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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."
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