There was a time when being honest and negotiating in good faith with the other driver’s insurance would get you fair compensation for your losses, but that time is over. Nowadays, they try to call you up, get you to say stuff that is damaging to your case, and pay you peanuts for your losses. If you want to get fair compensation for your damaged car, it is necessary to keep the specter of a possible injury claim over the insurer’s head–whether or not you really are injured.
For example, many years ago, I was in an accident in a 1991 Toyota Tercel. The other driver was driving a Ford Windstar van, and ran a stop sign right into my path. Amazingly, I was not injured at all, and because I had admitted that fact to the other insurer, they only paid a paltry $2000 or so for the car–even though I had paid a Toyota dealer about $5800 to replace the engine about a year and a half earlier.
The last time I was in an accident was about 4-5 years ago. I was driving my 1995 Dodge Caravan (not the same 1995 Caravan I have now) and it had almost 209,000 miles on it. However, it was in excellent condition and ran like new. I had just put a new timing belt on it, and done a lot of other maintenance to it–which I had receipts for.
A lady driving a Mazda sedan left-turned into my path on a green light, and I hit her hard. I understood that if I said I was fine, I’d get peanuts and lose a bunch of money trying to buy another car that runs.
This time, I went to an urgent care and said my back was bothering me, and got X-rayed. When I dealt with the other insurer, I reminded them that I had some discomfort from the crash that I hoped would go away soon. They initially wanted to pay a paltry $650 for the destroyed van, even though comparables on Craigslist were selling for about $2000 at the time. However, once I made it clear that I wanted to settle amicably for enough to replace the van, but if that didn’t happen soon I’d be seeing an attorney, suddenly they “found” $2000 to pay for the van, and another $1000 to pay for the discomfort I experienced.
The bottom line is that insurance is out to rip you off, and it’s up to you to make sure you get fairly compensated for your losses. If you need a rental car due to the accident which another party is liable for, that is an additional economic loss which you need to recoup.