What damage to look for?

escort

#1

So, the '99 Escort got rear-ended. Maybe you can see in the photo that the rear bumper is cracked quite a bit and is sagging a little. Looks like there might also be a white paint scrape on the end of the tail pipe, though the pipe feels firmly attached. (I’m dealing with a newly diagnosed herniated disc, so I can’t crawl under to inspect things properly.)

Anything I should be concerned about other than bumper, or do I trust the adjuster from the liable party’s nationally known insurance company?


#2

I’d take the car in for an estimate from a well known body shop and not trust the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters are trained to save the insurance company as much money as possible, therefore lots of times they will make estimates based on using inferior parts many times made in China that don’t fit properly. I suggest when you take it to the body shop for an estimate you tell them you want the car repaired with original Ford service parts. Then after you have everything cleared through the insurance company have it repaired. If they uncover any other hidden damage resulting from the accident that didn’t show when they did the estimate the insurance company is also responsible for paying for this damage. Also in most states now you can take the car to a body shop of your choosing to have it repaired and you DON’T have to use a body shop that the insurance company prefers or recommends, meaning you can take it to a Ford dealer with their own body shop if that’s what you want to do. If you can’t come to an agreement with the insurance company on your own get your insurance company involved part of their responsibility to you as a customer is to see that you get your car repaired properly.


#3

I’d have a body shop take a look, the sheetmetal to which the bumper attaches could also be bent. You’d be amazed at what it can cost to fix. We had a similar incident, adjuster was low.


#4

Thanks for the advice. About what I might have guessed (or knew from sad experience). I think I’ll wait untilk I meet theadjuster, and make sure they explain about hidden damage.


#5

Two people tell you to take it to a good body shop and you are “going to wait to meet the adjuster” . Why did you bother to ask for advice?


#6

"Why did you bother to ask for advice? "

Because I wanted other peoples’ wisdom. Really.

I don’t have the car here; it’s with my daughter 35 miles away; her daily drive, as we say. I COULD swap with her, but it’s a hassle.

I WILL have a body shop look at the car. I’ll just wait 'til I must swap cars to start running thru the claims adjustment (I own the car; I suspect it might be more straightforward for me, rather than the daughter, to have the loss-of-use rental). I WILL make sure that the insurance company will pay for any hidden damage. I will NOT just accept whatever amount the adjuster offers, and let them consider it done.

And I will use the body shop of my choice. And I might even have my trusted indep mechanic look at it, too.

And I apologize if my not explaining all this up front made my trusted advisors here think I was blowing them off.

Thanks, again, for the advice.


#7

It will be best for you to deal with the insurance company yourself instead of your daughter. My son was involved in an accident last year in my car. My son was using the car and was at my mothers house when the adjuster wanted to look at it so I just told him where the car was so he could look at it. I already had estimates and my son knew how much the estimates were, but the adjuster tried to convince my son to take a check from them for over $1000. less than the estimates. I’d suggest you have estimates in hand before meeting with the adjuster so you know what the actual cost of repairing your car is going to be (less hidden damage). You’ll also have to tell the adjuster you want it repaired with factory replacement parts or he will figure it on aftermarket knockoffs.


#8

If you can get the car and want to take it to get an estimate then go ahead. That MIGHT be to your advantage. Maybe not. In my expierence it all depends on the insurance company responsible and the appraiser that is going to write the estimate. Some insurance companies will use thier own appraisers or use an independent and the repairing shop will use that estimate, not the one you had them write. Also, since I know most of the appraisers that come to my shop I try to find out the person assigned to this claim. If it is one who writes a good clean estimate then it’s no problem and I will only write one if the customer really wants one. If it is one who does not do such a good job then by all means I write my own and give the customer two copies, one for them and one for the appraiser, they are more inclined to “carbon copy” mine that way.

Should you be concerned about other damage? Yes but dont worry about it. The appraiser should look underneath and inspect the impact bar on the bumper and the rear body panel.

You pick the shop, not the insurance company!!!

And yes, they will try to use, used parts. But again, from expierence, its not a big deal. Its a genuine Ford part, its just used. When used/lkq comes in I inspect. If its good other than a little clean up which is to be inspected the we use it. If its a POC then I reject it. Even though its used its still better than the “salt water salvage” new aftermarket crap. But I doubt the appraiser can even find a rear bumper for your Escort in a cost effective distance from you. If you insist on new OEM then 1, you will get turned down faster than Gomer Pyle asking Rachael Welch for a date and 2, come on, its a 99, a new bumper might total the car and 3, most likey Ford quit making it.

