August 14, 2008,
C.J. asks from Macomb, MI on August 11, 2008
I backed my car into my girlfriends car in my driveway. I am so upset at myself for not paying attention. Now we are trying to figure out the best way to handle the claim. Do we claim it on her insurance or mine? We don't want to call the insurance company until we think about it a little more. Has this happened to any of you, and if so, how did you handle it. Thanks for any help.
K.K. answers from Saginaw on August 12, 2008
I would get estimates first. You will have to pay the deductable for you claim, and she will too, if the damage is less than your deductables, don't involve the insurance companies....it will only increase your insurance.
Some insurance companies have the ability to have the deductable waived if a police report shows an at fault driver, but since no report was made, most likely both deducts will need to be paid.
The right thing to do would be to offer to pay her deductable, since it was your fault....accidents happen, and you guys are good friends, maybe she'll accept, maybe she won't...but offer none the less
S.H. answers from Kalamazoo on August 14, 2008
I did this also , i backed in to my best friend new car. I just turned it to my insurance since it was my fault. The only thing that bother me was that use it also to rent a car at my insurance expense and didnot push the repair .when other family cars were in repair she wouldn't think of paying for a rental, but this is how it went down . We are still friends.
Hopes this helps
about me, when this happen all my 3 children were 12 and under, single and trying to make ends meet but i recouped. I have to look at it no was was hurt , and the car can be replaced. Hope this helps
K.W. answers from Grand Rapids on August 13, 2008
Don't get too down on yourself. It happens every day - trust me (I work at an insurance company and see it alot).
If you are in Michigan, if her car was parked your insurance company will be paying for the damages sooner or later. If she turns in a claim to her insurance company they will subrogate your insurance carrier. The way the Michigan No-Fault Law is written states the Insurer (your insurance company) of the at fault vehicle is responsible for the damges. It will be considered an at fault accident. So, if you don't want to make a claim, you may want to have her get an estimate from a reputable body shop and then decide on whether to submit it to your carrier or pay it out of pocket. If you have a good agent, they should be able to tell you the pros and cons of turning it in. FOr example, if it is a $500 hit they could possibly tell you how much, if any, your insurance would increase if you turned in the claim. Then, you can make a decision.
Hope this helps!
J.W. answers from Portland on August 12, 2008
I backed into our neighbors car while they were on vacation. When the owner returned we got recommendations for a good body shop and I repaired the car out of pocket...it was far less money than involving the insurance companies and damage was repaired and looked great. We are now good friends with this neighbor :oP
M.M. answers from Detroit on August 11, 2008
get a quote and possibly pay on your own .... I have done that before and if you could afford it would be the best.
T. answers from Detroit on August 11, 2008
Yes Michigan is a no fault state and you each file with your own companies...then depending on the type of collision your friend has she may have to pay it and then get it reimbursed from your company..........
N.W. answers from Detroit on August 12, 2008
Here is my advice ( I was backed into the house...so don't feel too bad)...get an estimate to fix it first. You are at fault, so if the estimate to fix it is more than her deductible, you will probably need to report it. Here is how it will work, she will pay her deductible aand then her insruance company will pay to fix her car and because she was not at fault, her insurance should not increase. She can make a claim to your insurance company for her deductible up to $500 (this is referred to as a mini tort claim). Your insurance company will pay this mini tort claim and your insurance will go up-- probably a lot. You are probably better off just paying for her repair and not reporting it at all.
J.A. answers from Detroit on August 12, 2008
Everyone makes mistakes. I know it might sound overboard but usually you have to have a police report to submit to the insurance companies, then I would suggest contacting both companies. You'll be found at fault and depending on your state law if you're in a No-Fault state (like Mchigan) then your insurance companies will both cover the damage on your own cars depending on your coverage. If you do live in a No-Fault state then that's where the police report comes in handy she will be able to submit it to your insurance company to get about $500 to help cover the cost of her deductable unless she only has PLPD, then that will be all she will get to fix her car. I wasn't hit by a friend but that's what I ran into in Michigan when I was hit. Personally I think that both of you need to sumbit if only to preserve your friendship.
C.S. answers from Detroit on August 11, 2008
I just had my car fixed through my insurance(I have Liberty Mutual) and did NOT need a police report to get the claim going. I was told I didn't need one because Michigan is a no fault state. The police report would only be needed if fault needed to be established. I would say offer to pay her deductible and each of you get your cars fixed using your own insurance. Good luck!
S.C. answers from Lansing on August 12, 2008
I worked for an insurance company for 5 years underwriting automobile insurance. Michigan is a no-fault state. Your insurance will pay for the damage to your car and her insurance will pay for the damage to her car. There is no other way to do it unless you opt not to file claims, and pay for the damages yourselves (which I'm sure your friend does not want to do). YOU would have to pay for both cars out of pocket, which is probably expensive! Just file your claims. Since the accident was your fault, you will be responsible for her deductible, if she has one. That's the law. (She may not have a deductible if she has broad-form collision coverage. The deductible would be waived since the accident was not her fault.) You, on the other hand, will have to pay your deductible. Her insurance rates should not be affected unless she has several other claims already. Your rates could go up because you will have an at-fault collision claim. As long as you have a clean driving record and no other claims, you should be ok if you have been with your current insurance company for a while. If not, you will likely have a small surcharge applied to your policy when it renews. And although I didn't work in claims, I'm pretty sure that since you are admitting to being 100% at-fault, you shouldn't need a police report. I hope this helps. Accidents happen! That's why we have insurance. Use it! Good luck!
