Car accident: advice needed

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Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Car accident: advice needed

Post by Wannaretireearly » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:41 pm

I was as fault. I have called my insurance.

My car is older ( 2004). But I do have full comp.
I was told by farmers it is likely a total loss.

Any advice? I think the damage is largely cosmetic ( not engine). But will check in the morning. I could drive the car home.

Thank you! Appreciate any pointers. At the mo I'm thinking of collecting from ins (-1k deductible) and fixing the car?

:sharebeer
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HomeStretch
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by HomeStretch » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:46 pm

Maybe it’s time for a new/newer car with updated safety features.

Edited for typo
Last edited by HomeStretch on Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cycle
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Cycle » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:47 pm

I'd sell it. I sold mine a few months after some dude hit me on the freeway to work. Having someone drive u to work is a much better way to go, and I save ~5k per year.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

Jakabedy
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Jakabedy » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:52 pm

I agree with the others that it may be time to cut your losses and let it go. But if you do want to keep it, depending on what state you're in, you may wind up having to accept a salvage title for the car. That likely doesn't make much difference to you on a car that has only a few thousand in value, but on a newer more valuable car it would essentially ruin any chances for later resale.

moneywise3
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by moneywise3 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:09 pm

Whats your question?

random_walker_77
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by random_walker_77 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:23 pm

How bad was the collision and how long ago? Are you physically ok? If this just happened, be aware that you could be pretty messed up and not realize it for a few days (or longer). Whiplash, concussions, and such can really do a number on you, and you will likely think that you're fine for the first few days. So, do consider seeing your doctor, if it was a serious collision.

How much was your car worth? If the damage was more than some percentage of the car's value (75%?) the insurance company will declare a total loss, and offer to pay you what they think the car was worth, less the deductible. This will probably be less than what you think it was worth. Be prepared to have a "discussion" w/ your insurer about a fair market value for your vehicle. When that's concluded, the insurer pays you and becomes the vehicle's owner. You can further negotiate to see if you can buy it back from the insurer at a reasonable price, but the vehicle will then have a "salvage title"

What's the extent of this "cosmetic" damage? Did the airbags go off? Any chance the frame is bent? Or are we just talking about damaged paint and bodywork?

Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Wannaretireearly » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:44 pm

Thanks in advance folks.
I'll try to respond to the questions asked:

Seems cosmetic damage ( not engine). Fender and hood definitely damaged. I would estimate 2 to 3k. I'm going to take the car to my mechanic to get checked out trow.

No injuries to anyone. Thank god. This happened today. It was a low mph accident at a right hand turn. I bumped thr car in front, both of us turning right.

Car is worth b/w 3 and 5k. Just checked KBB. I want to be prepared to have the negotiation discussion with insurance on monday. My high water mark will be 5 to 6K based on the numbers for a 2004 Toyota solara SLE convertible.

Anyway I can negotiate with insurance on a write off/salvage and still keep the car? Engine is a champ. Only 130k miles. I think they will the to lowball me and say it's a write off for 1.5 to 2k (-1k deductible!). What's the best way to negotiate with insurance in this position?

I'm in California if that matters.

Thanks
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fru-gal
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by fru-gal » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:44 am

Do keep in mind the injury caution above. I was in a low speed accident, rear ended, and my neck problem only showed up a few days later.

Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:29 pm

Thanks all.
There is a good chance farmers may total the car.
What should I be aware of with this process?
Worried they take the car away and I have to make a quick decision to buy a new car...
Buy Low, Sell High

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:38 pm

Wannaretireearly wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:29 pm
Thanks all.
There is a good chance farmers may write off the car.
What should I be aware of with this process?
Worried they take the car away and I have to make a quick decision to buy a new car...
Use this time to shop for replacement. If replacement becomes necessary, you won't be under as much pressure if you have already done some research.

Did your airbags go off?

Good luck!

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

THY4373
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by THY4373 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:18 pm

In addition to the deducible the insurance company will likely subtract the salvage auction value of the car from your settlement at least that is how it worked with one totaled car I had.

Honestly I am in the camp that it maybe be time to let this car go but it depends. Are you going to drive as is? Are you going to try to fix it cheaply yourself? I did the latter once. Somebody reversed into my 2000 Taurus wagon. The only damage was a completely crushed passenger rear door. His insurance company couldn't find a used door (I have no idea why because I found one easily enough) so they wrote a check for $2300 to me. Which was probably just about what the car was worth. I used online search engines and found a junkyard that had the door in the color of my car for $500. I bought the door and swapped it out myself and banked the rest of the money.

Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:26 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:29 pm
Thanks all.
There is a good chance farmers may write off the car.
What should I be aware of with this process?
Worried they take the car away and I have to make a quick decision to buy a new car...
Use this time to shop for replacement. If replacement becomes necessary, you won't be under as much pressure if you have already done some research.

Did your airbags go off?

Good luck!

Broken Man 1999
Yep. Shopping today. Either a Kia Telluride, Subaru or Mazda cx9. Air bags did not go off...
Thanks!
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IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:29 pm

Wannaretireearly wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:41 pm
My car is older ( 2004). But I do have full comp.
I'm nitpicking here but comp doesn't cover an accident. (I suspect you meant to say collision instead of comp.) Your car would be covered by your collision coverage. Normally people either have both comp and collision or neither but not everyone follows this pattern. If you don't have collision, your car won't be covered through Farmers.

As many others have said, if your car is driveable or can be restored to driveability for a reasonable amount, you would have the option of keeping the car and getting a payment for the value of the car less the salvage value and the deductible on your collision coverage. Whether this makes sense to do depends on a lot- the severity of the damage, how you feel about driving a dented car, the overall condition of the car, etc.

Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:33 pm

IowaFarmBoy wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:29 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:41 pm
My car is older ( 2004). But I do have full comp.
I'm nitpicking here but comp doesn't cover an accident. (I suspect you meant to say collision instead of comp.) Your car would be covered by your collision coverage. Normally people either have both comp and collision or neither but not everyone follows this pattern. If you don't have collision, your car won't be covered through Farmers.

As many others have said, if your car is driveable or can be restored to driveability for a reasonable amount, you would have the option of keeping the car and getting a payment for the value of the car less the salvage value and the deductible on your collision coverage. Whether this makes sense to do depends on a lot- the severity of the damage, how you feel about driving a dented car, the overall condition of the car, etc.
THY4373 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:18 pm
In addition to the deducible the insurance company will likely subtract the salvage auction value of the car from your settlement at least that is how it worked with one totaled car I had.

Honestly I am in the camp that it maybe be time to let this car go but it depends. Are you going to drive as is? Are you going to try to fix it cheaply yourself? I did the latter once. Somebody reversed into my 2000 Taurus wagon. The only damage was a completely crushed passenger rear door. His insurance company couldn't find a used door (I have no idea why because I found one easily enough) so they wrote a check for $2300 to me. Which was probably just about what the car was worth. I used online search engines and found a junkyard that had the door in the color of my car for $500. I bought the door and swapped it out myself and banked the rest of the money.
Cant drive as is. Will need at least 1 to 2k of work imo.
May be time to let it go....hard. Toyota engine is a champ.
I'm trying to contact my insurance agent to get her opinion on whether I could even insure a vehicle if it's been totalled, then fixed....

I do have comp and collision coverage. And rental which is going to be useful starting Monday.
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miamivice
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by miamivice » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:43 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:18 pm
In addition to the deducible the insurance company will likely subtract the salvage auction value of the car from your settlement at least that is how it worked with one totaled car I had.
No, they don't subtract the salvage value IF they tow away the crashed car. They do subtract the salvage value if the owner chooses to keep the crashed car.

Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:13 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:43 pm
THY4373 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:18 pm
In addition to the deducible the insurance company will likely subtract the salvage auction value of the car from your settlement at least that is how it worked with one totaled car I had.
No, they don't subtract the salvage value IF they tow away the crashed car. They do subtract the salvage value if the owner chooses to keep the crashed car.
Makes sense. Thanks
Buy Low, Sell High

chw
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by chw » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:13 pm

I had 2004 Camry that was totaled from a deer strike. The engine was fine, and only had damage to a quarter panel and bumper, but insurance adjuster totaled it. Was actually kinda glad, as it avoided me trying to sell the car in 1-2 years, and the insurance company paid out average retail plus sales tax when paying the claim.

Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:37 pm

chw wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:13 pm
I had 2004 Camry that was totaled from a deer strike. The engine was fine, and only had damage to a quarter panel and bumper, but insurance adjuster totaled it. Was actually kinda glad, as it avoided me trying to sell the car in 1-2 years, and the insurance company paid out average retail plus sales tax when paying the claim.
Thanks. Never even thought about sales tax!
Love the power of bogleheads knowledge.
Went to see a few cars today. The entire family has fallen for the hyundai palisade. Just got released. I think that's the one....

