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2019 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys,

I would like to ask you for advice regarding the issue with my forester - the thing I thought would never happened.

My 5 month old 2019 Subaru Forester Touring was hit on parking lot by reckless driver. The damage is : driver's door is damaged (cannot opened in full), a fender is damaged and driver's mirror is scratched. The incident was caused by other driver, who's fault was confirmed by their insurance. Now I had to fix it.

Insurance offers to fix it any body shop. There are 2 choices - one is official Subaru dealership (where I purchased the Subaru - Berth Subaru at St. Petersburg, FL - 40 miles from my home). Other choice is Gene Perez Body shop - the place our local Subaru dealership recommends (this dealership does not have a dedicated body shop, this one works on many brands including Subaru). My insurance (AAA) for some reason pushes to fix the car in their approved body shop claiming they would have total control over the repairs while if I chose other body shops (including official dealership) I have to deal myself with them if something goes wrong (like paint is not the same).

So, what would you guys recommend? a body shop from official Subaru dealership or something else? This is my first ever incident and I don't know all the details about such things.

Thanks.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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Make sure the body shop you choose has a good warranty. Many are lifetime. Ask a lot of questions and maybe take a tour of the shop. Look up reviews on line and ask about paint and methods and if they are certified from the paint manufacturer that they use. Standox, PPG, etc...

Good luck. Sorry this happened.
 

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2017 Touring CVT
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131 Posts
Emilio has some good recommendations, but let me add a personal anecdote. A number of years ago my wife was driving our nearly-new GL-10 and was banged into by a careless lane-changer while visiting her family several hundred miles from home. Our insurer steered her to a shop that was approved by them. A year later I noticed uneven tread wear and took the car to our local Sub. mechanic who diagnosed frame damage and faulty alignment caused by the accident and not corrected by the collision shop. Because the original work was done by an approved shop the carrier immediately authorized our mechanic to do the additional corrective work. Had the work been done by an independent shop I probably would have either had to take the car back to them or eaten the cost of the additional work. Stuff happens and if/when it does, going with the insurer's recommendation can be a good thing.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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453 Posts
Well, if the other driver's insurance is going to pay for the repair, why would you care what your carrier prefers?

In general, you want body work done in a shop that will agree to using genuine Subaru (or whatever brand) parts. The insurance companies in most state are required to honor your request for OEM parts. As a practical matter, genuine Subaru parts are probably all that is available for your 2019. The aftermarket parts take a little while to become available after a style change.

If it were my car and I trusted my local dealer's advice, I go with the shop your local dealer recommends.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for replies!

Let me clarify few thins. Since other driver's insurance took responsibility, my insurance agent told me that there are 2 ways to proceed: go with other driver's insurance directly (they pay directly to me), or go with my insurance (then I have to pay deductible, they will pay for repair and later will claim money from other insurance, reimburse my premium). In both ways, I was told I can choose whatever body shop I like. But my insurance agent for some reason prefers me to fix the car in AAA (since it is my insurance) approved facility.

Anyway, I want to go with Subaru dealership, since it is their car, a lot of electronics inside. Also, they have to match the color, which is Dark Grey - quite uncommon color. There are few Subaru dealerships in Tampa Bay area, close to my house don't have dedicated body shop, they have a recommendation. Another dealership has one.

I guess, I would visit both places and ask questions raised here about repair. I hope to get my car fixed soon - few reviews on Yelp about body shop that was recommended by Subaru were quite negative - long times for simple repairs, also bad repairs.
 

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2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
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I've had body work done twice. Once, 30 years ago, on a Toyota at a local shop that used the cheapest part (it was the trunk lid). A few years later that lid was rapidly rusting. Then, a little over four years ago, someone hit our new Foz and we needed rear-quarter and bumper work. We went to Rafferty Subaru's body shop, which used Subaru parts, and the repairs are still undetectable. On a new car that may have its future resale value affected by collision history, I would recommend using the Subaru dealer so there's no question that the car was brought back to factory specs.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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Many insurance companies prefer used parts or aftermarket parts for repairs.

Very few body shops use only new OEM parts.

Choose wisely and ask questions.
 

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'17 Impreza Hatchback CVT
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On an almost new car, you also should make a diminished value claim for value lost on your vehicle. They will make you jump through a few more hoops but you might get a bit of compensation for the damage caused by the other driver. That said, no one pays you for the time and hassle of having your car hit by someone who wasn't paying attention. Unfortunately, I know that several times over. Each time I have gone through my insurance to have damages fixed, and they have always paid my deductible once the other company accepted fault. It never has been a pleasant experience, and I am sorry it has been visited upon you.

Remember that the insurance company of the at-fault driver has every reason to try to constrain costs (and reasonably so). While some companies do care about their responsibility and reputation, my most recent experience with a GEICO driver left me and my insurance short by over $1000 because they claim my company should have totaled my car for less than they paid to repair it - without ever inspecting my vehicle and preparing a proper valuation (which my company did). My experience with GEICO was particularly egregious and left me with no recourse to an endless string of telephone operators and several hundred dollars of out-of-pocket expenses after their driver hit me and my vehicle was in the shop for several weeks. That is just my experience, but it was a really poor one.
 

