What are the options for a no-fault, unattended car accident claim in California?

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Dec 2, 2018
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Hi, My Brand new Mazda6 Grand Touring car 5 days old with 208 miles on the odometer, was hit by someone in the parking lot. No frame damage but the entire rear end of the car was damaged. Other party's insurance is Farmer Insurance and my insurance is Geico. I went through my own insurance coverage as Farmer insurance took 100% responsibility of the accident expecting Geico will be more supportive(wrong assumption). Geico estimated the car repair for $20000. I bought it for $26500 but the market price is $29000. Geico is reluctant to make it a total loss as they are considering the market value and repairs are only 66%($20000/$29000) of the market value. I don't want to have 20k repair history on my brand new car.

1) Can I ask Geico to consider purchase price($26000) instead of market price? then the repair cost will be 75% and it is eligible for total loss

2) If I am unable to get a total loss, Instead of repairing the vehicle, can I request the insurance company to salvage the vehicle and settle the claim with a certain amount?

3) If even salvaging is not possible, how much this repair going to impact my car value? (Body shop is saying there won't be any report as it is only rear part mostly cosmetic, no serious damage and no airbags popped out, is it true? anything more than $5000 must be reported? )

4) If nothing works out, the last option is Diminished Value Claim as it is a brand new car. Who is liable for the claim - Geico or Farmers? How successful my claim will be?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
I would also be very unhappy to have a 5 day old car damaged in such a way.

I would think that the purchase price would be the market price from a car bought 5 days earlier.

Can you just take the 20,000 and get another car?

Otherwise you may have to get an independent insurance adjuster and perhaps a lawyer to fight them.
 
Likes: satya290
Jun 30, 2017
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#4
Hi, My Brand new Mazda6 Grand Touring car 5 days old with 208 miles on the odometer, was hit by someone in the parking lot. No frame damage but the entire rear end of the car was damaged. Other party's insurance is Farmer Insurance and my insurance is Geico. I went through my own insurance coverage as Farmer insurance took 100% responsibility of the accident expecting Geico will be more supportive(wrong assumption). Geico estimated the car repair for $20000. I bought it for $26500 but the market price is $29000. Geico is reluctant to make it a total loss as they are considering the market value and repairs are only 66%($20000/$29000) of the market value. I don't want to have 20k repair history on my brand new car.

1) Can I ask Geico to consider purchase price($26000) instead of market price? then the repair cost will be 75% and it is eligible for total loss

2) If I am unable to get a total loss, Instead of repairing the vehicle, can I request the insurance company to salvage the vehicle and settle the claim with a certain amount?

3) If even salvaging is not possible, how much this repair going to impact my car value? (Body shop is saying there won't be any report as it is only rear part mostly cosmetic, no serious damage and no airbags popped out, is it true? anything more than $5000 must be reported? )

4) If nothing works out, the last option is Diminished Value Claim as it is a brand new car. Who is liable for the claim - Geico or Farmers? How successful my claim will be?
If the other party's insurer is Farmers why have you (or Geico) not contacted them? No fault applies to bodily injury, not accidental damage.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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#5
I assume you have a 2018 model since I couldn't get 2019 to come up on KBB.

I priced out a 2018 Mazda6 Grand Touring Sedan with 208 miles with just standard equipment to get a benchmark value. KBB says for trade-in, in Excellent condition (which I assume would have been the condition before the accident) the value ranges between $18,600-19,900. For a private party value KBB says $21,140-22,627. I would use these values to fight for a total loss value.

Be aware, though, that if they did agree to totaling out the vehicle you won't get what you paid for it. If there is a loan on the vehicle, you'll still have to pay what you owe which could be less than what insurance gives you.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#7
A few comments:

1) You will probably be better off filing a claim through Farmers. If you go through GEICO, you will be filing under your collision policy which is likely to exclude diminished value. If you go through Farmers, you will be filing under the other person's liability policy which will cover any losses you incurred.

2) The other person's liability is what it will cost to make you whole again ie what it would cost to buy a car with similar age/mileage. Given that the car is 5 days old, I think this is close to $26,500. I don't believe the trade-in value is relevant in this case.

