What do I do I’m 19 and stressed over minor damage can you help me?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011

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Insurance Question from Fullerton, CA

Asked on 10/20/2011

What do I do I’m 19 and stressed over minor damage can you help me? A friend and I were at a stop light read to turn and he(not covered under my insurance) slowy released gas pedal and we created what looked to be a hole (size in diamter of a pencil) . Now these people seriously over exaggerated over the situation.we had decide to settle outside of the insurance because he was not covered. Low and behold they were saying it was going to cost $800 which I disagree and they said they found someone on the side that they knew would chargethem $500. Personally it seems like they just wanted money out of me. So I decided to call my insurance and make a claim

Answer given on October 21, 2011

It is never advisable to try to settle a claim outside of insurance, especially if there were occupants of the car that was struck. They can say there was a certain amount of damage and then come back asking for more money. They can also come back later and claim injuries.You should report the claim to your insurance agent or company and let them work out a settlement with the other party. They will investigate through your statement, your friend’s and the other parties. Since the accident involved your car, it is your insurance that will respond, no matter who was driving. Unless your friend was excluded, or you have a restricted policy, your policy will pay for the damages to the other car up to the limits of your policy. Because you were not the driver, your rates should not be affected. The insurance company may contact you about the friend, asking if he has insurance elsewhere. If he does not, they may want to exclude him as a driver, especially if he is in your household (roommate).

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