Category Archives: Insurance

What Is Umbrella Insurance? Is It Worth the Cost?

What Is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is an additional insurance policy that provides liability coverage above the liability coverage limit of your underlying (basic) insurance policies, such as homeowner’s or apartment renter’s, vacation home, automobile, motorcycle, boat insurance, etc.

Umbrella insurance coverage is for people who need additional protection against an insurance claim or lawsuit.

colorful umbrellas in the sky signifying umbrella insurance over underlying insurance

Who Can Buy Umbrella Insurance?

Both individuals and corporations can buy umbrella insurance, but this article will discuss umbrella insurance in the context of an individual interested in purchasing umbrella coverage.

Note: We do not sell insurance. I am a personal injury lawyer and Founding Partner at 1-800-HURT-911®.

How Does an Umbrella Insurance Policy Work?

When you buy an insurance policy for your car or home, you can also buy umbrella insurance.

If a claim or lawsuit is filed against you, your underlying auto or home insurance will handle the claim. If a lawsuit is filed, your underlying auto or home insurance will assign a defense lawyer to represent you.

Your umbrella insurance company will also assign a claims representative to oversee the claim’s progression and, if a lawsuit is filed, will also assign a defense lawyer to represent you. The defense lawyers who work for umbrella insurance companies are usually better lawyers and have smaller caseloads than the first-line defense lawyers.

Your umbrella insurance policy will provide additional coverage and pay any settlement or judgment amount that is more than your underlying auto or home insurance liability limit and only if 100% of your underlying auto or home insurance liability limit has been paid.

An umbrella insurance policy may also provide coverage for claims like libel or slander that may not be covered by your other insurance liability policies.

For information about the different types of automobile and motorcycle insurance coverages, see our motorcycle insurance guide.

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What Does Umbrella Insurance Protect?

Umbrella insurance will protect your net worth, which includes your income and personal assets.

Personal assets include what most people understand, such as a house. If you own a corporation, your corporation is not a personal asset, but the shares you own in the corporation are a personal asset.

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Umbrella insurance coverage will protect you against a lawsuit filed against you for an injury or property damage you cause to someone else because of your negligence.

The types of accidents or claims most frequently covered by umbrella insurance are car accidents, slip and fall or trip and fall accidents at your house, and dog bites.

What Is Not Covered By Umbrella Insurance?

What Does Umbrella Insurance Pay For?

Umbrella insurance will pay for the following:

  1. A claims representative to handle the claim against you, whether successful or not. The claims representative will oversee the claims handling by the underlying carrier and will take over claims handling if the underlying carrier offers to pay the entire policy.
  2. Legal fees of defense attorneys to defend a personal injury claim against you, whether successful or not.
  3. A settlement, up to the limit of your umbrella insurance policy, of a successful claim against you for injuries you caused because of negligence.
  4. A judgment, up to the limit of your umbrella insurance policy, against you after trial for injuries you caused because of negligence.

An overlooked but vitally important benefit is that you will be provided a defense lawyer by your umbrella insurance company at their expense. The cost of that defense could be astronomical.

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What Happens if a Claim Is Settled by the Umbrella Insurance Company?

If the claimant or plaintiff accepts a settlement offer, your insurance company will require the claimant or plaintiff to sign a general release, releasing you from any further obligation.

Your insurance company has a contractual obligation to protect you, which is why a release is required before paying a settlement.

What if a Judgment Is Obtained Against Me?

If the plaintiff obtains a verdict against you after a trial, the plaintiff will usually settle with your insurance company for an amount within your insurance policy limit or umbrella insurance policy limit. If a settlement cannot be reached, an appeal may be filed by either side.

If the judgment is settled, your insurance company will require the plaintiff to sign a general release.

If the judgment is not settled, the appeal will go forward. If the judgment is upheld or increased by the appellate court, hopefully, the amount is less than your umbrella insurance policy limit.

If I’m Sued, Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Find My Assets?

Yes, very easily. We pay a fee to use a database that even the FBI uses.

In just a couple of minutes, we can find all your real estate, mortgages, cars, boats, and planes anywhere in the U.S. A report will also give us all of your personal information, business information, known associates, relatives, and neighbors.

We can also find all insurance policies that someone has which can cover our client’s injuries caused by the accident.

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Can You Buy Umbrella Insurance Without Underlying Insurance?

No. You cannot buy umbrella insurance without an underlying (basic) insurance policy. You will be required to have minimum liability limits on the underlying insurance policy. Different umbrella insurance policies require different minimum liability limits.

For instance, you may be required to have $300,000 or $500,000 liability insurance coverage on your automobile policy. The minimum liability limits required on the underlying insurance policy are determined by the company selling the umbrella insurance.

How Much Does Umbrella Insurance Cost?

The premium cost of an umbrella insurance policy is generally $200 to $350 per year for a $1 million umbrella policy. For each additional $1 million purchased, the cost is approximately $100 to $200 per million of coverage.

You can buy an umbrella insurance policy from the same company as your automobile or homeowner’s insurance company, or you can buy it from another insurance company. This means that you can shop around for the best coverage at the lowest premium cost.

What Are the Best Umbrella Insurance Companies?

We always recommend that you buy insurance from an independent insurance broker, never directly from an insurance company or from an insurance company agent. People who buy directly from an insurance company often make mistakes. Insurance company agents are only salespeople and are not required to give you advice.

An independent insurance broker does not work for only one insurance company but is licensed to sell insurance policies from several different insurance companies. An insurance broker represents you, while an insurance agent works for an insurance company.

With umbrella insurance, it’s really important to buy from an independent broker because only an independent broker:

  1. Will take the time to review your specific needs to determine how much umbrella insurance you need for the protection you want and can afford.
  2. Can shop for the best coverage at the best premium cost for you.
  3. Represents you.
  4. Has a legal responsibility to give you the correct advice.
  5. Will not cost you any additional money.

How can you find an independent insurance broker? You can try one of these searches on Google or click the first link below to search:

  • independent insurance brokers near me
  • “independent insurance brokers in my city or county (replace my city or county like this, “independent insurance brokers in Nassau”)
  • “independent insurance brokers in my state” (replace my state like this, “independent insurance brokers in new york”)

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Are Umbrella Insurance Policies a Good Idea?

Umbrella insurance is definitely worth the cost of the premium if, either, you own a house, have assets of $500,000 or more, or have an income of $150,000 or more.

Not only will umbrella insurance protect your money and assets, but you can sleep well without having to worry about paying $400 per hour for lawyers to defend a personal injury lawsuit.

Should I Buy Umbrella Insurance?

If you have income or assets to protect, you should buy umbrella insurance.

If you don’t own a home, apartment, or other assets and earn less than $50,000 per year, you don’t need to buy umbrella insurance. If you own a car and want additional liability insurance coverage or don’t want to worry about a personal injury lawsuit against you, consider buying higher limits on your auto insurance.

Some people have more risk than others. The following are some things that create more risk if you own any of these:

  • House or apartment
  • Car
  • Motorcycle
  • Boat
  • Dog, or
  • Gun.

if you have a higher risk, you may be more interested in buying umbrella insurance, but I recommend looking only at your financial situation when considering whether to buy or not because I have seen many serious accidents when the risk was low.

How Much Umbrella Insurance Do I Need?

You can determine the exact amount of your assets that could be at risk or use a ballpark number.

You could use only the equity you have in your house instead of the gross value of your house, but remember that your house will increase in value, and the amount due on your mortgage will decrease.

