unfair total loss car accident procedure

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oldnewbie
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unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by oldnewbie » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:27 pm

I was wondering what I am missing in current way cars are declared total loss. My car was involved in an accident where the other party was at fault and their insurance took responsibility. I was driving my 2000 Accord which has 188000 miles on it. The insurance adjuster offered me $2500 plus another $300 for tax and license if he took the car and $400 less if I kept it. The cost to repair is $3500 so I am not being offered enough to repair it nor am I being told where I can buy a replacement vehicle. I have looked online and can see that such cars can be had for larger sums. So I can not fix and can not buy and I feel I am being treated unfairly. I do not understand why it is now my responsibility to find this hard to find replacement.I would appreciate any thoughts on this situation. Thank you for listening.

Globalviewer58
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Globalviewer58 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:32 pm

Have you contacted your insurance company to negotiate a satisfactory resolution with the other insurance carrier? They do this every day whereas I am guessing this is your first time. Your carrier may also discuss other options besides the two offers you are considering from the other carrier.

Topic Author
oldnewbie
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by oldnewbie » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:36 pm

I have, and they are working on it but I have been warned not to expect much more since they use the same database as the other insurance company.
Thanks for the reply

trinc
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by trinc » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:39 pm

just because they offered $2500.00 it doesn't mean you have to accept it. If you feel the value is too low, gather the info to show what value you believe is correct. as suggested i would work through your agent and not talk directly to the other parties insurance co.

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cadreamer2015
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by cadreamer2015 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:40 pm

A quick look on Kelly Blue Book indicates that the offer from the insurance company doesn't seem too unfair to me. They show a Honda Accord LX with 188000 miles in NYC in Excellent condition at $1809 for a private party purchase. Buying from a dealer they say a fair price is ~$2500.
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livesoft
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by livesoft » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:47 pm

oldnewbie wrote: I have looked online and can see that such cars can be had for larger sums.
Why would anyone pay asking price for something online? If you find a car online that you want to buy, offer them $2000 and negotiate from there.
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Globalviewer58
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Globalviewer58 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:53 pm

Here's a web page written by a former auto insurance claims adjuster. He offers some ideas to help you realize a higher value for your loss.

http://www.edmunds.com/auto-insurance/c ... uster.html

EddyB
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by EddyB » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:57 pm

livesoft wrote:
oldnewbie wrote: I have looked online and can see that such cars can be had for larger sums.
Why would anyone pay asking price for something online? If you find a car online that you want to buy, offer them $2000 and negotiate from there.
A fair but incomplete point---if the OP has to negotiate a purchase transaction, perhaps even needing to see and make offers on multiple cars, then even if the insurer pays the purchase price, was the OP made whole in that process? I would at least expect to get something on top of the value of the car for the trouble that goes into replacing it.

Topic Author
oldnewbie
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by oldnewbie » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:05 pm

I saw that Kelly number but on the same site when looking for an actual car here in Pasadena California there was little to see. I have been looking on Kellys and Edmunds as I consider them to be more legitimate.

livesoft
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by livesoft » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:12 pm

EddyB wrote:A fair but incomplete point---if the OP has to negotiate a purchase transaction, perhaps even needing to see and make offers on multiple cars, then even if the insurer pays the purchase price, was the OP made whole in that process? I would at least expect to get something on top of the value of the car for the trouble that goes into replacing it.
I completely agree that the OP should recover the expenses of their time to find another car. That's another negotiation.

And while they are at it, they should recover their cost of negotiating with the insurance company, too.
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westie
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by westie » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:25 pm

You may squeeze another $200-300 out of the insurance company but that's about it. We're talking about a 16 year old car with 188K on it.

