HomeCar InsuranceCar Smashes Into House, Then Insurance Company Shortchanges Repairs

Car Smashes Into House, Then Insurance Company Shortchanges Repairs

An animated image art of red car crashing into the wall of a Victorian brick home

People are often surprised when car insurance claim payouts are less than repair costs.

A Cincinnati woman recently experienced a unique kind of car accident. A driver careened down Diane Yaeger’s street before aiming for her home. She watched as the out-of-control vehicle rammed into her front wall. The damages clocked a whopping $33,915. However, the car insurance company’s initial payout was almost $4,000 short.

Some people might be surprised to learn that Diane’s case, although rare in circumstances, is quite common regarding the undervalued car insurance payout.

Insurance premiums rose for most Americans in 2023 as insurance companies installed aggressive profitability measures. Allstate saw huge year-over-year gains in its profitability, citing efforts to bounce back from its $1.4 billion loss in 2022. Still, after upping rates and sharpening claims underwriting, it still posted a $316 million loss in 2023.

A drawing animation of a cinderblock home getting hit by a red car cracks all over house
A car crashes into a cinderblock house | orensila via iStock

I wrote collision estimates for years and often argued with insurance adjusters over needed repairs and parts sourcing. If you receive a payout offer from a car insurance company, do the following before accepting:

  • Get more than one estimate to understand local repair costs fully.
  • Ask about parts sourcing. Typically, you deserve to be reimbursed for new OEM parts unless they are discontinued.
  • Remember that it’s your decision whether or not to get your car fixed after a payout and how/to what extent.
  • If the difference between actual repair costs and the payout is large, consider consulting an attorney.

A local news journalist with WCPO contacted the driver’s car insurance company. The company has since offered to revisit Diane’s claim.

Source: Repairer Driven News

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