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Old 11-09-2007, 12:24 AM   #1
monto
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Massachusetts at-fault accident surcharge appeal

I recently ran over a blown truck tire on the highway at approximately 75 which did a pretty good number on the driver side front bumper including pulling out the fog lamp and outside temperature sensor and finally the rubber lining in the wheel well that sits behind the fog and houses the temp sensor

I've been gathering as much information as possible from mass.gov with respect to their "standards of fault." This seems to fall very cleanly under #19; (19) Single Vehicle Collision. The operator of a vehicle subject to the Safe Driver Insurance Plan shall be presumed to be more than 50% at fault when operating the only vehicle involved in a collision.

This was confirmed when I called metlife to discuss the situation. They are willing to cover the damages, less my deductible of course, since this falls under a collision. I should mention I did not see the truck that blew the tire and have read plenty of threads that mention this is definitely not something that you can go after the state for, i.e. this was on interstate 93, since I have the responsibility to avoid obstructions in the road.

I've searched around and came across a few others in a similar situation but none seem to discuss my concern with respect to surcharges being added to the insurance premium as a result of the insurance company covering the damage, again less my deductible. That said, surcharges are given based on the amount paid out by the insurance company, info below. In summary, 3 surcharge points for amounts between $500.01 and $2,500, and 4 surcharge points for amounts over $2,500. I followed up with a call to metlife to see how this would affect my premium since I currently qualify as a "safe driver."

Based on an initial estimate the total repair cost will probably be between $1,000 - $1,500 which would result in a payout of $700 - $1,200 from metlife after my $300 deductible. This would mean 3 surcharge points and would add $400 to my current premium. These 3 surcharge points stay on my plan for 3 years and reduce by 1 point every year thereafter of incident free driving. This implies it will take 5 years to get back to where I am today and potentially cost me ~$1,650=[($400x3)+($300)+($150)] in increased premium over the course of the next 5 years

Now to my question... Does anyone think I can successfully appeal these surcharges? Surcharge Appeal Link. Unfortunately you can only appeal once the surcharges have been assessed on your driving record. A call to the merit rating board hasn't been very much help since I can't seem to get past the first or second person on the phone who I don't believe to be the people ultimately making the decisions on appeals. Not sure I want to run the risk of the appeal being denied for this amount thinking that if anything more serious happened within the next 5 years, i.e. damage over $2,500, things could start to add up quickly.

It's really not all that much money to eat the cost since I will still come out ahead over the coarse of the 5 years

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

regards,
monto

From www.mass.gov
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:32 AM   #2
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:32 AM   #3
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I have delt with the mass appeals court on a appeal for a surcharge - guess what? it takes (2) years to go to court and the insurance increases are non refundable. So its hardly worth it.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:46 AM   #4
monto
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That settles it then. Thank you.

Follow up question, should I be able to ask the shop for the $800 solution to the damage as to not incur any surcharges? metlife will not report an incident to the merit rating board unless they pay out more than $500.00, which added to my deductible would be a total bill of $800. I guess my real question is, is this considered insurance fraud?
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:12 AM   #5
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I don't know that - but can't hurt to ask about that.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:57 AM   #6
georgiev
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fog light housing = 90$
rubber lining = around 30 $
outside temperature sensor = not sure (but guess its not more then 100$)
labor = around 100$ if you want my Friend Dave (dave96dcm) to do it for you. (he is located in leominster, ma 40 min from boston).

Than adds up to 320$. Unless your bumper is destroyed this really doesnt sound like a big deal. My friend dave has all the tools, he works on many e46's from and around boston, He lets you help him/work on ur own car if you wish too. Never overcharges, and is a really easy guy to deal with. Last week we installed my brake ducts, and rubber lining right around the outside temperature sensor. It took us an hour tops.

PM me if you are interested.

PS Bav Auto have preaty cheap prices on OEM parts. If you are not sure what you need for the repair we can look at the car, and determine the parts, and you can order then by phone.

my 2 cents
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:02 AM   #7
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i just read over you original post. you mentioned the bumper is affected!? Is it badly damaged, or is it ok to drive around with (aka not noticeable). Because it you need the bumper to be painter thats one thing my buddy cant do, he doesn't have the tools and all. Painting a front bumper at the cheapest is 700$, and that is shitty paint like on my bumper (chips real easy).
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:15 AM   #8
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I can install all the parts like Anton said, and I know a few bodyshops that should be able to paint a bumper for not too much money, I can install the bumper after they paint it. P.M. me if you are interested.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:32 AM   #9
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This is exactly why I love this board! I will contact you over PM later today, Thanks!

Oh, I believe I also need the wiring harness for the fog and temp sensor since the ends were frayed.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:43 AM   #10
georgiev
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What front bumper do you have??? If it is a m3 or m-tech i can sell you a fog light housing. dont remember which side i have, i can look though. new it costs 100 or so. u can have mine for 40$ if it fits ur needs.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:01 PM   #11
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If you still have the plugs I might be able to solder them back on to the wires, otherwise it might be a pita to get the wiring plugs, I also have a friend that works at a local junkyard, I can contact him after we get a complete parts list.
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bostonbimmer View Post
I have delt with the mass appeals court on a appeal for a surcharge - guess what? it takes (2) years to go to court and the insurance increases are non refundable. So its hardly worth it.
This is not true. Isn't the point of the surcharge appeal to refund the surcharges?

I actually totalled a car last year after swerving to avoid a deer. I was surcharged $575/yr because it was a single vehicle accident. I applied for the surcharge appeal last October, and I just got notified that my appeal is Nov. 20th. So it takes about a year to get your hearing. I'm hoping that the mitigating circumstances of my accident (night time, raining, RWD vehicle, supporting police report, and an act of god i.e. the deer running in the road) will allow for a pardon on the surcharge. If found not more than 50% at fault, you will be refunded for the surcharges you've already paid. Also, you don't go to court for the appeal, you got to your local RMV...
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:38 PM   #13
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The MA surcharge appeal process is a PITB. I got half way through the process a few years ago and after incurring more than a couple hundred dollars and numerous court visits to fill out paperwork and get new papers, etc, I decided to drop it. Good luck if you do decide to go through with it, but if you do have options such as Dave who can fix your car for much less than a dealer recommended bodyshop, I'd work with him. Never met him, but seems like a standup guy that many local members speak highly of. Even if the bumper needs to be replaced, I believe between parts and labor, you can get away with maybe less than $1k total if you do a good search of parts. Good Luck!
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:13 AM   #14
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ari00 thanks for the recommendation

monto, any updates? I didn't get a pm, I'm pretty busy this week, I'm free next week though.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:43 AM   #15
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Insurance is only good if you kill somebody or destroy the car other than that you are better off taking care of it yourself. This is minor damage I would of never bothered the insurance company for.
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:29 PM   #16
monto
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PM sent!
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:22 PM   #17
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I just did the appeal process ...took more than a year to get a hearing. but i won. Took more than 5 mins. I suggest you try to get a hearing (if you can) on a friday, preferably in the afternoon so the magistrate is too tired to deal with a easy surcharge. Every point = at least 100 dollars per year.....so at the end, you will be fighting for 600 bucks more or less.

btw, dress up, greet everyone nicely, make eye contact.
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