Topic Author
oldnewbie
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by oldnewbie » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:21 pm

Yes the car is old and has high mileage but is in good condition mechanically and otherwise. The point is that it was and is my reliable transportation and I was really comfortable with the fact that it looked good and at the same I did not fear small scrapes every time I entered a cramped parking lot. I am not as interested in squeezing money from the insurance company as I am in just having a reliable machine.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 am

It is not the insurance company's responsibility to find you a specific replacement vehicle. It is also not their responsibility to give you a list of places where you could buy the replacement vehicle. They just have to compensate you at fair market value for your totaled vehicle.

It is your responsibility to find a comparable replacement vehicle, whether that's by browsing online listings, the classified ads, visiting car lots, or the like. Using an online search tool would likely be the simplest approach, but may not be the most thorough approach. And keep in mind that a comparable vehicle is considered to be one of the same make, model, age, mileage, and condition, even if no such vehicles are for sell in your immediate area.

This is a negotiation though. If you have specific evidence that a comparable vehicle will cost more than what they are offering, counter with that evidence. So if you've found a 2000 Accord with 190k miles for $3000 listed online, print off that listing as evidence that their offer is too low. They may or may not raise the offer, as is the nature of all negotiations, but it's worth the effort if you have a few listings showing their offer is too low.

dbr
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by dbr » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:46 am

The thought is that this is pretty much how this works out. It has happened to me a couple of times. Be thankful the accident was not your fault. In many jurisdictions it is almost impossible that the fault is not shared. Life is not fair.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:55 am

dbr wrote:The thought is that this is pretty much how this works out. It has happened to me a couple of times. Be thankful the accident was not your fault. In many jurisdictions it is almost impossible that the fault is not shared. Life is not fair.
Life is indeed not fair, but I don't accept that the insurance company should get away with a low offer just because "this is pretty much how it works out." Premiums are paid, risk transferred, and the OP with some negotiation should be able to come out whole.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:09 am

oldnewbie wrote:I was wondering what I am missing in current way cars are declared total loss. My car was involved in an accident where the other party was at fault and their insurance took responsibility. I was driving my 2000 Accord which has 188000 miles on it. The insurance adjuster offered me $2500 plus another $300 for tax and license if he took the car and $400 less if I kept it. The cost to repair is $3500 so I am not being offered enough to repair it nor am I being told where I can buy a replacement vehicle. I have looked online and can see that such cars can be had for larger sums. So I can not fix and can not buy and I feel I am being treated unfairly. I do not understand why it is now my responsibility to find this hard to find replacement.I would appreciate any thoughts on this situation. Thank you for listening.
It's totaled. It's value was $2800. So you get $2800. That's how the process works. I'm not sure what you are disputing. Are you suggesting a 16 year old car with 188K miles on it is worth more than $2800? Have you blue booked it? I bet you're getting a pretty good deal. I took the liberty of blue booking your car and I see it being worth < $1400. I'd take the $2800 and run.

Why would it be the insurance company's job to tell you where to buy a car? If you want a $2800 car, I would suggest your local classifieds, Craigslist, or a used car lot.
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:21 am

I did a local search on craigslist for 2000 or newer accord for max $3000 and found over 50 cars. I think replacement is going to be pretty easy here.

One example is an 05 coupe at a NH dealer with leather, a sunroof, auto and 170k miles for an asking price of $2950.

Cal cars are likely in better shape because we salt the roads in the winter here.

Just checked using LA and similar story. There's a nice 4 door in inglewood for $3000.
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dbr
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by dbr » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:27 am

8foot7 wrote:
dbr wrote:The thought is that this is pretty much how this works out. It has happened to me a couple of times. Be thankful the accident was not your fault. In many jurisdictions it is almost impossible that the fault is not shared. Life is not fair.
Life is indeed not fair, but I don't accept that the insurance company should get away with a low offer just because "this is pretty much how it works out." Premiums are paid, risk transferred, and the OP with some negotiation should be able to come out whole.
By "works out" I am not talking about what has to be accepted, but about what will result with negotiation. The "victim" can also try to negotiate the purchase of a replacement car for the money offered and we can blame the sellers of those cars for "high balling" the price.

