okay, it’s not really a “car” question. but still, I figure someone here’s gotta have a good answer.

Last night my 2003 Mazda Protege (95K) was destroyed from the rear while parked when a Ford Explorer hit it going, I dunno, 40? 50? Pushed the Prot about 25, 30 feet up the street. Anyway. The car may be repairable, may be a total loss. If the latter, I don’t want to settle for what’s in the offending driver’s insurance company’s best interests. I hate the idea that in return for having done nothing but parked legally, I won’t be able to replace the vehicle after the bank gets their share and the insurance company pays out their lowest offer. MY insurance company seems to act as though, because he’s admitted fault, they don’t need to be involved.

So my question is: who is my advocate in this situation? Is it really just li’l old me versus GMAC Insurance? And what are my negotiating options? Am I really stuck with the book value of the vehicle, while the offending party gets to drive away whole? Is there, in the end, truly no justice?

Do you still have full coverage, meaning collision and comprehensive, insurance with your carrier? If so, let them do the hard work for you. Even if you don’t, your insurance company should still step up. I was involved in a similar situation, 100% fault of the other driver, and my insurance carrier dealt with everything. Dealt with the other insurance company, sent out an adjuster, coordinated with the repair shop, and got me a rental. Since it was not my fault, I didn’t even need to pay my deductible. If your insurance company won’t help out, time to find a new one. The market is too competitive.

Also, unfortunately, your insurance is doing what it was designed to do. It will pay out up to the book value of your car. You should not receive a rate increase, because you did nothing wrong, and it is not your insurance paying. But, the other guy will see his rates go up significantly. Trust me, he will not drive away ‘whole’.