thanks for any help/advice.
     
  2. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    26,796
    Good questions. Most insurance REQUIRE you report incidents, even if you aren't filing a claim. You pay them premiums to repair damage if you are at fault. And you pay them to handle any incidents that are not your fault. Call the insurance, let them deal with it. They will know the law, they deal with this every day
     
    marcyleecorgan and figment52 like this.
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. bigbabyblues

    bigbabyblues DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    11,685
    Sounds to me like the plow guy doesn't want it reported to his insurance and wants to pay cash to get it fixed. I would call my insurance company and let them take care of it and make sure the work is done right.
     
  5. cvjw

    cvjw DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,337
    My Toyota Camry rolled off the wrecker that the Toyota dealership sent to pick it up when it would not start and was under warranty.

    The Toyota dealership just fixed the damage. I never got insurance involved and no claim was ever filed.
     
  6. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    5,262
    Yes, I can help. I'm in auto claims. Yes, you absolutely have a right to fix the car where ever you choose. I'm suspecting the plow guy is trying to handle it out of pocket. Insist they report it to their auto carrier. Yes, they should pay for a rental. Hidden damage should be found by the shop of your choice, if they are worth their salt, they'll find it.

    Should she call her carrier as well? Well, that depends. If she has collision coverage, she can. They would then pay for damage (less her deductible) and pursue the plow company insurance for reimbursement. However, if she has liability insurance only, then no, she really doesn't need to report it. Given its age, I'd be concerned with it being a total loss. In that case, you can buy the salvage back, but be sure to look into whatever process you'll need to follow to get a salvage title for the car...it varies a lot state by state.

    Also, you could ask Aamco to file a claim against their insurance called "Garagekeepers". The car would be covered there too.


    Yes, the policy language says all claims should be reported. But honestly, if your car is hit while parked and unoccupied, and you have NO collision coverage then there really is no reason to report that. And as far as paying them to handle any incidents that are not your fault...well, sort of. For example, yes, if someone makes a claim against your policy and you aren't at fault, they will protect you. Or if you are at fault, of course their job is to indemnify you. However, if you are sitting at a stop light and are rear ended, but have no collision coverage on your car, they will not go after the other parties insurance for you. They could do you a favor and file the claim with the other carrier to help you get started, but from there, they won't do anything. In this case, if OP doesn't have collision coverage, which I suspect they may not, then her insurance will not do anything to pursue the plow guy...they can't, they have no legal standing to do so.
     
    NFLDERS and marcyleecorgan like this.
  7. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    26,796
    That was not my experience with Allstate when my parked car was hit my 13 year old car with no collision. They handled everything other than I had to go to the Farmers claims office to pickup the check to get my car fixed. I am not a lawyer, but I would think they do have legal standing since I pay them for coverage AND to handle exactly this type situation.
     
  8. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    24,991
    My vehicle had collision when it was hit, however my agent was able to light a fire under the other company, Their insured never reported the accident, so my agent was the first contact they had.

    This was the second time a vehicle of mine was hit and the insured never reported. An agent can be invaluable acting as a go between for you
     
    Kellykins1218 likes this.
  9. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    5,262
    There is probably more to this than you recall, or maybe knew about. Not at all saying you're telling a lie, but maybe things happened behind the scenes that you didn't know. If your vehicle has liability insurance only, so you have no collision or comprehensive coverage, your insurance company has no legal standing to go after another party or their insurance on your behalf. So if your car is hit while parked, they simply can't pursue the other driver for you. The reason why they can't is that they don't own the vehicle, nor did they make any financial payments on your behalf. Therefore, they have no legal interest in the matter and can not present a claim. Trust me on this. What I'm just guessing may have happened in your case is that your agent filed a claim with Farmers and acted as a liaison to try to help you. That happens very frequently. Agents will try to help their customer by walking through a claims process with another carrier, because the customer may not know what to do. That is the agent acting on their own, and frankly taking a bit of a small risk. That is distinctly different than the insurance company themselves taking action against another carrier.

    That's why I was saying "sort of" to your comment about paying for coverage and having them handle a situation for you...

    1. If you face potential exposure for damages you may have caused, then yes that's precisely what you pay them for (i.e. you rear end someone or run a red light).
    2. If property which you pay them a premium for them to provide you collision/comp coverage for is damaged, then yes they will handle that part of it for you (i.e. any situation, regardless of liability, where your vehicle with collision coverage is damaged).
    3. If property you do not pay a premium for comp/collision coverage is damaged and you have no potential exposure against you (i.e. your liability only car is hit while parked), then no, they will not handle it for you. They can't. For purposes of this discussion, I am leaving out uninsured motorist coverage, as that's a different rabbit hole.

    Numbers 1 and 2 can vary or have nuances state to state, depending on negligence laws. Number 3 doesn't vary, it's universal.
     
