Anyone have experience dealing with insurance after a crash? - Mothering Forums
Frugality & Finances > Anyone have experience dealing with insurance after a crash?
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 09:35 PM 08-25-2010
I apologize for the stupid questions, but I've never been in a crash before and I have no idea what anything means or how this all works.

Here's the basic rundown:

I bought a car less than 2 months ago, from a dealership, financed through our bank. We are upside down on the payments already, having rolled over balance from our old car onto the loan for the new car.

We put $4800 down on the new car, but it wasn't cash. We signed an agreement stating we would pay $4800 when our PFD comes in, which won't be until October. Loan amount is $15xxx

My car is totaled, and the adjuster is cutting us (our bank) a check today, for ~$13K.

It was not my fault--there is some confusion as to whom will be ultimately held at fault, as it was a complicated crash involving a road hazard that I was successfully navigating until I was rear-ended at high speeds (~80 mph as best the police officer could determine) by another young woman. Her insurance is trying to blame the truck driver who's truck malfunctioned and caused the road hazard. His insurance is maintaining that yes, it caused a road hazard but should have been easy to navigate assuming safe speeds. Alcohol was considered to be a factor (on her part, not the truck driver's).

There was a problem with our GAP insurance--basically, the dealer has 60 days to file our waiver with the GAP insurance company, and it hadn't happened yet. They are doing a "manual claim" since we are not yet in their computer system.

Now that we are getting the check from our insurance to cover the ACV of the car, we lose our rental on Saturday. It could be weeks until our GAP insurance pays off our loan, so we wont' be able to get a new car until that point.

So her insurance should cover our rental until the loan is paid off, correct? What about our down payment?! Surely we won't have to pay $4800 for a car we don't have, in October?

sanguine_speed's Avatar sanguine_speed 11:30 PM 08-25-2010
I think this is one of those things that varies widely depending in jurisdiction and individual policies. For instance, where I am, I'd be SOL and I would be responsible for paying the upside-down amount. Meaning if I owed more than the insurance payout, I'd still owe on the car no matter whose fault. We also have no-fault insurance here. So my experience won't help.

In any case I want to wish you luck and I'm glad you're okay. That must have really shaken you up!
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 12:41 AM 08-26-2010
Right, but that's what GAP insurance is for, right?

And, yes, thank you, we are fine. Luckily no kids were with me.
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 12:48 AM 08-26-2010
Do I read that as the purchase price of the car was $19xxx -- $15xxx financed and a promissory note for $4800? And the insurance is paying $13000? I would not expect GAP insurance to cover the promissory note, because that was a private, secondary note between you and the dealer. That was your down payment. GAP covers the difference between amount financed and insurance payout -- the $2xxx between the $15xxx financed and the $13000 insurance check.

And most insurance companies cover rental until you get your check. If the delay in payout is the fault of the dealer, they should cover your additional rental.

ETA because I don't think I was clear enough: you gave an IOU to the dealer as a down payment. Which is separate from the bank loan, which is what GAP insures. If you had given a check and the car was totaled, you couldn't go to the dealership and ask them to tear up the check. You can't ask them to tear up the IOU either.
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 04:18 AM 08-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Do I read that as the purchase price of the car was $19xxx -- $15xxx financed and a promissory note for $4800? And the insurance is paying $13000? I would not expect GAP insurance to cover the promissory note, because that was a private, secondary note between you and the dealer. That was your down payment. GAP covers the difference between amount financed and insurance payout -- the $2xxx between the $15xxx financed and the $13000 insurance check.

And most insurance companies cover rental until you get your check. If the delay in payout is the fault of the dealer, they should cover your additional rental.

ETA because I don't think I was clear enough: you gave an IOU to the dealer as a down payment. Which is separate from the bank loan, which is what GAP insures. If you had given a check and the car was totaled, you couldn't go to the dealership and ask them to tear up the check. You can't ask them to tear up the IOU either.
No no, I wasn't expecting the GAP insurance to cover the down payment. I understand that they will cover the difference between the $13k and the $15K financed. I am expecting her insurance to pick up the difference between the $4800 and the amount I owed on the old car (we got $1600 for trade in, owed $4000). I'm just figuring we paid off the old car and aren't out our down payment that way.