Money in employer-sponsored retirement accounts (e.g., 401(k) or 403(b) accounts) and up to $1 million in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are generally protected from civil liability judgments under the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). So, you could exclude those amounts from your computations to decide how much umbrella insurance to buy.

So after you decide how much net worth you have to protect, you should buy at least 75% of that amount, but it would be best to buy 100% or even more in the event you accumulate more money.

Even a $1 million umbrella insurance policy is better than nothing and will cover most accidents. Don’t forget, $1 million is not that much money anymore. We got a $465,000 jury verdict for a motorcyclist for a torn meniscus with arthroscopic surgery in his knee. See some examples of what injuries can be worth.

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What’s the Difference Between Umbrella and Excess Insurance?

Umbrella insurance provides additional liability limits but also expands coverage to other policies and some incidents not covered by an underlying policy. Umbrella insurance is the type typically purchased by an individual.

Excess insurance provides additional liability limits to an underlying policy but does not extend coverage beyond the underlying policy. An excess liability insurance policy is typically purchased by a business, but businesses may purchase umbrella insurance.

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Does Umbrella Insurance Cover a Private Plane or Aircraft?

Umbrella insurance policies exclude aviation and do not cover private planes, helicopters, or other aircraft.

What can you do if you own a plane or helicopter and want additional insurance coverage for liability?

  • Increase your liability coverage on your aircraft insurance policy.
  • Purchase a separate excess liability policy (mentioned above). This is one of the situations when someone would buy an excess liability insurance policy instead of an umbrella insurance policy.

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Beware of a Gap Between Underlying Insurance and Umbrella Insurance

There are a few situations that can cause a gap in coverage when the maximum liability limit of your underlying insurance, such as your car insurance, is less than that required by your umbrella insurance.

If you are sued when you inadvertently had a gap in coverage, personal injury lawyers like us will seek a judgment against your umbrella insurance, and that will make you responsible to pay the amount of the gap.

Example 1: You buy a $1M umbrella policy, which renews annually, and you increase your auto liability to the required $300,000 single-limit liability coverage. Six months later, when your auto insurance renews, you decide to lower your auto policy to $100,000/$300,000 to save some money or change to another company and buy a $100,000 /$300,000 auto liability policy. But your umbrella insurance is still in force because you paid an annual premium. If you are negligent in causing a car accident injuring our client, you can be responsible for the first $300,000! It’s guaranteed that a personal injury lawyer will sue you because you have a $1M umbrella policy.

Example 2: You own a house and buy a $1M umbrella policy. When you miss a premium payment on your home insurance policy with $500,000 liability coverage, your mortgage bank replaces your home insurance policy with a fire insurance policy that does not have coverage for liability (the bank only cares if your house burns down). A guest trips on a hose you left across your front entrance and sues you for injuries. But your umbrella insurance is still in force because you paid an annual premium. If you are negligent in causing a trip and fall accident injuring our client, you can be responsible for the first $500,000!

Tips to prevent a gap:

  • Buy all your insurance policies through the same insurance broker.
  • Have the same expiration date for your umbrella policy and the underlying policies.
  • Make sure that your umbrella insurance company is notified by your underlying policies of any change.

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
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What Happens When You Withdraw an Insurance Claim?

There are many different types of insurance claims against many different types of insurance, and this article cannot address what happens when you withdraw an insurance claim for all types of insurance claims, policies, and facts. But will, in general, discuss what happens when you withdraw an insurance claim and what you should know.

First, we’ll look at what happens before you can withdraw an insurance claim and who can withdraw an insurance claim.

Personal injury claim - How to withdraw an insurance claim

How Is an Insurance Claim Filed?

As soon as you call your insurance company or agent to report a potential claim, the insurance claim is made, and a claim number will be generated.

TIP: If you don’t get a claim number when you call, make sure to follow up within a day to get the claim number. We advise people to obtain an insurance claim number because it proves the claim was filed.

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Who Can File an Insurance Claim?

  • An insured can file an insurance claim.
  • Anyone who suffered a loss because of an insured can also file an insurance claim against the insured’s policy without the permission of the insured.

When Can You Withdraw an Insurance Claim?

The most common time that an insured wants to withdraw an insurance claim is very soon after the claim is reported. Soon after a claim is reported, the insurance company will probably not have done much to investigate the claim, and no money will have been paid.

If the insurance company has investigated the claim, it will likely still be on your record and can affect your premium even if you withdraw your claim, and no money was paid to you. However, it is possible that it will not affect your premium if no money was paid to you.

If the insurance company has paid money to you, it may be possible to withdraw the insurance claim, but you would have to pay the money back, and your premium would likely go up anyway.

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How Can I Find Out if an Insurance Claim Will Affect My Premium?

You will never be able to determine in advance whether an insurance claim will affect your premium because only the insurance company underwriters can answer that question and different insurance companies use different guidelines to determine risk and premium.

The only way to find out if an insurance claim will affect your premium is when you get the first premium invoice after you file your claim or after the claim has been closed.

Filing an insurance claim will not necessarily increase your premium. Even if your insurance company pays money for a claim, your premium will not necessarily increase.

My father fell in my house and was injured when he tripped on a toolbox left on the step in my garage. I called a friend of mine who is a personal injury lawyer for trip and fall accidents and told him to call my father and sue me. My insurance company settled and paid $60,000. But my insurance company never increased my premium, and I still use the same insurance company.

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Who Can Withdraw an Insurance Claim?

Only the person who filed an insurance claim can withdraw an insurance claim.

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Can You Withdraw an Insurance Claim?

If you filed an insurance claim for an accident or incident in which you are the only person who could benefit from the claim, and no one else has filed a claim, you could withdraw an insurance claim.

Examples of When You Can Withdraw an Insurance Claim

  • You reported to your insurance company that your roof leaked but then found out it was minor damage that you did not want to claim. This happened in my house. I had a leak from ice damming, which damaged the walls in my living room and family room, but I found someone to repair the damage for only $600, so I did not want to make an insurance claim.
  • Someone hit your new car in a parking lot, and you called your insurance company to report someone hit your car. After you went to your body shop, you found that it would only cost you $600 to repair, and you don’t want to make a claim for $600.

I don’t report auto damage claims on my car unless it’s $3,000 or more or if anyone may have been injured. You should always report an accident if anyone were in any car involved in the accident. If you came out of a store to find that someone hit your parked car, you do not need to file a claim if you don’t think the cost of repair is enough to justify making a claim.

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When Can’t You Withdraw an Insurance Claim?

  • If anyone else filed the claim, you cannot withdraw the insurance claim.
  • Some insurance claims are regulated by New York State law, such as a No-fault insurance claim. New York State law states that No-fault insurance is primary. Therefore, you cannot withdraw a No-fault insurance claim because you want to submit medical bills to your health insurance or Medicare instead.
  • If you fraudulently file an insurance claim, you have already committed a crime, even if you are able to withdraw it. Even if you withdraw the claim, the insurance company’s SIU (Special Investigative Unit) may still investigate and report it to the police.

Note: If someone else was injured or suffered property damage, that person, company, or government agency could file an insurance claim against your policy without your permission, and you cannot withdraw the insurance claim.

For instance, if you had a car accident and the other driver files a claim against your insurance for either personal injury or property damage, you cannot withdraw the insurance claim even if you believe it was the fault of the other driver, that the other driver wasn’t injured, and there was no damage to the other driver’s car.

What is Insurance Fraud?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners provides the following definition of insurance fraud, “Insurance fraud occurs when an insurance company, agent, adjuster or consumer commits a deliberate deception in order to obtain an illegitimate gain. It can occur during the process of buying, using, selling, or underwriting insurance.” It should be noted that the term “using” includes filing an insurance claim.

