Question about Auto Claim Investigation

It sounds pretty normal. They’re just trying to make sure it isn’t fraud. A regular claims adjuster wouldn’t handle that. My guess is (if you have rental reimbursement) they will cover the rental once the confirm it’s not fraud. Gap insurance is usually most important for leases. You could notify them, but they won’t pay anything until the primary carrier makes a final decision.

These days very common for nobody to see the vehicle in person, unless the estimate comes back and you dispute the numbers they came up with.

Agree with above. They may have said, if fraud, they wont pay for the rental. But chances are in your favor. Be aware your policy may limit rental total days. Mine was 30 days.

These things usually have a strict regulated process. Far too soon to get an attorney.

The first time experiencing this is the worst. Most to learn.

File the claim with the gap insurer. The two insurance companies will work it out.

Not to add concern but depending on the company and adjuster there may be more questions coming. If she purchased the car in her name and the car was added to your policy (where she is presumably not the named insured) you have no insurable interest in the car and they could decline to cover the accident. From a strict standpoint the name on the title needs to match the named insured on the policy. Every company I have worked for would not have declined the loss but any check would come in your name (the named insured) and then you and your daughter would have to work that out but some can be real stictlers.

The other issue is the rental car. Typically rental car coverage is a benefit available to the named insured not to listed drivers. Just because she is listed as a driver does not mean she is entitled to rental car benefits. This can be easily navigated as you would rent the car and then list her as a driver but is something you want to attack at the beginning, not after a couple of weeks.

The gap coverage is another issue I don’t know how to answer. Gap coverage pays the difference between the total loss payment from your company and the outstanding loan balance. She really does not have a gap claim until she knows that the car is a total and how much her company is paying her. In a perfect world she will get more than her loan amount and not need the gap coverage but that rarely happens with new purchases.

Thank you all for your replies and thanks for letting me know there might be an issue with my daughter owning the car and having it on our policy even though she’s been listed as a driver since she started driving.

I didn’t even think you could do that, have your kid on your policy with her being the owner? My insurance won’t. But they wouldn’t have added it to your policy unless they thought YOU owned it? That never came up?

When out kids were younger and still on our policy, we owned the cars but they were the primary driver and insured on our policy.

I agree that for now, just wait it out and be persistent. Also I can’t imagine that you can apply for gap insurance now, with an accident claim pending. And of course, see if you even have rental car coverage on your policy…it’s not automatic.
We had a sticky auto insurance incident last spring, and I was told by our insurance that once we got an attorney involved, the insurance (or anyone) wouldn’t talk to us about it any more…everything would go through the attorney. You may not be ready to take that step yet, as it still could/should work in your favor, and it sounds as if you have the time and have all of the details anyway! Good luck. Also maybe your insurance agent can give you some advice…since you are the agent’s customer, presumably with more of a relationship, you might find that they will help you out more than the claims people or the 800 number.

I hope this all works out for you; and that you’ve “dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s.”

Your situation and the above comments has made me curious on our own car situations. My kid drives our car, but just moved out. I just chatted with our insurance: if car has a separate permanent address, it can’t be insured under our policy even if we own it. If car has a separate owner but is parked permanently at our address, it can be under our policy.

sorry about your situation; but by your posting it’s made me aware that kiddo needs to get his own insurance NOW! so thanks for starting this post. Good luck!

No, there were no questions about who owns the car when I added it to our policy. Our daughter still lives here but spends a lot of time at her boyfriend’s house. When our oldest daughter got married, I was told by the insurance company she could stay on our policy. She finally got on her husband’s policy about a year ago.

We don’t have an actual agent, unfortunately. I dug out our actual policy and we’ve been with the insurance company since 1991.

I would also suggest, if the boyfriend isn’t already on the Neighbor nextdoor app, that he join and ask neighbors if they have any outdoor cameras that might have caught the hit and run incident. Not only might that help to identify the driver/vehicle but also get the “investigation” resolved.

If nothing else comes up, you should really review your policy, coverage, and cost. That your insurance company does seem to cover what others do not might mean you are paying over the odds (insurance companies do NOT reward loyalty.)
As for the big picture, a lawyer for a 5K problem seems like a poor investment.

With your older daughter she could stay on your policy as a driver but being a driver does not make her an insured, an important distinction.

