Insurance claims adjuster--what's up?


#1

I had recent hail damage to my '09 Matrix. I went first to the dealer and got a formal estimate. I asked about paintless dent removal and he said they didn’t provide that service. Also, I had a crack and chip in the bumper which had to be repaired in a body shop. That estimate was $1800.The Nationwide adjuster came to my house and wrote and estimate of $1000 and he told me to go to a specific paintless dent business for all but the chipped bumper. He also told me to call Enterprise to get a rental. I returned to the body shop boss and showed him my new estimate. He insisted my roof was too badly damaged for the paintless procedure. He told me to drop the car off the next day for the bumper work and that he would contact the Nationwide adjuster and work things out. The outcome is that I have a check for $500 from Nationwide (reflects my $500 deductible), my bumper work cost $300, I have to go back to the dealer on Monday, and they will have THEIR paintless dent remover come in and do the work. Interesting, now the dealer really does do the paintless fix. I asked if all but the bumper will be paintless and he told me yes. He said he got the adjuster to see that my car had worse damage than he had estimated. I don’t know what the final bill will be, but the body shop boss assured me I will pay only the deductible. Can someone tell me what this is all about? I know Nationwide owns Enterprise (that’s another whole story!)but what was accomplished by the dispute and resolution between the body shop and the adjuster?


#2

This kind of negotiation is common.

The bumper would normally not be covered under the hail damage claim. If I understand the post correctly it wasn’t caused by the hail.

The other work…this sort of thing is normal. A bodyshop that does not do paintless dent removal will tell you it won’t work because, frankly, they don’t want to lose the job. When told by the insurance company that they simply won’t cover the more extensive process, they just make a deal with the paintless dent remover.

I don’t like these shenanigans, but they are not uncommon. It won’t affect the outcome and you’ll still be on the hook for only the deductable.

Now be sure the dealer gives you his workmanship warranty to back the work.


#3

I have no idea how the bumper got dinged. I didn’t notice it until I was going over the entire car checking the hail damage. The body shop boss said he didn’t think the insuracne would cover it, but the adjuster never blinked. When I took the adjuster’s estimate back to the body shop the boss used the adjuster’s figure and fixed the bumper for that price. His estimate without the bumper was $1500 and it went up to $1800 when the bumper was added in.


#4

I’ve had the so-called paintless dent work done and the dents always seem to come back over time. SOmeone explained to me that when a dent is created, like from hail, the metal actually stretches. The paintless dent procedure is to use a series of small padded hammers to beat out the dents, but the metal does not reacquire its tensile strength and over time, with road vibration, temperature changes, the dent will start coming back. I’d fight the paintless dent procedure tooth and nail.


#5

pdr does not always reappear

yes, a dent is the streching of metal.

paintless dent repair /pdr/ uses various tools such as picks, small pry bars, and glue. on an area that cannot be accessed from behind such as a door aperature or roof rail glue is applied to the dent and a tool uses the glue to “glue pop” the dent out.

don’t fight the pdr, the best paint for the vehicle is factory paint, pdr COULD be a vehicle’s best repair but there are times when a conventional repair or replacement of a body panel is the best choice.


#6

he said they didn’t provide that service…he would have more respect in my eyes if he would have said something like “we bring a guy in for that”.

The Nationwide adjuster came to my house and wrote and estimate of $1000…He said he got the adjuster to see that my car had worse damage than he had estimated…the shop would have been a better enviorment to inspect the vehicle, better lighting and some outside conditions do not lend good visibilty. also if the car was dirty that would hide damage. also there are plenty of good appraisers out there but SOME have never worked in a body shop and some have no clue about cars in general.

I know Nationwide owns Enterprise…I believe Enterprise is a privetly/family owned company based in St Louis.

if you got the impression that the shop was changing the story to fit thier needs then that is basically lying and/or situational ethics. there are other shops out there to go to in the future. no insurance company can tell a vehicle owner they have to use a certian shop, YOU PICK THE SHOP. it’s only a problem if your choice of shops are more expensive than others in the area and shops use the same basic rates for an area.


#7

The only thing I will add is that when metal is dented the metal is indeed stretched. The proper method for removing dents to prevent further problems is that the dent is worked from the outside edge in towards the middle.
I have no idea how one would do this on something as small as a hail dent.

Considering this is an '09 model car you can bet your life that the dealer better put it in writing that they’re going to back up any problems that may develop in the future.
None of that verbal, “Don’t worry about a thing. We’ll always be around to take care of you”. Words can be forgotten pretty easily from one day to the next.


#8

I can’t argue that pdr could be best in some circumstances; I’m just relating my personal experiences with them. I’m also skeptical that an insurance company and a dealer would actually act in the best interests of the insured. It’s all about the money; pdr is cheaper by far than more traditional methods of repairing dents.


#9

Regardless of the change in the dealer’s opinion, you are liable only for the $500 deductible. I would sign over the check that Nationwide sent you to the body shop, and it is up to them to get the rest of their money from Nationwide, especialy since they got the additional amount approved by the claims adjuster. If you are skeptical, talk to Nationwide customer service and ask them. They can confirm the proper procedure, but I have never had problems with my insurance company, when the initial estimate exceeds the actual damage repair amount. In fact, my insurance company usually write the check direct to the body shop, or to both the body shop and me, to make sure that I actually get the repairs done. In the hail business, I suspect it is prudent to have this practice.

As far as I know, Nationwide does not own Enterprise, but I assume Enterprise may be either a convenient or preferred vendor that Nationwide uses.


#10

The 1-800 number given to me by Nationwide is for both their claims division AND Enterprise. They answer for both companies. If Nationwide doesn’t actually own Enterprise, then one is certainly in the other’s pocket. I did use Enterprise because it is very close to the body shop.I hope I never have to rent another vehicle again, but if I do I will be much wiser.


#11

The paintless dent repair guy I use has worked on all my cars and has saved me many hundreds of dollars. His work is great, but he won’t work on all cars. Depends on the type and thickness of the metal, and how much it was cold worked in the stamping process. He was at my house one day taking a half-dozen dents out of two BMWs and I suggested that he look at some small dents in my neighbor’s Toyota Avalon(?) (model bigger than a Camry). Anyway, the guy declined to touch the Toyota.


#12

Enterprise is a privately owned company. Nationwide does not own them. The single phone number is a convenience for you as a customer. I think that Nationwide and Enterprise have a business deal that helps both of them while you get your needs met by them as well. That sounds like a winning combination to me.