As far as the rental car, our insurance is only covering it until Saturday (the 3 days after the valuation of the car) but we wont' have a new car by then, since we are still waiting for the GAP insurance to write off the loan, so we can use that money to buy a new car. So her insurance would extend the rental, right? We would probably have to pay up front but would be reimbursed, right?
zebra15's Avatar zebra15 04:21 AM 08-26-2010
Chick is correct. You need to pay the downpayment. You signed a contract stating that on XX/xx/XX you would give ABC company $0000.00/ Just because the car is totaled does not relieve you of that obligation. It would be no different than if you decided to sell the car between the purchase date and the payment date.

Whom ever is at fault's insurance should pay the blue book value of the car. The GAP insurance should pay the difference between blue book and the loan.
YOU pay the down payment on the due date (Unless there is a specification in the contract that states its due immediately upon an accident (transfer of title etc).
If all goes as planned you dont owe anything extra.

You may be a few days with out a rental car, However everytime I've had an accident MY agent took care of everything and I didnt have to make phonecalls. I made one call to my company and they coordianted everything for me.
surrogate's Avatar surrogate 10:49 AM 08-26-2010
did you negotiate the insurance payout or are you just taking their first offer? I just wanted to throw that out there, since you should never take the first offer...

So since you aren't making anything off the insurance payout (because you owed so much) how are you going to buy a new car? Just curious... I always wondered how that worked...i have never owned a new car...
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 11:11 AM 08-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
No no, I wasn't expecting the GAP insurance to cover the down payment. I understand that they will cover the difference between the $13k and the $15K financed. I am expecting her insurance to pick up the difference between the $4800 and the amount I owed on the old car (we got $1600 for trade in, owed $4000). I'm just figuring we paid off the old car and aren't out our down payment that way.

As far as the rental car, our insurance is only covering it until Saturday (the 3 days after the valuation of the car) but we wont' have a new car by then, since we are still waiting for the GAP insurance to write off the loan, so we can use that money to buy a new car. So her insurance would extend the rental, right? We would probably have to pay up front but would be reimbursed, right?
As I understand it, you are entitled to the value of the totaled car. The end. Insurance (hers and yours) is not going to pay above the assessed value of the car. You will be responsible for the full $4800.

Her insurance is also not likely to extend your rental. They have done their job by providing you with a vehicle until you got your insurance check. If the GAP insurance is delaying payout, there's a *chance* that they will cover the rental, but it's not likely.

I'm sorry this is such a hassle for you.
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 01:00 PM 08-26-2010
I KNOW I have to pay the $4800. I was just hoping to get the $2400 back that was a down payment ($4800- $4000 loan + $1600 for trade in). It just doesn't make sense that in October I have to pay $2400 on a car I no longer have?!

So on Saturday I will no longer have a rental; I will also not have a new car since it could take weeks for my GAP insurance to pay off my new loan and allow me to get a new car. So until then I just don't go to work/school/pick up my kids from school?! It just doesn't seem right to me that some other person can total my car and not be out ANYTHING financially and I have to pay all this stuff My insurance has done absolutely NOTHING helpful whatsoever; I have been dealing with all 5 insurance companies totally on my own.

And yes the $13000 is the insurance company's first offer. How would I negotiate that? There were two cars of similar make and model for sale when he did the valuation, and they are both private party vehicles ($11k and $12k, with much more miles than mine had). Just last night another popped up at a dealership at $17k, which is much more realistic since I would have to go through a dealer again to get another car, and would pay so much more.
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 01:10 PM 08-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Her insurance is also not likely to extend your rental. They have done their job by providing you with a vehicle until you got your insurance check.
I just wanted to add that no, HER insurance has not done anything. MY insurance is covering the rental.
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 01:12 PM 08-26-2010
You're paying the money because you promised to pay it. That you no longer have the car is, unfortunately, not really relevant. The dealer no longer has the car either. You are not entitled to any of your down payment back.

Basically, insurance companies don't care about your life or your financing. Unless your policy is significantly different than most, you're entitled to fair market value for the car and a rental until you get a check. That the GAP insurance company is delaying *their* check, that you're upside-down on the car because you rolled over a previous debt, that you need dealer financing for a new car -- that is personal. You could ask for damages for pain and suffering, or sue for those in small claims court, but your personal finances do not come into consideration in an insurance claim.

