My Beautiful Car and Its Insurance

Written By:
Cristina Briboneria, CFP®, ADPA®, AWMA®
Vice President, Private CFO®
oXYGen Financial, Inc.

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Have you ever been in an accident? Do you have car insurance?

Last Friday, I was in an accident in a Kroger’s Parking Lot. The driver was backing up in a one way drive and I was moving forward. As I honked my horn, hoping that she would stop—she ran right into my driver side front bumper. As I rushed out of my car and looked at the damage, I immediately asked for the driver’s insurance card, name, and phone number. The driver was frantic. I did not understand why she was—however, as I’m writing down her insurance information she tells me she has no driver’s license. The other driver had no car insurance. The name on the card was her brother’s name. Have you ever been in that situation?

I called the police and they filed the report. They also told me that since we were in on Private Party, Kroger’s parking lot, the other driver would not be getting a citation nor would she be going to jail for her wreckless driving. I’m a mild mannered person when it comes to certain things and I was ok with that—I just wanted my car to get fixed.

Monday morning comes along and I call her insurance company, when I try to file the claim with her insurance company, she was not covered under the policy. Therefore, her insurance company would not be able to pay for the expenses to fix my car. What do I do now?

I have been in three accidents in the past year that have not been my fault. When the option is available, here is something factors that you should remember when filing directly with the other driver’s insurance company:

1. Will the other insurance company provide you with a rental car?

2. You can take your car to a totally different body shop than what your insurance company or even the falter’s insurance company recommends. So if you have a close friend or relationship with a place that does body work—you can take your car in and have the estimate and work done at that shop.

3. There’s also what is known as a diminished value claim, meaning, after all the work is done on your car, you can claim more money for the damages and loss in value of your car. You would have to call the other insurance company and tell them you would like to do a “diminished value claim”. This money gets sent directly to you. Keep in mind, some states do not have this coverage available—but I would always call to find out. In some cases—if you think that the loss in value is more than what they pay out for your “diminished value claim” you can hire someone to help negotiate for you.

Second option is to go through my insurance company and file the claim. It is common that people do this every day, especially if they come across an uninsured motorist.

Now, as many people know, if you file a claim on your insurance, unless you have an insurance company who has accident forgiveness, which is a great idea, your insurance company would basically raise your premiums for every claim that you file within a six-month timeframe. Realize, these are extra dollars that you could be saving from month to month that could add up over a long period of time that you could put towards your debt, extra savings, retirement or college education goals that you’re saving for.

In my specific case and options, if I do not have to—I don’t want to go through my insurance company.

The last option, that most people aren’t aware of is that you can go directly to the person who hit your car and have them pay for your car. If they have the cash available and are willing to work with you on this—this is an advantage for many different reasons:

  1. You do not have to go through your insurance company
  2. They will not get sued by your insurance company for the money(in the case of an uninsured motorist)
  3. If they do have insurance—their rates will not go up.

Get an estimate with the body shop that you choose and negotiate costs with the person who hit your car, if they are willing to pay for it. Make sure they pay for the car to get fixed, your rental car, and the diminished value amount.

Anyway, I’m going through this now. These are some ways to help save some time and money. If you need help with any of this and find yourself in the same situation and you also hate having to wait in a phone queue to talk to the next person as a Private CFO I’ll help sit on the phone with you and make sure you get the best for the second most expensive thing you own…your car

oXYGen Financial, Inc. Private CFO Cristina Briboneria is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.

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About the author  ⁄ Cristina Briboneria

Cristina Briboneria

Cristina Briboneria, CFP®, ADPA®, AWMA®, Vice President, Private CFO®.

Cristina is originally from Los Angeles, California but has lived in Houston, TX, Cleveland, Ohio, and now resides in Atlanta, Ga. Cristina graduated from Oberlin College with degrees in Mathematics and History. She earned her Certified Financial Planner(TM) designation from Oglethorpe University.Cristina has also been recognized in Atlanta Magazine as one of Atlanta's Five Star Wealth Managers.

Cristina joined Ameriprise Financial in 2005 and was one of the Top 10 Advisors in her peergroup at the end of her first year. She was rewarded the Mercury Award, Centurion Award, and First Year Top Achiever Award for high achievement. She quickly moved into leadership positions as an Advisor Coach and District Manager in 2006. As a District Manager she earned the Circle of Success award when she lead her team to Top Five in the country throughout the entire company.

Since joining oXYGen, Cristina has built a successful practice of over 175 clients having awide range of demographic from business owners, corporate executives and employees, teachers, clergy, and non-profit organizations. She wanted to help build a company that was tailored specifically towards Gen X & Y."These generations have been overlooked and will be a driving force in our future economy. They will be a force to be reckoned with--many of of my clients are purpose driven individuals wanting to make a difference in their places of business but also wanting the knowledge of how to be financially responsible and successful." Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

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