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Should I Withdraw an Insurance Claim?

Probably not, once it has already been filed. There are substantial benefits that you receive when you file an insurance claim. Once an insurance claim is filed, it’s already on your record, so if the insurance claim would have increased your premium, it will likely increase anyway, even if you withdraw your insurance claim.

What Benefits Do You Get When an Insurance Claim is Filed?

Some of the valuable benefits you will get when you file an insurance claim are the following:

  • Free claims handling by a professional insurance claims representative who is trained to spot fraudulent claims and minimize your financial exposure.
  • Free legal representation by an insurance claim defense lawyer.
  • Indemnification – If a claimant is entitled to be paid, your insurance company will pay the claim, so you don’t have to.
  • If you’re the claimant, you will likely receive more money than a premium increase will cost you. Additionally, it should be noted that your premium may not increase just because you filed a claim.
  • Usually, the money you receive from an insurance claim is not taxable.

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What Are the Reasons I Would Want to Withdraw an Insurance Claim?

  • To prevent a premium increase.
  • You are concerned that you may be committing insurance fraud.

What Happens When You Withdraw an Insurance Claim

  • Your insurance company will not send you a check to reimburse you for your loss.
  • Your accident or incident will stay on your insurance record.
  • It’s possible that your insurance company may increase your insurance premium anyway.
  • You will not receive free claims handling
  • You will not receive free legal representation
  • You will not receive

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How Do You Withdraw an Insurance Claim?

You can cancel or withdraw an insurance claim by calling your insurance broker or insurance company.

NOTE: One of the many advantages of buying insurance from an insurance broker is that you may be able to cancel an insurance claim without it affecting your premium if it’s still early and you call your insurance broker to cancel.

You may be able to withdraw an insurance claim even if you already received the money if you return the check or the money to your insurance company, but you will have to find out from your insurance company if you will be allowed to do that.

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How Do You Find Out What Insurance Claims Are On Your Record?

Once you file an insurance claim, it goes on your record. But it doesn’t just go on your record at your insurance company. It will go on your insurance record that is available to all insurance companies on an insurance claims report that is similar to a credit report. See how to find out what claims are on your insurance claims report.

Can You Withdraw an Insurance Claim Against Someone Else’s Insurance?

Yes. There are three reasons you may want to withdraw an insurance claim you filed against someone else’s insurance policy:

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Lawyers "As Seen On TV" ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, , WOR, WPIX logos

Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!
We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

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How to Use an Insurance App-5 Things to Know & 3 Mistakes to Avoid 2024

I get a lot of people asking how to use an insurance app, whether it’s Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, or another car insurance app.

But before you use a car insurance app, you need to find out the pros and cons of an insurance app, what to do when using it, whether you even want to use it at all, and what alternatives there are.

How to use an insurance app at a car dealer

Why You Shouldn’t Use an Insurance App to Buy Insurance or File a Claim

If you’re not an insurance agent or an expert on car insurance, you shouldn’t use a car insurance app.

You probably don’t even know very much about car insurance. When you use a car insurance app or auto insurance app to buy insurance, you’ll be guessing what you need.

People often make costly mistakes when purchasing insurance directly from an insurance company like GEICO or Progressive. But when using an insurance app it’s even easier to make a mistake.

Find out why you should never use a car insurance app to file a claim or upload auto damage photos.

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What Kind of Mistakes Can You Make When Using a Car Insurance App?

We have seen people who thought they purchased collision, fire, and theft coverage when they had not.

People Who Thought They Bought Collision, Fire, and Theft Coverage

We have had several clients in motorcycle accidents who made costly mistakes when they purchased motorcycle insurance on an insurance app. They all purchased brand-new motorcycles with a bank loan. When their brand-new motorcycles were totaled in the accidents, they discovered they had no collision coverage. They owed the bank a lot of money for their brand-new motorcycles which were totaled.

People Who Thought They Bought Underinsured and Uninsured Coverage

We have also seen people who thought they purchased underinsured and uninsured coverage when they had not. Later, when they were injured by someone who had minimum insurance coverage, they found out they couldn’t get the amount of money they should have. See what injuries are worth.

People Who Failed to Buy Additional PIP or No-Fault Coverage

Another costly mistake that is easy to make on an insurance app is not buying additional PIP or no-fault coverage. When you’re admitted to a hospital, your bills can easily be $35,000 to $150,000. If you don’t have enough PIP or no-fault coverage, you can have numerous problems.

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How People Make Mistakes When Using a Car Insurance App

When you call a car insurance company directly to buy auto insurance, the person you’re speaking to on the phone can answer your questions and even give you advice.

However, a salesperson is not an insurance agent. Salespeople are not required to give you advice and are not qualified to give advice about which types of car and motorcycle insurance coverage you need.

When you use a car insurance app you will likely go through it quickly clicking off what you think you need and not realizing what mistakes you may have made.

Calling an insurance company directly is better than using a car insurance app but not the best idea either.

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What Is the Best Alternative to Using a Car Insurance App?

The worst way to buy insurance is by using a car insurance app.

The second worst way to buy car insurance is to call an insurance company directly.

The best way to buy car insurance is to call an independent insurance agent. Calling an insurance agent for a company like Allstate or State Farm is okay, but you should avoid calling an insurance company directly. Companies like GEICO and Progressive have call centers where you will only speak with a salesperson.

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So How Do You Use an Insurance App?

Don’t! Unfortunately, we can’t tell you how to use an insurance app because they are all different and, besides, we recommend that you avoid mistakes when buying insurance with an insurance app and call an independent insurance agent.

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You might also be interested in reading:

Should I Use An Insurance Estimate App To Send a Photo of My Car Damage?
Do’s & Don’ts of what you should do after a car accident
Do I have to notify my insurance company when I have an accident, but there was very little damage to my car?
See how you can get screwed by your insurance company when replacing a windshield on a leased car.
See more answers to FAQs

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

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—Lia Fisse

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What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

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Can I Accept and Deposit an Insurance Settlement Check for Collision Damage to My Car?

Q. Can you accept and deposit a check for collision damage from your own insurance company?

If your car was damaged and you filed a claim with your own insurance company for collision damage, you can deposit the check from your insurance company.

It is not a settlement when you receive a check from your own insurance company for collision damage. If your body shop later finds additional damage, your insurance company will pay to repair the additional damage.

Q. Can you accept and deposit a check for collision damage from someone else’s insurance company?

If you receive a check from someone else’s insurance company for collision damage or anything else, it is a final settlement and you will not be able to get more money later.

If you are represented by a lawyer for your injury, do not file a claim against someone else’s insurance company for collision damage, and never sign a release without speaking to your lawyer.

If you were injured and do not have a lawyer yet, do not sign a release and call a personal injury lawyer immediately.

If you were not injured, you can sign a release that only releases claims for property damage and not bodily injury.

If you were not injured, and the accident was the fault of another driver, you can file a claim with the other car’s insurance company for collision damage, but you must be very careful.

If the other driver’s insurance company offers to pay you for the damage to your car, their insurance company may require you to sign a release before they send you a check. You should have the release reviewed by a lawyer. Never sign a release unless it states, “This release does not release any claims for personal injury.”

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Should You File a Claim With the Other Driver’s Insurance?

If you only had minor damage to your car without an injury, you might not have a personal injury lawyer and may wonder if you should sue the other driver or use your own insurance.

If you file a lawsuit against the other driver, that driver’s insurance company will require you to sign a release before they will issue a settlement check to you. The release will prevent you from getting more money if you find further damage to your car. Body shops frequently find more damage after they begin working on your car. Never sign a release that includes injuries.

