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Discussion Starter #1
Some POS decided they didn't need to take responsibility for their actions. It must have happened last night when we were out to dinner.


I'm trying to decide whether to make an insurance claim. They may very well total the car. But if that is the case I would buy it back. With the money I have into it, it would be awesome cheap transportation - albeit cosmetically challenged.

Decisions, decisions.
 

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...see if any of the businesses in the area or the place where you parked have video. you should make a police report just based on principal, a local cop might see a vehicle with fresh damage with your color paint on it. could be after they hit you and hurried away from the scene they got pulled over for speeding or running a stop sign, you never know.
 

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Try Buffing That Out

Ouch!! :crybaby2:
That's an easy repair, actually. No damage to the bumper, light, glass, wheel, whew.
Take it to a body shop, NO INSURANCE needs to be involved. They's have that back under yer azz in a few days, good as new.
What is the color? Silver, smoke silver?
 

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In Car Video

There are several in car video products available, some with front and rear cameras. Cheap insurance, IMO. I hope Santa brings one or two of these for me this year. :thumbsup:

If I park in a clearly hazardous situation out of necessity, I take a quick pic of the "situation" with my cell phone, to include license plates of my vehicle and those next to me. It only takes a minute, but that's me, and I rarely find myself in those situations. Northern Virginia? Ha, ha, ha... you'd be filming all day long. :devil
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Although my car looks okay from a distance, the paint is in poor shape and there was already some damage to the DS front fender. I'm more pissed that somebody didn't take responsibility for it. Although a lot of the damage could be pushed back out, the only way it could be properly repaired is welding. Even so, there would be no way to paint match - unless there is a metallic-faded-stained-scratched type of paint :)

I bought the car for $1000 and have another $1500 or so into it (mostly brand new Michelins). It's cheap transportation and still is. Frankly, if the insurance gave me $2000 and totaled it and I could buy it back cheap, I'd probably be ahead in the deal. We haven't had a claim in years and this one will now be liability only, so I don't think my insurance costs would change.

Whatever I decide, I don't see this ever seeing a body shop. It would be lipstick on a pig. Any repair will either be me or maybe see if a Paintless Dent Removal place could minimize it a bit.

It was parked on the street at the time. Any cameras probably wouldn't have a great view and I wouldn't expect or want the police to do anything beyond a report. I certainly don't want the local guys to waste their time with this.
 

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Woah... thats not good :(

Regarding fixing it, my suggestion is PDR (Paintless Dent Repair), although the paint is damaged, however, a PDR proffesional might get that dents out and look good, then to at the workshop (body filler + paint), this might be the best way to fix it but not the cheapest.

Here's a before and after images of a dent that was fixed by PDR here in my country:

Before:





After:


 

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Thanks For The Advice

Samir, great pics of a difficult dent made easy. That takes a person with some skills.

There are body tools that can fix just about anything. I seriously think Project can make a decent repair with a crowbar, block of wood, and a rubber mallet. If he wants to repaint it, add another day for bondo/fiberglass and rattle cans. Under $100, US. If "Time Is Money" with your busy schedule, take the ins. money, buy a large suction cup, 5 minute repair.

"...unless there is a metallic-faded-stained-scratched type of paint."

There IS such a paint, or if you prefer, they have "wraps". Wrinkle paint, industrial coatings, whatever you can think of to cover a car, it's out there. A carbon fiber wrap would stand out in a parking lot.

If the insurance would pay for it, why not? :dunno:

Parallel parking on a street sure makes one aware of how poorly the public drives. One of the forum members posted a pic or two of front bumpers after a few years of parking in San Francisco. Yikes!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
We took my wife's previous car to a paintless dent place after a runaway shopping cart put a huge wrinkle in the door. The car was only about a week old at the time. I was amazed at the job they did, given how distorted the metal was.

I'm pretty sure I am going to file a claim. I went back by the area where it happened and it is hard to imagine how somebody managed to hit it. But there are lots of bars in that area, so I assume somebody was drunk. What's funny is when we returned to the car after dinner, I made a comment to my wife about how poorly I parked since the one of the tires was on the curb (not a typical curb, more of a rise). I think the idiot that hit actually pushed my car up the rise a few inches.

Here is the area where it happened. My car was parked a few feet further up than the silver car on the right. Almost all the parking spots were taken.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.7522786,-77.4717771,3a,50.5y,256.24h,80.63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s4GN7EhXXG5RTA5zX20SI4Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
 

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Judging from the damage it likely was an SUV or pickup that did the damage. The idea to check local video is a good one.
 

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Be aware that with most insurance companies, if they 'total' it and you buy it back, the title will usually change to a 'salvage' title. No big deal if you keep the car insured with the same company, but switch and your rates could be higher or maybe only eligible for liability insurance only....and if you sell the car, it has the stigma and forced explanation of why it has a salvage title.

Kevin
 

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Kevin is right
leave the insurance company out of it.
it sucks but you will lose.
get it fixed out of pocket
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here is my thoughts if they total it . . .

Before the accident, the car was probably worth $2500 (interior is great, paint is meh). Let's say they total it and I end up with $2000 after the deductible and buy back. I still have a great running car that I can drive until it dies. (I'll clean up the damage myself or PDR). Or, more likely, I sell it in a few months for $800 with a salvage title and full documentation as to why it was totaled. Somebody gets a great car at a disposable price. That or I just give it to somebody's kid who is going off to college. I would bet somebody here would buy it just to get the brand new Michelins, replaced harnesses, great interior, and rockin' Kienzle stereo! So I would end up even or possibly ahead (I only have a bit over $2K into the car at this point).

