The other day I was pulling out of my driveway and accidently ran into my wife's friend's car. The damage was very minor - a VERY small dent in the front of the car. I offered to fix it myself, but she wanted to contact the insurance company. I received a voice mail message from her insurance company today asking for information. When I asked her about it, she said she wanted to get her car checked up and make sure there's no unseen damage. I highly doubt there's any unseen damage, and I bet a dent repair company could take car of the damage for $50. I could try to convince her to bypass the insurance companies and let me pay for a professional, but I'm not sure who I would go to to determine if there's any unseen damage, and they could just make something up and charge me a bunch. However, I don't want to go to the insurance company, because I know they'd just jack my rates up like crazy. I'd hate for that to happen for something as minor as this. Any ideas?
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Didn't you say you got a message from her insurance company? That means it's too late to bypass insurance. A claim has been made. Contact your insurance and report it, and then let the company act on your behalf. If her insurance calls again, refer them to your insurance. If it is indeed that minor if should have very little effect on your insurance rate, especially if you pay it out of pocket and they are out no cash. But yes, it's best to report it now.
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If she already reported it, you are pretty much screwed. You could try calling her insurance and work something out with them, but the chances are slim. As fas as hidden damage, it is a very likely possibility. Rates for paint and body work are out of this world and what looks like $50 bucs, will be more like $1000.
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Offer to accompany her to a repair shop and tell her you'll pay for the repair.
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Someone did that for my father-in-law--she hit him and they just took it to the repair shop, she paid for it, no harm no foul.
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Generally, the insurance only goes up if the cost of the damage is over $600. Tell her that you'll go with her to the repair shop and they can look it over to make sure there is nothing else wrong.
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sounds like she was unreasonable if she did not want to fixate with out calling the insurance..
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Same thing happened to my wife. I convinced my neighbor by bringing her with me to the PDR (Paintless Dent Repair) place. He explained If she takes it to a dealer they will likely try to paint/repair the entire fender, and over time, it will look very different from the rest of the car. So what's a better choice ?
I have a different point of view and offer a suggestion.
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Have her go to a professional or trustworthy body shop or dealership and get an estimate and inspection for hidden damage. When she gives you the figure and if you are willing to pay to have her car fixed then you might be able to pay with a trackable transaction like a credit card or check. Once the car is fixed to her satisfaction then she MIGHT be able to tell her insurance that she got it fixed and that she is not wanting to pursue the issue through them. She might not have this option since it was already reported but its worth a shot and would probably have to be done quickly. If there is hidden damage then the estimate might not be as close as you would think. She might want to avoid going through insurance etc since her car may then have a history of being involved in an accident but then again it may have one even if its taken to a repair shop and paid for out of pocket? Just something to consider. If you have any doubts contact your own insurance and ask if there is anything you can do. If you do pay out of pocket avoid paying cash, otherwise she might be able to say she paid it herself and then try to get some more $ out of you in the future either through small claims court etc though thats unlikely based on her being your wife's friend. It sounds like she is over-reacting but I can't see the damage so she may be right?
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