3) You should be able to claim diminished value from the Farmer's liability policy but probably not your GEICO collision policy. But you will need to prove it. You may need to hire an appraiser.

I am not an expert on this and I'm not sure if anyone else on this site is either. If you bought your policy through an independent agent (ie not GEICO directly), I suggest speaking with them to get advice. It may also be worth paying for a brief consultation with an attorney.
 
Dec 2, 2018
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I assume you have a 2018 model since I couldn't get 2019 to come up on KBB.

I priced out a 2018 Mazda6 Grand Touring Sedan with 208 miles with just standard equipment to get a benchmark value. KBB says for trade-in, in Excellent condition (which I assume would have been the condition before the accident) the value ranges between $18,600-19,900. For a private party value KBB says $21,140-22,627. I would use these values to fight for a total loss value.

Be aware, though, that if they did agree to totaling out the vehicle you won't get what you paid for it. If there is a loan on the vehicle, you'll still have to pay what you owe which could be less than what insurance gives you.
Thanks for your time and advice
 
Dec 2, 2018
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If the other party's insurer is Farmers why have you (or Geico) not contacted them? No fault applies to bodily injury, not accidental damage.
Geico serves better compared to Farmers. I don't want to get played by insurance agents. Going with Geico is safe as Farmers already took responsibility for the incident, I don't need to pay $500 minimum deductible as well. As per California Law, It won't impact my insurance history.
 
Nov 1, 2017
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#12
It's unbelievable to me that after your nearly brand new car is totaled by some muppet that you cannot insist on being put back in the financial position you were before.
 
Likes: satya290
Dec 2, 2018
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#13
It's unbelievable to me that after your nearly brand new car is totaled by some muppet that you cannot insist on being put back in the financial position you were before.
Its the life.. It is the first car in my life.. Everybody wants to take advantage of your situation.. insurance.. bodyshop.. and everyone who you reach out for help.
except you guys who are chipping in and helping me out with your thoughts and experiences
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#14
"No fault" refers to personal/bodily injury, not vehicular damages.
No fault definitions vary state by state -- MI is no fault, and one does the no fault route if their car was legally parked and damaged by someone.

But CA is a tort or at fault state whether for property damage or personal injury.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#15
Maybe I over-did the stupid pills today. Let me see if I have this right. You bought a new car, insured it through GEICO. Someone insured with Farmers wrecked your new car. You gather all pertinent info at the scene of the accident and make a claim with GEICO. They deal with Farmers, Farmers makes an offer to repair or replace your vehicle (to the dollar amount as reflected in the Kelly Blue Book price). GEICO advises you. End of story. Why are you having to do anything here but wait for the adjusters to slug it out? You've paid GEICO regular premiums, now it's time for them to do their jobs. What am I missing?
 
Feb 28, 2018
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#17
smd is correct. In California, the liable party is responsible for making the other party "whole" . I would speak to the Farmer's adjuster, whose job it is to save as much money for his employer as possible and be firm. I had a similar rear end collision a few years ago with my nearly new SUV. The man who hit me had State Farm Insurance. My damage was not to the frame, but to the rear bumper, fenders, and exhaust system. Repair cost was about $8000. I offered to have my car repaired by the dealer to new specifications and payment for a rental car while mine was being repaired. State Farm wanted the work done more cheaply elsewhere, but I told them they could either get it done now at the dealer's, or I would consult an attorney and they could then discuss it with him and pay his fees. The adjuster called his boss and authorized the dealer repair and car rental ( ltwo weeks since new parts had to be sent to the dealer)_ Anothr alternative for the difference in payment by Farmer's is to sue the driver of the other car in California small claims court (up to $10K), which the Insurance company will pay if you win.
 