If you have collision damage coverage, your insurance company will not require you to sign a release. We always recommend using your own collision damage coverage.

Can I Negotiate With the Other Driver’s Insurance?

There are two times you may consider filing a claim for property damage or collision damage with the other driver’s insurance company:

  1. You did not have collision damage coverage on your insurance policy.
  2. You have collision damage coverage on your insurance policy, but the other driver was 100% at fault, and you don’t want to make a claim on your own insurance policy.

The owner of this car did accept an insurance settlement offer for collision damage caused by a truck in an accident

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When You Did Not Have Collision Coverage

If you did not have collision damage coverage on your insurance policy, you have no choice but to settle with the other driver’s insurance company if you want to get reimbursed for the damage. But find out below what you need to do.

Should I Sign a Release for Collision Damage?

Insurance companies in New York do not always require you to sign a release for collision damage. If you are not asked to sign a release for collision damage, you can accept a check as payment for the damage to your car and deposit the check without a problem.

If you do not sign a release, you can submit proof of additional damage if your body shop finds additional damage and receive more money to repair your car.

If you signed a property damage release, you will not be able to get more money if your body shop finds additional damage after starting work on your car.

The Release Must Be for Property Damage Only

If the other driver’s insurance company wants you to sign a release, you must make sure that the release states it is for property damage only. If the release is a general release, it will include injuries and prevent you from filing a claim for injuries.

It’s best not to sign a property damage release without having it reviewed by an attorney. If you already retained a personal injury lawyer, do not sign a property damage release without the knowledge of your lawyer.

If you were injured and have not yet retained a personal injury lawyer, call us for a free consultation, and we will be happy to discuss the release and review it with you for free.

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Founding Partner Attorney Rob PlevyInjured? Call 1-800-HURT-911® New York’s Personal Injury
Dream Team™ right now for your free consultation!

We’ll call you back within minutes!
1-800-487-8911

Call to get your Free Consultation Right Now button

click to chat button to get your free consultation right now

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See how Nyda got a new house! What will you do with your settlement money?

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When You Were Injured, But the Other Driver Was 100% at Fault, and You Don’t Want to File a Claim against Your Insurance Company

If you were injured in New York and have collision coverage, it’s best to go through your collision coverage. The claim will likely have no effect on your insurance premium because you will also have a no-fault claim against your insurance policy.

If you still don’t want to use your collision coverage and you will get 100% of the damage paid by the other car’s insurance, you can settle the collision damage claim against the other driver’s insurance. But if the other driver’s insurance company wants you to sign a release, make sure to have your personal injury lawyer review the release.

Tip: Ask your personal injury lawyer to take care of your collision damage claim against the other driver’s insurance because if you do it, the insurance company will get a statement from you. See why you should not give a statement to the insurance company.

Beware of Signing a General Release

We represented a client for injuries who thought she was signing a release to settle the collision damage claim on her car. The woman represented herself for damage to her car, signed a general release, and received a check for the damage to her car.

Later, when her injury started getting worse, she called us to represent her, for her injury.

When we sent a claim letter to the insurance company, the insurance company denied our claim for her injury because she already signed a general release for property damage and injuries.

We claimed the insurance company committed fraud and successfully had the release voided.

Don’t let the insurance company trick you into signing a release. Call us for a free consultation.

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Why Should I Use My Collision Coverage Instead of Filing a Claim with the Other Drivers Insurance?

You have a number of benefits when you file a collision damage claim with your own insurance company. Your insurance company has legal and contractual obligations to you. Someone else’s insurance company does not have any contractual obligations to you.

When you file a collision damage claim with your insurance company, the insurance company has an obligation to quickly inspect your car and pay the money to repair your car. Someone else’s insurance company can take their sweet time while you’re getting impatient.

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Can I Keep the Money from the Insurance Company, or Do I have To Repair or Fix My Car?

You have no obligation to fix or repair your car when you get paid either from your own collision damage coverage or another driver’s insurance policy.

The money is to reimburse you for the loss you sustained, which is the diminished value of your car. You can do whatever you want with the money. If you sell your car to someone else and did not fix your car, it is now worth less than it was before the accident.

However, you should take photos of the damage and make sure you can document exactly what was damaged in case your car is in another accident and additional damage is caused. You will only be able to recover money for the additional damage.

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Related Articles

Can I Sue for Injury If There Was No Damage to the Car?

What type of attorney do I need if someone damaged my property or building?

Can I Settle My Own Accident Case Without a Lawyer?

See more answers to FAQs

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!
We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

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Comments About, Can I Accept an Insurance Settlement Offer for Collision Damage?

Will My Insurance Go Up If My Friend, Spouse, or Relative Sues Me?

Angry woman thinking her insurance premium will go up if her friend files a lawsuit

If I sue my husband, wife, or friend, will their insurance premium go up?

Insurance companies cannot raise insurance premiums in New York for some accident claims against a family member, relative, or spouse, but insurance premiums can go up with other claims.

Just because a premium can be increased doesn’t mean it will go up.

Even if you don’t file a claim, the insurance premium may still go up.

For many reasons stated in this article, it never makes sense to decide whether to file a claim or not because of the concern that the insurance premium may go up.

It’s not always possible to answer the question, “Will my insurance premium go up?” Every insurance company and insurance policy is different, and underwriting decisions are company secrets. However, an educated guess is possible – keep reading!

When the Insurance Company Cannot Increase Your Relative’s Premium

If you are injured in a hit-run accident, pedestrian accident, or bicycle accident and live with a relative who owns a car, you can file an uninsured claim against your relative’s car insurance, and their premium cannot be raised.

The New York State Department of Finance Office of General Counsel issued an opinion that your family member or relative’s insurance company is NOT allowed to increase their insurance premium if you file an uninsured claim because they weren’t at fault.

If you were injured in a car accident and live with a relative who owns a car with more insurance than the car that caused your injury, you can get more money by filing an underinsured claim with your relative’s insurance company. Again, your relative’s insurance company can NOT increase your relative’s insurance policy premium if you file a claim!

When Can the Insurance Company Increase My Relative’s Premium?

If your friend or relative was driving their car and was negligent for causing the car accident and your injury, you could file a liability claim, and their premium could be increased at renewal. However, there’s a way to deal with that. Read below about our client who got $100,000 from his brother’s insurance and then gifted money to his brother to pay the entire premium.

If you tripped at your cousin’s house, the insurance company could increase the premium, but it’s not likely. Insurance companies make much more profit on homeowner policies and are more tolerant of claims. See below what happened to my homeowner’s policy premium when my father was insured at my house and sued me.

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The Insurance Premium May Not Go Up

The insurance premium probably will not go up just because you sue your friend, family member, spouse, or relative.

Many insurance companies offer “Accident Forgiveness,” which means the premium will not go up for the first accident.

Insurance premiums are not always increased because a claim is filed or because there was an accident. But an insurance premium might be increased because of an accident even if no claims were filed.

For instance, you could have an accident without injuries or claims, but if a police report was filed, your insurance company will find out about it and may increase your premium.

Some claims that can increase an insurance premium are mandatory and required by law. When a driver or passenger is injured, NYS law requires that the ambulance bill, hospital or urgent care bill, and other medical treatment be paid by the car’s No-Fault insurance. This may or may not increase the premium.

Insurance companies usually look at many factors to decide whether and by how much to increase a premium, such as:

  • Policy provisions.
  • The number of accidents that occurred in the last 40 months.
  • The number of claims made (for anything) in the last 40 months.
  • The amount of money that was paid out for a claim.
  • Tickets with a conviction an insured received in the last 40 months.
  • Credit history.
  • Age.
  • Zip code, and much more.

