My son had a little fender bender in with my vehicle this week and unbelievably he must be reading my blog.He stayed at the scene, called the police for a report and made sure the officer noted that the accident was caused by the other driver.
The next day I called the Police department and obtained a copy of the report and sure enough there it was in black and white, the other driver (veh #1) “states that he was driving by vehicle #2 who had it’s rear door open and he hit the vehicle while driving by”.
This made my life so much easier having this on paper. Not only did I not have to call my own insurance company but when I called his and told them I had this report with this proof they were much quicker to approve my repair. They still had to call their insured to verify it and I still had to send the report over to them but there was no issue other than that. Next was the issue of having the damage appraised. They wanted me to go to their “drive-in” appraiser and I refused. They were pretty insistent on this point but I was steadfast that I wanted the car seen at my mechanic’s shop because I trusted him. Now of course we all know that I own that shop but the truth is that if you have a mechanic you trust then by all means have the appraiser go there. They will assure that ALL of the repairs are listed and you’re not at the mercy of their appraiser’s who are of course trying to keep it as cheap as possible. I also informed them that I would be having my mechanic do the repairs and of course this was another issue..they were quite forceful on this subject. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway, they were no match for me and I won that issue as well. The point here is that they will do what is best for them, not what is best for you. I’m not saying the body shops they use are not good, they could be the best ones in your area, but if you have one that you KNOW is great then by all means, you can insist they pay you and that you will use the shop of your choice instead. If you don’t know of any in particular then find out who they’re using and do some research on them, maybe you’ll find someone else that you prefer.
I’ve written on this subject in the past but let me reiterate my point. I know it’s annoying waiting for the police and I know that you can exchange info with the other driver without their help but having it in writing and having the officer interview the 2 of you can be quite valuable. Having an accident is a major pain in the butt, even if you can drive away after, like my son did but taking the time to do everything correctly can save you countless time later on.
Don’t be in a rush!