Insurance asking me to pay 40% of damage when my car was parked?
I live in a condo and the building has 5 parking spaces behind it. I own one of them. My car was parked how it should be parked. The person in the space next to me had someone staying at their place and was using their space. It is a very narrow alley that we have to back out of.
I was at work and the person who was using the space next to me hit my parked car. They hit it twice and caused damage to the side and back of my car. They left a note and they told the person that owns the space what happened. She Facebooked me that my car had been hit.
I worked with this person's insurance company, and had 2 estimates done. I sent them in and their insurance company sent me a check for 60% of the damage. Why only 60%? My car was parked in my space and I was at work. How can I be 40% at fault? This seems ridiculous. Is there anything I can do? I live in the Minnesota. Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Insurance asking me to pay 40% of damage when my car was parked?":
Sue (Minneapolis, Minnesota):
From the facts you present, the insurance company has made a mistake. There is no credible reason to be denied the full amount of money required to repair your car.
While you don't mention whether or not an insurance company claims adjuster came out to look at the damage to your car, we must presume one did (whether at your condo, workplace, at the insurance company's designated adjustment center, or at one or both of the body repair shops where your received the estimates).
It is likely the claims adjuster decided the amount required to repair your car was much less than the estimates you tendered. Moreover, the claims adjuster may have based his or her estimate on "after-market" parts instead of Original Equipment Manufactured "OEM" parts.
After market parts are of inferior quality. They are often made in China and other destinations known for producing cheap parts. After market parts and OEM parts often are initially difficult to discern. In many cases, they look like and act alike...but only at first. In time, their inferior quality often leads to breakdowns, faded paint, and more.
You have a right to OEM parts made by the original manufacturer of your car, or a manufacturer's designated agent. They are normally of high quality and meant to last a long time.
Call the body shops where you secured the estimates. Ask them if their estimate included OEM parts. Then contact the insurance company and demand the amount they are paying reflects the total costs of repairs using OEM parts. It's your right.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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