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Someone Else Can File a Claim That Can Increase the Premium

Many different claims are filed by different people and companies when you are injured in an accident.

Again, the insurance premium may not go up just because of an accident with claims. But when an insurance company decides to increase a premium, any one of these claims can result in the premium going up even if you don’t file a claim for your injury or property damage.

For instance, the following people and companies may directly file a claim:

  • Property damage someone else sustained
  • Hospital, ambulance, doctors, and other medical providers
  • Other people injured
  • Even the government may file a claim

If you have an accident that can be covered by your family’s or relative’s insurance, it is likely that your family’s or relative’s insurance will have to be involved in the claims process anyway, even if you don’t file a claim.

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Adding Your Claim When Other Claims Were Made Should Not Increase the Premium

If your family member or relative’s insurance premium is increased because of an accident or incident, any one of the above claims can trigger the increase.

Additional claims for the same accident or incident should not affect the policy premium because insurance companies look at the incident, fault, and total paid out for all claims.

For instance, if you are injured in a friend’s car, the hospital will file a claim against your friend’s New York No-Fault insurance to get paid for treating your injury, which can increase the premium even if you don’t file a claim.

When I was waiting at a red light, and my car was hit in the rear by a drunk driver, my father and I were injured and received a few weeks of medical treatment. Even though we were hit in the rear by a drunk driver, Liberty Mutual canceled my car insurance policy because of the money paid by No-Fault. I changed to Allstate, which surcharged my premium by $60 every six months because of the accident.

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How Much Will the Insurance Premium Go Up?

If the insurance premium is increased, it may be a very small amount or could be more depending on the policy claims history and other factors.

Liberty Mutual canceled my auto insurance when I was stopped at a red light and hit in the rear by a drunk driver who was arrested and convicted. When Liberty Mutual canceled my policy, I would have been assigned risk. But I called Allstate, and they sold me an insurance policy with the same coverage for only $60 more.

USAA is known for not canceling policyholders and not increasing premiums because of a claim. If you were in the military or a son or daughter of a current or former member of the military, call USAA.

Even if the insurance premium increases, it will be a very small amount compared to the amount of money we obtain for you. The premium increase could usually be somewhere between a few hundred dollars to $1000 per year for three years.

If we only obtain $50,000 for you, it will more than cover the premium increase. Just make a gift to your friend to pay his premium increase. If we settle your case for $100,000 or $300,000, do you really want to think about the cost of a premium increase?

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Dream Team™ right now for your free consultation!

We’ll call you back within minutes!
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Call to get your Free Consultation Right Now button

click to chat button to get your free consultation right now

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What Can Happen if I Don’t File a No-Fault Claim With My Family’s Insurance?

If you are injured in a relative’s car and give your health insurance to the hospital because you don’t want to file a No-Fault claim against your family’s insurance, you’re looking for problems.

The hospital and every doctor who treats you will file a claim with your health insurance company, and one of three things can happen.

  1. The hospital may bill the car’s No-Fault insurance if the hospital quickly finds out you gave them your health insurance information.
  2. Your health insurance company will obtain a copy of your hospital records and deny the hospital bill when they see you have injuries from a car accident. The hospital will start billing you for your medical treatment, which could be thousands of dollars.
  3. Your health insurance company may pay the claim and later find out that you were injured in a car accident and come after you to get their money back.

If any of these things happen to you, call us, and we will fix the problem.

One of our clients was injured in a single-car accident in another state. The car was driven by a friend who was uninsured. A personal injury lawyer in that state told her that she didn’t have a case because the driver was uninsured.

When she got out of the hospital and came back to New York, she called us. We told her that since she was living with her mother at the time of the accident, she could file an uninsured claim with her mother’s car insurance. But her mother would not let her file a claim because she was afraid her insurance would go up.

Six months later, she called us back because her mother’s health insurance found out that she was injured in a car accident. The health insurance company sent a letter to her mother asking her to repay the $16,000 hospital bill because New York State law requires No-Fault to pay for injuries caused by a car accident, even if the accident was in another state.

We filed an uninsured claim against her mother’s car insurance and settled the claim for $100,000.

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What Happened When Someone Didn’t Want to Sue His Brother

I had a disabled neighbor who broke his hip requiring surgery when his brother’s truck was in his driveway, rolled back, and hit him. My neighbor didn’t want to file a No-Fault claim against his brother’s insurance or sue his brother, and his family was adamant about it, so he made up a story that he tripped.

This meant that Medicare would have to pay the medical bills instead of the truck’s No-Fault insurance and also meant that my neighbor wouldn’t receive compensation for his injury.

The problem is that New York State law determines which insurance has to pay medical bills in a car accident. Eventually, Medicare stopped paying, and he now had to file a claim with the truck’s No-Fault insurance, but it was now 6 months after the accident, and he only has 30 days to file a No-Fault application.

Although it was late, we got his brother’s No-Fault insurance to reimburse Medicare $50,000. We also got his brother’s insurance to pay our client the entire $100,000 policy.

Of course, we never sued his brother because our client didn’t want to. We believe our client paid his brother’s entire insurance premium as a gift.

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What Happened to My Insurance Premium When My Father Sued Me

My father was injured at my house when he tripped on a toolbox I left on the steps to the garage. There are three steps to the garage, and when the house was built, the builder didn’t install a handrail. My father tripped and flew into and over a large air compressor I had in the garage. After my father’s accident, I installed a handrail!

I reported the accident to my insurance company. I then called a friend.

My house where my father was injured in an accident but my insurance premium never went up

I can’t sue myself, so I called a friend who is a personal injury lawyer and said, “I need you to sue me.” The claim was settled for $75,000.

My insurance premium was never increased because of the accident. In fact, I’m still with the same insurance company, and my insurance premium is about what it was 25 years ago when the accident happened.

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Am I Taking Advantage of the Insurance Company?

No. Insurance companies determine how much money they will have to pay out for claims. The insurance company adds the cost of overhead, sales commissions, other risk factors, and desired profit to calculate the premium.

What if I sue my wife or husband? If you want to be able to sue your spouse you will buy special coverage for that and pay a separate additional premium.

Your insurance company determines how much money they will have to pay to policyholders who sue a spouse. Again, the insurance company adds the cost of overhead, sales commissions, other risk factors, and desired profit to calculate the premium.

If you don’t want to file a claim against your husband or wife, why did you pay for the insurance coverage to do that?

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Is Suing My Friend or Family Member Bad?

You won’t file a lawsuit against your friend or family member to get their personal assets or money, and they won’t need to hire a lawyer.

Their insurance premium probably won’t even be increased, and with uninsured and underinsured claims, the insurance company is not allowed to increase their insurance premium.

You will just use the insurance benefits they bought insurance to provide,

How Do I Withdraw an Insurance Claim Against My Family, Relative, or Friend?

See What Happens When You Withdraw an Insurance Claim

Related Articles

Can I Sue My Spouse When I’m Injured In a Car Accident?

See more answers to FAQs

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Lawyers "As Seen On TV" ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, , WOR, WPIX logos

Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!
We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

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Have a Question About If I Sue My Family, Relative, or Friend Will Their Insurance Premium Go Up? Leave a Comment!

Can I Sue for an Injury If There Is No Damage to the Car?

Can I Sue for Injury If There Is No Damage to the Car?

A. Yes. A driver or passenger injured in a car accident can have a successful personal injury claim even if both cars didn’t have any damage.

