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Complaint 1 of 13 in "Repair Issues"

Insurance Carrier: Bristol West
State: Oklahoma

Consumer Complaint:

The insuree’s insurance company, Bristol West, does not want to pay for the extension of my car insurance rental or other damages found by the mechanic shop. They are saying that what they estimated for time and damages is all they're going to pay for.


Insurance Expert Answer:

This is standard stuff and the other driver's company is usually far less friendly than your company might be IF you have collision insurance coverage. In that case, it's often better to have your company cover the repair under the collision portion of your policy, absorb the deductible, and then when your company goes after the responsible driver's company, you'd likely get the deductible back in full or large part. It's very hard to know what is reasonable or not, exactly how long something should take, and whether there was any pre-existing damage to a car that they should not have to repair.

Negotiate with them, be polite, and document the claim. But at some point it becomes "take it or leave it." Unless you sign a release accepting their offer (or cash their check) you probably can take the other driver to small claims court if you don't like the offer they make in terms of both repair costs and rental car reimbursement.

Of course, you may have to prove your case -- both the other driver's negligence (and that you were in no contributorily negligent) and the cost to repair the damages and need for a replacement. If you don't know what you're doing, you may wind up way short or lose the case. If you paid to have the damages repaired and bring a paid bill, that usually establishes the damage. Proving cost of and need for a replacement car is not easy, by the way.