I often run into families where the adult child moves out and moves into the city (NY, Chicago, etc.) and does not have a car but remains a driver on the parents policy. This is great for the insurance company, they get the premium for a younger driver and any tickets or accidents that may appear on their record with very little actual risk as they do not drive but does nothing for the family. The child is covered any time they use the parents car as they are a permissive user no different than if you loaned your car to a neighbor. What they don’t get is uninsured motorist coverage, coverage when they rent a car, etc. This is critical for people in the city, should they be hit by a gypsy cab driver with no insurance they do not qualify for uninsured motorist coverage an important coverage that no one talks about.

Uninsured AND underinsured coverage are both very important but rarely mentioned. I have this on me, H and D. I hope S also has it.

@iaparent can you clarify? One of my sons has moved to a city and doesn’t have a car but occasionally borrows one of ours. He is listed as an occasional driver on our car insurance (and is over 25 now). We keep him on in case he needs to keep the car overnight or if he is driving other folks and so has liability insurance. Are you saying that if he lives elsewhere we don’t need to do that and if he borrows the car he would still be covered for any accident he has? But the benefit of keeping him on our insurance he is covered for uninsured motorist coverage?
What is the insurance coverage if you lend your car to someone? I have always wondered what your liability would be. I tend not to loan or borrow cars for that reason.
A friend’s dd had an accident not long ago that appears to be the fault of the other driver. It took a while for her to get the settlement and there is some kind of investigation as to shared fault.

Thanks for the additional responses. I agree an attorney isn’t worth it for the value of the car. I’m holding off for now. The claims adjuster hasn’t responded to our last few emails with additional information (they’ve asked for nothing but we’ve sent them information that should help them figure out this Isn’t fraud) so we’re just in limbo for who knows how long.

Daughter’s boyfriend joined Nextdoor but so far, no luck.

I filed public records requests for hit and run reports and DUI arrests in the area and daughter has been looking in the area for damaged cars.

We will be switching insurance companies once this is over.

If you let someone borrow your car and there is an accident then you are liable. At the same time, if the damage is big or if there is personal injury then they could also go after the driver.
If the cost of having your son as an occasion driver on your policy isn’t too much I would keep on it because it will give him additional protection when he is driving someone else’s car or when he is renting a car.
When I used to have cars, I didn’t let people drive my cars.

@mom2and I agree with Oldfort. My point is that listing a person as a driver on a policy does not make them an insured under the policy, an important distinction. Residents of your household should be listed as drivers as they have regular access to your cars, those that do not live with you do not have regular access and do not need to be listed. Listing them really just lets the company know who has regular access and the ability to track their driving record. Since your son does not live with you he does not have regular access to your car so the company does not care about his record. Any time he drives your car you are loaning it to him and your insurance will cover him as a permissive user.

My point was more about knowing the differences between being a listed driver and an insured. The insured has all of the rights granted in the policy while a driver is just that “a driver”. An individual can be both. For example a 17 year old child that lives with you is both a driver and an insured while the nanny that lives with you is just a listed driver. Some of the issues are around uninsured motorist coverage and replacement rental car coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage covers an insured 24/7 for any vehicle (car, bike, scooter, etc.) related accident but only covers a driver while they are driving your car. An example would be your nanny takes the kids for a bike ride and is hit by a hit and run driver. The coverage would apply to the kids but not the nanny as she is not an insured.

I often see this play out when young adults move out on their own (post college) but take the parents car with them. It is common for the parents to keep the car in the parents name and keep it on their insurance. It is less expensive and easier. The problem is, at this point the child is no longer an insured. When an accident happens and the young adult needs to rent a replacement car (if the policy provides for rental coverage) the insurance company is not obligated to pay for the rental changes unless the rental is in an insured’s name and the young adult is not an insured. This is easy when the young adult stays local but if they have moved a state or two away it gets much more challenging for mom or dad to rent the car.

We had some hassles with this when S was away at college but home for the summer. He drove my car and hit a motorcycle. Fortunately no one was hurt but cycle was totaled. Our insurer had said there was no need to have S on the policy (and our agent wouldn’t add him even after I informed him that S had obtained license), but after the accident insurer gave me grief because S wasn’t on policy, but ultimately paid.

I switched policies when renewal time came around. I got our independent insurance agent to get me a carrier who would work with me/us. It’s a local company and we’ve been very happy with them. The premiums were lower than former insurer as well.