Vehicle Insurance question: driving without collision coverage


#1

I have car that’s just over 20 years old. It’s Kelly Blue Book value is about $1250. But my car is well-maintained and very dependable. The local used car market price for my car model-year and condition is around $2200.

I dropped the collision and comprehensive insurance coverage to save a couple hundred per year. I plan on driving this car until it won’t move anymore!

If my car is damaged badly or even totaled by another vehicle, and the other driver is completely AT FAULT (documented by police report):
-Will my insurance agent file a $1250 claim on my behalf with that other driver’s insurance company?
-Or, do I lose the ability to collect any insurance payment because I dropped my collision coverage?


#2

When you have collision, your ins co pays to have your car fixed and goes after the other person’s ins for reimbursement.

When you do not have collision, it’s your responsibility to go after them. Most people do not have money to fix first so it becomes more trouble waiting to get them to pay beforehand, especially if your car is undriveable. From personal experience, they will do a lot of foot dragging or hard bargaining because you are a novice and have little leverage.


#3

If you can afford to replace your car without any financial hardship sure drop the collision. If replacing your car would put you in a financial bind keep the collision coverage. What will your financial situation be in say 6 months or a year? Would it be the same as now. Just food for thought.


#4

If the other driver is at fault, their company will pay, the amount they pay in deciding the value of the car vs the damage is an unknown, I know I pay uninsured motorist, does that mean I get money if hit by an uninsured driver? Good questions to ask your agent.


#5

You file a claim with the insurance company covering the other driver. So, if the other driver is insured with Allstate, you take your car to the Allstate Claims location near you and they will handle it. You must have a police report. Without a police report I don’t think you have much hope of getting any money. Lot’s of driver’s want to skip calling the police to the accident scene, but in your case insist on it and make the call yourself. Get the other driver’s insurance info and make the call to his/her insurance company while you wait for the police to arrive at the scene. Cell phones are a big help when things bump together.


#6

IF you’re hit by someone else then the other insurance company pays for your damages. Dropping collision on a vehicle that’s worth only $1200 is probably a good idea.

Without a police report I don’t think you have much hope of getting any money.

I got burned years ago by that one. I was a nice guy and didn’t call the police. The guy admitted to me it was his fault and that he’ll notify his insurance company. Well he did…and told them I hit him…Ever since then I ALWAYS call the police.


#7

My vote is for dropping the collision. In the event that you ever have a wreck make double sure the police report is accurate at the scene; assuming there is no serious injury of course.

Some years back I had to bring a lawsuit against a woman who was 100% at fault during a collision that I had with her. She lied to her insurance company and gave 3 different stories including 2 under oath; one at the scene, one under oath while being deposed, and one in court.

The jury ruled 60/40 with her being 60% at fault as the attorney played up the " pregnant mother" angle in court. Where did the police report effect enter into this?
I went to the hospital that night and the officer at the scene of the wreck did not notate on the report the skid marks on the pavement from my car due to the brakes being stomped to the floor.
That omission and a jury whose inability to look at crash scene pics and not see the obvious led them to tag me as 40% liable.

That same officer a few years later had been promoted to detective and seriously botched a double murder case. The officer then went back and altered evidence to cover his tracks; leading to dismissal of murder charges and the likely murderer walking away Scot free.


#8

Dealing with the insurance company of the party that hit you can be a problem. When my son was in college, he had a vehicle that was in my name. He loaned the car to a family in his church so that they could drive their daughter back to another college after the daughter’s break. Our car was hit head on by an older woman who veered out of her lane. It was entirely this older woman’s fault. Fortunately, nobody was injured. However, our car was declared a total loss. The first problem that occurred was when my son went to get a loaner vehicle to drive. The insurance company agent of the woman who totaled our car said that she didn’t have a police report. My son then got the report and took it to the insurance company. The next excuse that the insurance company made was that the computers were down and it couldn’t do anything that day. The next day my son was told that he was under 25 and that a car couldn’t be rented to anyone under that age. At this point he called me and I asked for the name and telephone number of the insurance person. My son said, “Dad, don’t blow a gasket. What are you going to do?” I replied, “I’ll tell you when I get you a car”.
I had my graduate assistant in the office and I called the insurance company. When I started to get the run around, I told the insurance person that if I had to make the 50 mile trip to straighten out the problem, I would charge for my time. I then signaled my graduate assistant who yelled out, “Dr. Triedaq, you are needed in the lab stat”. I then apologized to the agent and said, “I have an emergency and I’ll call you back”. She replied, “No need. I will order a rental car for your son right now”. I wasn’t lying, as I was needed in the computer lab to help resolve a problem. Twenty minutes later, my son called and said that a rental car was delivered to his door.
The next day, the claims adjuster called from the company and said that our car was totaled and that he would send a check for $3150. I had checked the book price of the car and called the dealer who knew my car. I found that my car was worth between $3900 and $4200. I told the claims adjuster that I would not accept less the $4000 for the car. He replied that he had a computer accurate printout of our car’s market value. I told him that market price was what I would have to pay for a car and I requested that he locate a car equivalent to the car that was totaled and get a guaranteed price from the dealer. I would then either take that car or a check. The adjuster replied indignantly, “I do not go shopping”. I responded, “When I do consulting work I am paid $100 an hour. I will charge you the time it takes me to shop for a car”. He then said “I don’t have to listen to this crap”, and hung up. I figured that I didn’t care how log it took because we had the rental car that the insurance company had furnished. The next day, the claims adjuster called back and said, “We have to get together on this car settlement”. I responded , “Young man, I want two things from you. Number one is an apology for your conduct on the telephone yesterday and number two is a check for $4000 for the 1988 Taurus your insured party destroyed”/ The claims adjuster responded, “I am putting a check for $4000 in the mail today; When you get the check, send back the title to the car”. He then hung up. I got one of the two things I asked for, but decided that the check for $4000 was the better of my two requests.


