Accident reporting to DMV Damage/ Reimbursement over/under $1000

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  • #597816

    be good
    Participant

    I need some advice:

    My car got hit by a USPS truck and I reported (stupidly) to my insurance, even though I also pursued a claim with USPS and do not plan on claiming anything from my insurance because I don’t want a claim on my record that may effect my insurance rates.

    I got an estimate for $1200 from a body shop that had a person from my insurance, and he reported the damage as $1200, even though it was only a fender bender and I really don’t think the damage is that bad. My insurance sent me a form that I need to fill out if the damage is over $1000 to report the accident to the DMV. I don’t want to fill it out because I don’t want an accident on my record as I’m afraid it will effect my insurance rates.

    My question is:

    1) At this point in time it looks like USPS will reimburse me for pretty much whatever I claim as long as it’s a reasonable amount. ie $1200.

    But, if they reimburse me for anything over $1000 does that count as ‘An accident with damages over $1000’ that then needs to be reported to the DMV?

    2) If I reported an accident to my insurance, but do not file a claim with them does that effect my insurance rates with other companies in the future?

    Any advice is helpful- Thanks!

    #783487

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    Here’s my experience-

    In the past 10 years I was involved in two accidents where damages were well over $1,000. In each case I asked the other drivers insurance company to provide documentation that I shared in 0% of the responsibility (one driver ran a stop sign, the other rear ended me at a red light). Both insurance companies readily complied.

    My rates did not go up because of either one and when I switched insurance companies and they did a search on my driving record it came up spotless.

    I’m not sure where you’re from but in NY I’m fairly certain that legally you’re required to report any damage to your insurer.

    (Someone knocked off our side view mirror and didn’t leave a note, there was a security camera pointed at the parking spot and the security from the building showed me the video of the car that did it. They said that they can’t give me the video without a court order but the insurance company will take care of that for me. The insurance company said they won’t help me since I have a $500 deductible but said I legally have to give them all the information.)

    #783488

    Feif Un
    Participant

    I used to work for an insurance company. I can tell you that if we did not pay out the claim, we didn’t count it towards the rate.

    #783489

    be good
    Participant

    Thanks for the info

    Dr. Pepper- I will try and ask USPS for a letter stating that I had 0% fault- although I’m not sure that they’ll give me one. Who do I give it to when I get it?

    Feif Un- Can you tell me how a small accident on the record of a new client effected their rate? especially if it was a very small fender bender and wasn’t their fault and they didn’t have their old insurance company pay anything?

    Also- what happens if I don’t report to DMV?

    #783490

    Feif Un
    Participant

    It really varied. It depends on the type of accident (was it a BI claim? Property? Comp? Collision?) and also on your prior driving history. Location also plays a huge factor in it.

    #783491

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    be good-

    Is the USPS paying for this out of pocket?

    Try to get the letter from who ever the adjuster is that is settling the claim, if the adjuster isn’t authorized to write the letter ask who is.

    I’m no expert at this but I think the your insurer would have more respect for documentation from another insurance company as opposed to the USPS.

    You don’t have to give the letter to anyone, just keep it safe in case your insurer tries to raise your rates- you can prove that it wasn’t your fault.

    On the slight chance that the other driver files a personal injury claim against you- showing a letter from their insurance company stating that you shared 0% of the responsibility should do wonders.

    Just keep in mind that while the claim is still open you have the upper hand, make sure to get the letter before the claim is closed.

    #783492

    oomis
    Participant

    It is amazing that this same type thing JUST happened to us. We were stopped at a red light in the right lane, with a car in front of us and a car in back. When the light turned green, the guy in front was yakking with a driver in the next lane and not moving, and just as we were about to honk, we were rear-ended by the car in back of us, who must have been a little impatient to get going. the car in front of us took off (fortunately we did not hit HIM), and miraculousy we did not sustain ANY damage to our car at all, and were not injured B”H. The other guy, driving a fancy, large car, actually had a glfbasll sized dent in his fender. He admitted fault immediately to us (what else could he have said, he hit us when we were stopped), BUT reported to the police, whom I insisted on calling, that we stopped short and that’s why he hit us. That was funny, as he was so apologetic for “driving too close, my foot slipped off the pedal. etc,” when it happened.

    So I reported the INCIDENT, but made no claim, and then yesterday received a DMV form that I thought I HAD to file. As the damage was under $1000 (and in our case was zero), my insurance co. said we did NOT have to fill out the report. Over $1,000, if you make a police report and report to the insurance co, makes no diff whose fault it was, you have to fill out that tedious form, I was informed. And even though it is a pain to go through this, you are better off calling the police and making out the report, so it is on record what you had to say about the accident, so no false claims can be made later on. I have seen people report someone as a hit and run, after they both agreed not to go through insurance.

    #783493

    be good
    Participant

    So how much do I claim from USPS?

    As I see it my options are:

    1) Claim $999 and don’t file the DMV form

    2) Claim over $1000 and file the DMV form stating that I had 0% fault- how do I do that- I don’t see anywhere on the form for that.

    3) Claim over $1000 and don’t file the DMV form – what will happen if I do this?

    Any other ideas?

    #783494

    be good
    Participant

    Following Dr. Pepper’s advice- I called USPS and asked if, as part of the settlement, they could provide me with a letter confirming 0% fault. They said that ‘we don’t provide those letters bc we are a government agency’ (I don’t see what one has to do with the other).

    But the woman said that when they get the estimates, they adjust it anyway and if one estimate was $1200- they probably won’t pay more than $1000 anyway…

    Thanks for the advice so far- keep you posted with what happens.

    #783495

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    be good-

    Quite understandably, the USPS is not in the business of launching accident investigations. Ask for their insurance carrier to issue the letter.

    #783496

    be good
    Participant

    I don’t think this is going to go through their insurance- I think they are just going to settle with me. How do I find out who their insurance carrier is?

    (They didn’t give me the info at the time of the accident).

    #783497

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    If you have an accident report your insurer can find out.

    #783498

    anon for this
    Participant

    Is it possible that USPS self-insures, as some other large companies do?

    #783499

    Pac-Man
    Member

    be good – The police report from the accident (which you can get a copy from the precint) will show who their insurance carrier is.

    #783500

    be good
    Participant

    The guy from USPS didn’t give the insurance carrier. He said we don’t have to give it ‘bc we are a government agency’.

    Somehow they seem to use that reason for everything they don’t want to do. Or maybe they are self-insured as someone mentioned above?

    #783501

    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    Did you try asking your insurance company for help?

    Even if they self insure I’d be shocked if they don’t go through an insurer, I doubt they have the infrastructure in place to handle claims, look out for fraud and all the other things insurance companies have personnel for.

    #783502

    Pac-Man
    Member

    be good – they didnt give it to the cops taking the report at the scene? Did you look at the police report? It would have a code that represents the carrier.

    #783503

    I strongly recommend that in case of an accident:

    1) Get witnesses’ names.

    2) Take pictures of the damage, the cars’ positions, and any other pertinent info.

    3) File a police report.

    There was a fellow in yeshiva whose parked car was hit by a truck. The truck driver was very apologetic, gave his info, and promised to pay for the damage. He then got two friends to lie and claim that they were witnesses, filed a false police report that the yeshiva guy had been pulling out of the spot when he was hit, and caused him major headaches.

    Another frum person who had an already damaged car was in a minor accident with a relative. The chrome trim on the already damaged car was held in place with tape. He proceeded to remove the tape, let the trim fall to the street, and when the police came he claimed that it had been torn off in the accident.

    #783504

    oomis
    Participant

    The answer is they are NOT frum people. Genaiva is a biggie.

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