View Full Version : Uninsured Motorist
January 16th, 2004, 2:50pm
My car was hit by an uninsured motorist (he was ticketed). I have a police report on file. The damage estimate is between $3,200 and $4.000 (3 different estimates). The car will be in the shop for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 weeks, so I will need a rental. The other driver promises he will pay with "income tax refund" which he will file the first of February. I am very doubtful that he will be able to pay... young, in the process of getting a divorce (just put a deposit down on an apartment the day he hit me), not what I would think would be a high paying job, etc. Should I go ahead and turn this into my insurance company and let them deal with him? I have been told this will not affect my insurance rate, but I need someone with more expertise to advise me. Also, I am afraid there might be damage to the wheel area... struts, etc. I do not think the car is safe to drive until February, so I want it fixed now. Thank you in advance for any replies!!!
January 16th, 2004, 3:53pm
If it were me and I had proof it was not my fault etc, I'd report it to my insurance company so they can deal with it. The sooner the better because I think most insurance companies only give you like 30 days to file a claim and if he's not even going to file his taxes until the first of february, he won't likely get his return AND pay you by the date you need to file a claim by. Maybe he would pay you and maybe he wouldn't but if you don't file with your insurance in time, you'll be stuck. With the amount of damage you're talking about, there would be no doubt in my mind to file with the insurance to be on the safe side. I had an accident 2 years ago where this "rich looking" lady hit me with her BMW. She said she would pay out of pocket. I got an estimate($350) and mailed it to her. Well 2 weeks went by and nothing. I filed with my insurance and got my car fixed. You definately need to file a claim asap. Don't trust this persons word when it comes to your car and your money. JMHO
January 17th, 2004, 4:41pm
The insurance laws are different in each state. I personally would be taking my police report to my insurance company right away. You need your car fixed, you paid your bills. The insurance company should be the one to sue the driver who caused the crash to get their money back. It sounds like it will be hard to collect the money--let the insurance company worry about collecting. It may raise your costs depending on the laws of your state. You could call your insurance co and ask about the best way to handle this.
January 17th, 2004, 6:42pm
You generally do pay for uninsured/underinsured motorists. I definitely would ask your insurance company.
January 18th, 2004, 12:22pm
I will be talking to the insurance company Monday. They are only there half a day on Fridays and I called too late. I am going to be really ticked off if I have to pay higher premiums because some jerk without insurance backed into the side of my car. :0(
January 18th, 2004, 12:29pm
All states have different insurance laws. Check with an attorney and then your insurance. You need all the facts. Insurance companies, both your own and the other guy's will try to pay you the least possible. You might have to fight for the rent a car. Good luck!
January 18th, 2004, 12:32pm
I meant to add that it's possible that the other guy does have insurance. Can you believe it, some people don't fess us for whatever reason. Good luck.
January 18th, 2004, 12:38pm
If you have uninsured moterist coverage you might have to sue your own insurance company to get things fixed so be sure to file all of the information with them.
January 18th, 2004, 1:06pm
I'm a long-time insurance adjuster for one of the larger car insurance companies, so you can either consider my comments expert advice, or words to be taken with bias acknowledged and a pinch of salt. :wink4:
Good for you for getting a police report! Most insurance companies require it on an uninsured motorist claim. I would definitely advise you to report it, and asap. Not only should you not have to deal with this gentleman yourself, it's most likely written into your policy that you are required to report ALL accidents, regardless of fault. Some companies apply negative consequences to policyholders who don't report.
Unless you already have a long string of accidents, or several in a short time period, none of the major insurers will increase your premiums for a valid uninsured motorist claim. Laws DO vary by state, as others have mentioned, but a lot of the basics of claims are consistent regardless of state.
Also, I've seen really whacked things happen when people try to handle medium and above sized claims on their own, like the at-fault guy turning events around and filing an injury claim on the not-at-fault party's insurance.
You pay insurance for a reason - let your insurer shoulder the cost and the aggravation of this for you.
If I can help, feel free to pm me.
January 18th, 2004, 1:51pm
Also, in some states, like Montana, uninsured motorist only covers bodily injury, NOT damage to your vehicle! Good luck!
January 18th, 2004, 1:56pm
Submit to your own insurance company BUT even if they verbally tell you that rates won't go up get THAT in writing!
January 18th, 2004, 2:47pm
I don't think you should trust that person at all. You should file as you have heard from the adjuster, IMHO.
January 20th, 2004, 4:38pm
sometimes insurance companies also have a limit on claims...check this step one. Step 2: I would find out my dedcutible- he is liable for that, and if he doesn't pay he can be taken to small claims court though this is really a waste of money, depending on your states laws though- he can be prosecuted for failure to carry insurance and a 'polite' threat might just get him moving- who knows maybe he has a rich grandma that loves him? not your problem what is going on in his life- that is his little red wagon- but since he broke yours he is going to have to fix them both... Also, if you are against a jerk, a polite threat with your medical bills for check-ups and perhaps muscle strain might scare him more...not that you have that- but just a hint to pepper the problem for him with- he'll get down to business with enough coaxing- I am very good at 'coaxing' people into doing the right thing- since I know small claims court is useless- but perhaps most of them do not... Don't let yourself come last in line- he can get an advance on his income tax return at most places- offer to go with him while he does- tell him you have problems too, and you need it asap so you will meet him there.