    Buckeye218 and marcyleecorgan like this.
  10. piccolopat

    piccolopat DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,565
    Thanks everyone for the feedback. We'll discuss this with the owner of the Aamco shop when he is in on Monday.
     
  11. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    26,796
    Well, I would be a very dissatisfied customer is they did not do this. I have insurance for coverage, and to act as an agent on my behalf. I have given them this standing by purchasing a policy from them which is a legal contract, just as I would when I hire an Attorney or Real Estate to represent me.
     
    marcyleecorgan likes this.
  12. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    26,796
    Lighting a fire under the other insurance company is what I recall my insurance company's big priority was. They set a deadline of one week after the damage was done for the other company to pay to fix it or my company was going to pay and wait for reimbursement from the other company.
     
    marcyleecorgan and Nancyg56 like this.
  13. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    5,262
    No, they are NOT your attorney. That is a HUGE misunderstanding so many people have. Purchasing a policy does NOT give them legal standing to be your attorney in any action you want to bring against someone else.
     
    LilyWDW and NHdisneylover like this.
  14. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    26,796
    Yet they act as your attorney when a claim is filed against your insurance policy, and make decisions on settlement without needing your approval.
     
  15. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    24,991
    I think they are acting on their own legal behalf, so not YOUR attorney, but theirs.
     
  16. piccolopat

    piccolopat DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,565
    Klayfish is absolutely right here. Purchasing a policy requires the insurance company to defend you for things covered by the policy but not things that are not. That means if someone causes you harm and you want to sue them, you are on your own to get legal representation. I'm familiar with the coverage side of insurance but just wasn't clear on claims practices that aren't spelled out in the policy. Thanks to Klayfish and others for the info provided.
     
  17. CarolAnn856

    CarolAnn856 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,152
    None of that equals acting as your attorney.
     
  18. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    5,262
    Nowhere in the insurance contract does it state that your approval is needed to settle a claim when another person is suing you for something you did. Remember, contrary to what a lot of people think, when someone files a lawsuit, it's not the insurance company that they are suing. It's you, the policyholder. The insurance companys' primary responsibility is to indemnify and protect you. So, if in their best judgment...remember, they do this all day, every day...they feel a settlement is warranted in order to protect you, then that's what they're going to do.

    Let's play this out, using the scenario you are inferring...you would like the insurance company to get your personal approval before making a settlement. You have an accident. A claim is presented against you by the other driver. It's not even in suit yet, it's just a claim. Your insurance company says to you "The evidence isn't in our favor, this is one we feel we need to settle. We're confident we can get it settled for $35,000." You say "No, don't pay them a dime, I refuse to let you." So the insurance company tells the other partys' attorney "No, our insured refuses to allow a settlement." The other party sues. You continue to refuse to agree to a settlement. It goes to trial. Typically, these are done via a jury of your peers. Most jurisdictions in this country are quite plaintiff oriented. The verdict comes back against you for $550,000. Remember, it was you who was sued, not the insurance company, the insurance company isn't even a named party in the suit. So...are you now going to cough up that $550,000, because remember...your insurance company told you from the start that this should be settled a long time ago for $35,000. Or would you now expect your insurance to pay the $550,000 verdict, simply because you demanded you get approval on settlement? And yes, this would be a very realistic scenario.

    They actually are acting on your behalf legally. In 98% of claims, litigation is never filed, so it's not even an attorney involved, it's claims professionals. On the small portion of claims that do go into litigation, then yes, the insurance company uses an attorney (either their own or outside counsel) to represent and defend you, the policyholder. You're certainly welcome to provide your own counsel, at your expense, but the insurance company provides legal defense for you...it's part of the insurance contract.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  19. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    26,796
    They may not be acting as your attorney, but they are acting on your behalf with your authorization.
     
  20. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    26,796
    Okay, so how is this different than "protecting" me by settling my claim against another insurance company? Seems you just made my argument that I should expect to handle my claims against other insurance companies.
     
  21. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    5,262
    It's very different.

    In the scenario I gave you, you caused an injury or damage to someone else. You rear ended someone, turned left in front of them, etc... Someone is coming after you, looking for you to pay. Your insurance companies job is to indemnify and protect you so that you aren't exposed financially for your liability/negligence.

    Unless I'm misunderstanding you, the scenario where you're looking for them to act on your behalf is one where your car with NO collision coverage gets hit while parked. In that case, you did nothing wrong, so nobody is pursuing you for damages. You have not paid your insurance company a premium to provide damage coverage for your car. There is nothing for them to "protect" you from in that scenario, nothing for them to do. They don't have legal standing to make a claim for you, since they don't own the car, haven't been paid by you for that type of coverage, and haven't made any financial payments (i.e. lien).

    Apples and oranges.
     

Share This Page