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August 19, 2013

Robert asks…

How do i make i my insurance company to pay my car accident bills?

somebody hit my car and did some damage to my car,i had some repair and some rental car bills my insurance company wanted me to go to certain body shop which i did not like so i went to my known body shop well the repair bills they paid only cover some of total bills which i do not mind but i had two rental bills they only paid one one $141 other $ 777even though my coverage is for 30 days they did not pay $ 777 bill . my insurance sued the other car insurance company and arbitrator judge in my favor the other insurance repaid to my insurance but i am still out $ 777 now none of insurance co. answer my phones for the rental bill for $ 777 in state of new york what is my option to cover rental , small claims say i can not sue insurance co can complain to NY insurance commissioner or what can i do. Thanks

Administrator answers:

Well, you have a LIMIT OF COVERAGE on the rental. Usually it’s $15 a day, or $25 a day. What’s the limit? The policy doesn’t pay for more than you bought. AND it only pays for actual repair days – not the waiting time until your body shop can “get around” to doing your car.

What does your AGENT say? They’re the first line of help for you. YOUR AGENT. They should be the first person you call for help and explanations.

Regarding small claims court. Of COURSE you can file and sue. But likely you won’t win, if the policy is only paying out the limits. So you’re wasting your time & money, and risking a countersuit for the legal fees of them sending their lawyer to defend. THAT’S probably what they mean.

On the body shop issue . . . If they have shops that do the work for $35 an hour labor, and you choose to take your car to a shop that charges $70 per hour for labor, YOU have to pay the difference. Again, YOUR AGENT can explain this to you.

It’s HIGHLY possible that you either 1. Got a more expensive car than you had coverage for 2. Kept the car longer than the actual repair days 3. Added “extras” to the rental bill, such as their collision damage waiver, etc, none of which you mentioned, none of which EITHER insurance company is responsible for.

OF COURSE you can complain to the NY insurance commissioner. Then they’ll ask your insurance company for an explanation of HOW they arrived at the amoutn they paid you (and your adjuster should have already explained this to you), and if it’s legal and right, well, that will settle the complaint.

Go talk to your agent.

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