You might have read the part in a post that said adjusters are trained to save money. Well they are in the fact they are not to write for items they cannot see or write for anticipated damage. If the guidelines say for them to use lkq/used parts or new aftermarket then they do. BUT…the thinking that they are going to low ball an estimate and leave off needed items is 25 years out of date. Insurance companies now know the value of doing a proper job means a satisfied customer. A satisfied customer means customer retention and even new prospects. Besides, no self respecting shop will let it slide by. They will call in a supplement


#9

When my son had his accident last year and the adjuster tried to low ball us he was figuring on using aftermarket parts, I told him my car was in very good condition prior to the accident and I expected it to be in the same condition when it was finished and told him I wanted factory service parts, he re figured his estimate. This was an '02 Escort with approximately 105K miles on it at the time with about $2800. worth of damage.


#10

If the guidelines say for them to use lkq/used parts or new aftermarket then they do. BUT…the thinking that they are going to low ball an estimate and leave off needed items is 25 years out of date. Insurance companies now know the value of doing a proper job means a satisfied customer. A satisfied customer means customer retention and even new prospects.”

Why would the insurance company of the person who rear-ended this car (the liable party) care about retaining the business of the aggrieved party? That makes exactly zero sense. New prospects? “Company A screwed me when their guy rear-ended me. I think I’ll switch to them.”


#11

I suspect that the bumper fascia, bumper, and the pistons have to be replaced. If the adjuster misses something, the body shop will find it. If I were her, I’d work through my insurer. She did call her insurer, correct? You can use any body shop you want, but insurance companies in Maryland often have body shops they work with and have already agreed to the fee structure for all work. Also, my insurer uses quality body shops to make sure the work is done properly the first time. That saves money in the long run.


#12

Another thing to add to my previous post is that the adjuster tried to say that with $2800. worth of damage to my car it might be totaled, but I had already checked the book value and to see what the going price of used Escorts were in the area where I live and most that I saw were older and in worse condition than mine was yet the retail price was higher than the estimates on my car. There was no more mention of “it being totaled”. Best thing is be prepared for any avenue they may try to take!!


#13

piter_devries…Why would the insurance company of the person who rear-ended this car (the liable party) care about retaining the business of the aggrieved party? That makes exactly zero sense…

You took the sentence out of context by not including the complete sentence. What I said was retention and even new prospects. The retention would be for the insured since (not this individual since the daughter is the claimant) insureds obviously wreck vehicles.

New prospects? “Company A screwed me when their guy rear-ended me. I think I’ll switch to them.” …
New prospects would be from the claimant. If you re-read the post I stated that insurance companies now know the value of doing a good job. If the insurance company treats the claimant properly and repairs the vehicle properly with no hassles then that could be a potential customer. I have seen it happen. A repeat customer comes in, we get to talking and they reveal they changed insurance since the other persons insurance treated them better than thier own.

You stated, “Company A screwed me when their guy rear-ended me. I think I’ll switch to them.” Well duh…thats obvious and a no brainer. Why would anybody do that? What you say is true but that is not always the case as I have already stated.


#14

jtsanders – Double thanks. That’s just the kind of specific info I was looking for. I already had thought about the pistons. If I do wind up going to adjuster before I go to body shop, I’ll know what the guy should be looking for.

FordMan59 – Right! I, rather than the daughter, will be dealing with the insurance company. And I already have my own insurance company assuring me that they will help me if I can’t get satisfaction.

M E Catz – thanks for the professional perspective.

I will try to get to a body shop before I go to the adjuster, but it’ll work either way.

At least this one is relatively minor, and no one was hurt or stranded.

Thanks again, all.


#15

art1966 – Double thanks. That’s just the kind of specific info I was looking for. I already had thought about the pistons. If I do wind up going to adjuster before I go to body shop, I’ll know what the guy should be looking for. …

I might be incorrect but I believe this vehicle does not have the piston type absorbers for the bumper. The body shop can look under the vehicle for you. I think this vehicle has a hard plastic absorber and the cover only. If you want to show the appraiser you know what your talking about have the shop show you.