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Hit and Run: How to get a check for car repairs instead of having the car fixed?

procrastinator89procrastinator89 Posts: 43Registered User New Member
edited April 2010 in Parent Cafe
I was recently in a hit and run accident with a driver, who hit me once, then again, then speed off ( I think he was drugged or high). Anyways, I was so upset that I chased his car down the block for 20 minuetes before he ended up stopping at a red light (they have cameras) and I copied down his license plate number. He put two cereal bowl dents into my car, it’s actually very unsightly but not that bad.

I called my insurance company, who was able to track down the people that speed off via the license plate number that I got. I have Triple A.

Unfortunately, I am in a financial bind. I am really strapped for cash. A friend said that I could possibly take my car into a car repair shop (Toyota repair/dealership) to the cost to repair the damage estimated and then have the insurance company write my a check such that I could get it fixed myself. Of course, then instead of using that money to fix my car I would then use it to pay my personal stuff. So, I am leaving the two dents on my car unrepaired.

However, the insurance company has been really adamant about having me take my car into the shop and them paying the shop directly. Then, the insurance company would send one of their appraisal people to see the car and do post-inspection after the car is repaired but not before it leaves the shop.

Legally, aren’t I entitled to just having a check made out to me? After all, they did crash into my car!

Also, when I get my car appraised at the car repair shop, how do I make it seem as though I do intend to get my car fixed there?

Its so sketchy how the tyotoa repair shop on the phone won’t let me just get an estimate of the damage, they wanted my business and my instance company’s info. I just want them to do an appraisal and keep it at that. I mean, they are getting money to appraise the damage, even if I’m going to keep the check form the insurance company.
Post edited by procrastinator89 on

Replies to: Hit and Run: How to get a check for car repairs instead of having the car fixed?

  • bigtreesbigtrees Posts: 1,191User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    Have you asked your insurance company "Can you send me a check for the cost of repair?"

    If so, what did they say?

    If their answer is "no" then I don't think there is much you can do about it. If there answer is "yes but we need to have someone assess the damage" then you need to assess the damage.

    If you go to Toyota and say "please assess the cost of my repair" and they say "no", you take it someplace else. You will find someone who does repair estimates for free. Maybe not Toyota.

    Note that you really want the other guys insurance to pay you instead of your own. Your insurance probably has a deductible for hit and run, while the other guy's insurance will pay 100%. If he doesn't have insurance, then it would fall under your uninsurance/underinsurance and I don't know if there is a deductible for that.
  • patsmompatsmom Posts: 3,092Registered User Senior Member
    Its so sketchy how the tyotoa repair shop on the phone won’t let me just get an estimate of the damage, they wanted my business and my instance company’s info.

    Uh huh, and your plan isn't sketchy at all, right?
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 27,386Registered User Senior Member
    Of course, then instead of using that money to fix my car I would then use it to pay my personal stuff. So, I am leaving the two dents on my car unrepaired.

    However, the insurance company has been really adamant about having me take my car into the shop and them paying the shop directly. Then, the insurance company would send one of their appraisal people to see the car and do post-inspection after the car is repaired but not before it leaves the shop.

    Legally, aren’t I entitled to just having a check made out to me? After all, they did crash into my car!

    No, procrastinator, you don't get to use the unfortunate incident of a hit-and-run to get cash for your own personal use. The insurance is there to get your car repaired, not to give you cash for which you can decide whether or not to repair the car. You're trying to commit insurance fraud.

    If you have the license plate # of the other car -- you filed a police report, right?? Let your insurance company go after the other guy's insurance.
  • mazewanderermazewanderer Posts: 1,399Registered User Senior Member
    I am not sure that this is the right forum for this topic to begin with (may be parents cafe). That said, the reason that the insurance companies do not pay directly is for this precise reason, they want the money to used for repairs and not for anything else. People could buy an old car and have it damaged and pocket the money. Insurance premiums are high as it is and guess what will happen to insurance rates if the company directly gave the check to the owner. One could extend the logic and tell their health insurance company that they need heart surgery and ask the health insurance company pay patient directly.


    Also, Insurance companies get a discount, the price you pay retail is not the price that the insurance company pays. So that is why the dealer wants to know the insurance company name.

    And, no you are not entitled to a check. The insurance policy in most cases allows for the company to get it fixed and you cannot complain if that is what they do. You can complain if the quality of repairs is not up to the mark, but if they bring it back to a state similar to what it was before the accident, you have no case.
  • bigtreesbigtrees Posts: 1,191User Awaiting Email Confirmation Senior Member
    Pizzagirl, it's not insurance fraud. He had somebody damage the car and now he has filed a claim with the insurance company.

    Insurance fraud would be if he hit his car with a sledgehammer and pretended it was a hit and run driver.

    Insurance companies normally send checks rather than pay shops directly. I'm surprised they haven't in this case.
  • IzzieIzzie Posts: 426Registered User Member
    How is this insurance fraud? His car was damaged by a hit and run driver. Insurance fraud would be if he damaged his own car and then turned in a report that it had been a hit and run driver. We had our house broken into and some jewelry was stolen. I turned in a claim for the jewelry and the insurance company gave me a check for the value of the jewelry. I didn't replace the jewelry because I didn't want to. That's not insurance fraud. I've paid homeowner's insurance premiums for years and am entitled to reimbursement for the value of the jewelry. If he doesn't want to fix his car, he doesn't have to.

    My son backed into somebody's car and our insurance agent recommended we just pay the kid instead of turning in the claim. He gave us an estimate from a body shop and we wrote him a check for the cost of repairing the damage that my son caused. I don't care what he uses the money for. Our insurance company gave us a form for him to sign so that he wouldn't come back later and ask for more money.
  • MommaJMommaJ Posts: 4,713Registered User Senior Member
    I've never heard of this before, and I'm thinking it may be a special limitation for a hit and run claim, where there is no evidence to prove the damage wasn't inflicted by the policyholder as a scam. You may want to check your policy to see what it says on this subject. In most ordinary cases, at least in the states I've lived in, you just get a check and don't have to fix the car. There's nothing "fraudulent" whatsoever about that choice. (And if your handy uncle can bang out the dents for less than the body shop's estimate, you pocket the difference.)
  • barronsbarrons Posts: 23,789Registered User Senior Member
    If there are payments left on the car loan the lender wants to make sure the car they still own is in good shape. If you own it outright it seems you should get the cash but your policy could say otherwise for some of the good reasons above.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 33,551Registered User Senior Member
    The first thing you do ( for next time) when you are involved in an accident is call the police- not chase the other car.

    Staged accidents and the ins claims that follow are a national problem and it is likely the ins company is very wary.

    Calif. attorney accused of being ?conduit? for staged auto crash scam
  • ebeeeeeebeeeee Posts: 5,199Registered User Senior Member
    Ek, that was my first thought too. You think someone who has high on drugs hit your car so you chase the person down? A bit of a dangerous move. Next time call the police.
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