I do know a person who had an old car stolen once. They had to pay capital gains tax on the insurance payment which was larger than the as new purchase price because the vehicle was classified as a collector car by the time it was stolen.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by bsteiner » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:35 am

dbr wrote:... I do know a person who had an old car stolen once. They had to pay capital gains tax on the insurance payment which was larger than the as new purchase price because the vehicle was classified as a collector car by the time it was stolen.
Under Internal Revenue Code Section 1033, they wouldn't have paid capital gains tax if they had bought a similar car for at least as much as they received within two years of the end of the year they realized the gain.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by kenner » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:31 am

No one can be forced to settle any claim.

OP has the option of filing a lawsuit to establish the value his claim pursuant to applicable state law. He can sue the at-fault driver (whose insurance company is obligated to defend). Or OP can sue his own insurance company if he has appropriate coverage. Results will be determined by a judge (or maybe a jury) who will weigh the evidence presented in Court (primarily pertaining to loss of the fair market value of OP's vehicle immediately prior to the crash).

The vast majority of people settle small claims without bothering to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies are well aware of this fact.

Which is better, settlement or lawsuit? Only OP can decide.

Opinions about value can vary, but the law is pretty much settled. And final.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by dm200 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:53 am

1. In the negotiation process, are there any factors (that can be documented) supporting a higher valuation for this car?

2. While this car may have been of value to you, for your needs, in my opinion having a narrow search for this make, model, year - for a replacement does not make sense to me. I suggest broadening your search and dollar amount for another car. For example, I just bought a 1998 Toyota Camry with only 71,000 miles from a private party for only $3,000. [These deals don't come along very often, but when it did I grabbed it!]

3. Depending on the nature and extent of damage, is it possible that the car could be returned to safe operation for about what you are being offered? The $3,500 might (again depending on the details) be more repairs that actually needed for your needs.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by dbr » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:02 pm

dm200 wrote:1. In the negotiation process, are there any factors (that can be documented) supporting a higher valuation for this car?

2. While this car may have been of value to you, for your needs, in my opinion having a narrow search for this make, model, year - for a replacement does not make sense to me. I suggest broadening your search and dollar amount for another car. For example, I just bought a 1998 Toyota Camry with only 71,000 miles from a private party for only $3,000. [These deals don't come along very often, but when it did I grabbed it!]

Good advice. I have observed cases where the replacement was a better idea altogether than what went before. I am not saying that is or is not the the case here. I had a car totaled once and made a mistake not making the best choice in finding exact replacement. Not having that tunnel vision approach would have been better. Part of how it "works out" is that one does not necessarily benefit from trying to be "made whole" in the literal sense.

3. Depending on the nature and extent of damage, is it possible that the car could be returned to safe operation for about what you are being offered? The $3,500 might (again depending on the details) be more repairs that actually needed for your needs.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Johno » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:15 pm

8foot7 wrote:
dbr wrote:The thought is that this is pretty much how this works out. It has happened to me a couple of times. Be thankful the accident was not your fault. In many jurisdictions it is almost impossible that the fault is not shared. Life is not fair.
Life is indeed not fair, but I don't accept that the insurance company should get away with a low offer just because "this is pretty much how it works out." Premiums are paid, risk transferred, and the OP with some negotiation should be able to come out whole.
But what you pay for in a normal car insurance policy is approximate market value of the generic model, mileage etc, not necessarily what it would cost you to replace the car as you see fit, nor even your opinion of its value or selection from among varying used car pricing tools. And I don't see how $2.8k for a 16yr old 188k nothing special car falls outside what the company promised, other posters seem to corroborate that by punching the specifics into KBB, and if we read the fine print we might well find their valuation process was exactly what they promised. Although, that's another avenue to perhaps explore before bringing it up with them. I don't see a problem griping to them about it even without much of a leg to stand on, being the squeaky wheel and perhaps getting a drop of oil. But I don't see much here basically in the way of big corporate malfeasance v the little guy.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by PVW » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:53 pm

oldnewbie wrote:Yes the car is old and has high mileage but is in good condition mechanically and otherwise. The point is that it was and is my reliable transportation and I was really comfortable with the fact that it looked good and at the same I did not fear small scrapes every time I entered a cramped parking lot. I am not as interested in squeezing money from the insurance company as I am in just having a reliable machine.
The insurance company is paying you for the value of the car. That is what the insurance policy covers. If you have other loses, then try to extract them from the person responsible for the accident.

