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This guy in a pickup truck backed up a little too far in the parking lot and touched my front bumper (body color type). I caught him on the spot but the damage was already done. Now the bumper has a few small but noticeable stone chip like dents. I got his insurance info down and now trying to get even. Does an insurance company usually handle minor "cosmetical damage" claims like this? TIA!

A guy once rear-ended me on the freeway because he was too busy watching the choo-choo to notice that traffic had slowed. No serious damage to the car my sons call the 'deathmobile', but noticeable cosmetic damage to a part of my car that just so happened to not be rusty (why do you think they call it the 'deathmobile'?).

First, call up the other guy's insurance company (NOT YOUR OWN) and see what they say. They'll probably give you a bit of bureaucratic run-around, then put you in touch with the contractors they use for touch-up work. They may ask you to take it to one of their certified auto body shops to verify the damage.

Either way, you will have the opportunity to have them repair it at their contracted shop or have them give you a check for the same dollar amount.

If that doesn't get you anywhere, then call up your insurance company.

Get a couple of free estimates from body shops. i would not file a claim with your own insurance company, as some count ALL claims against you,even ones not your fault.

If its very small damage (under $100-200 or so) it would probably be better to just ask the guy if he wants to pay it himself and not deal with insurance..he may want to in order to keep his insurance low, but if he gives the runaround and doesnt pay immediately, then file with his company.

Ask him for a cash amount equal to your next car payment
Double up on that payment
Live with the scratch

Even for minor "paint-swapping," some insurers require a police report, which has to be done at the scene. If this is the case, and you don't have one (didn't mention it) you might be SOL. At the least, I think you'd need some kind of admission from him that he was at fault. I can't imagine an insurance company paying anything without a police report OR an admission of guilt.

The only incident I was involved in, the guy begged me not to report it b/c his teenage son had just had an accident and he was afraid his insurance would be affected. He went right into the Target where we were, withdrew $600 from the ATM and wrote me a check for $400 (it was clear to us both that $1000 would more than cover any repairs to my car.)The actual estimate for the minor fender damage and repaint was about $550, so I just called him (on Christmas Eve eve, as it turned out) and told him I was tearing up the check. Everyone was happy. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>

(And before you go labelling me as TOO altruistic - I never did have the car repaired. It was already worth less than $1000 and I knew I planned on driving it another year so I made peace with the ding and scrape through a very nice trip to Miami and the Keys.)

wordgirl said:

<< Even for minor "paint-swapping," some insurers require a police report, which has to be done at the scene. If this is the case, and you don't have one (didn't mention it) you might be SOL. At the least, I think you'd need some kind of admission from him that he was at fault. I can't imagine an insurance company paying anything without a police report OR an admission of guilt.

>>



Yes, I didn't get a police report. I've never done this before, so I really don't know what's required. For future reference, how can you get a police report for minor "paint swapping"? I can't imagine you have to dial 911 and get a cop to take a look at the paint chip. Any idea? TIA!

you dont need a police report...

you got the other guys name and insurer which is all you need...only if he disputes it and says you hit his car would a report be helpful

wordgirl's comments are more applicable to the situation in which you came to the parking lot and discovered your car had been damaged, but you did not know who did it..this guy would not have given you his insurance info absent the fact there was indeed an accident...youll likely never get an admission of fault (you are never supposed to admit fault) but as long as he doesnt try to blame you, youre fine...

not only that, in many states police will not create a report unless (a) someone is injured or (b) one of hte vehicles is not drivable.

i don't believe an insurance company can *require* a police report if you can't actually get one.

gwells said:

<< not only that, in many states police will not create a report unless (a) someone is injured or (b) one of hte vehicles is not drivable.

i don't believe an insurance company can *require* a police report if you can't actually get one.
>>



I know in Texas unless the officer judges that there is more than $1000 in damage or someone is injured, it is considered a non-reportable accident. Seems kind of odd that they would expect the cop to be able to accurately judge the cost of repairs on a car, but that's the way it is out here.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:

<< wordgirl's comments are more applicable to the situation in which you came to the parking lot and discovered your car had been damaged, but you did not know who did it.. >>

So if such a situation occurs, is it worthwhile to contact your insurance company or eat the cost?

if i found damage when returning to my car in the lot, i would call police...this is a hit anhd run, so its a crime...also look to neighboring cars to look for matching damage...

depending on how severe the damage is, and if you cant find the car who hit you, you make the decision whether to file a claim with your own insurer..they will likely want a police report in this case (and you need "comprehensive" coverage)

SUCKISSTAPLES said:

<< ...you are never supposed to admit fault. >>



even if it is your fault? WHY is this? and what are you suppose to say that isn't a lie?

also, they file a claim to your insurance company. your insurance company calls you, and asks is it your fault. what do you say in this situation?

yurgreat, make sure to say "YES" so the person you hit can sue you for $300,000 because you injured their neck and when the judge hears the case they can play the tape where you admit that you were at fault. do that.

YOU should never state you are at fault, to your own insurer or anyone else...YOU are not an expert..might turn out the other guy was drunk, theres something wrong with your car, etc..leave it to the experts to determine fault, no one is going to listen to you UNLESS you admit you were wrong, so its better to be quiet. If insurer asks and you believe its yout fault, you simply state the facts of what happened and that you are not qualified to say who is at fault...but if you believe its the other persons fault, its ok to state that...

At an accident scene, the only thing you should say to the other party should be "are you ok?" followed by obtaining their name , address and drivers license # (LOOK AT THE LICENSE, DONT HAVE THEM WRITE THEIR NAME DOWN FOR YOU! Often people are not the registered owner, but they give the registered owners name to file a claim against you..the person driving may have sispended license, etc) license plate, description of car and insurance info..take pics too if you keep a disposable camera in car (VERY good idea)

some chick rear-ended me in traffic and blatantly admitted fault to me and the witnesses.

her insurance called me up and not only paid for my damages ($6,000), a very nice rental for a month, but all but begged me to accept a $2,000 settlement for *nothing*. so close to $10,000 in total, and they handed me the check with a smile.

whereas I had a friend who was rearended on the freeway last month and had his car totalled and got major whiplash. the other person refused to admit fault. they offered him $500.



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