The amount of car damage has nothing to do with the value of an injury. We have obtained large personal injury settlements for many clients who were seriously injured in car accidents with little or no damage to the cars.

Can a Driver Have an Injury if the Car Didn’t Have Any Damage?

A. Yes, a driver or passenger can be injured even if the car did not have any damage from the accident. Whether a car had damage or not from a car accident, doesn’t have anything to do with causing an injury.

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What Injuries Can Be Caused When There Is No Damage to the Car?

The most common injuries from a minor car accident when the car did not have any damage include a neck injury from whiplash, a back injury, a knee injury, and other soft tissue injuries.

However, we have seen other injuries from minor car accidents. We even had a client with a breast implant rupture from a car accident from a minor car accident.

Injuries people often get in car minor accidents with little or no damage:

If There Is No Damage to the Car a Soft Tissue Injury Can Be Worth a Lot of Money

I frequently hear from someone, “There was no damage to the car and your client was walking around and wasn’t injured. How could your client have needed surgery?” That’s because these injuries don’t cause immediate pain until the next day and then get worse over the next few days after the car accident.

Soft tissue injuries often get worse over time and eventually require surgery. One example is our client, Nyda, who had surgery more than a year after her car accident.

This can result in a substantial personal injury settlement. Just watch Nyda’s video, and you’ll see her soft tissue back injury settlement gave her enough money to buy her dream apartment on the Hudson River in New York.

After we settled Nyda’s back injury from a car accident in The Bronx, she bought her dream apartment on the Hudson River!

 

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At the time of a car accident, you may think your neck pain or back pain is a minor strain and will go away in a few days, but it can get worse, and you could eventually need surgery.

This video shows how minor neck pain from whiplash can worsen over time.

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Other Serious Injuries Can Also Be Caused by a Car Accident Without Any Collision Damage

Other serious injuries can also be caused by a car accident without any collision damage. A driver or passenger may suffer a broken bone, concussion, or brain bleed without realizing it immediately after the car accident.

We have had many cases with a driver or passenger who was seriously injured in a car accident when there was no damage to the car, and they didn’t know they were injured until after they got home, sometimes even days after the car accident.

Example of Someone With a Fracture When There Was No Damage to the Car

We had many clients with injuries from car accidents with little or no damage. The insurance company may suspect the injury is fake because there was little or no damage to the car. But when we prove the injuries were caused by the car accident, the insurance company has to pay.

For example, one of our clients was injured when hit in the rear by a car in a very slow-speed, low-impact car accident but he didn’t know he was injured and there was no collision damage to either of the cars. The car in the rear was traveling only 3-4 MPH.

Because there was no damage to his car, no injuries, and no one went to the hospital, he didn’t call the police. He almost didn’t even get the other car and driver’s information. As he was about to leave, he decided to get the driver’s information just in case he found damage when he got home.

After our client got home, his pinky finger became swollen and painful. A few hours later, he drove to the hospital to get an X-Ray. Our client hit his pinky finger on the steering wheel, but he wasn’t aware of any injury at the accident scene, even though he is a doctor.

The X-Ray at the hospital showed he had a broken pinky finger and he needed surgery. That’s when he called the car accident lawyers in New York at 1-800-HURT-911®.

He was out of work for two months because he was a dentist and needed his hand to work. Earning a $25,000 per month salary he lost a total of $50,000 in salary.

Allstate Insurance didn’t want to settle this case because they said there was no damage to the cars, the police were not called, and their driver said our client wasn’t injured.

We created this medical illustration to give to Allstate insurance company to show why we were demanding payment of the entire insurance policy to settle the case. The insurance company immediately settled by paying the entire insurance policy.

medical illustration showing 4 images of a broken pinky finger requiring surgery which was caused by a low speed, low impact, rear end car accident with no damage to the cars.

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How Often Is Someone Injured When the Car Had No Damage?

It’s actually rather common that people are injured in car accidents when there is no damage to the cars. Many of our cases involve people who don’t even realize they were injured at the time of the accident. Obviously, they also don’t look injured at the scene of the accident.

rear bumper of car showing no damage in an accident

You can still be injured even though there’s no damage on this bumper  

 

Frequently, people in car accidents when there is no damage to the cars, don’t know they’re injured at the time of the car accident. When they get home or the next day, their shoulder, knee, or back start hurting, and they go to a doctor. Sometimes, a few months after the accident, they find out that they need surgery.

One of our clients was hit in the rear while exiting the Long Island Expressway in Queens at the Van Dam Street exit in New York City.

He didn’t know he was injured, but when he got home, his knee started hurting. He thought the pain in his knee would go away in a few days, but it didn’t.

Two weeks later, he went to see a doctor who treated him for a sprained knee. When the pain didn’t get better, the doctor sent him for an MRI that showed he had a torn meniscus. We settled his personal injury claim for the entire $100,000 insurance policy.

See how some seemingly minor injuries can become serious injuries.

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Damage to a Car and the Speed of the Car in an Accident Has No Relation to Injury

There is much research that shows that significant injury can be caused by a slow-speed, low-impact car accident.

This study Rear-end impacts: vehicle and occupant response at the National Library of Medicine found, “There is a lack of relationship between occupant injury, vehicle speed and/or damage. There does not seem to be an absolute speed or amount of damage a vehicle sustains for a person to experience injury. Crash tests indicate that a change of vehicle velocity of 4 km/hr (2.5 mph) may produce occupant symptoms. Vehicle damage may not occur until 14-15 km/hr (8.7 mph).”

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Can a Driver or Passenger Be Injured if They Didn’t Have an Injury at the Car Accident?

Often, some injuries, such as internal bleeding, concussion, neck injury, back injury, knee injury, and even broken bones are not immediately apparent.

Injuries are often not noticed until hours or days after a car accident. There may not even be visible damage to the car. See our example above.

These injuries are certainly not visible to the other driver who caused the accident.

People often do not feel any pain from a serious injury, even a broken bone, at the car accident scene because of adrenaline and shock.

Frequently, someone in a car accident will feel pain but think it will go away in a few days. Instead, it gets worse and, eventually, they go to a doctor.

Eventually, when the accident victim goes to a doctor, the doctor will treat the injury therapeutically. If the injury doesn’t resolve (get better) after 3-6 weeks, the doctor will send the patient for an MRI. That’s when a serious injury may be first diagnosed.

Surgery may be discussed with the patient at the time the MRI result comes back or months later after further physical therapy doesn’t help.

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Can Less Damage Cause a Bigger Injury?

This video explains why a low-speed impact can cause a more serious injury when the car did not have any damage than a car accident when there is damage to the car because it transfers the energy to the person instead of the car.

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Can a Low-Speed Crash Cause a Brain Injury?

Yes, a driver or passenger can easily have a concussion which is an MTBI, or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury caused by whiplash from even a minor car accident.

This video shows how a low-speed impact that did not cause any damage to the car, can cause whiplash and a neck injury with a bulging disc or herniated disc which is a serious injury.

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Should I Use The Insurance Estimate App To Send a Photo of My Car Damage for an Estimate?

See more answers to FAQs

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.


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  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
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Have a Question or Comment About, Can I Sue for an Injury If There Is No Damage to the Car? Leave a Comment!

Can I Sue My Spouse When I’m Injured In a Car Accident?

You can file an insurance claim or sue your spouse (wife or husband) if you are injured in a car accident in New York. Your insurance policy includes Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage on your automobile insurance policy unless you declined it in writing.

Your spouse also needs to be at least partially at fault, but that is almost always easy to show.

See below. Can domestic partners or significant others sue each other?