In my opinion, you should take your lumps and move on. Accidents happen every day and most people don't get compensated for anything but the value of the property that was damaged. Not fair, but complaining about it doesn't make it better and will just add to the misery of your loss.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:23 pm

Johno wrote: But what you pay for in a normal car insurance policy is approximate market value of the generic model, mileage etc, not necessarily what it would cost you to replace the car as you see fit, nor even your opinion of its value or selection from among varying used car pricing tools. And I don't see how $2.8k for a 16yr old 188k nothing special car falls outside what the company promised, other posters seem to corroborate that by punching the specifics into KBB, and if we read the fine print we might well find their valuation process was exactly what they promised.
The OP didn't pay the inurance that s/he is having a problem with here. It's the other party's insurance. And whatever fine print exists in that contract for the valuation process wasn't signed off by the OP, as it was the contract between the insurance and the at-fault driver.

Getting involved without fault in such an accident is probably rarely going to end in full satisfaction. i guess it is one of the risks we accept every day by driving the car out of the garage.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by pshonore » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:39 pm

OP could also appeal to the company to fix the car for the $3500. They may just agree provided he agrees to fix it and not just pocket the money. It never hurts to ask. Failing that, he can also shop around for a cheaper body shop. My opinion is $2500 (+300 for expenses) for a 15 year old car with almost 200K miles is fair.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Johno » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:59 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Johno wrote: But what you pay for in a normal car insurance policy is approximate market value of the generic model, mileage etc, not necessarily what it would cost you to replace the car as you see fit, nor even your opinion of its value or selection from among varying used car pricing tools. And I don't see how $2.8k for a 16yr old 188k nothing special car falls outside what the company promised, other posters seem to corroborate that by punching the specifics into KBB, and if we read the fine print we might well find their valuation process was exactly what they promised.
The OP didn't pay the inurance that s/he is having a problem with here. It's the other party's insurance. And whatever fine print exists in that contract for the valuation process wasn't signed off by the OP, as it was the contract between the insurance and the at-fault driver.

Getting involved without fault in such an accident is probably rarely going to end in full satisfaction. i guess it is one of the risks we accept every day by driving the car out of the garage.
I think the first is kind of splitting hairs, since it's really an overall insurance system in which you know upfront there will be cases where somebody else's insurance compensates you. And I kinda doubt people driving $3k cars are going to sign up for the 'full replacement value' add-on the companies advertise on TV for new cars, under your own insurance, anyway.

The second one I agree with though, the chance of being satisfied is probably lower when other insurance pays than when your own is involved. But if the other guy doesn't have insurance, it's worse, I can testify. The 'uninsured motorist' coverage doesn't actually do anything for you in some states (mine for example) if it's just damage. I was hit by a totally at fault uninsured driver while I was legally stopped when he ricocheted off somebody else, had to get it fixed under collision with $500 deductible; if I'd dropped collision which I was about to, I would have just have had to pay $2,500.

Again seems to me the whole conversation would be better founded if the offer was really a low ball, doesn't actually seem to be.

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oldnewbie
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by oldnewbie » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:16 pm

My insurance company ( Mercury) has so far not been helpful. They say that since the other party's insurance accepted responsibility, I should speak to them. They will not negotiate for me. I have looked at Craigslist and found cars that sounded good but upon investigation were salvaged or had even much higher mileage than mine.
I am starting to think that the only way to avoid this total loss scenario is to get rid of a car once it starts dipping below $5000 since most repairs would fall below that figure.
Trying to move on but I honestly can not understand why it is not the insurance companies responsibility to provide replacement even if I agree with the valuation.

