Rear bumper damage, insurance sends a check

Hi all,

I have a leased Mazda 6 Touring 2018 (Soul red) with currently 6000 miles.

While sitting at stop someone hit my car’s rear bumper. The impact seems minimal, no cracks but I got some scratches and the four screws that were holding the other car’s plate are now embedded in my bumper. There might be additional damage that is not visible to me.

I got their insurance (Gainsco - did’t heard about them before), filed a claim, used their app to do a self-assessment of the damage since this was the fastest way. The guy handling the case said I have to provide them a repair shop so they can send the check directly to them (otherwise the check would go to lease holder and would be more complicated to get the money back).

The other day I get a check in mail from Gainsco for 530 USD - “For Mazda 2018 repairs”.

Is this a tactic to make me get a lesser amount for the damage?

Initially they said they can pay only the shop or the leasing company and now they are sending a check. In case the repairs are more than this amount, they would have to pay the difference? Also I would need a loner/rental while the car is in shop, should’t they cover that?

It seems that the bumper would need a lot of filler to get it smooth again. Is that acceptable for a 5000 mile car?


Most modern day bumpers needs to be replaced if there is any significant damage including cracks, dents, and holes.

I would get a quote from a reputable shop ASAP and don’t cash the check. It’s not uncommon to get the check mailed to you in your name, but could be trying to get you to accept what they feel is fair which is below actual repair cost.

Call your insurance company, they will tell you what to do. My Instinct is that the other sketchy insurance company is trying to get you to accept check in lieu of taking care of rental car and repair in full.

Adjusters also low-ball the repair shops on what they will reimburse for the work.

Yes. Only cash the check if you plan on doing the work yourself (i.e. keeping the money)

Just go to some local body shops and get quotes. I don’t know why you’re even asking on here, you can get a quote in 5 minutes.


I’m going through this right now because someone smacked our X1 while we were waiting at a stop light. Again, minimal damage, but they cracked our rear bumper.

Person has USAA and I made a claim directly with them. They sent me to their preferred body shop to get an estimate to send to their adjuster which was immediately approved ($1000). I’m waiting to see if my BMW Collision Center will get close and then I’ll push back to get additional funds if needed. In the mean time they have cut me a check already.

I’m half inclined to use their body shop because it is a reputable one but feel like I’ll get less push back from BMW (if I even got any) by using a certified collision repair facility.

You got a check based on a visual inspection. You could keep it and move on if your not planning on doing repairs (check with Mazda and find out how much the damage will cost at lease end). If you do repair the shop will do an estimate (probably similar amount) and do another once the tear down is complete. They will then file a supplement to Gainsco for more money if further repairs are needed that are not visible now. This is very common and how things work. Most of the time additional repairs are needed, but the cost of a tear down is not something any insurance company wants to pay for more that once (at estimate and again at repair).

You will also need to coordinate with the adjuster to pay for the rental car when you car is in the shop. With this be careful to coordinate with the repair shop to drop your car off the day the work is going to start. The insurance company is only liable for the number of days to repair. So dropping off on a Friday afternoon when the car will just sit for a weekend will not work if it is considered drivable.

I had something similar. Minor bumper damage but the body shop need to remove the bumper to see if there is damage underneath. You can’t simply do a visual inspection. The body shop quoted about $1k. You should also request rental car coverage and possible some money for anxiety and time. You can take the money now and do the repairs later.

Thanks for all the inputs. I asked this question since I don’t know if this estimate would force a repair shop to use the cheapest bumper it can find. OE is always more expensive than aftermarket, and aftermarket might be crap. I had a similar issue in my home country and had to replace the bumper. The amount offered by the insurance did’t cover the price of an OE bumper. So they used aftermarket which did not fit properly. Then they fitted other aftermarket which also didn’t fit. And there was no way to force the insurer to pay for OE.

Hopefully if replacement is necessary they will use OE.

So I got the car repaired and now the insurance will not pay all the supplements. The shop requested a supplement, they approved. And after the repairs were done the shop provided additional supplement for paint (Mazda 6 Soul Red - they got a supplement of 600 usd for that). The inssurance will not pay the last supplement. It is not my insurer.

What are my options? Pay and sue/take it with Texas Department of Insurance? Don’t pay, use rental and sue?
f I pay and file complaint/sue is there a caveat that I somehow accepted the work done and I am liable?

To report:

Step 1: take all details and pics
Step 2: file claim with your insurance
Step 3: pay deductible and repair
Step 4: your insurance subrogates claim to other insurance and gets back deductible
Step 5: live happily ever after

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The car entered in shop and got fixed on the other guy insurance. But his insurance does not want to pay all the supplements.

Sounds like that’s the shops fault to me. They should be submitting the additional supplemental work and getting approval before doing the work.

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This is strange to me too, why didn’t they got everything approved beforehand since paint wasn’t some hidden damage, it was in the VIN. What are my options in this case?

I think it is on the repair shop. They need to deal with insurance. Are they not giving you the car back?

No, they will not release the car. The insurance canceled the rental and did not pay any of the bills, not even the part they are not disputing (they sent an initial check of 515 usd based on their initial estimate). Or at least that is what the shop tells me. And that cancellation is in bad faith since they did not pay anything other than the initial check they sent me before I got the car in shop.

Did you sign anything with the body shop?

Why did insurance pay you anything initially? Are you sure that wasn’t the entire payout and you’re responsible for all repairs yourself now?

Exactly what Vhooloo said.
Do this through your insurance since the other one is screwing around.

Though in my opinion, your body shop is also screwing around. $600 paint supplement for the bumper is crazy high if that is on top of the normal repair. Supplements should be approved by the insurer before things move forward. I have no idea how bad your bumper/under side is. If it is just teh bumper cover, repairing that and repainting is more like a $400 fix.
I know Seoul Red is hard to match, but that seems excessive for a bumper.

I likely wouldn’t pay the $600 out of pocket so quick since I think that the insurance will pay

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Shop notified me that their hourly rates might differ from what insurance has when I handed the car. But that should not make me liable since the whole repair process went with the insurance, I did not approve any extra repairs.

I did a complaint with Texas Department of Insurance and today I will try to reach one of the supervisors.

  • Insurance issued an initial check for 515 USD for car repairs.
  • After getting the car at the shop, they sent a supplement request for around 830 USD where they mentioned paint and materials would be charged per invoice since they get the paint from a 3rd party. They approved.
  • After painting the car, shop sent a supplement invoice for paint and materials for aprox. 600 USD

I cannot go trough my insurance since the event took place when I was with different insurer. Can I go trough my previous insurer since I am not their client anymore.

They also canceled the rental before even paying what they approved, so that shows bad faith from insures side.