Will My Insurance Premium Go Up if I Sue My Husband or Wife?

In New York State, your premium cannot be increased if you file a claim against your spouse or sue your spouse because the claim is between you and your insurance company, not against your spouse. See, If I Sue My Spouse, Will My Insurance Premium Go Up?

Is It Wrong for Me to Sue My Husband or Wife?

Not at all. Your claim is not against your spouse. The claim is against your insurance company. That’s why the insurance premium cannot be increased because of the claim.

Reasons why you should file a claim against your spouse:

  1. You are really making a claim against your insurance company, not your spouse.
  2. You won’t be going after your spouse’s money, just your own insurance policy.
  3. You already paid your insurance company for the right to make a claim for your spouse.
  4. Your insurance premium cannot be increased because of the claim.

In fact, to sue your husband or wife, your insurance company charges you a separate premium just so they have the money available when you can make that claim.

Should I sue my husband?

Should I sue my husband? Absolutely, he’s a personal injury lawyer!

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Why You Are Not Taking Advantage of Your Insurance Company

Your insurance company determines how much money they will have to pay to policyholders who sue a spouse. The insurance company adds the cost of overhead, sales commissions, other risk factors, and desired profit to calculate the premium. If you want to be able to sue your spouse, you will buy that coverage and pay the premium.

Your insurance will have to be involved in the claims process anyway.

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Do I Need Insurance to Sue My Spouse for Causing My Injury in a Car Accident?

In New York, your car insurance includes spousal insurance coverage that will pay you if your spouse, wife, husband, or partner was driving when you were injured in a car accident.

As of August 1, 2023, New York Insurance Law § 3420(g) requires an insurer to provide supplemental spousal liability insurance unless you decline it in writing. Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage must be offered in New York for most motor vehicle insurance policies (where such policy is used for the purposes of satisfying the requirements of Article 6 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law).

If you want to be able to sue your husband or wife for your injury, do not decline Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage on your auto insurance policy. Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage is inexpensive.

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How Much Will I Be Charged for Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance Coverage?

Spousal Liability Coverage will increase your New York automobile insurance premium very little, usually from $20 to $80 per year for the coverage.

The amount of the premium increase will depend on many factors. Call your insurance company to find out how much your premium will increase.

This letter shows (circled in red) that the cost of the additional premium for Spousal Liability Insurance that my insurance company, State Farm, will charge is only $15.60 every six months.

This letter shows (circled in red) the cost of Spousal Liability Insurance that my insurance company, State Farm, will charge.

Who Should Pay for Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage?

If you’re married, you should pay the extra premium. If you are married and want Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage, you don’t have to do anything. It will be included in your automobile insurance policy automatically.

Who Should Decline Supplemental Spousal Liability Coverage?

The following people should decline and not pay for Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage:

  • Singles
  • Domestic partners or significant others
  • Business automobile insurance policies

If you’re single, have a domestic partner or significant other, or have an insurance policy for your business, there is no reason to pay for Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage since you will pay for coverage you can’t use, and you should decline the coverage in writing on the New York State form. Call your insurance company to get the form, or use this New York form to decline Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage.

However, if you later get married, don’t forget to add Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage to your New York automobile insurance policy.

Under current New York State law, if you’re single or you have a policy for your business, and you do not decline Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage in writing, you will pay for coverage you can’t use. If you find you were charged because you didn’t decline Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage, you should demand that your insurance company refund the additional premium since and insurance company cannot charge you for insurance coverage you don’t have. I suspect the New York State law regarding Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage will be amended to correct this injustice.

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Does Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance Coverage Insure Domestic Partners?

Domestic partners and significant others could always file a claim or lawsuit against their Domestic partner or significant other and still can. That’s why Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage covers only a legally married spouse (common law marriage is not recognized in New York).

This is the supplemental spousal liability coverage letter that State Farm sent me. Your insurance company will send you a similar letter.

supplemental spousal liability coverage letter

Before January 1, 2003, Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage did not exist, and you could always sue your spouse for your injuries if you were a passenger in a car being driven by your spouse and he or she negligently caused a car accident in New York.

A husband was injured and sued his wife when his wife was driving and rolled over this car

As of January 1, 2003, your insurance company had to provide you a notice of the availability of Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage, an explanation of what it is, and the amount of the additional premium. You had to say you wanted spousal insurance coverage. But now, as mentioned above, New York State changed the law, and you must have spousal insurance coverage unless you decline it.

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What Happens if My Spouse Causes an Accident and I Did Not Have Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance?

If you declined Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage and you cause an accident injuring your spouse (husband or wife), your spouse will not be able to be compensated for pain and suffering.

Can I sue my wife?

Should I sue my wife? Sure, I’ll sue anyone!

Is My Wife or Husband Entitled to Get Their Medical Bills Paid if I Did Not Have Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance?

Yes. Your spouse is entitled to No-Fault benefits to pay medical bills and lost wages even if you did not buy supplemental spousal liability coverage.

Can My Child Sue for Injury if I Did Not Have Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance?

Yes. Your child or a friend can recover money for injuries, but if you declined Supplemental Spousal Liability coverage, your spouse cannot.

Your Spouse Must Still Be at Least Partially Negligent for Causing Your Accident

The injured spouse must still prove that the spouse who was driving was at least 1% negligent.

Don’t forget, in New York, your premium cannot be increased if you file a claim against your spouse or sue your spouse. See, If I Sue My Spouse, Will My Insurance Premium Go Up?

Supplemental spousal liability insurance merely allows you or your spouse to recover money for injuries as any other injured person could.

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Advantages of Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance

One of our clients was a passenger in his car when his wife was driving. He was injured in a hit-and-run accident when the other car fled the accident scene.

Our client got $100,000 from supplemental spousal liability coverage because we were able to prove his wife was partially at fault. If he did not pay for supplemental spousal liability coverage, he would not have been able to get that money.

Does Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance Coverage Increase My Liability Insurance Limit?

No. Supplemental Spousal Liability insurance coverage does not increase liability insurance limits. It only adds another person to the liability coverage.

For example, if your bodily injury coverage limit is $250,000/$500,000 and $100,000 is paid to your spouse, $400,000 is left to pay all other persons injured. But a maximum of $250,000 can be paid to any one person.

Does Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance Coverage Insure Out-of-State Cars?

If you were driving an out-of-state car or were a passenger in an out-of-state car and were injured in a car accident in New York, your insurance policy includes supplemental spousal liability coverage, even if the insurance policy did not include supplemental spousal liability coverage.

This is because out-of-state cars, while being operated in New York, must have the minimum insurance coverage required by New York State.

See more answers to FAQs

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.


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Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!
We’ll immediately protect you from the insurance companies!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

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Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

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Comments about Can I Sue My Spouse When I’m Injured In a Car Accident?

Should I Use an Insurance Estimate App to Send a Photo of My Car Damage?

Answer: No. Never use a car damage estimate app to send collision photos of your car damage for an insurance estimate after an accident. If you don’t want to get screwed by your insurance company after a car accident, a car damage estimate app is one app you shouldn’t download.

You have a legal right to have a licensed damage appraiser inspect your car at the auto body shop of your choice. Take advantage of your rights.

Tip: Bring your car to your auto body shop and let the auto body shop call your insurance company to request an appraiser. If you call your insurance company, tell the rep that your car is at your body shop, and then bring your car to the shop immediately.

Note: This article provides unbiased information. 1-800-HURT-911®, LLP is a New York Law firm representing people injured in an accident in New York. We only help people with collision damage claims when they have been injured. If you were not injured, get a collision damage estimate from your body shop, and don’t use a collision damage estimate app.