Thanks for all the responses

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by dbr » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:27 pm

oldnewbie wrote: Trying to move on but I honestly can not understand why it is not the insurance companies responsibility to provide replacement even if I agree with the valuation.
Because that is not what you contracted and paid for. Put differently, the cost of insurance would be much more than it is if that were provided. I don't think there is an insurance company anywhere that goes out and shops for and delivers you a car, even if you wanted to pay for the service. What would be a fair wage, benefits, and expenses to pay to hire someone to go do all of this for you? One reason accidents suck is that even innocent victims are put at major inconvenience and loss of money that insurance never covers.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:35 pm

EmergDoc wrote:
Why would it be the insurance company's job to tell you where to buy a car? If you want a $2800 car, I would suggest your local classifieds, Craigslist, or a used car lot.
In theory the tortfeasor is responsible for restoring the victim to the status quo ex ante. The insurance company is paid to step into the tortfeasor's shoes. Before the crash the victim had a working car not a wad of cash. If the victim can't easily turn the wad of cash into a comparable car asking the insurance company how to do that is reasonable.

In practice this most often part of negotiating the value of the car and will at best result in a larger wad of cash rather than an actual car, but there are cases that insurance companies have settled by actually providing a car (IMO both parties in such cases were behaving unreasonably)

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:40 pm

I am starting to think that the only way to avoid this total loss scenario is to get rid of a car once it starts dipping below $5000 since most repairs would fall below that figure.
More expensive might make it less likely to be totaled, but any car can be totaled, and if a car is massively damaged but not totaled you just might not want the "repaired" car.

FWIW: As others have noted, you get what you contract for which is some estimate of the value of the car handed to you, not a replacement car. That is just how this works (99.99% of the time, I'll accept the post above claiming the set of cases where a car is provided is not the empty set). Car accidents are a pain and unfortunately often result in some loss even if you have insurance.

Best of luck.
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by EddyB » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:47 pm

Rodc wrote:
I am starting to think that the only way to avoid this total loss scenario is to get rid of a car once it starts dipping below $5000 since most repairs would fall below that figure.

FWIW: As others have noted, you get what you contract for ....
But it's not a contract claim, it's a tort claim, so that's not relevant, is it?

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by dm200 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:56 pm

oldnewbie wrote:My insurance company ( Mercury) has so far not been helpful. They say that since the other party's insurance accepted responsibility, I should speak to them. They will not negotiate for me. I have looked at Craigslist and found cars that sounded good but upon investigation were salvaged or had even much higher mileage than mine.
I am starting to think that the only way to avoid this total loss scenario is to get rid of a car once it starts dipping below $5000 since most repairs would fall below that figure. Trying to move on but I honestly can not understand why it is not the insurance companies responsibility to provide replacement even if I agree with the valuation.
Thanks for all the responses
I don't think that would make sense at all. First, your specific situation is not all that common. Based on what similar cars sell for and are valued, your offer is not that unreasonable, it seems to me. Second, if your needs and desires are met with an older, lower "value" car - I think it can make a lot of sense to keep driving it.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:59 pm

EddyB wrote:
Rodc wrote:
I am starting to think that the only way to avoid this total loss scenario is to get rid of a car once it starts dipping below $5000 since most repairs would fall below that figure.

