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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 151142 15-Aug-2014 11:33
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At the beginning of the year I had my first car crash, and I'm very embarrassed to admit that it was straight into the back of a parked taxi. Hit the gas by accident when I meant to get the brake. 
I obligingly gave all my details and did my best to save some money for when the insurance company got in touch (not easy on my income). Three months later they finally caught up with me and the amount was substantially more than I was expecting for the amount of damage that I thought I had caused. Having said this, I am young and dumb and don't know much about cars.
I have attached the mechanics report. If anyone on here was willing to take a look at it and let me know if I have been majorly overcharged I would be super grateful! I am, of course, completely willing to pay. It was my fault and damage was done. However I earn less than $300 pw working full time in an internship role (which barely covers rent/food), so I know I will really feel every dollar that I lose over this. I just really want to make sure that everything is as it should be, but I don't know where to begin with mechanics and insurance companies!
Thank you for reading my desperate appeal for help, I look forward to hearing from you!

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  Reply # 1108922 15-Aug-2014 11:36
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What insurance did you have 3rd party or full cover?

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  Reply # 1108939 15-Aug-2014 12:01
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You had no insurance? Sorry, not much we can do to help. You'll likely have to come to a repayment arrangement with the victims insurance. How much is the total they are trying to recover from you? They will unlikely care what impact the repayments have on your ability to afford your other costs, but at the same time they would prefer an agreement that you can stick to, to avoid them having to incur further costs chasing you up etc down the track. Let's say you have to pay $3000, perhaps you could offer pay it at $50/week for 60 weeks. Depending on the amount, and whether the insurance company seek to recover any additional costs for a repayment plan (interest etc) or simply are not flexible about such arrangement, you may also want to consider friends/family loans, or a bank or other financial institution loan, at least to determine if it works out better. For example, you may be able to borrow the $3000 (again, using my example payment amount from above) from a bank and pay it back over 3 years at $25/week. You would pay back more total, due to interest, which would be nice to avoid, but it may be the difference between being able to maintain the payments and not - if you do, make sure you have an option to repay the outstanding amount in full at any time without penalty, so that if you get a better paying job next year or something you can just wipe it out.

Edit: This should be a lesson, about having at least 3rd party insurance - if that had been the back of someones brand new 911 you'd be up for $20k or more in repairs.




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  Reply # 1108942 15-Aug-2014 12:03
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One of the first questions that parents should make their kids ask when they start thinking about getting a car, is

Can you afford the insurance? (or in this case can you afford to not have insurance)


If you can't afford the insurance, you can't afford the car...


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  Reply # 1108952 15-Aug-2014 12:09
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Removed some replies. Only helpful ones folks, no "tough luck" replies needed.




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  Reply # 1108953 15-Aug-2014 12:10
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OP, your "attached" item is missing from your post.

I guess the question is, "if I have been majorly overcharged?".

The short answer is, they won't be going easy on you. Even if they are stretching things a bit and it will only be a bit, there's not a lot you can afford to do. They have lots of experts and lawyers, and you can't afford either.




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  Reply # 1108965 15-Aug-2014 12:33
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YoungAndDumb: 
Thank you for reading my desperate appeal for help, I look forward to hearing from you!


Seems reasonable to check if you're being overcharged -- it wouldn't be the first case of a bill being bumped up due to being an 'insurance job'. 

I recently had a vehicle claim where someone (not me, promise) drove my spare car into a wall. The car was still perfectly drive-able , no airbags deployed but the front needed a new bumper/straightening/repaint etc.   The repair cost was about $4000.  Maybe that helps put your case into context?


The insurance company should have very good documentation about the damage to the other vehicle including photos and itemised damage lists. You should have access to that material. 

Then, you can visit some repair shops and ask them if the cost seems about right. Maybe they'll be nice and help out. 

If you can gather evidence that you have been significantly overcharged (no point debating minor overcharge amounts) then you could take your case to the disputes tribunal - that costs around $40 and you can argue your case. 

Good luck!!



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  Reply # 1108973 15-Aug-2014 12:44
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The issue will be, 3 months on the damaged car has likely been repaired and that's what the insurance company paid out for it.

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  Reply # 1108988 15-Aug-2014 12:55
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There is recourse if the charges are unfair, but fighting an insurance company yourself is hard work.  I suggest, as above, ask for documentation  on the damage, and ask some local panelbeaters if the estimate is fair.  If it is, then figure out a payment plan with the insurance company.  They should be reasonable as long as they're going to get their money.  If not, then get some evidence to that effect and tell the insurance company what you're willing to pay (based on what is fair) and make arrangement to that end.

Unfortunately a sob story will not go anywhere with the insurance company.  All they care about is getting back the money they have paid out for their client's repairs.  Ultimately they are likely to take it to court, and you will be made to pay, along with additional expenses.

When that's all squared away... please, get some 3rd party insurance at least (or quit driving until you can do so).  It is usually not expensive and can save you a lot of risk.  It may be a few thousand this time but imagine if you crashed into something exotic, or, a shop front etc and were up for 100s of thousands.  Consider it "lesson learned" :)

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  Reply # 1109030 15-Aug-2014 13:35
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Third party insurance are for people who can't afford insurance.

It used to be around a hundred bucks and when you hit an Audi you won't have to spend the rest of your life paying for its repairs.

Won't help the OP but hopefully helps some others who listen

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  Reply # 1109070 15-Aug-2014 14:29
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This is why third party insurance should be compulsory, to protect all parties. I would suggest going to the citizens advice bureau as they will give you the best options. The problem with insurance companies is that they probably wouldn't have gone to different panel beaters for repairs, they will have their own company they use, so the price may not be competitive. 

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  Reply # 1109082 15-Aug-2014 14:40
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My first accident was also a taxi and luckily I was insured as apart from the damage there was loss of income while the taxi was off the road.



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  Reply # 1109111 15-Aug-2014 15:02
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Yikes, sounds expensive! My bill includes a $300 car rental fee, perhaps I should be glad its not more..

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  Reply # 1109136 15-Aug-2014 15:17
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My accident was back when there were a lot fewer taxis on the road and the cars were usually driven by more than 1 driver. I don't think there would have been spare cars around. $300 is a bargain.

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  Reply # 1109137 15-Aug-2014 15:18
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YoungAndDumb: Yikes, sounds expensive! My bill includes a $300 car rental fee, perhaps I should be glad its not more..


That is fair enough if you think about it, the taxi driver should not be out of pocket on account of the accident.

Good luck with everything.  I guess now you know why 3rd party insurance is a good idea :P  Even small accidents are expensive things, we've all been there.

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  Reply # 1109140 15-Aug-2014 15:29
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Mate of mine slammed a late model car in his 7 series BMW drift barge, almost 40k it cost with no insurance.




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