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claims adjuster


marksr's Avatar
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12-22-16, 12:32 PM   #1 (permalink)  
claims adjuster

My son hit a deer last night and while it didn't do a lot of damage, it did take out the passenger headlight and turn signal. He called his insurance 1-800 number and they told him he couldn't fix the lights until an adjuster looked at it or they could deny the claim. The adjuster called him this morning and basically said the same thing along with 'don't wash the animal hair off the car' AND they wouldn't be able to come out and inspect the damage until the end of next week. Since they are calling for rain and he doesn't have a garage he took pictures.

Other than hail damage I've not dealt with an insurance adjuster in over 40 yrs, is this normal procedure? Fortunately he has another vehicle although we did have to repair it first.


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12-22-16, 01:46 PM   #2 (permalink)  
Sounds like time to shop for a new insurance company.

Make sure he takes a lot of pictures before the rain comes.

 
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12-22-16, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)  
This is a collision accident so not sure why insurance cares whether it was caused by an animal, tree, or other car. Your son is admitting it was his fault so it's chargeable either way. Agree with stickshift.

Two years ago had similar accident w/body damage. My insurance said to send them a copy of the receipt if I bought the part. I went out bought the light and installed myself. Submitted receipt for parts and they paid me no problem. The body shop obviously did not charge for a new light when they submitted bill for their work. Insurance was happy as was I. Funny thing was body shop said they would not have been able to get new light (only used) at a cost more than I got the new one for.

Same for a hood repair 5 years ago (tow hitch of truck backed over it in parking lot then left the scene ). Insurance wanted aftermarket, I bought OEM for cheaper and got reimbursed. Had hood and other parts shipped to body shop. Found out it's because State Farm and I guess a lot of other large insurance companies pay a book rate from a company they contract from rather than shop for parts. That bureaucracy adds enough to make used parts more costlier than OEM.

 
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12-22-16, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)  
Not sure if there were any scratches but what needs replacing is the nose piece that houses the lights and grille along with headlight and turn signal assembly. I was shocked that they said making repairs could cause them to deny the claim. While the car is still drive able, no lights on one side isn't good when you come home every evening in the dark. Glad he has another vehicle!

I agree it would be a good idea to compare ins companies before it's time to renew his policy.


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12-22-16, 03:40 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Your son is admitting it was his fault so it's chargeable either way.
There is no admission in this. He didn't hit the deer on purpose, and it was not negligent.

In Georgia, we always have the State Patrol fill out a report if it happens on a state road. The deer are owned by the State of Georgia and the state will reimburse the insurance company for the loss due to their animal causing it.

 
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12-23-16, 02:44 AM   #6 (permalink)  
Yes, sounds like he needs to consider a new company at renewal. Preferably one that has an agent in his local area. That way he could take the vehicle to the agent and let them vouch for him that he does indeed have damage from a deer strike.

Yes, there is such a thing as removing the evidence before the company has had a chance to inspect it, but I haven't seen any of our carriers be such sticklers when it comes to deer claims. Most of our adjuster just tell you to take it to a body shop for estimates and then they send a check without even coming to see it. Probably the difference between good companies that may cost a little more and the companies that only compete on having the lowest price.

A deer strike is a "Comprehensive" claim, not a Collision claim. They are separate coverages, and you might have one without the other, and/or might have different deductibles. For example, if you just had Comprehensive and no Collision, I could see where the adjuster might want to verify that it was actually a deer strike and not just sliding off the road and hitting a tree, which would not be covered under Comprehensive but instead would require Collision coverage. Still, I've never heard of anyone asking for samples of deer fur!

 
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12-23-16, 03:07 AM   #7 (permalink)  
It's a national company [the one Flo advertises] and he has a local agent but I don't care much for that agency. I used to have insurance thru them [different carrier] and found them to be incompetent. Those agents were the reason I changed to a different insurance company.

My son used to be on high risk because he had 2 cars in a row totaled by uninsured drivers
Not sure if that plays any part in this claim or not. Those claims were 6-7 yrs ago.


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Last edited by marksr; 12-23-16 at 03:26 AM.
 
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12-23-16, 04:29 AM   #8 (permalink)  
We haven't had trouble with Flo's company, but they are definitely on the "pay more for advertising than we do for claims service" side of the spectrum.

If the claims were 6-7 years ago, he should be able to get out of the high risk category. Usually companies look back 3-5 years. If it has been longer than that, and no other accidents or tickets since then, he can probably get a better deal somewhere else. Still, that shouldn't affect whether he is given fair claims service on this particular incident.

What I would advise is for him to talk with the adjuster and ask the adjuster what they expect him to do at this point. Ask him/her what they suggest he do to preserve the evidence for a week while it is exposed to the elements. They may say that taking pictures is enough, or they may suggest taking it to a certified body shop that they trust. Offer to send them the deer carcass as proof. (just kidding)

 
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12-23-16, 04:33 AM   #9 (permalink)  
About 4 years ago, a guy backed into my driver side fender & jammed it back into my drivers door just enough that I couldn't get my door open. I have bucket seats with a console/arm rest between the seats that I had to crawl over to get out the passenger side. After a couple of days, I called his cheap insurance company that generally was a pain to deal with & told them that I was having to crawl over the console & get out the passenger side & wanted to know what I could do. The problem was if I shoved the driver door open, it was going to bend the door more than it was already bent. The problem was, the door wasn't damaged that much but was bent a little where the fender was pushed back into it. They said fine, bend it. Get the door open if you need to. I couldn't believe they were serious about that & that it wouldn't somehow come back to bite me so I called the adjuster that was supposed to be there in a couple of days. He said sure, bend it. Get it to where you can open it.
I was still skeptical, so I took pics, wen back to the show & got a pry bar, jammed it in there, & bent it with as little damage as I could .... just in case. 'When the adjuster came, we discussed this again & said said it wasn't an issue. He said just take it t the shop & it'll all be fixed at one time. No problem.

So, my point is, his crappy insurance company told me I could actually cause more damage in this case. You son's insurance company wouldn't even let him "repair" some of the damage. I agree, some how that don't seem right.

 
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12-23-16, 04:40 AM   #10 (permalink)  
Second story... hitting a deer.

In the late 80's, I was coming home from work at 4 in the morning & hit a deer. I drove on home, called the insurance - State Farm - the next morning & told them I hit a deer. They said call a State trooper & ask him to write a report. I called a trooper, he came out, seen hair & a little blood on there, wrote out the report & insurance fixed the truck, no issues. But, I cant remember what part of my insurance paid for it. It was some kind of "no fault" something. It wasn't collision or uninsured... I cant remember. This was in Louisiana.

 
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12-23-16, 04:45 AM   #11 (permalink)  
He's only been with this insurance company for a couple years. The main reason he switched was to get away from the high risk policy the previous company didn't want to let go of. He's never had any other claims and as far as I know he hasn't had a ticket in 10 yrs or so.

Not sure what happened to the deer, it did run off but it was bound to have been injured. He already told the adjuster he'd just drive his other vehicle.


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