If you believe the fair market value of your car is more than $13000, tell your adjuster that you don't think the offer is fair and why. Look up the car on Kelly and NADA. Give him solid, objective reasons why you deserve more.
painefaria's Avatar painefaria 01:56 PM 08-26-2010
Her insurance should be paying for the rental as it was HER fault.
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 02:00 PM 08-26-2010
I expect the insurance companies will fight that out behind the scenes.
Selesai's Avatar Selesai 05:38 PM 08-26-2010
You can consider filing suit if you are out anything out of pocket, or if you have injuries and medical bills that go unpaid.
SubliminalDarkness's Avatar SubliminalDarkness 06:12 PM 08-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
I KNOW I have to pay the $4800. I was just hoping to get the $2400 back that was a down payment ($4800- $4000 loan + $1600 for trade in). It just doesn't make sense that in October I have to pay $2400 on a car I no longer have?!
It does make sense because that's what you agreed to. It doesn't matter to the dealership that your car is totaled. The dealership still needs to be paid because they sold you the car.
Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 06:20 PM 08-26-2010
I've dealt with insurance companies after I totalled my (fairly) new vehicle years ago. Except that I had USAA, and didn't have to do any of the work - it really shouldn't be a big hassle for you, especially if both you and the lady who hit you were covered. My accident was my fault, btw. The insurance companies should be working it out amongst themselves.

I really don't think you'll get anything other than a check for the fair market value of the car. The amount rolled in, down payment, promissary note, etc., have nothing to do with the insurance - except that since you said you paid for GAP coverage, they should technically be paying for the amount the vehicle was financed for (but again, not the rolled in and extra stuff). If you are upside down only b/c the value of the car dropped since purchasing it (which is normal, of course), then that is one thing - and what they would pay off. But unless I'm not understanding the situation, nothing else matters here.

It sucks, I know. But it was an accident, and hopefully you'll be able to get a new vehicle quickly and pay off the bank/dealership for the remaining amount w/o too much stress.
surrogate's Avatar surrogate 07:43 PM 08-26-2010
you need an attorney, asap. Call and get a free consult. NEVER TAKE THE FIRST OFFER! They will get you a better settlement and get it all figured out. Trust me, I know
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 08:10 PM 08-26-2010
Thank you all for the advice. I'm sorry if I sound snippy, but it's been one heck of a week and I'm so frustrated

We will be contacting an attorney. We are getting the run-around from her insurance company (USAA) who is maintaining it was not her fault and blaming the truck driver, who's insurance company maintains that it was not his fault (he caused a road hazard but it should have been avoidable). I gave recorded statements to 3 different insurance companies...she told her insurance company that I stopped in the middle of the road on a blind hill and is saying it's my fault.

And just to clarify, I KNOW I have to pay the dealer. I know. I fully intend on doing so. I was just hoping I could recoup that money but basically I paid $2400 to rent the car for 6 weeks.
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 09:29 PM 08-26-2010
You have a much better chance of "getting it back" by presenting a case that $13000 is not fair market value for the totalled vehicle. That's something you can argue and maybe win, or at least win a little.

Your personal financial arrangements -- that you will still owe in October for a car you no longer have, or that you need to buy a new car at a dealer that offers financing -- are not arguments that will get you anywhere.

Similarly, that the dealer is delaying your GAP settlement may be reason for *the dealer* to provide you with a loaner or rental: it is not reason for the insurance companies to pay for a rental since they are only obligated to do so until they cut you a check.
sanguine_speed's Avatar sanguine_speed 05:29 PM 08-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Right, but that's what GAP insurance is for, right?

And, yes, thank you, we are fine. Luckily no kids were with me.
I wouldn't know because we don't have that here.
2cutiekitties's Avatar 2cutiekitties 08:27 PM 08-27-2010
K, havent read all the posts, but I thought that if you get rear ended it that persons fault. Period.

So for example......if you are coming off the freeway and stop at the red light and you get rear ended, then you are forced into the car in front of you that is your fault, doesnt matter if you were rear ended and that was the reason. So the original person is only really responsible for rear ending the original car and if you do go after that original person it is a very long drawn out complicated thing. But everyone takes care of who they rear ended. Am I wrong?
sanguine_speed's Avatar sanguine_speed 08:54 PM 08-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
K, havent read all the posts, but I thought that if you get rear ended it that persons fault. Period.

So for example......if you are coming off the freeway and stop at the red light and you get rear ended, then you are forced into the car in front of you that is your fault, doesnt matter if you were rear ended and that was the reason. So the original person is only really responsible for rear ending the original car and if you do go after that original person it is a very long drawn out complicated thing. But everyone takes care of who they rear ended. Am I wrong?
I think it depends on the laws of your jursidiction.

But here, that is not the case.
TCMoulton's Avatar TCMoulton 09:52 PM 08-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
And just to clarify, I KNOW I have to pay the dealer. I know. I fully intend on doing so. I was just hoping I could recoup that money but basically I paid $2400 to rent the car for 6 weeks.