FWIW: As others have noted, you get what you contract for ....
But it's not a contract claim, it's a tort claim, so that's not relevant, is it?
I'm not sure nit picking wording is all that helpful, but if it makes you happy change "contract" to agreement. :)

I have never had a policy where the insurance company promised to actually provide me car if mine is totaled (though for an additional cost you can get coverage for a rental for some period of time). Have you?
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by dm200 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:14 pm

I have never had a policy where the insurance company promised to actually provide me car if mine is totaled (though for an additional cost you can get coverage for a rental for some period of time). Have you?
I think it is more common that a short term rental is provided when it is the fault of the other driver. Years ago, someone damaged my car and I actually got 2 or 3 days rental car provided while my car was being repaired.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by EddyB » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:37 pm

Rodc wrote:
EddyB wrote:
Rodc wrote:
I am starting to think that the only way to avoid this total loss scenario is to get rid of a car once it starts dipping below $5000 since most repairs would fall below that figure.

FWIW: As others have noted, you get what you contract for ....
But it's not a contract claim, it's a tort claim, so that's not relevant, is it?
I'm not sure nit picking wording is all that helpful, but if it makes you happy change "contract" to agreement. :)

I have never had a policy where the insurance company promised to actually provide me car if mine is totaled (though for an additional cost you can get coverage for a rental for some period of time). Have you?
This isn't a claim by the OP under a contract (or agreement, arrangement, understanding or anything like that) with an insurance company. It's a claim arising out of tort rights against a driver. There no question of what the OP "contract[ed] for." How is that nitpicking? It's a fundamental difference.
Last edited by EddyB on Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:37 pm

oldnewbie wrote: I am starting to think that the only way to avoid this total loss scenario is to get rid of a car once it starts dipping below $5000 since most repairs would fall below that figure.
The cost to repair of my 13 Wrangler Unlimited exceeded $34,000. Yes, they totaled it and gave me $32k or so.
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:44 pm

EddyB wrote:
Rodc wrote:
EddyB wrote:
Rodc wrote:
I am starting to think that the only way to avoid this total loss scenario is to get rid of a car once it starts dipping below $5000 since most repairs would fall below that figure.

FWIW: As others have noted, you get what you contract for ....
But it's not a contract claim, it's a tort claim, so that's not relevant, is it?
I'm not sure nit picking wording is all that helpful, but if it makes you happy change "contract" to agreement. :)

I have never had a policy where the insurance company promised to actually provide me car if mine is totaled (though for an additional cost you can get coverage for a rental for some period of time). Have you?
This isn't a claim by the OP under a contract (or agreement, arrangement, understanding or anything like that) with an insurance company. It's a claim arising out of tort rights against a driver. There no question of what the OP "contract[ed] for." How is that nitpicking? It's a fundamental difference.
Your point is that the issue is he is dealing with the other guy's insurance company (and really the other driver in a sense not his own insurance)? That would make sense. His insurance only comes in if the other guy is not insured, did a hit and run, or something?
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

EddyB
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by EddyB » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:57 pm

Rodc wrote:
Your point is that the issue is he is dealing with the other guy's insurance company (and really the other driver in a sense not his own insurance)? That would make sense. His insurance only comes in if the other guy is not insured, did a hit and run, or something?
Yes; it's the second sentence of the OP. So all the talk about what the OP contracted for isn't relevant.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:00 pm

I think totaling a car is a great way to sell one. I've always felt like I got more than the car was worth.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

Trapper
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Trapper » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:01 pm

If I was the OP and the other party was responsible I would want the $3500 to fix my car. I know fixing it would not make me "whole" because a repaired car is worth less than one without an accident history.
I would let the responsible's party insurance company know that I would find this satisfactory, and I would be interviewing attorney's to pursue and represent my interests shortly.

Rodc
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:10 pm

EddyB wrote:
Rodc wrote:
Your point is that the issue is he is dealing with the other guy's insurance company (and really the other driver in a sense not his own insurance)? That would make sense. His insurance only comes in if the other guy is not insured, did a hit and run, or something?
Yes; it's the second sentence of the OP. So all the talk about what the OP contracted for isn't relevant.
I saw that but it didn't click. Thank you.

