Dealing with an auto insurance claim

2 Sweet

HMS 4-life
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
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Location
Marysville, OH
I've been driving for over 21 years, and never once been in an accident....until today.

Some girl in a Wrangler pulled out right in front of me. I swerved left of center to avoid her, and she ran right into the passenger side of my Escalade. Luckily nobody was hurt, both cars are still drivable, and thankfully she was really pleasant to deal with. She apologized immediately, gave me her phone number, and sent me a text with her policy info. The fact that she actually stopped and is insured was a huge relief.

We didn't call police (Columbus won't take a report unless it's an injury accident) but while I was taking pics of the damage with my phone, I covertly switched it to video and got her on camera admitting it was 100% her fault. I called her insurer (Allstate) when I got home and they told me she already called in a claim, so I think I have all my bases covered.

HOWEVER, I'm 100% expecting them to lowball the value of my car, and although I've never been in this situation before, I'm sure it'll be a huge PITA. Due to the age of the car (it's a 2002, 142k miles) and the cost to fix it, plus repaint (pearl white) I guarantee they will total it. Which is fine with me, because I'll gladly buy it back and either try and fix it myself or pull the motor and part out the rest. Or even use it as a parts vehicle if I replace it with a similar Escalade. Anyway.....

Whenever I get an adjuster assigned to the case, I'll be ready. I don't care what they think it's "worth", all I care about is how much it will cost me to replace it with a similar Escalade with similar mileage in similar condition. I've found several links on Autotrader for reference, and I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a value above the "median" price. I think that's justified considering almost any vehicle I find with that age/mileage will likely have some kind of issues that the dealer/seller hasn't disclosed, and my Escalade is mechanically flawless. It runs and drives great, and everything works as it should. Finding one as good as mine won't be easy, and I'm sure I'll probably have to travel to get it. Considering all these factors, I'm not asking to be reimbursed for my time and efforts. I'm not pretending to be injured. I'm a reasonable man, and all I want is a check that will be enough to buy something as good as what I have, and I think that's fair, especially since none of this was my fault.

Any feedback would be welcomed. Like I said, I've never been in a wreck before so I'm not familiar with this process, but I wasn't born yesterday. If these insurance jackals want to dick me around and play hardball, they are in for one hell of a fight.

Annnnnd the pics......

20240122-153625-HDR.jpg


20240122-154856.jpg


Both doors are clearly damaged, the running board and quarter panel are scuffed up, and there's a chunk taken out of the wheel. My concern is that it'll be more severe than just finding a junkyard door and throwing it on there. Looking at the gaps, you can see how the rear door is shifted back quite a bit.
 
I wish you the best I have good experiences for the most part with the company covers my own vehicle's and house. But in almost every other case that I am aware of they will try to low ball you and I would expect the same.

My brother has a similar case going now. He got rear ended and it totalled his 2006 Buick LaSalle. The other diver was distracted never even used his brakes and he was ticketed for contributing to the wreck (or at fault).

My brothers car was high milage
but mechanically sound and drove great. He will get nothing close to replacement cost. I will post more details as they develop.
 
I wish you the best I have good experiences for the most part with
I've been driving for over 21 years, and never once been in an accident....until today.

Some girl in a Wrangler pulled out right in front of me. I swerved left of center to avoid her, and she ran right into the passenger side of my Escalade. Luckily nobody was hurt, both cars are still drivable, and thankfully she was really pleasant to deal with. She apologized immediately, gave me her phone number, and sent me a text with her policy info. The fact that she actually stopped and is insured was a huge relief.

We didn't call police (Columbus won't take a report unless it's an injury accident) but while I was taking pics of the damage with my phone, I covertly switched it to video and got her on camera admitting it was 100% her fault. I called her insurer (Allstate) when I got home and they told me she already called in a claim, so I think I have all my bases covered.

HOWEVER, I'm 100% expecting them to lowball the value of my car, and although I've never been in this situation before, I'm sure it'll be a huge PITA. Due to the age of the car (it's a 2002, 142k miles) and the cost to fix it, plus repaint (pearl white) I guarantee they will total it. Which is fine with me, because I'll gladly buy it back and either try and fix it myself or pull the motor and part out the rest. Or even use it as a parts vehicle if I replace it with a similar Escalade. Anyway.....

Whenever I get an adjuster assigned to the case, I'll be ready. I don't care what they think it's "worth", all I care about is how much it will cost me to replace it with a similar Escalade with similar mileage in similar condition. I've found several links on Autotrader for reference, and I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a value above the "median" price. I think that's justified considering almost any vehicle I find with that age/mileage will likely have some kind of issues that the dealer/seller hasn't disclosed, and my Escalade is mechanically flawless. It runs and drives great, and everything works as it should. Finding one as good as mine won't be easy, and I'm sure I'll probably have to travel to get it. Considering all these factors, I'm not asking to be reimbursed for my time and efforts. I'm not pretending to be injured. I'm a reasonable man, and all I want is a check that will be enough to buy something as good as what I have, and I think that's fair, especially since none of this was my fault.

Any feedback would be welcomed. Like I said, I've never been in a wreck before so I'm not familiar with this process, but I wasn't born yesterday. If these insurance jackals want to dick me around and play hardball, they are in for one hell of a fight.

Annnnnd the pics......

20240122-153625-HDR.jpg


20240122-154856.jpg


Both doors are clearly damaged, the running board and quarter panel are scuffed up, and there's a chunk taken out of the wheel. My concern is that it'll be more severe than just finding a junkyard door and throwing it on there. Looking at the gaps, you can see how the rear door is shifted back quite a bit.
My brother got $ 2635 for the car plus a rental car and he will probably get some transportation money to cover some of the money paid othes to take him to work.

