Property damage - amount to pay?

  • by roy
  • Nov 24,2017
  • 10 answers

Thanks to everyone who replied to my previous question around this issue, I would now just like to ask some clarification on it.
The incident was that I caused some damage to a property ($3000) through what was likely my own negligence. The girl whose apartment it is, planned to claim for the damage on her insurance, though she was advised to inform me that her insurance company would very likely sue me to recoup their pay out as this is standard practice.
However she then told me that she had a one-off no claim discount and if she were to claim from her insurance, her premium would increase significantly and she also had a $500 deductible so she would not receive the full amount of a claim.
She has now told me that instead of claiming through her insurance, she will be suing me directly in the small claims court for the full amount as this means she will not then incur any increase in her insurance premium and she will not have any deductible.
I may contest the amount of the damage, but can anyone just clarify would there be any difference in amount to pay whether it were her insurance suing me or if she is suing me?


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Insurance Answers (10)

Casey Y last month

Have her provide you with estimates and pay them.
HOWEVER, why do you think this isn't covered under your renter's policy??

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mbrcatz last month

While there could be a difference, it's likely to cost you LESS if it's her suing you and not the insurance company. They are allowed to add in "claims adjustment expenses", which would not be there most likely, if she is suing you directly.

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S last month

do not pay until she can give you estimated damages.

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babyboomer1001 last month

There could be a difference. One thing for sure, if you are sued by either of them, you will be paying a whole lot more than if you just paid her up front. You would also have created a negative public record for yourself - not too smart when you know you are at fault. Anyone can check public records and, do you really want the world to see that not only is there a Judgment against you for property damage, which could involve criminal charges but, if you still don't pay it, then the Judgment will show that the money is still outstanding. And everybody will think that you are a jerk. It would likely affect your ability to rent an apartment, get a job, even purchase a pet. Don't do that to yourself. The repercussions are not worth it, not to mention having to pay court costs, loss of work/money for the time spent in court. Pay for the damages you caused up front. That's what I suggest.

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StephenWeinstein last month

You will pay the same or less with her suing you. With just her suing you, there won't be lawyers, so you will be paying only for the damage and the filing fee. With the insurance company suing you, they might seek attorney's fees as well.

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H. Marie last month

first of all her renter's insurance covers her property
if what you damage is her property her insurance should cover it, if she chooses not to submit a claim for whatever reason it is that is her choice and she can sue you
however, if she were to take this to small claims court, the judge would ask her if she had insurance coverage for this damage, her answer being yes, the judge would tell her to use her insurance
it is true the company could sue you for the claim since you admit you did the damage
now if the damage was to the apartment she is leasing, the landlord's insurance will pay for it and if it determined you caused the damage, again you will likely be sued by that insurance company]
it would appear you only alternative is to pay for the damage, but get at least three estimates of the amount to repair it

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daniel g last month

Go to court, she will have to itemize the total that you would be ordered to pay.
Insurance takes you to court, they can inflate the bill actully paying for more than just damages.
With her as litigant, it may be the average of 3 estimates, or the lesser of two.

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Lolly last month

You need to get a lawyer. That's what they're for.

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Who last month

This is a lie
"though she was advised to inform me that her insurance company would very likely sue me to recoup their pay out as this is standard practice"
either she lied to you or you are lying to us
NO insurance company would EVER "advise" a claimant to tell you this
Personally I think she is bullsh//ting you about having insurance in order to make you less likely to question the costs of repairs AND pursuade you to pay it without questioning if you are actually liable or not
"I may contest the amount of the damage,"
I would do more than this - As well as the repair costs I would question the whole basis of YOU paying in the 1st place
"through what was likely my own negligence" - says who?
Remember - if you were an invited guest and had an accident that resulted in damage - YOU aint responsible for that damage
YOU would only be responsible if you caused it by acting in a reckless or negligent way
(eg - you are walking across a room, trip and fall breaking items in the room and maybe damaging a wall/door - YOU aint responsible cos it was an accident - (and NO insurance company would ever sue you)
However if you were drunk and did the same thing THEN you would be responsible (but it would be unlikely a company would sue you)
And remember- IF she sues then all you gotta do is tell the court she has insurance and most likely only thing YOU would pay would be her deductable
NO insurance company it gonna sue you for 2500 (which is 3000 - her deductable)
But STILL check what she is suing for - get her estimates for repair - cos you can repair a lot of damage for 3000)

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lucy last month

1st of all, you need to update your question to (explain) how you caused these damages.
2nd, you need to explain (what) damages you (may) have caused. You “imply” this is (1) item, since you state (A) property, and if so, then that could be a difference of how much you could owe or not.
The normal procedure with insurance is that they get an estimate of the cost to fix or replace the item/s that was flooded. If something can be fixed vs being replaced, then insurance pays to fix it. But, if the item/s cannot be fixed, then insurance pays to replace it.
But that is (dependent) if she has replacement cost insurance or (only) ACV (actual cash value). So if she has replacement cost, then insurance has her buy the same/kind/like and pays for that minus her deductible, but (if) she has ACV, then they pay the (depreciated) value of what she lost, so would not get the full cost back (minus) her deductible.
When I think about flooding in an apartment, my thought is that you had a pipe bust in your apartment that caused water to come into her apartment. But, say for instance that you accidently had some water you knocked over, or something else that flooded an item, then you might not be liable for this.
Now as for suing, most insurance companies (DON’T) sue you to recover for the amount they pay. Once insurance pays, then it goes to their subrogation department, that would send you a letter stating that due to your negligence, we paid (X) amount, and we expect you to pay us back. They don’t have to go to court to do this, but only send you a letter. Then (if) you contact them back and make arrangements to pay it, then they will await for your payment/s (payment plan, if can’t pay the entire amount in full).
Now, if you ignore the letter, then they could send to collections or (file a lawsuit).
Yes she can sue you and (if) in fact you are liable for the damages, then the court will issue you a judgment that you would owe her. But, even though you would owe, does not mean that you would just write her a check or pay cash to her that day, since the court does not collect, but can only issue a judgment.
I am guessing you don’t have insurance? If you do, then file under your insurance and they would determine if you owe or not.
Update your question on how this happened and also what the damages are.

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