How Insurance Companies Get You to Use Damage Estimating Apps

Insurance companies enlist news agencies to promote using their appraisal apps. CNBC wrote in their article, Instant insurance claims—apps for your car crash, “Next time you’re in a fender bender, there’s good reason to have your phone on hand—it could speed up your insurance claim.”

Allstate, Esurance, Liberty Mutual, and State Farm advertise how quick and easy they make it for you to get your car repaired after an accident by using their insurance estimate app.

Just take a photo with their insurance claim estimate app, and they’ll send you a check!

But should you send your photos? Insurance companies developed the collision estimate app and this brilliant marketing idea to save them a lot of money. And it won’t even make it easier for you!

Photo showing collision damage taken with insurance estimate app

Take a picture of the damage, but don’t send it to your insurance company for an estimate. Bring your car to a body shop.

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Making Your Life Easy With a Photo Estimate App Only Sounds Great

Will it make your life easy if your car insurance company sends you a check to fix your car? No, because

Screenshot of State Farm Pocket Estimate damage app to send photos of your car's damage

This is a screenshot of the State Farm photo estimate app

after you get a check, you still have to take your car to the body shop. Using the auto claim appraisal app won’t magically fix your car.

The estimate app only lets you get a check before you go to the auto body shop, but your body shop doesn’t need the check before you get there. So, using an appraisal app won’t save you any time.

What about the GEICO Easy Photo Estimate App? GEICO’s tagline says, “GEICO Easy Photo Estimate App: Insurance Made Easy.” But again, it only seems easy. Using the photo estimate app can actually make more work for yourself and cost you time, aggravation, and money.

After you get to your auto body shop, you’ll find your check isn’t enough to fix your car, and you just wasted your time and possibly made things worse.

How Will a Photo Estimate App Make Things Worse?

1) The body shop will have to reopen your claim to get approval for more money. This will delay your claim even longer because it’s tougher to get approval for more money once your insurance company has already under-evaluated your claim.

2) You may not be able to get your insurance company to pay what is needed to fix your car. See this question on Quora from an unfortunate car owner who used State Farm’s photo estimate app, “…I went through their insurance’s photo estimate app (State Farm) and they gave me a $883 estimate. I also got an estimate from my repair shop which is accurately around $4500? What should I do now?

3) When you’re paid less than you need to return your car to its pre-accident condition, your car will have diminished value.

4) If you were injured, sending collision damage photos to your insurance company can hurt your claim. I have seen insurance companies provide photos showing little damage to No-Fault doctors to deny a No-Fault claim.

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What Can Happen When You Use an Insurance Claim App?

  1. You may get paid a lot less than the cost of the damage, possibly as much as 8-10 times less.
  2. The body shop will probably not be able to fix your car for the amount you were paid, so they will have to reopen your claim and wait for an appraiser to come to look at your car.
  3. Because you already submitted photos and your insurance company now thinks you have a minor claim, you just made negotiating more difficult for your body shop, and they may have a fight on their hands. This can delay your claim even further.
  4. You may get a check for $1,200 and decide to keep the money without fixing the car, but there could be thousands of dollars of hidden damage you weren’t paid for.
  5. If you keep the money without fixing your car, you could devalue your car by thousands of dollars. You won’t even know until you try to sell your car and find it’s worthless.
  6. If you keep the money without fixing your car, you could be driving a car that isn’t safe and shouldn’t be on the road.

See how Allstate paid this woman only $1,730 for damage that cost $11,667 to fix

What’s Easier Than Using an Insurance Estimate App?

Let your body shop make your life easy, and let them fight with your insurance company so you’ll get the right amount of money needed the first time. Many body shops will even get the other car’s insurance company to pay for your damage.

  1. Take your car to your auto body shop immediately.
  2. If your car isn’t driveable, call your body shop. They will tow your car.
  3. Call your insurance company and tell them to look at your car at your auto body shop.
  4. Never send photos of your car’s damage to your insurance company.
  5. Never let your insurance company look at your car at your house.
  6. If you’re injured, call a personal injury lawyer immediately.

That’s easier than using an insurance collision damage estimate app!

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Insurance Companies Use Damage Appraisal Apps to Save Money Three Ways

  1. The insurance companies don’t have to pay appraisers whose job it is to report every detail and every part that has to be replaced or repaired.
  2. Because they’re not using an appraiser, the insurance companies can pay you less money. People have reported receiving as little as 10% of what they needed to fix their cars.
  3. They use the photos to show there was very little damage in case you’re injured. Many of our clients have been seriously injured when there was very little damage. See if you can sue for injuries when there was no damage to the car.

How can you be sure that you won’t get enough money to fix your car if you send the collision damage photos to your insurance company?

Simple. How can anyone tell from photos what damage you have underneath the sheet metal and what damage might exist that isn’t seen in your photos?

Allstate advertises their QuickFoto Claim app “helps you get paid quicker so you can get back to normal faster.” But how can you tell if the radiator and other parts under the hood, other parts, or the frame were damaged? You can’t!

When you take your car to a body shop after using a collision damage estimate app, it can take a lot longer to get your car fixed. You’ll wait while your body shop fights to get the money needed to fix all the damage to your car that wasn’t approved with the estimate app.

Save yourself a major headache. Instead of using a collision damage estimate app, take your car to your body shop and let your body shop get the insurance company to approve their estimate.

Watch FOX 61 and Tony Ferraiolo of a state Auto Body Association and see the problems you might encounter if you use an insurance accident app!

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Why Do Insurance Companies Want People to Use an Estimate App?

Because many people will take a photo of the damage, get a check, and take the money without ever going to a body shop to fix the car. They will never know that they got paid thousands of dollars less than the insurance company should have paid.

What to Do if You Already Used an Estimate App and Didn’t Get Enough Money

Find a body shop that will fight for you. The body shop will have to get the insurance company to send an appraiser, and hopefully, your body shop will get the money needed to repair your car.

If you can’t find an auto body shop to fight for you, you can look for a general practice lawyer if there are several thousand dollars of damage you’re not getting paid for. But it’s usually too expensive to pay a lawyer to get money to repair a car.

If you were injured, find a personal injury lawyer who is also willing to represent you for the collision damage.

You can sue your car insurance company in small claims court. In small claims court, you do not need a lawyer. In fact, in New York, only one side can have a lawyer in Small Claims Court. Since the insurance company has to have a lawyer, you cannot.

Do You Have to Use the Other Insurance Company’s Estimator App?

Note: If you weren’t injured in a car accident in New York, we cannot help you.

We received a chat message asking the following question:

Visitor: My vehicle was parked on a job site and a contractor that works for the company, subcontractor not with our company, hit my vehicle while turning around and his insurance company is terrible with communication and now is trying to get me to use an estimator app for damages. Meanwhile I’m driving my partially disabled damaged vehicle. Do I have to use their estimator app?

The answer is no. You are not required to use the estimator app from the insurance company of the other driver.

What should you do if the other driver’s insurance company wants you to use their estimator app? Bring your car to your auto body shop and tell the other driver’s insurance company to see your car at your auto body shop. Even better, ask your auto body shop if they can contact the other driver’s insurance company for you.

Please share this important article about insurance estimate apps on social media and leave a comment below!

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You might also be interested in reading:

More Do’s & Don’ts of what you should do after a car accident
Do I have to notify my insurance company when I have an accident but there was very little damage to my car?
See how you can get screwed by your insurance company when replacing a windshield on a leased car.

How to Use An Insurance App to Buy Insurance

See more FAQs

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Phil Franckel is a well-known personal injury lawyer in New York since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10  Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.

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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

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