Auto insurance total loss claim

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hoops777
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Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by hoops777 »

Just wondering if any insurance people online.
We had a very minor accident with our 2014 EV.
After about a week the total loss department shockingly called me and said it’s was a total loss and determined a fair market value of 11,265. I was upset and questioned it and she said I could get an independent appraisal and they could do the same.
They said the salvage value is 7845.

She first called me yesterday morning saying it looked like a total loss and answered some questions.
She called me again right before closing with the numbers saying it was a total loss and wanted to let me know before the weekend.
I was upset and left it hanging so nothing in writing. She also said to send in any paperwork with the added options they may have missed they could increase the value.

So my question is this would be a done deal.They are not going to tell me Monday they changed and decided to repair the car.

Reason being I found the perfect replacement that is a rare color that my wife loves. She wants the same car and I found a 2018 with 10,000 miles for 20,995 that is certified by BMW and the full warranty would be good until July 2023.
I want to buy it today before it is gone from the BMW dealer.

So once the insurance says total loss over the phone without the formal documentation because I was disputing the price, it is still a done deal?
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bob60014
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by bob60014 »

Curious, as this may be a fair price depending on the vehicle. Whats the make/model of the 2014 EV?
Topic Author
hoops777
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by hoops777 »

BMW i3
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rooms222
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by rooms222 »

According to my mechanic who buys totaled cars from auctions and repairs them for sale, different states and different cars have a higher propensity for being totaled based upon the rules of the state it is registered in, and the risk experience that repairs will be more expensive than predicted through their experience in repairing. BMWs are known for being expensive to fix and electric cars also have that reputation. It is unlikely they will change their mind. Also, if the repair is truly minor, you could buy the car for the salvage value from them, and take the other money and have it fixed yourself, even if you do buy the perfect car as well.


I think you are in CA, this may be helpful. I am far from you, and my mechanic buys a lot of cars from TX and IL because of their rules about totaling cars. The below links are about CA.

https://barrypgoldberg.com/is-my-car-a- ... tal%20loss.

https://www.rmdlaw.com/car-accidents/ca ... -loss-law/
Last edited by rooms222 on Sat May 15, 2021 12:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
jack.bauer
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by jack.bauer »

What stare are you in? In CA, dealers have to give you option to return your *pre-owned* car for some days. I remember paying $75 extra for that option when I got my last used car in 2012. The return has to be done in 250 miles or 72 hours (not 100% on the limits).

Maybe thats available in your state too? And might be worth it for your peace of mind. Or ask the dealer if they can provide this type of a rider on the sales contract. If not, I would personally rather just wait for Monday as the probability is good that the car will still be there.
jack.bauer
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by jack.bauer »

Found the details of law here: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/car-buyer ... s-ffvr-35/

Seems like the cost would be $250 for your car price in CA. My used car in 2012 was in same price range but I only paid $75. So the option price has gone up.. I guess dealer lobbying.

For option at $250, Not sure if worth it. I would personally just wait for that price. But thats me.
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hoops777
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by hoops777 »

Yes they have a 2 day rule here but you have to pay extra.
This car is very expensive to repair but It never crossed my mind they would total it.
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Candor
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by Candor »

Very unlikely. I believe most states have a 75% threshold of repair costs vs.value that is used to total a vehicle. Same states vary. There are times where the insurance company will total a vehicle at 50% or possibly even less if they write a preliminary estimate but they believe there is a high probability of expensive hidden damages. The ins. co. may also factor in extended rental cost, diminished value and the salvage value into their decision.

If your vehicle is a borderline total where the ins. co. has made an economic decision to total it I suppose there could be a possibility that if their initial valuation of the vehicle is low and after they review it with the additional options and it comes back significantly higher it may no longer hit their threshold to total a vehicle but I would consider that possibility very low. Plus, if you have already purchased another vehicle based on their verbal notification of it being a total I believe they would be inclined to proceed with it as a total at that point even if it didn't meet the threshold.
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JBTX
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by JBTX »

How much is it to fix? Can you take the total loss payment and fix it?
talzara
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by talzara »

hoops777 wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 12:20 pm This car is very expensive to repair but It never crossed my mind they would total it.
Where is the damage on your car?

The BMW i3 is made of carbon fiber composite. Even minor damage in the wrong location could total the car.

