Ask an Attorney a Question for FREE!

Why am I expected to pay more now?

I was in a minor auto accident a couple months ago. I hit the car in front of me, and I was named the party at fault. I thought my insurance was still active, but for irrelevant reasons, it was not.

I knew I would have to pay for the damages out of pocket so I was somewhat prepared. I called the insurance company for the other driver which was USAA to find out exactly how the process would work. The woman I spoke to took my name, asked the date of the accident, etc. to find my information. She told me the damages were in the amount of $646.

I was relieved to hear it wasn't that much, and asked how I should send payment. She said I wouldn't have to worry about sending any payment until I received a letter in the mail requesting payment. She told me it could be up to a month before I got anything in the mail. It was much less, about a week, and I put every extra penny into savings so I could pay it off.

I was sent two different USAA letters requesting payment in the amount of $646; they also had the claim number, and other valuable information included. I finally came up with the money, and sent a cashier's check with the payment, and the claim number added to it as specified to do in the letter.

I mailed it off about a week and a half ago, and felt relieved. Yesterday I received a phone call from a USAA gentleman asking about my payment which was due. I explained I had already sent it, but he told me the $646 was just a rough estimate. He preceded to tell me I still owed an additional $1200 plus for it to be paid in full. I asked him why I hadn't received this in the mail, and why the two letters I had specified $646 with no indication it was a "rough estimate" or subject to change. He said he would send me a letter in the mail which I am now waiting on. I simply don't understand how $646 can go to $1800 plus dollars.

Why would they ask for payment before they knew exactly how much it would be?



Car accident damages can vary. Usually, bodyshops will write an estimate and when the vehicle gets fixed, the bills are higher. Also, if there are injuries or someone visited the doctor, then the ongoing treatment will cost some money.

However, you do want to make sure the money was indeed spent. Ask to see estimates and where the vehicle was fixed. You may be able to reduce what you "owe."


Good Luck,
Auto Insurance Claim Advice

Comments for Why am I expected to pay more now?

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 28, 2011
What to expect now?
by: Mark


I had an accident during a rainy day - the car in front stopped suddenly at the yellow sign, but only after being 1/3rd into the intersection. I figured he was going on yellow since he proceeded, so I followed, but his abrupt break forced me to break as well and due to the rain my car slipped and hit his SUV (my car being a small and low car). I didn't realize until after that my insurance has expired in the meantime and we came to an agreement(i was willing to assume complete responsibility and stay out of court). It seemed to both of us that the damage was under $1000 so we parted without announcing the police. We exchanged info and spoke later. In the meantime he got cold feet and didnt want to finalize the agreement with me since he was scared that his car was irreparable and that the amount we'd settle for wouldn't have been enough to cover everyting. Thus he reported the accident within 24 hrs but didnt tell the police that I didn't have insurance coverage at the moment, only that he didnt take that info from me. What should I expect now? Should I report it as well or should I just contact his insurance company and settle with them to pay for the costs? If so, will the police contact me in regards to my insurance and fine me?

Sep 23, 2010
car insurance
by: Griselda Albertson

That?s a really scary picture. An estimate going up by 10-15% is understandable, but 300%? I would ask my car insurance company to intervene on my behalf. Goes to show why it?s important to stay insured at all times.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Got Questions?.

Please see more answers to recent personal injury and auto accident questions below:

For a Free Review of Your Case
Please Call (866) 878-2432