Home » Personal » Fender Benders and Trustworthy Behavior Part II

Last weekend I blogged about a recent fender bender and the trustworthy behavior that was exhibited by all parties up to that point.

www.trustacrossamerica.com/blog/?p=172 Read First Blog

It’s now five days later and I am waiting for the insurance adjuster to examine the car. I have learned a few life lessons about auto insurance that I would like to pass along.

1. Auto insurers want to pay you the least possible, even if you had no fault or blame in the accident (as was the case here). One of the ways they do this (without necessarily telling you) is by slipping after market or reconditioned parts on your automobile. Don’t settle for this. It’s not trustworthy behavior.

2. Right now this accident is a third party claim, meaning that the guilty party’s insurance company is trying to settle directly with me instead of the claim being processed through my insurer. At first this sounds like a good idea. But here is the catch. Should I get “fed up” with how this third party insurer does business, and alternatively choose to put the claim through my own company, I must wait for my insurer to reclaim my deductible from the other party’s insurance company. And from what I’ve been told by my insurer, there is NO TIME LIMIT for repayment. In fact, I could wait for the $500.00 for years. Remember, the other party in this accident assumed full responsibility. Where is the consumer law that limits the amount of time one must wait to recover a deductible? Doesn’t seem like trustworthy behavior to me.

3. Finally, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that your insurance company hopes you never learn. It’s a two word term called “diminished value”. Diminished value is essentially the difference between what your automobile was worth before the accident and what it is worth after repairs. You know that online CARFAX report that shows up when you go to trade in or sell your car? Well, that little fender bender that was not my fault, may have devalued my low mileage, expensive SUV up to 20%, even if it is repaired back to its original state. Can a consumer collect for diminished value? Well, it depends where you live and who you ask. Am I eligible to collect? What do you think? Where’s the trust? Where’s the love?

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