Your $11,265 car has a salvage value of $7,845, leaving only $3,420 for repairs. That's not a lot of money to repair a BMW i3 with. Anything that costs more than $3,420 will total the car in California.
talzara
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by talzara »

Candor wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 2:21 pm Very unlikely. I believe most states have a 75% threshold of repair costs vs.value that is used to total a vehicle. Same states vary. There are times where the insurance company will total a vehicle at 50% or possibly even less if they write a preliminary estimate but they believe there is a high probability of expensive hidden damages. The ins. co. may also factor in extended rental cost, diminished value and the salvage value into their decision.
California is a Total Loss Formula (TLF) state, so there is no total loss threshold. If the salvage value plus the repair costs are higher than the car's value, then it's totaled.

In states with a total loss threshold, damage exceeding the threshold will total the car even if the salvage value plus the repair costs are lower than the car's value. 75% is the most common total loss threshold, but it can be as low as 50% or as high as 100%.

Here is a table that shows the total loss thresholds in every state: https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uplo ... -CHART.pdf

Usually people fight the insurance company because they want their car to be totaled. It's unusual that the OP is fighting the insurance company to prevent the car from being totaled.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Describe the damage. I would guess that since it was a minor accident, it falls in line with my old Lotus Elise. If I were to hit a raccoon with it, that would crack the front fiberglas structure, which totals the car.

If that's the case and it's drivable, why not keep it? You'll get a check for three grand and not have to worry about future depreciation as I know those cars depreciate faster than a Maserati. I did this about a year ago with an 09 Ford Fusion. Had dents in a fender, 2 doors and rear quarter and a broken mirror. $95 at the pull a part and I had it good to go. Insurance gave $4500 for my trouble. Drove it for about 8 months and sold it recently because one of my sons bought his own car. Totally worth it to keep it.
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StevieG72
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by StevieG72 »

Outside of the recent gasoline delivery / supply issue on the east coast, those are not very popular cars. It will probably still be there on Monday.

My friend works for a BMW dealer and they basically gave the employees a free lease on these cars because they were not selling. I think the price point was keeping people away, otherwise it is a nice car.
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Topic Author
hoops777
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by hoops777 »

talzara wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 6:31 pm
Candor wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 2:21 pm Very unlikely. I believe most states have a 75% threshold of repair costs vs.value that is used to total a vehicle. Same states vary. There are times where the insurance company will total a vehicle at 50% or possibly even less if they write a preliminary estimate but they believe there is a high probability of expensive hidden damages. The ins. co. may also factor in extended rental cost, diminished value and the salvage value into their decision.
California is a Total Loss Formula (TLF) state, so there is no total loss threshold. If the salvage value plus the repair costs are higher than the car's value, then it's totaled.

In states with a total loss threshold, damage exceeding the threshold will total the car even if the salvage value plus the repair costs are lower than the car's value. 75% is the most common total loss threshold, but it can be as low as 50% or as high as 100%.

Here is a table that shows the total loss thresholds in every state: https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uplo ... -CHART.pdf

Usually people fight the insurance company because they want their car to be totaled. It's unusual that the OP is fighting the insurance company to prevent the car from being totaled.
Thanks. This is why you ask questions on this forum.
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Topic Author
hoops777
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by hoops777 »

Thank for all the great replies.
It was a minor accident but the center portion of the tailgate is made out of some kind of glass that shatters without flying through the air.
It was completely shattered so they need to replace the entire tailgate,even though it was not even hit.

The BMW dealer really worked with me and the car is ours.Bought it from my living room over the phone and my iPad.If something crazy happens with the insurance on Monday we can cancel.
They are overnighting the contract and I fed ex it back with a cashiers check. At that point they will deliver the car to our house.
It actually turned out not to be a negative.
For about 10K we get the same car but 4 years newer. 10,000 miles vs 33,000. A better battery which will extend our range about 35 pct or more.A really nice frozen blue color that is pretty rare that my wife has always wanted. We go from no warranty to fully covered until July 2023. These are really nice cars with a couple negatives. The driving range is what is killing the sales and resale value. As I found it, these are easy to total which leaves you with a value problem unless you buy a used i3 like I am.

Not such a bad outcome after all. Fingers crossed everybody keeps their word.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.
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LadyGeek
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (insurance claim).
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strafe
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Re: Auto insurance total loss claim

Post by strafe »

I would want the car totaled so that I could more easily replace it with one that had not been involved in an accident.

Glad this worked out well for you in the end.
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