EXPERT ANSWERS – Pre-existing Damage


expert answers

My friend crashed her car in a recent storm. She immediately filed a claim, however it took an adjuster 10 days to come look at her car! By this time the car had rusted in the damage area. They deemed it a total loss. Today she is dealing with an investigation. They are trying to hassle her about the damage saying because its rusty it appears to be pre-existing damage, when in fact it’s not. What should she do and why is her own insurer treating her so poorly like she’s a criminal?


It is very common for rust to appear in as little as a day, right after a rain. Anyway, that is really beside the point. If the delay occurred as you say, then I say let the investigation surge forward! They would be brave to deny a claim just based on some rust. If they have some evidence of fraud, they will deny the claim; if they do not, they will pay for the claim as the policy requires.

Just let them investigate. Look up oxidation and such, you can see how easily rust forms and how quickly; so can the insurance company.

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