J.S. answers from Saginaw on August 11, 2008
From my memory, Michigan is a no fault state, which means if there was damage to both cars, both of you have to notify your insurance companies. Your insurance takes care of your car and hers takes care of hers. If the deductable is not waived, her insurance company can go after yours to pay the deductable.
C.H. answers from Grand Rapids on August 12, 2008
My SIL was driving my husband's car and backed into a support column of a carport. Since MI has no fault insurance, the rep said that it didn't matter who claimed it, the rates wouldn't go up. We put in the claim and my SIL paid us the deductible so we didn't have to pay anything for her mistake. It all worked out well.
M.W. answers from Detroit on August 11, 2008
I had a similar thing happen and I was the one who made the dumb mistake. Since it was my drive way and my car that hit hers, we thought about the best way to handle it. We called the police to get a police report (so the insurance co. would fix the cars - we BOTH had damage) I offered to pay her deductable but when she got hers fixed they did not charge her for her deductable (it was a lease too). Neither insurance went up but we did have to have the police report number for the insurance companies. Good luck.
C.H. answers from Grand Rapids on August 12, 2008
You do not need a police report - it happened on private property and there was no personal injury.
Last summer we had a similar scenario and to my pleasant surprise it did not cost any of us a dime. At the time, our truck was in the shop for repairs and we had borrowed my grandmother's vehicle. We accidently backed her van into our neighbors vehicle causing damage. Because we were insured under our policy, the vehicle we were driving was insured under my grandmother's policy and the neighbor's vehicle was insured under her policy, we weren't sure what to do! I talked to a couple of different insurance agaents at the different companies who all said pretty much the same thing. We called the insurance company that held the policy for the vehicle that caused the damage (in your case it would be your company) and explained what happened. She said to have the neighbor get a quote for the repairs and have the shop submit an estimate. They took it from there. Everything was taken care of - no out of pocket expense, no premium increases. As the agent reminded us - we all have insurance for a reason.
Good luck getting it resolved. Try not to spend too much energy stressing about an honest mistake. It happens and we've all been there.
A.R. answers from Lansing on August 12, 2008
I work in insurance and your best bet is to find out how much the damage is before reporting it to your insurance company. It might be worth fixing yourself since most insurance has deductibles and your premiums will go up.
S.C. answers from Detroit on August 12, 2008
About 3 or 4 weeks ago we moved into our new house ans I backed out of the driveway in my boyfriend's truck. Right into our neighbor's kid's truck. We decided to pay for the damage ouy of pocket, he got 2 estimates and we paid $1000 out of pocket, but now our insurance won't go up, because it is considered an at foult accident.
S.M. answers from Lansing on August 12, 2008
Michigan is a no-fault state so each of your insurance co pays for your cars..so really you both claim it. If she has a deductible she can come back on your insurance for what is called a mini-tort to get up to $500 of her deductible back. I work at an insurance agency so if you need any help or have any other questions let me know.
A.K. answers from Detroit on August 12, 2008
Persoanlly...I'd call around get prices and try and get it done cheap somewhere and you pay the damages...she shouldn't have to pay for your mistake...mistakes happen, and I can see myself getting into something like this..but I'd call around, take it to a few local shops..do you know anyone around who likes to work on cars, call them and see if they can help you...
T.H. answers from Grand Rapids on August 12, 2008
Both insurance companies will need to know. It will most likely be an at fault incident on yours and a not at fault on hers. It is the same as a parking lot incident....her insurance company will want the other party's info.
J.C. answers from Detroit on August 12, 2008
One option you could explore, that will save you from having your insurance premium go up, is to just pay for all the repair work on your own. It is likely that the damage to the car will be less than the amount you would have to pay for the deductible on insurance anyway. I would recommend taking the cars to a body shop and having an estimate pulled together for both cars. If you can afford to pay on your own I would just leave insurance out of it.
J.M. answers from Grand Rapids on August 12, 2008
UGH! We did this as well and paid their deduct.
No need to tell our insurance.
M.G. answers from Detroit on August 12, 2008
I work in the insurance business & what I would suggest is to find out what the damage is to the vehicle before you file a claim. Only reason I say that is because if it's a little amount it wouldn't be worth the claim cause #1 you would be considered at fault for this loss & #2 your looking at your insurance rates possibly going up. Also keep in mind that if you file a claim that you would be responsible for your deductible. Hope this helps:)
L.N. answers from Benton Harbor on August 11, 2008
If you didn't file a police report, you may have a problem!
Meaning- some insurance companies do not charge the client the deductable (yes, even in MI) if the accident is not their fault. At the very least, it would save YOU having to pay HER deductable since you'll already have to pay your own. I have USAA, and there is a clause in our policy that states that if the accident is 51% somebody elses fault, my deductable is waived. It has nothing to do with the 'no fault' state.
***just wanted to clarify***