#9

Part of the premium goes toward your insurance company defending and representing you. If you don’t have collision and comp, you lose that representation for non liability claims, so you are on your own. No problem if it doesn’t matter to you but it could take some time to settle a claim. And if the other guy doesn’t have insurance, you are out of luck.

When I dropped coverage on a car some years ago, they cautioned about the comp part since glass can be quite expensive these days. I only carry liability on one of my cars and no big deal. I’m ready to dump it if damaged.


#10
If you don't have collision and comp, you lose that representation for non liability claims

I guess that depends on the state. I was hit while waiting at a traffic light. The care I was driving was 20+ years old and I didn’t have collision insurance on. The other insurance company was fighting me for my claim. I called my agent…and I had the check I wanted later that day.


#11

Insurance companies do strange things. A friend and colleague was hit at an intersection by an ambulance on a run to the hospital. The ambulance swung too wide and the rear side of the ambulance hit my friend’s car in the rear. The ambulance stopped for only a few minutes then continued on the run. I was coming out of a restaurant at the intersection and saw the accident happen. My friend’s car was a Ford Maverick which he hated. He offered to settle with the insurance company for the damage estimate as he was going to get rid of the car. The insurance company said that the Maverick had to be repaired. The insurance company furnished a rental while the Maverick was being repaired. The job took twice as long as the body shop had originally estimated and the insurance furnished the rental for the entire time the Maverick was in the body shop. My friend got the car back about noon and by 5:00 p.m. had traded it for a new car. The insurance company should have taken my friend up on his original offer to settle.


#12

What is the cost of collision? We have 2 2003 vehicles, and it adds $100 a year with a $500 deductible. Figured I could spring 8 or 9 bucks a month. I am not sure what it will get me if something happens, focusing on bigger issues.


#13

On an older car, it pays to check the KBB value. If you have enough funds to replace the car, it may make sense to drop the collision. If really totaled, the insurance company will only pay the KBB value. Without collision, there is a salvage value for the car. One can sometimes declare the loss on income taxes.
Also, an old car may be made serviceable with parts from a salvage yard. I see a lot of older cars with a door, fender or some other body part a different color than the rest of the car. I’ve never known mismatched body parts to affect the gas mileage.


#14

The reality is that even if you have full coverage, if the car is total loss and it is not your fault, your insurance will write you a check for $1K (or less depending how many months from today the accident happens) and would probably not even pursue the other insurance because it is going to cost them more in time & lawyer fees.
So all you get for having full coverage is $1K at best. They will be very quick to declare your car a total loss, probably even a bumper would make is a total loss.
How much more would you have to pay to have full coverage? Can you put that money in a piggy bag and call it a day and live with the potential consequences?


#15
if the car is total loss and it is not your fault, your insurance will write you a check for $1K

If it’s the other persons fault and you go through YOUR insurance coverage…then you’ll get the $1k MINUS your deductible. Which in my case is $500.


#16

The answer to the original question depends on your insurance company and how they do business. In a situation where the other driver is completely at fault, you will probably have to deal directly with her/his insurance company rather than your own. Wouldn’t it be nice if you both had the same insurance company?


#17

" Can you put that money in a piggy bag and call it a day and live with the potential consequences? "

I could live with the total loss if I caused the accident and didn’t have collision coverage.

However if I’m innocently stopped at a light and a car collides & totals mine, then I’d want at least some damage payment (KBB value) from the other driver’s insurance company. (But maybe that would cause everyone’s rates to rise if insurance had to pay out for every loss).


#18
and would probably not even pursue the other insurance because it is going to cost them more in time & lawyer fees.
If it's the other persons fault and you go through YOUR insurance coverage..then you'll get the $1k MINUS your deductible. Which in my case is $500.

Neither statement is completely true. Your insurance company will pay that initially, but they have a responsibility under law to protect your deductible, that is they have to go after the other insurance company for it.

But going through your insurance company for a small claim like this can have other disadvantages to you. Most of the time, when you go after the other guys insurance directly, you not only can get the value of your car, you can also pick up some extra money for pain and suffering. The other company will pay this gladly as long as you agree to accept it as final payment and will agree not to seek further damages in the future.

If the other person is at fault and they don’t have insurance, then you can be paid from your uninsured motorist policy, but insurance companies balk at that until you threaten to get a lawyer because you are actually putting in a claim against yourself.

There really is no benefit to keeping the collision on a low value vehicle. If you are at fault, then you barely get back the cost of the coverage over a 5 year period.


#19
Your insurance company will pay that initially, but they have a responsibility under law to protect your deductible, that is they have to go after the other insurance company for it.

That is NOT the law in every state. Some states like NY and NH will give you $1k minus your deductible. Then when/if they collect from the other insurance company you’ll get the $500. If the other insurance company decides to fight it…then you may never see that $500.


#20

I would just add that we have been hit twice while not having full coverage. Both times it was the other party’s fault (very obvious-our car was parked in a lot). Both times the party’s were standup citizens and admitted fault and waited until my wife arrived at the car. First one just went to a body shop with my wife and wrote a check for the estimated damage (we agreed). The second one just walked her over to the insurance office (conveniently in the same lot!) and had them do the paperwork and send us the check after we signed the waiver.

If you are lucky, you will be just fine.