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@jessk2 -

It sounds like a case of pretty obvious damage that likely doesn't have operational impacts (other than opening the door).
It is good you check for reviews of whatever shop you take your car to, but if you don't have many (any) you can also ask if they have any contacts for customers who have had work done.
Most dealerships don't do their own bodywork, so that's typical.
The color might be unusual, but it's factory paint, and relatively new, so it doesn't matter what color it is, it is matched by selecting the can with the right color code.
You would likely be getting a new door and fender, so provided they are OEM parts, any decent shop should be able to repair it.
It's not a major repair - just expensive.

As far as which insurance you go through... I would have the other insurer pay for it, but it really doesn't matter that much if everything goes well.
If it doesn't, you don't have two companies to deal with, and you won't be in a position to go after your own carrier if there is a problem.

Your company wants you to go through them because they get something out of it - at least a referral fee, but that doesn't help you.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
On an almost new car, you also should make a diminished value claim for value lost on your vehicle. They will make you jump through a few more hoops but you might get a bit of compensation for the damage caused by the other driver. That said, no one pays you for the time and hassle of having your car hit by someone who wasn't paying attention. Unfortunately, I know that several times over. Each time I have gone through my insurance to have damages fixed, and they have always paid my deductible once the other company accepted fault. It never has been a pleasant experience, and I am sorry it has been visited upon you.
Can you clarify on this? Should I ask at-fault driver's insurance to pay me some kind of monetary compensation for the future resale loss? How it should
be claimed?

I guess since the door is severely damaged, than new door will be installed, right? Not used one, I mean.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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I take my vehicles to body shops that specialize in Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover, Jaguar, Porsche and other high-end cars. They have always done an amazing job as they know that the folks that purchase these cars will not accept anything less than perfection. Do some research as ANY shop can fix your car so pick one that has amazing reviews and a lifetime warranty on the repairs as was stated above.
 

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Can you clarify on this? Should I ask at-fault driver's insurance to pay me some kind of monetary compensation for the future resale loss? How it should be claimed?

I guess since the door is severely damaged, than new door will be installed, right? Not used one, I mean.
A highly reputable shop will not use USED parts and, with it being a 2019, I doubt there are many aftermarket body parts, if any at all, for your vehicle anyway. Heed my advice above in the prior post and you'll be just fine:thumbsup:
 

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I would look at body shops that have been in business for a while. I also ask what paint system they use and if the techs are certified with that system. Subaru has specific methods for painting plastic parts, I.e. bumper covers.

I’ve never heard of a body shop that uses old or used parts in a repair.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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Insist on:
1. New OEM parts
2. Paint blending onto adjacent undamaged panels
3. Compensation for "diminished value' as the accident is going to show on a vehicle history report. Some states have diminished value laws, other's don't.
 

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'17 Impreza Hatchback CVT
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FL has diminished value for damage caused by another driver.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminished_value#Florida

Get your car fixed and then you should ask the company about a diminished value settlement. They never offer this without your asking (at least in my experience) but if you ask that should set the wheels in motion, so to speak. How it works depends on the company involved, but compensation is based on value, age, mileage and extent of the original damage, and it is meant to compensate for loss of resale value on your vehicle.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
FL has diminished value for damage caused by another driver.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminished_value#Florida

Get your car fixed and then you should ask the company about a diminished value settlement. They never offer this without your asking (at least in my experience) but if you ask that should set the wheels in motion, so to speak. How it works depends on the company involved, but compensation is based on value, age, mileage and extent of the original damage, and it is meant to compensate for loss of resale value on your vehicle.

Good luck!

@ILuvMySubaru2: Thanks for letting know about this! As I said, it is my first time getting into accident after 15 years of driving. With my Touring, I was extremely careful to preserve the car from scratches, dents, etc - always parked far away from the stores (where nobody can park), since other drivers always park close to other cars and could damage the paint easily. So, you can imagine my state when such thing happened.

Is there an estimate how much is "acceptable" diminished value? I understand insurance company would try to offer as low amount as possible.

Anyway, I had to wait until I get back from vacation to get the car fixed - accident happened on one day before we left for 30 day vacation overseas. You can imagine how I feel.
 

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That's a pretty bad smash. New door, new fender. Probably new rear-view. May be some sensors involved, which means a trip to a Subaru dealer for re-calibration. Be sure to get an alignment.

I'm not sure what I would ask for diminished value, but I'd guess at least 20-25%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
FL has diminished value for damage caused by another driver.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminished_value#Florida

Get your car fixed and then you should ask the company about a diminished value settlement. They never offer this without your asking (at least in my experience) but if you ask that should set the wheels in motion, so to speak. How it works depends on the company involved, but compensation is based on value, age, mileage and extent of the original damage, and it is meant to compensate for loss of resale value on your vehicle.

Good luck!
Should I get car fixed first or I can call insurance company at fault first about diminished value loss?
 

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Should I get car fixed first or I can call insurance company at fault first about diminished value loss?
Diminished value is not an option in every state. Some states require it, where others do not. In the “do not” states, the requirement is to return the car to its pre-accident condition, nothing more.
 
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