Not much but the old Buick already had some dings and scratches. It could have been worse
 
I've never had experience with insurance having to total a car, but I wish you the best. I've only experienced two auto claims, one when a deer walked in front of me and one when my vehicle was stolen. Both were a pain going without a vehicle for as long as I did and required repairs, but the insurance part was fairly painless. Having to total a car is a completely different story that I hope to never have to deal with. I'd imagine you could negotiate, but in the end, you'll be at the mercy of the insurance company and whatever they feel like paying for the vehicle. From their point of view, they have no idea what kind of shape the car was in before the accident, so they don't want to have to pay more than the vehicle was worth before the accident.

Again, not a very useful post, I know, but I wish you the best of luck!
 
So on Facebook, i've been seeing posts from "Collision Safety Consultants". You might look up his page and contact info. For a flat $500 he'll handle the insurance BS on your behalf. He shares alot of success stories from poorly-appraised vehicles.
 
I wish ya luck 2 Sweet, I know how particular you are with your rides. Thankful it wasn't your square body.

Long winded strange but true, best wreck ever story.

I was westbound on 31st sitting at a 4 lane stoplight in a commercial car(not mine) with a passenger in the back when this young women(nice words here) blew thru the intersection eastbound and T boned an older lady who was passing thru southbound. Both of them carried across the intersection and nailed my left front. My passenger was ok and when I turned around this young girl was dragging a leg and moving as fast as she could northbound to get the hell out of dodge. Oh hell no your not, I took off and caught her pretty quick, I had a grip on her collar and was trying for an arm and all of a sudden a blue flash body slammed her and she was done. Turns out the cop was 4 cars back and saw the whole thing. Karma time.

The older lady had seat belt damage and neck pains, the girl had a broken ankle from the collision and was fleeing Toys are Us where she and her boyfriend were caught stealing a women's card that was shopping in the store and were trying to use it. They let her go at the Toy store and kept the B.F.. The truck wasn't hers.
 
So on Facebook, i've been seeing posts from "Collision Safety Consultants". You might look up his page and contact info. For a flat $500 he'll handle the insurance BS on your behalf. He shares alot of success stories from poorly-appraised vehicles.

Yeah, two of my friends referred me to this guy. I took a look at his page and I'm impressed by how much he seems to hate insurance companies and takes a lot of pride in getting as much for his customers as possible. If the adjuster makes me a bad offer and doesn't seem willing to come up, I am definitely reaching out to this guy.
 
Just a quick update.....

Allstate asked me to upload the accident pictures to the claims section of their website. They quickly determined (thanks to the video I captured) she was 100% at fault. Then they provided a link that made me take pictures using my phone's camera (not allowing previously saved pics from my gallery) of the vehicle from several different angles they specified. Then they came back with an estimate based off of the pics, which was $3500, and asked that I take it to a shop so they can provide a real estimate (which ended up being $4700).

At that point, they said they would write me a check to me (or direct deposit) for $3500, and the "supplement" ($1200 or more in this case to cover the REAL cost of repair) would go directly to the shop. I thought that was BS, tried to fight it and I made a damn good case for myself, but they wouldn't budge. So basically it was take the $3500 (and have to fix it myself) or have a shop fix it and I get nothing.

I found a pair of pearl white doors from an '03 that was being parted out, plus a brand new door hinge online, all for a total of $300. Then drove it to my brother's today and we fixed it over the course of the afternoon.

Out with the old....

20240310-161822-HDR.jpg


Drilled the welds out of the bent hinge, hammered it off, and installed the new hinge......

20240310-145434.jpg


Getting it all aligned......

20240310-154201-HDR.jpg


I'm happy with the end result.....



My brother is a former autobody tech, and being the perfectionist that he is, wants to replace the top hinge as well so we can get the gaps 100% perfect. I think it's close enough, so I'm honestly not worried about it. And I knew the pearl white obviously wouldn't be a perfect match, but the difference is only noticeable at one angle really.

The bottom line is that I got to pocket $3200 when it's all said and done (the insurance check, minus my expenses for the parts). It's a 22-year-old beater with rusty rockers and plenty of imperfections, and it looks almost as good as before the accident, and it still has a clean title, so I'll gladly take the money and chalk this one up as a win. :cool:
 
I don't know how/why the last paragraph ended up being a link, but oh well.

I tried like hell to get them to send a check for $4700. I said I wouldn't ask them to pay for a rental, I wouldn't ask to be compensated for diminished value, or the time and energy I spent dealing with an accident that was 100% their driver's fault. I told them if the repair ended up going above the $4700 estimate, I wouldn't ask for them to pay the difference. I tried everything I could to make it an attractive deal from their perspective, but no dice.

If I could do it all over again, I would instantly find an independent body shop, some hole in the wall type of place that isn't in the "preferred network" of the insurance carrier. I would send them the shop's estimate before they even tell me to do the picture thing, and cross my fingers that they would bypass their stupid "estimate from pictures" BS and just send me the check for the amount from the shop's estimate. MAYBE it would work, maybe not; it probably depends on the insurance company.
 
You should have got the collision consulting guy involved. For his $600 flat fee, I bet you could have gotten that 4700 or more out of them. Technically you could still, he made a comment/post the other day that only the state statute of limitations applies. Even if you got the check, you can go back for more.
 
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