Will find out the true data points on Monday and will update this thread. Thanks again everyone...
Buy Low, Sell High

random_walker_77
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by random_walker_77 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:16 pm

Wannaretireearly wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:29 pm
Thanks all.
There is a good chance farmers may total the car.
What should I be aware of with this process?
Worried they take the car away and I have to make a quick decision to buy a new car...
Save screenshots or pdf's of the KBB quotes. Look at prices on cargurus and save those away too. This is to get educated on current value, and to save off current documentation, but hopefully you won't ever have to produce it.

Usually, it takes a while to get the car to an adjuster. In my case, my vehicle was inoperable and towed to a towyard after the accident. Then a few days later, the adjuster total'd it and ordered it towed to their yard an hour away, with my approval. Their insurance paid for the tow-yard fees. Even later, I get a low-ball offer from the insurance claims agent, who tells me what it's valued at. They say they're sending me a partial check, and they'll send the rest when I send back a release and the title. At this point, they're maddeningly inflexible, but I talk them into sending me their appraisal report, which was from a firm called CCC.

I was angry enough that I took a step back and let time cool things off. After two months, I contacted them by email and simply stated that I wasn't satisfied with their appraisal, had not cashed their check, and that they "needed to better". Their subsequent offer was more than fair. (Had I asked for what I expected, I would've been low-balling myself!)

I think that most people need the money and cash in on the first offer soon, even if they're unhappy. By waiting, I showed them I was serious about being unhappy and intending to make trouble. Further, it costs them something to keep a car in a lot somewhere, and they can't do anything with it until I sign it over. After two+ months, I suspect that insurance is more motivated to conclude the transaction, especially if they've already started repairs in anticipation of auction. Finally, I'm imagining that agents are going to be expected to close their caseloads and after a couple months, they're going to want to offer a fair price to get their case closed out.

Finally, I found this article about CCC appraisals (for insurance companies) to be very informative:
http://www.certifiedautoappraisers.com/cccarticle.html

Then again, in this case, I was dealing with the at-fault's insurance. Not sure how much the dynamics change when it's your own insurance company.

Good luck!

chw
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by chw » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:23 pm

Wannaretireearly wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:37 pm
chw wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:13 pm
I had 2004 Camry that was totaled from a deer strike. The engine was fine, and only had damage to a quarter panel and bumper, but insurance adjuster totaled it. Was actually kinda glad, as it avoided me trying to sell the car in 1-2 years, and the insurance company paid out average retail plus sales tax when paying the claim.
Thanks. Never even thought about sales tax!
Love the power of bogleheads knowledge.
Went to see a few cars today. The entire family has fallen for the hyundai palisade. Just got released. I think that's the one....

Will find out the true data points on Monday and will update this thread. Thanks again everyone...
Regarding the sales tax, I’d confirm if your insurance company will pay it. Apparently it is required in my state (MA), but may not be required where you live. It wasn’t a huge sum on our claim, but helped soften the cost of the new car purchase.

Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:37 am

chw wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:23 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:37 pm
chw wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:13 pm
I had 2004 Camry that was totaled from a deer strike. The engine was fine, and only had damage to a quarter panel and bumper, but insurance adjuster totaled it. Was actually kinda glad, as it avoided me trying to sell the car in 1-2 years, and the insurance company paid out average retail plus sales tax when paying the claim.
Thanks. Never even thought about sales tax!
Love the power of bogleheads knowledge.
Went to see a few cars today. The entire family has fallen for the hyundai palisade. Just got released. I think that's the one....

Will find out the true data points on Monday and will update this thread. Thanks again everyone...
Regarding the sales tax, I’d confirm if your insurance company will pay it. Apparently it is required in my state (MA), but may not be required where you live. It wasn’t a huge sum on our claim, but helped soften the cost of the new car purchase.
Got it. Thanks
Buy Low, Sell High

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c.coyle
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by c.coyle » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:03 am

Often misunderstood: In most states, "totalled" means the cost to repair is greater than or equal to the "actual cash value" a split second before the crash. If your car was worth $1,000 (open market, willing buyer, willing seller) a second before it was crunched and the cost to repair is $1,000 or above, even if it's totally repairable, it's totalled.
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HomeStretch
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Re: Car accident: advice needed

Post by HomeStretch » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:17 am

Interesting. I was unaware that some states required insurers to reimburse sales tax. In my state it is required for first party claims (if I submit claim through my insurer) only and not for third party claims (if I submit claim through the other party’s insurer). Another reason to go through my insurer in the event of an accident.

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