Other person’s car is damaged and you are not at-fault: You have no liability in this case. The other person should pursue repairs through their own means or insurance.
Other person’s car is damaged and you are at-fault: Your property damage coverage will pay for the repairs. Once you report the claim to Young America Insurance, provide any evidence and a statement, you should not have any more involvement. Young America Auto Insurance will handle the claim settlement from this point forward. If the other party contacts you, refer them to Young America insurance company online payment or adjuster. Finally, understand that your insurance rates will probably go up at your next renewal. You can also try and get a cheap car insurance with no down payment with another insurance company.
Damage to your car and the other person is at-fault: If there are no injuries and your car is drivable, then the insurance company of the at-fault party will either send you to a mechanic for an estimate or send an appraiser to examine your car. In either case, they want to assess the amount of the damages. If you do not have access to a body shop for an estimate of the damages, just ask the company to have an examiner meet you at work or home, whichever is more convenient.
At this point, Young America insurance may suggest a specific car repair facility to make the repairs. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Often times the insurance companies have made arrangements with specific shops to get better pricing. Also, many of the better insurance companies guarantee the repair work. You should verify this guarantee with the adjuster. You may want to check the Better Business Bureau before sending your car to a specific shop.
If you do not like the recommended shop, or if you have a repair shop that you know is reputable, tell the adjuster. They should be flexible. Remember the adjuster’s goal is to make a fair settlement and get the file closed and off their desk. If you are willing to work with them, they should be willing to work with you.
While your vehicle is being fixed at the shop you may need a rental car. If the other party was at-fault in the accident, their company should pay for the rental. It may not be the greatest car, but it is transportation to get you where you need to go until the repairs are complete.
If the car is a total loss, Young America Insurance will determine the value of the car and write you a check. In some cases, they may try to find you a replacement, but that is unusual. Your car is considered a total loss when the repair estimates show that the fixing the car is more expensive than replacing it. With a no down payment car insurance, you would have surely done better. When determining whether to repair your car or deem it a total loss, the adjuster will consider the following factors and use this formula:
Actual Cash Value minus Salvage vs. Repair Estimate plus Rental Expense
With this formula, the adjuster is comparing the cost to fix the car versus what it is worth. They will pay the lower of the two values. Here’s an example:
The actual cash value of your car (market value) is $15,000; the salvage value is $1000; the repair estimate is $6,000 and the rental is $150. In this situation, the adjuster will choose to have your car repaired. The costs associated with fixing your car ($6,150) is less than its current value ($14,000).
Actual Cash Value may be the market value or the cost new minus depreciation. You can approximate this by looking in the want ads or in the online websites of Young America Insurance. Salvage is the amount the company can get for the damaged car and its parts on the open market.
- Repair Estimate is the cost to repair the car.
- Rental Expense is the amount that will be paid for you to use a rental car while your car is being repaired.
Value of Your Totaled Car
Can Young America Insurance give you less than the Blue Book value for your car? Yes. The Blue Book is a guide and is only one source. The company is only required to pay you what your car is worth. They will attempt to establish the value of your car just prior to the accident. The adjuster will use a variety of sources (e.g. dealerships, newspapers, Blue Book, NADA) to determine the value in your area. Adjusters must verify the value from at least two sources. It is a good idea for you to independently research the value, as well.
What should be included in the amount Young America insurance company gives you for your totaled car? The value of your car plus the sales tax, title and license fees, as long as you replace the car within 30 days.
Damage to your car and you are at-fault: Many of the valuation criteria discussed above apply whether you are at fault or not. The primary differences when you are at-fault are:
Your collision coverage pays for the repairs to your car
The items discussed above regarding getting an estimate or meeting with an appraiser will apply. In addition, the repair shops work may be guaranteed by the company if the shop is an approved vendor. Verify this with the company.
Your insurance rates will go up at renewal
If you have an accident with damages above the deductible, the accident will be recognized. You can anticipate an increase in your renewal premium of 20 – 30%.
If you have rental reimbursement coverage, your use of a rental car will be covered – up to the limits of this coverage. If you do not have rental reimbursement coverage you will need to find alternative transportation while your car is in the shop.
Young America Insurance will typically have pre-negotiated rental rates with a car rental company. In fact, in some cases if you use their designated repair facility, the rental car company may even pick you up at the repair shop.