Car Accident Insurance Scam?
By now most of you heard my story I shared on air about my elderly neighbor sideswiping my car leaving some significant damage. Why is it when you get an estimate for repair from a body shop that the cost can be astronomically different if you do or do not have an insurance claim? Things that make you go hhhmmmm....
Yes kids, you have to watch out for fraud in everything you do these days that's fo' sho'!So its been about 2 months & I been driving around all summer in my perfect black car that has been made less-than-perfect thanks to my neighbor. But I have to ackowledge the fact she was nice & honest enough to admit it was her who hit my car & filed a police report leaving me her insurance info.
So I am a procrastinator, lazy, busy, whatever you wanna call it but I am just getting around to having the repairs done. My initial estimate from the insurance adjuster was $777. I thought this amount was quite low being that my co-worker hit my other black car in the same spot too, drivers side fender about 5 years ago (I don't know why people are drawn to hit black shiny cars that I own but true story) & the damage was significantly lower but I got around $750 for the repairs then from insurance too. I don't know how that could be but I took the check & went on my way.
So here it is 2 months later & I drive to a repair shop the insurance company suggested. By law you can use ANY repair shop & do not have to go to one that your insurance company suggests but I really didn't trust the work to any no name around the corner body shop, ya feel me? So just for curiousity sake, I told the guy at the repair shop that I did not have an insurance claim when he asked. Hey I was curious to see what the estimate would be, & I admit it, I was hoping it would be lower so I could pocket some extra cash (can't blame me, pain & suffering for hitting my beautiful brand new black Nissan!) So he quotes me $1250!!
Hey, hey, hey wait a minute here bub! I know I may look like another dumb girl but I am certainly not. After all, I know a thing or two about cars having an older brother who's a mechanic & hanging out with him around cars in his garage. I am always skeptical going to any garage for repairs because women get scammed all the time by men in garages for the simple fact we are women & it is assumed we do not know a thing about cars. Be caution women of the cap region & do not let this happen to you!
So I had my male accountant call & ask the garage why the difference in the estimate quotes. Bottom line is, the insurance company gets a lower price than any Thelma & Louise coming off the street because they are bringing the repair shop business. Will they cut corners & not give the proper $500 difference in getting the job done right? Things that make you go hhhmmm.... If I had to pay for this repair out of pocket I would be paying approximately $500 more! Gasp!
I am outraged at what I learned today. Is this a scam or fraudulent behavior on the part of the insurance company or body shop? Or do they just have an agreement between companies charging a lesser rate? You decide, food for thought thats fo' sho'.
Needless to say, I WILL be using the insurance estimate, will break even & will not be pocketing any extra cash in getting my car repaired. My car will be all like new & shiny again & I can drive around thinkin I am the bomb. But is this morally right? What do you think cap region?
*Names of the insurance company & body shop withheld for obvious reasons *No furry animals were hurt in this accident
credit: getty images (image not of my car but for shock value)