I recently had a minor fender bender. I was at fault but as there was very minimal damage I wanted to take care of it out of pocket. Even though there seemed to be no visible damage she quoted around $500 at two places. After taking the two quotes to a separate auto body shop they told me that this was most likely correct. I agreed to pay for the damages, however one of the places she quoted me was where she works. My thoughts were that they could get it done in a day and it would be more convenient for her to have it done at her place of employment. However, now she says she will need a rental because it will take 2 days to complete OR I can give her a check for the quoted amount and she can get it fixed during her vacation when she won’t need a car. I feel I have been very fair and that she is now trying to taking advantage of me however I don’t know for sure and I wanted to here what others thought. Would it take this long to get it repaired?
Where did you hit her? If it is the bumper, the damage may not be visible. If any repainting is involved, it needs to sit overnight to dry and then finished. We need to know more about the damage to determine if you are being treated fairly.
She’s not taking advantage of you. She’s simply asking to be compensated for the total cost caused to her by your bumping her car. And, frankly, if it were me I’d have filed with my insurance and forwarded to them your insurance information so they can get the damages through your liability coverage… including the rental. She is being kind to you by allowing you to cover it out of pocket. There is no reason why this lady should be inconvenienced during her vacation because you damaged her car, and not reason why she should be even one dollar out of pocket.
Man up. Pay for her repair’s at the shop of her choice, pay for her rental, and add a family-size gift certificate to a nice restaurant. And be glad she’s not making you file a claim with your insurance.
$500 and 2 days is very reasonable. You can hardly get a scratch repainted for that price.
You should be grateful that she is NOT trying to take advantage.
I hit her bumper straight on and initially there did not seem to be any damage. I do know that there can be damage that is not visible and I mean to do right by her. Thank you all very much for your insight! I have never been in a collision and do not know much about auto body repairs so I just want to make sure I am doing things right.
Bumpers these days are light steel filled with foam and are easily damaged even though the plastic bumper cover looks intact.
@Natcat13, the check for $500 will be cheaper in the long run over your deductible and rate increase. Just make sure to put ‘car accident settlement-total’ in the memo section of the check, just in case she tries to claim more later.
You are probably thinking if that small amount of damage had been done to your car, you’d just ignore it and not get it fixed. So your offer to pay for a fix was more than generous. I’d probably agree with your way of thinking. But not everybody thinks that way. Many car owners believe – not matter how much it costs – their car should be returned to them in exactly the condition it was before the crash. It’s a difference of opinion is all. That’s why there are insurance companies and why the premiums cost so much.
Given what you say, if you had asked here prior to already agreeing to an off-the-books deal, I’d have suggested in your case to just let your own auto insurance company deal with it. You are taking on some risk in going it alone. Hopefully it will turn out ok; if so it will probably save you some money the way you are doing it. Best of luck.
What now would happen if she filed a lawsuit against you for injuries even if she was faking it ?. You did not report this to your insurance company and now they will not cover you. No matter how small the damages were you should always report any accident to the insurance co. to put it on record. Many years ago I had a small bumper to bumper accident in a parking lot where both of us were backing out and just bumped each other and no damage. I asked for her info and she got mine and I notified State Farm…About a month later a process server comes to the door and hands me papers that she is suing me for whiplash.
The case never amounted to anything as it went into arbitration between 2 insurance companies and the case was dismissed. By the way the police would not come as it was on private property and no visible damage…Be careful. When you offer to pay the other party for damage you are admitting guilt.
My 09 Camry was hit by a stone thrown from a state contractor that mows the highways. The dent is about the size of a quarter and the paint was knocked off. I got 2 quotes, $565 & $635. Body work is expensive and the whole fender has to be painted and clear coated.
To summarize what most of us are saying, a very kind lady is giving you a big break.
IMHO, in addition to paying for all related costs including a rental, you should do something extra to say thanks.
I did the same thing when I backed into a lady at Best Buy during a snow storm. My trailer hitch hit her wheel. Yeah she should have seen my back up lights but it was my fault. I just gave her my information and said if there was any damage let me know. I never heard from her again. Anything substantial and I would have put a claim in. I’m not sure that the insurance company still has to defend you, regardless if you failed to notify them until you were in trouble. They might be a little irritated at not being able to nail things down right at the start but I think they still need to defend you. I could be wrong.
In NH they have a very short time frame in which you’re required to file a report with them. Failure to do so can result in cancellation of the policy. Varying state laws manifest themselves as variations in the policy’s’ reporting requirements as well as their obligations should you fail to report.
Reporting requirements to the state vary widely too. As do penalties for failure to comply.
In Minnesota I believe it is a $1500 damage threshold to require a state accident report to be filed or an injury. Not sure the time frame but think 30 days.