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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308394  
Subject: Re: Yea! Someone hit my car:) Date: 5/7/2002 1:40 PM
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Actually I've never even seen these neighbors before and don't know them from Adam. They are trying to offer me $4-500 instead of the full estimate amount. Maybe I'm a bitch, but I don't see why I should take less than I am entitled just for their sake, because I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do me any favors if I hit their nice Firebird. I live on a street of rental duplexes and people move in and out so much, I'm not too worried about what any of them think. Especially since I'm quite sure they wouldn't take $300 less if the shoe were on the other foot...

Again, maybe I'm a bitch, but I don't really think that these strangers who happen to live accross the street from me would do me the same "favor" if the roles were switched.


I've been meaning to chip in on this even before you wrote the above passage. I agreed with your course of action even before seeing the above information, and I don't think you're being a bitch. Why?

Someone offers to pay you directly because something bad will happen to them if they file a claim. Maybe it's a minor bad thing, like their insurance payment will go from "accident-free" to "one accident". In this case, they want to settle if they can pay about what they would be paying increased premiums. Maybe it's a bigger bad thing, like going from a "one or two accident" rate to a "three or more accident" rate. Maybe it's a hugely bad thing, like "one more accident and your insurance gets canceled."

It is not your problem to defend this other person's insurance rate. Further, the claim has already been filed. Their insurance rate may be going up even if you take their money instead of the insurance money. Worse, if you take their money they might be offended by a decision not to repair your car. That looks like a normal claim to the insurance company; it might look like blackmail to the neighbor. Don't go there. Take the insurance money.

The only exception I would make to this would be for a very long term friend or a family member, where you want to stay on good terms with this person and you already understand all the implications to them in the choice to take the informal payment instead of the insurance claim. Even then, I'd regard it as a question of whether I wanted to pursue the claim or tell my close friend/relative to just forget it because I wasn't going to fix the car. There's just too great a chance of hard feelings taking an informal settlement from an individual.

Patzer
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