It raises a question for me: what then can one reasonably expect to get out of the other driver or their insurance? I suppose one could sue the driver for the difference if one felt their insurance short changed them, or try. Or are there state laws that limit what you can sue for if the other driver has insurance that meets state standards? I would guess at the very least it varies by state. In my state insurance is highly regulated as to what is covered and what is charged (many companies no longer insure here as I understand it).
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

Rodc
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:12 pm

EmergDoc wrote:I think totaling a car is a great way to sell one. I've always felt like I got more than the car was worth.
I tend to drive mine until fairly advance decrepitude and have more than once hoped someone would hit it while parked. :)
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

cherijoh
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by cherijoh » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:14 pm

oldnewbie wrote: Trying to move on but I honestly can not understand why it is not the insurance companies responsibility to provide replacement even if I agree with the valuation.
I'm trying to figure out what alternate universe you live in that you expected your insurance company to find you a replacement vehicle. :shock:

I had a 15-year-old car with ~182K miles totaled when I was hit from behind on the interstate. (This accident probably would have totaled a new car, much less my old one). I was upset with the idiot tailgater (who hit me with enough force to shatter my rear windshield and plow my car into the one stopped in front of mine) - not my insurance company who got me a check within 3 days.

I was stuck spending a bunch of money that week that I hadn't planned on spending, but this illustrates the reason to have an emergency fund and to save up for a new car after you no longer have car payments on your current one.

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dm200
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by dm200 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:22 pm

EmergDoc wrote:I think totaling a car is a great way to sell one. I've always felt like I got more than the car was worth.
Yes - but doing so (or getting caught intentionally doing so) is probably "insurance fraud" :twisted:

And there are some "politically incorrect" names for doing this :wink:

Rodc
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:05 pm

I'm trying to figure out what alternate universe you live in that you expected your insurance company to find you a replacement vehicle
Not to mention I'm not sure how this would even work or if I would trust an insurance company to find me a "new" car that is 16 years old with 188K miles. That seems like a way to go from bad to worse.

Be thankful you are not hurt and count your blessings.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:12 pm

Read your insurance contract first. If it talks about an "appraisal clause", you could tell your insurer you're invoking the appraisal clause. Read more here:

http://www.clarkhoward.com/learn-how-co ... o-insurers

Let us know how it turns out. Good luck.
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by bottlecap » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:27 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:
Why would it be the insurance company's job to tell you where to buy a car? If you want a $2800 car, I would suggest your local classifieds, Craigslist, or a used car lot.
In theory the tortfeasor is responsible for restoring the victim to the status quo ex ante. The insurance company is paid to step into the tortfeasor's shoes. Before the crash the victim had a working car not a wad of cash. If the victim can't easily turn the wad of cash into a comparable car asking the insurance company how to do that is reasonable.

In practice this most often part of negotiating the value of the car and will at best result in a larger wad of cash rather than an actual car, but there are cases that insurance companies have settled by actually providing a car (IMO both parties in such cases were behaving unreasonably)
A tortfeasor does not have to buy you a new car. A tortfeasor doesn't pay you for the hassle of buying a new car. All you get is the value of the car. The insurance company isn't going to pay you more than you could reasonably be expected to get in court.

JT

ThisTimeItsDifferent
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by ThisTimeItsDifferent » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:28 pm

If your car was of better than average quality of used cars for sale, and since you were not selling it, it likely was, then the average or market price of cars actually for sale would in fact be lower than the value of your car.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Market_for_Lemons

It very likely would be of greater value to you than to any buyer anyway since you know the quality and repair history. The other party offering to pay you the "market value" definitely does not make you whole. You could not find another car of that quality for the "market price" and even if you could, you would not find one with a known repair and quality history.

kenner
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Re: unfair total loss car accident procedure

Post by kenner » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:53 pm

Seems the law should be changed so that if a crash causes the total loss of a car owner's vehicle, the individual car owner should be allowed to set his own value for the loss. To hell with what the market says.

Then everyone would be happy.

Same for stocks!

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