It's possible that you will not be able to recoup that money. My friend had something similar happen last month - his car was totaled by a speeding teenager while it was parked in front of his home. After all of the negotiating his settlement from the insurance company was $100 over what was remaining on his loan. Much like the $2,400 you will still owe he was not reimbursed for the two years of payments he made nor does he have a decent down payment for a new vehicle. It totally stinks that the victim is the one that is so royally screwed in the end but unfortunately that is what seems to happen most often.
cschick's Avatar cschick 10:57 PM 08-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
K, havent read all the posts, but I thought that if you get rear ended it that persons fault. Period.

So for example......if you are coming off the freeway and stop at the red light and you get rear ended, then you are forced into the car in front of you that is your fault, doesnt matter if you were rear ended and that was the reason. So the original person is only really responsible for rear ending the original car and if you do go after that original person it is a very long drawn out complicated thing. But everyone takes care of who they rear ended. Am I wrong?
It all depends on the way things are handled in your jurisdiction.

When someone I knew was rear-ended and pushed into the car in front of her, the person in front had to testify as to whether there was 1 bump or 2 bumps. (Let's call these cars A, B, and C). If A had felt two bumps, B's insurance would have been responsible for A, and C's insurance for B. If one bump, C's insurance would have been responsible for A and B.
Mosaic's Avatar Mosaic 11:37 PM 08-27-2010
Your insurance is responsible for reimbursing you the value of your car (i.e., the ACV) and, provided you have rental coverage, the cost of a rental (up to your daily limit) until they give you the ACV (plus typically an additional 3-5 courtesy days). Gap insurance, from what little I understand, will cover the amount you're upside-down. The other ladies' insurance will reimburse your insurance company for the ACV and rental that they paid to you. If you were to work directly with the lady-at-fault's insurance, you can expect to get the same ACV plus rental.

ETA: it may seem harsh to owe money on a car you don't have. But think about it: if you bought the car from your grandma for a dollar, you'd still get the same amount of coverage, in which case you'd make a pretty penny on the car! Unfortunately, more debt doesn't make the car worth more.
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 01:38 AM 08-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
K, havent read all the posts, but I thought that if you get rear ended it that persons fault. Period.

So for example......if you are coming off the freeway and stop at the red light and you get rear ended, then you are forced into the car in front of you that is your fault, doesnt matter if you were rear ended and that was the reason. So the original person is only really responsible for rear ending the original car and if you do go after that original person it is a very long drawn out complicated thing. But everyone takes care of who they rear ended. Am I wrong?
It was not my fault, not by any stretch of the imagination.
2cutiekitties's Avatar 2cutiekitties 11:33 AM 08-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
It was not my fault, not by any stretch of the imagination.
totally. Sounds like you successfully avoided an accident but the person behind you wasnt on the ball. And now they are being stinkers. I really hope you get a lawyer or something happens so you at least come out even.

I was sort of hijacking your thread sorry about that
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 06:02 PM 08-28-2010
Thank you, I think everything is working itself out. Turns out we aren't using the GAP insurance since the check from the insurance company for the ACV of the car, plus the refund on our extended warranty, covers the loan.
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 06:28 PM 08-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Thank you, I think everything is working itself out. Turns out we aren't using the GAP insurance since the check from the insurance company for the ACV of the car, plus the refund on our extended warranty, covers the loan.
You should still file for the GAP insurance. You paid the premium: you are entitled to the difference between the ACV and the amount financed. Use the refund on the extended warranty to "make up" some of the $4800 due in October.
Dingletwitz's Avatar Dingletwitz 07:03 PM 08-28-2010
yeah, definitely need to talk with a lawyer. Not only should you get full price of the vehicle whatever that was, whether you paid it off or not, (not the mere replacement value of the car) but if there was any medical, this should be paid, plus some kind of extra business for not pushing the dui issue. Insurance companies are always gonna say crazy things like the broke-down truck was at fault (which is silly). I've been the rear-ender before, but also been the victim of a rear-ending. When I was not at fault, it was a hefty sum that I finally received after I simply said "uh, I really don't agree to that." It would take a couple of days, then their insurance co called again and said, "oh, so it looks like we can tack on blahblah for thisandthat".
Seriously, it was like trying to negotiate the price of a car with financing at a dealer. back and forth, endlessly. I never do financing at a dealer anymore.
Can you buy a beater for a while till you've got enough free cash to put a "real" down payment on?
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