Letter: Does anybody know what options I have on the table for this?

My wife was in a rear end accident in Jackson on March 10th. I called my own insurance to file the claim, they said the better option was to go with the other party’s insurance, otherwise I risk my premiums going up. So I called the other party’s insurance which is NJM, and opened the claim. The police report was sent to them, which shows their insured was clearly at fault. In the meantime, the car was brought to the auto shop and I took out a rental that the insurance is supposed to cover.

NJM told me, because they were never able to reach the insured to go over the accident with them, they can not approve the rental, or the repairs. I think it is clear that the elderly lady who hit my wife is intentionally ignoring their calls and letters. I asked them, assuming you never get in touch with her, when will you establish the liability. They said “then we go through legal, which after our final attempt to reach our insured would take 4-6 weeks. until then, they can not and will not approve repairs and the rental. The rental company called and said they will be charging me, since the insurance never called them yet.

What am I supposed to do? I know nothing of this industry.

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  1. Call your insurance company back and request that they handle the claim. Your insurance can accept the claim and subrogate to her insurance later. Nonsense about premiums going way up if not your fault. Maybe a handful of dollars per month. Clearly your insurance company doesn’t want the administration of an accident if they can avoid it. In this case though you need to stop spinning your wheels and get things fixed.

    • Hopefully, you have collision coverage. If not, that’s the reason your insurance company agent said to file with NJM. As others wrote here, small claims court may be the way to go. Also file a complaint with NJ DOBI – Department of Banking and Insurance.. it’s their department and they take it seriously. Do get the police report corrected to verify that it was your wife’s car that was rear-ended. Tzdaka and tefila are always helpful

  2. Go thru your own insurance. If you’re not at fault there should be no impact to your premiums. You just have to be sure you pay for rental coverage ( you probably just have the minimum so be aware of what you rent and for how long). Your insurance will then go and get reimbursement and you should get reimbursed for your deductible as well. (I did this with Allstate)

  3. Not sure which body shop you are using, but they should be able to help you navigate this. (Assuming they are competent)

    If not I can suggest the right body shop to go to.

  4. first thing you need to do is change your insurance company!! YOUR insurance should be handling this. Initially they will pay you from your policy (less the deductible). They will then make a claim against the guilty driver’s insurance. When their claim is paid, you will get back your deductible. Check your rental car coverage. It is probably limited to $30-$50/day for 30 days. Most rental companies give a special deal for
    auto accident renters. Hatzlocha!

  5. On a side not:
    The picture you provided of the police report seems to indicate that Vehicle #1 had rear end damage (meaning your car) and later it states driver #1 is at fault (meaning you).
    So unless the police report lists you as Driver #2 (towards the top of the report)……….

    • Thanks for pointing this out. Only part the crash description is shown here. I checked and it looks like the officer made a mistake and meant to write vehicle 1 sustained minor damage to the front…

  6. A Not At Fault accident will certainly increase your insurance premium at renewal. If you can wait it out, that would be your best option. by not going through your own insurance carrier. you wouldn’t have to pay out your deductible and it will never show up on your driving history unless you have medical bills from the accident.

  7. Agree go thru your own insurance.
    However I had a similar experience and my insurance never got the other insurance to pay for the car rental while my car was in the shop. My insurance didn’t cover rental so had to pay it on my own. So I’d suggest limiting the rental time as much as possible.

  8. Before contacting your insurance company, make sure the police report is correct. It says that driver 1 was at fault. Based on the damage to vehicle 1 which was rear ended, was your wife driver 1 and therefore at fault? This might explain why NJM is ignoring you.

  9. The reason you pay insurance is so they cover you when you need to make significant repairs. While the premium may go up a bit by going through your insurance, they will pay you in a timely fashion. They will then contact the insurance company of the person at fault in the incident and demand reimbursement.
    Using the police report its very simple for your insurance company to get their money.

    The other party’s insurance is making you crazy so they don’t have pay up.

  10. I had the same thing happen i went through my insurance and they took care of suing the other insurance so they can get reimbursed. any good insurance company will have your back

  11. if it wasn’t your wife’s fault then your insurance shouldn’t go up and your insurance company should handle it, that’s why you pay them.

  12. You might be confusing your agent with the insurance company. The agent would much rather you go through the other carrier. Do NOT do that in this case, in which you don’t know the other party. Call the number on you insurance ID cards and file a claim.

  13. To work around the possibility of higher insurance premiums. U should switch your insurance ASAP before the accident gets on the public record. Buy a One year policy. Thus way u lock in the current rate for a year. Next year at renewal it may catch up with u. But since it is a year later after the accident, the raise if any should not be significant.

  14. Also u probably can set up the new insurance company ASAP, this way u lock in the rate. However the effective date can be a few weeks out. This way it will be more than a year when u renew. (Sometimes u get a better rate anyway when u don’t start the policy, till a few weeks out) ask your agent.

  15. You can call the NJ Dept. of Banking and Insurance to file a complaint against the insurance company of the person who rear-ended you. I have found them to be very helpful. Their number is 800.446.7467


  16. I have asked the body shop I was using to handle insurance and rental cars in the past.
    They take the risks in their shoulders and have a lot of experience as well

  17. Everyone gave good ideas, but I would like to discuss a different topic regarding accidents.

    Once we are on this topic, I want to discuss fixing a damaged car from an accident.

    Never fix your car from an accident before the insurance company paying for it sees the damage, or else they won’t reimburse you for everything because they don’t know, or make like they don’t know how much the actual damage from the accident was. They don’t want to pay out a large sum of money.

    Also, when you call up your insurance company that you were in an accident, sometimes they will say, leave it by your house or bring it to their shop, and we will come down to look at it.


    They do that because they want to get away with paying for everything that was damaged, and if you leave it by your house or take it to one of their shops, your chances of getting everything fixed are almost ZERO!!!!

    Take it from me; I learned the hard way!!!

    Hatzlocha on getting your money back.

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