Aug 22, 2017
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#18
smd is correct. In California, the liable party is responsible for making the other party "whole" . I would speak to the Farmer's adjuster, whose job it is to save as much money for his employer as possible and be firm. I had a similar rear end collision a few years ago with my nearly new SUV. The man who hit me had State Farm Insurance. My damage was not to the frame, but to the rear bumper, fenders, and exhaust system. Repair cost was about $8000. I offered to have my car repaired by the dealer to new specifications and payment for a rental car while mine was being repaired. State Farm wanted the work done more cheaply elsewhere, but I told them they could either get it done now at the dealer's, or I would consult an attorney and they could then discuss it with him and pay his fees. The adjuster called his boss and authorized the dealer repair and car rental ( ltwo weeks since new parts had to be sent to the dealer)_ Anothr alternative for the difference in payment by Farmer's is to sue the driver of the other car in California small claims court (up to $10K), which the Insurance company will pay if you win.
Shouldn't GEICO be speaking to Farmers on her behalf in this matter? Does GEICO just sit back and allow their customers to be prayed upon? I genuinely want to know. I'm getting a quote from them for auto insurance this week.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#19
Shouldn't GEICO be speaking to Farmers on her behalf in this matter? Does GEICO just sit back and allow their customers to be prayed upon? I genuinely want to know. I'm getting a quote from them for auto insurance this week.
GEICO and every other insurance company will insure customers against the risks specified in the policy that is purchased from them. They may then attempt to recover their costs from other parties. It's possible (even likely) that the other party may be liable for more risks than are covered by GEICO.

In this case, the other party is liable for all the damage they caused (including any proven diminished value). If the OP pursues damages directly with the other party and their insurer, they should be able to recover all their losses.

The OP also has a collision policy with GEICO that covers repairs only (and not diminished value--we think). So if they work through GEICO, they can recover the repair costs but not diminished value. GEICO will then pursue other other party to recover its payout. As an analogy, if the OP had only liability and no collision coverage through GEICO, GEICO would owe them nothing so they would have no choice but to pursue the other party directly.

The OP might be able to recover their repair costs from GEICO and separately pursue the other party for diminished value. But I suspect the OP will have to sign some kind of release that says they won't do this.
 
Likes: satya290
Dec 2, 2018
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#20
A few comments:

1) You will probably be better off filing a claim through Farmers. If you go through GEICO, you will be filing under your collision policy which is likely to exclude diminished value. If you go through Farmers, you will be filing under the other person's liability policy which will cover any losses you incurred.

2) The other person's liability is what it will cost to make you whole again ie what it would cost to buy a car with similar age/mileage. Given that the car is 5 days old, I think this is close to $26,500. I don't believe the trade-in value is relevant in this case.

3) You should be able to claim diminished value from the Farmer's liability policy but probably not your GEICO collision policy. But you will need to prove it. You may need to hire an appraiser.

I am not an expert on this and I'm not sure if anyone else on this site is either. If you bought your policy through an independent agent (ie not GEICO directly), I suggest speaking with them to get advice. It may also be worth paying for a brief consultation with an attorney.
Instead of Repairing the vehicle, Geico was ready to give me the repair estimate check of $20000 if I pay off all the loan and get the title. I already got a buyer - webuycars.com to buy the car up to $6000. so I am close to $26000 means I am at loss of $2000 as I purchased it for $28000. I started thinking about buying the new car as Mazda Dealership already offered $500 additional discount. Here comes the new twist.

But Bodyshop and Geico are so pissed off with my plan, they came up with a new twist. In order to take my vehicle back, Body shop asked to pay $100 per day for keeping the car in their space and 5 hours labor charges for estimating the repairs. I have to lose another $2000. Not ready to lose $4000.
Geico mentioned they are not going to pay multiple people for the claim as they are going to issue the repair estimate check on my name, so I have to deal with the body shop. If I repair the car, there is no need to pay $2000 to the body shop as body shop got the benefit of repairing the car.

Finally, I opted to default option of repairing the vehicle after running out of all the other options.

Now, I have to apply for Diminishing Value Claim. But GEICO inspection agent is mentioning that I am eligible only when I sell the car to somebody and prove that because of this incident my car value diminished to a certain amount. I don't believe that I have to sell the car for DV Claim. Maybe I have to wait for sometime to get this incident reported with CarFax.

Thank you for all your valuable time and suggestions, I really helped me a lot.

Thanks, @smd for the perfect analysis of my situation.