Hit and Stay

My son had a little fender bender with my vehicle this week.

Unbelievably, he must be reading my blog. He stayed at the scene, called the police for a report and made sure the officer noted that the accident was caused by the other driver. The next day I called the Police department and obtained a copy of the report. Sure enough, there it was in black and white, the other driver (veh #1) “states that he was driving by vehicle #2 who had it’s rear door open and he hit the vehicle while driving by”.

This made my life so much easier having this on paper. Not only did I not have to call my own insurance company, but when I called his insurance company and told them I had this report, they were much quicker to approve my repair. They still had to call their insured to verify what I said, and I still had to send the report over to them, but there was no issue other than that. Next was the issue of having the damage appraised. They wanted me to go to their “drive-in” appraiser and I refused. They were pretty insistent on using “their guys”, but I was steadfast that I wanted the car seen at my mechanic’s shop because I trust him. Of course we all know that I own that shop but the truth is if you have a mechanic you trust, by all means, have the appraiser go there. They will assure you ALL the repairs are listed and you’re not at the mercy of their appraisers who are trying to keep it as cheap as possible. I also informed them that I would be having my mechanic do the repairs . This was another issue they were quite forceful on. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway, they were no match for me and I won that issue as well. 4 separate times she tried to assure me that going to their body shop would be easier and better for me. Each time I had to point out that I wasn’t interested that I had someone who’s done my vehicles and I trust them. The point is they will do what is best for them, not what is best for you. I’m not saying the body shops they use are not good, they could be the best ones in your area, but if you already have one that you KNOW is great, then use it You can, as I did, insist the insurance company pays you directly and that you will use the shop of your choice. If you don’t use any mechanic in particular then find out who the insurance company is using and do some research on them. You may find someone else that you prefer.

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I’ve written on this subject in the past but let me reiterate my point. I know it’s annoying waiting for the police and I know that you can exchange info with the other driver without their help but having it in writing and having the officer interview the 2 of you can be quite valuable.

Having an accident is a major pain in the butt, even if the damage isn’t so bad that can still drive away after like my son did but taking the time to do everything correctly can save you so much time later on.

Don’t be in a rush!

Questions:dontgetwrenched@gmail.com

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About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, www.ZPAUTO.com. Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses. www.projectsunlimitedinc.com
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