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Yachtzee
05-30-2006, 10:24 PM
As some of you may know, my wife and I bought a brand new Pontiac G6 a few weeks back. As luck would have it, some idiot coming the other way made a left turn in front of my wife (who is 7 months pregnant by the way) with my 3 year old son in the car. She crashed right into him. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt. We did have to spend 4 hours at the hospital with my wife hooked up to a baby monitor just to make sure everything is okay with the bun in the oven.

Now the guy who caused the accident has admitted fault and his insurance company is covering everything. The claims adjuster has been very nice and was quick about getting us into a rental car. However, I just don't feel comfortable about how the repairs are being handled. So far the estimate is up to $10,000 to repair it. The guy at the body shop (who is also the dealer we bought the car from) told us that the frame rails were bent and needed to be replaced. We met with the adjuster on Saturday and he said they don't need to replace the entire frame rail. They can just cut off the bent part and weld on a new piece. To me that sounds like taking the cheap way out, but he said GM approves of this type of repair. When we called the body shop guy, he seemed to change his story that GM recommends cutting off the bent part and welding on a new piece. I feel like that would weaken the structure of the car, but I'm not an engineer, so I don't know. Does anyone know if that's legit, or is the adjuster trying to pull a fast one?

I've also done some homework and found that, because the car has been in an accident requiring $3000+ in body work and repairs, the value of the car now, compared to if it had not been in an accident, is now $3000 less than what it was. Personally, I feel it's perfectly fair to ask this guy's insurance company to compensate us for that loss, but the claims adjuster looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. Is it that crazy to ask for the lost value on a car that was so new we hadn't even made the first payment on it?

pedro
05-30-2006, 10:55 PM
Wow that suck Yachtzee. I don't think it's crazy to ask at all, but I highly doubt they'd pay up on that.

I woudl insist that they replace the bent piece, not cut and weld it. That sounds like BS.

Yachtzee
05-30-2006, 11:10 PM
Wow that suck Yachtzee. I don't think it's crazy to ask at all, but I highly doubt they'd pay up on that.


But why is that? It's an actual quantifiable loss. I went to the Kelley's Blue Book website, filled out the questionaire concerning the car, its options and the amount of damage to the car. I answered the questions assuming that all repairs were made so that there is no perceptible difference between the car and one that had not been in a crash. The only difference I made was checking "yes" for the question, "Has the car been in an accident requiring over $3000 in body work." It came out with a difference of slightly more than $3000 on trade in value and slightly less than $3000 on private party transaction. In this day and age, when anyone can find out about a car's history just by going to carfax.com, I feel that that $3000 is an actual loss of property value resulting from the accident. In fact, it's much more easily quantifiable than other damages that insurers regularly pay out, such as pain and suffering.

Is there any reason for not paying that, other than they don't want to?

pedro
05-30-2006, 11:14 PM
Just a feeling that insurance companies are weasles and that they probably don't cover anything but the cost of repairs although I completely agree that they should.

I bet you'd have to sue them for that portion.

Either way, as the car is new and you are going to lose value I would pitch a holy fit if they do anything less than put new parts in your car.

Reds4Life
05-30-2006, 11:41 PM
The rail can actually be stronger than the factory setup if it's boxed and welded correctly. The key being done correctly, every dealership body shop that I've dealt with has been horrible when it comes to anything other than replacing bumper covers or headlight assemblies.

If you can, find a local, non-dealer, body shop that works on a lot of classics, they usually have guys who actually know what they are doing.

Johnny Footstool
05-30-2006, 11:54 PM
I'll bet you'll have to sue the insurance company to get that money.

gonelong
05-31-2006, 12:27 AM
I've also done some homework and found that, because the car has been in an accident requiring $3000+ in body work and repairs, the value of the car now, compared to if it had not been in an accident, is now $3000 less than what it was. Personally, I feel it's perfectly fair to ask this guy's insurance company to compensate us for that loss, but the claims adjuster looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. Is it that crazy to ask for the lost value on a car that was so new we hadn't even made the first payment on it?

Do a google search for diminished value. (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=insurance+diminished+value+auto&btnG=Google+Search)

It does suck that your car is worth $3000 less.

From the insurance company's perspective, they have fixed your car back to roughly the same condition as it was - why should they be on the hook for a "perceived" $3000 loss.

It sucks. I hate to say it, but if I ever get in an accident again where I am not at fault, I am going to the hospital to rack up some medical bills. Its seems to be the only way to get any leverage in the situation.

GL

RedsBaron
05-31-2006, 08:54 AM
Diminished value is a recognized claim in my state. The burden of proof of diminished value would rest with you of course, but such a claim is legitimate.

Roy Tucker
05-31-2006, 11:06 AM
I'd say this would be a good time to talk to your lawyer and see what your options are.

In the past, my lawyer and I can say the same thing, but people seem to take what my lawyer says a little more seriously.

IslandRed
05-31-2006, 12:18 PM
At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, the diminished value is not covered unless local laws mandate it or your specific policy says so. If it's a typical policy, what you're insuring is the cost of fixing the car, not its resale value.

But it won't hurt to have a chat with a lawyer and see what your options are.

Yachtzee
05-31-2006, 05:50 PM
OK, I haven't talked to a lawyer yet, but I know plenty I can talk to (being in law school helps). I did talk to the adjuster from my insurance company though. I figured it would be smart to find out what they have done regarding accidents in Ohio before. He said they have paid out diminished value claims in Ohio, it's just a matter of finding out what the other insurance company's procedure is and jumping through the right hoops. So that makes me feel somewhat better. At this point, we're going to wait and see what the claims adjuster from the other insurance company comes back with.

SunDeck
05-31-2006, 06:03 PM
Have you considered another GM dealer, just to see what they say about the approved repair? Just a thought.

So sorry to hear about the accident. Glad the fam was unharmed. Cars and insurance companies are replaceable, but not the wife and kids.

pedro
05-31-2006, 06:10 PM
That's good news. :)

Yachtzee
05-31-2006, 06:15 PM
Have you considered another GM dealer, just to see what they say about the approved repair? Just a thought.

So sorry to hear about the accident. Glad the fam was unharmed. Cars and insurance companies are replaceable, but not the wife and kids.

I went down to talk to the manager at the shop. He was very good about letting me come in and look at the car and the repairs being done. He showed me where the welds were done and what they would have had to do to replace the whole frame rail. He assured me that he stands by his shop's work and wouldn't do the repair if he wouldn't put his own family in that car. He also said that they will put their own warranty on the work done on top of the warranty the insurance company gives us, the GM warranty and the dealer had their own warranty (the body shop is owned by the dealer as well). While I still don't feel as good as I would if the car hadn't been in an accident, I don't feel as though they're just trying to cut corners as much as I did before.

I must say that the dealer we bought the car from has been extremely helpful. Before the accident, they had a new car owner's clinic where they showed us how their maintenance and body shops do their work. They even set off an airbag to show us what to expect, which helped my wife when hers went off.

gonelong
06-01-2006, 09:06 AM
He said they have paid out diminished value claims in Ohio, it's just a matter of finding out what the other insurance company's procedure is and jumping through the right hoops.

Please keep us posted on how this plays out. :beerme:

GL

Johnny Footstool
06-01-2006, 10:07 AM
Sounds like things are going to work out alright, Yachtzee. Just stay on top of the situation and don't let the insurance company wriggle out of paying you.