If I don't file a claim, I certainly won't shell out $1000+ to repair this. i would be into the car $3500 and still only end up with a $2500 car. And if I just try to minimize the damage, I'll probably end up with a car that I would be lucky to sell for $1800 and I won't enjoy as much while I have it. (I'm okay driving a beater if I know I have already got my money out of it).

Kevin is spot on about insurance, but I won't be changing companies and I plan to switch it to liability only coverage anyway at this point. I probably should have had liability only in the first place. What I can't answer is how this will effect my rates. But seeing as I have multiple cars and my house through the same insurance company for almost 20 years (USAA), I think I'm in good shape.

All of this depends upon the actual numbers, but it is all pretty low dollars, relatively speaking. Unless I somehow ended up with a repaired car and a whole new paint job, I don't see any advantage to not filing a claim. Also, the insurance company may have some deal where they won't charge me a deductible if I go the PDR route and they will pay for that. I will keep you all posted as it progresses.
 

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They probably won't raise your rates due to the fact that it was a parking lot accident with a parked car and you weren't even present.

I've had liability only on my TE for yrs. One, if it's in a bad wreck, I just want it as a parts car. I have no intention of fixing it and since I'm tired of the paint scheme, I'd be looking for another TE anyway. Two, they would immediately total it if I still had collision coverage...even if it was still what we would consider a 'usable/fixable' car. I'd only get a fraction of what I've put into in parts over the yrs. Three, I would be paying all that extra money for full coverage only to have them total it...they have no intention of paying to fix the car.

As we talked about in here, stated value insurance can be expensive and actually limit your driving experience. Most of the companies will not give you stated value insurance on daily drivers and will limit your yearly mileage. That wouldn't work for me. Now if I had a 500E500, I'd have stated value insurance for sure and deal with their mileage BS stipulations.

I work under the premise that there are still so many 300's out there yet, why covet one particular car?

Kevin
 

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I don't see why the insurance company should not be involved. We insure our cars for damages. Yes, the insurance company can raise the rate but we can counter with switching to other insurance companies. I was with one insurance company and was getting a great rate until my wife back her car into another. No damage to her car and barely any damages to the other. However, the other car owner filed for damages for about $400. Our insurance company raised our rate by nearly $200 for the next six months. No points were charged due to the low repair cost but the insurance company claimed that, due to the accident, they move our policy to a secondary tier, not the most favorable one with deep discount. After some negotiation, I switched out to Geico to get the same rate I used to have.

For your case, you are not at fault at all. The insurance company should cover it all, in particular that you have multiple cars with them. Tell the insurance company that they will lose your business if they don't treat you right. Even if they don't total it, they will estimate the repair cost and write you a check for it. Cash the check and do the repair yourself. Keep the money for future repairs.

Don't let the insurance company get away from their responsibilities for a major damage as such.

jftu105
 

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That's not a realistic, modern view of auto insurance companies. They also keep track in the industry of 'switchers' and the circumstances around why they may have switched. On older cars like these, they will not go the distance with you to hunt down body pieces and put the cars back like they were. That's on a schedule, predicated on how old the car is....i.e., they're not going to write a check for $3,500 worth of repair damages on a $2,500 car. If you have collision, they are instructed to total the car and pay out the average of the two blue books for your model/yr.

Sometimes it pays to have a local agent and discuss this with them in advance....places like Geico will do it by their policy alone, they don't give a damn about you or your personal situation. You may never even see a claims adjuster, or he/she comes a very long way. That's big box insurance practices.

I had about $8,000 worth of mechanical and shop tools stolen under a Geico policy and I got paid back $1,500. Because unlike in the real world, Geico depreciated all the tools to near zero value. Tools don't depreciate in actual fact, they actually hold their value over time if kept in good shape...sometimes 20yrs down the line, they are worth what you paid for them....sometimes more. Geico will depreciate them out like they are doing your taxes.

Kevin
 

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His insured car was damaged badly by a hit and run and the "modern" view of insurance is to suck up the loss by himself? Any responsible insurance company must protect an owner for such loss, especially if the insurance company wants his business of multiple cars. Nothing wrong with switchers. If the "modern" view of getting insurance is to pledge "loyalty" in fear of future rate raise, this so called "modern" view is xxxx, in my opinion. We should protect our interest as long as we don't commit any frauds or crimes. There is no fraud here.

When I switched to Geico, they asked me about the past accidents and I told them the facts. They do have records they can find. We shall not lie because they know. I still got a better quote and I won't switch unless I get a better quote. I also checked with 2, 3 other companies, such as Amica. Some of them gave me much higher quotes. Insurance companies want switchers. That is one major source of growth for them. Just listen to all the ads by insurance companies. They want you to switch. Consumers have the right to choose the best insurance company for their best interest.

About a year after switching to Geico, the front bumper of one of our cars was damaged when it caught the garage door frame (not by me). I have collision and comprehensive for all three E320. I called Geico and drove to their inspection location (they don't come to you for small damages). They estimated the loss for about $500 and wrote me a check on the spot. I got some new parts for $100 and fixed it DIY. No rate increase, even we were at fault. That is the difference between my old insurance company and my current one. I don't have any other claims for three cars of mine in the last four-five years.

A responsible consumer should not encourage predatory practice of insurance companies, which is modern to me. For E320project, this is not his fault at all. We should not encourage insurance companies to threaten or scare insurers from protecting their properties with future rate raises.

A better practice to avoid future rate increases is to drive responsively, no speeding, running lights, etc. How many idiots I see everyday who tailgate the car in front of his/her, the leading cause of highway accidents?

jftu105
 

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This is why I have front and rear dash cams with motion detection in all my cars. It might night save my car from getting hit but at least someone will end up with a hit and run conviction on their record.
 
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