Originally Posted by Misbehavin
I'm not sure if the OP has settled the claim completely or not, but if not he can file for a Diminished Value claim as well. That would help recoup any costs that would be lost.
Fight the insurance company with every fiber of your being and refuse to settle on their first offers if you feel it's unfair. My 16-year old was recently hit by someone who crossed the center line. His '00 V6 coupe was totalled. Their first offer was a serious lowball offer. In the end, we got nearly double their first offer and the totalled car back outright as well.
We questioned the methods they used to determine the totalled value, and cost of what they determined were "comparable" replacements in the area. Not only were the comparable replacements not on local lots, many of them had never even been on those lots. The firm the insurance company used to determine these values had also been sued in many states for their shady tactics.
While much of that is outside the scope of what happened here, it's an example of the fact that the insurance company is more interested in paying out the least amount of money possible. So don't be afraid to hold their feet to the fire.
Look into your state's Diminished Value Laws. I was rear ended after having the car for 6 months. After the repairs I filed a diminished value claim with the other insurance company. They fought me pretty hard. Out right lying to me at times. I had to go up about 3 levels in management before I finally won.
I hate Progressive Insurance and will reach through the computer and strangle anyone who is one of their agents.
Based on my experience here's what I would do:
1) Find out if your state allows for diminished value claims. if yes continue.
2) Tell the insurance company that you intended to file a claim and you want them to provide IN WRITING
exactly what you need to provide to them. I made the mistake of just asking them. I had originally planned to get a dealer to run comparables for me. (i.e. what the car was worth before accident, what it was worth unrepaired and what it was worth after the repairs)
3) The insurance company told me this was not acceptable and that I had to get the car appraised by an independent 3rd party. After paying $300 for the appraisal and sending them a letter requesting diminished value payment. I was again ignored and then lied to. I was told that the appraisal was not good enough and they disagreed with it and would not pay.
4) I filed a claim with the Maryland Insurance Administration (you should probably find out if your state has something similar)
5) Long story short ... be persistent and keep after the insurance company, they are going to do their best to ignore you and hope you go away. I finally got about 73% of the appraised diminished value and the appraisal cost.
On another note. If I am ever in an accident again, I will pay my deductible and have my insurance company recoup the cost from the other party's company. The repair process was a nightmare. The The progressive agent took her time getting down to see the car and fought with the shop, and finally won, to use a non OEM bumper. That really chapped my A$$