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sketcher
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:09 PM
So, we had a car in mint condition, just put $2500 in tires, brakes and a tune-up. The accident was 100% the other person's fault and they fled the scene on top of that. They were caught a few minutes later - we're not sure what their story is yet.

Actually, the person who caused the accident pushed another car into our car so technically he didn't hit us and there is another driver involved but I can't imagine that would make a difference as she was not at fault either.

It is my partners car and she drives about 50k miles a year and it now has a total of 111k miles even though it is in great shape.

Anyone have suggestions on dealing with the insurance company? We really can't afford to buy a car right now! I'm afraid the insurance will just depreciate it down to nothing due to the mileage.

Are they supposed to give us replacement value? Are we entitled to be made whole? How about the $2500 we just put into it?

Any hints, experiences, suggestions??

Release First
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:21 PM
In the last small, low speed accident I got in to (no damage on other car), the insurance company totaled my car. It had about 150,000 miles on it but is in perfect running condition and I am diligent about keeping it serviced. Because of the milage and age, they offered me $2,500. I was so upset, I kept my car (it was drivable) and then sold it to a friend's son (for the same amount the insurance company offered me) who was thrilled to get an Acura. He fixed the damage and it is still running with no problem five years later.

So no you don't get replacement value and they really didn't care about your car. It is all based on miles and age of your car and what it will coast to fix it.

Sorry about your problems. Good luck

elctrnc
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:24 PM
Around 6 years ago, I had a car totaled by a drunk driver. The car was about 8 years old with over 100k miles. Her insurance company was Progressive. I got the NADA "totaled" value on the car based on age, condition, and mileage. I remember it being similar to the blue book retail used value. I had just that previous week put $800 into breaks and specifically tried to get that back. Progressive's response was that the value was based on a car in "working" condition, so the breaks were an expense that would have been necessary to have a "working condition car." I was unable to get the additional $800.

LauraKY
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:29 PM
How bad is the damage? My husband's car with 195K miles on it was rear ended (with me driving). I was going 55, person who hit me was going at least 85. It did about $5500 in damage at first estimate. From what I gather, if repairs are more than 50% of the value of the car, they will total it. You might want to check the value, get and estimate and then file a claim once you know where you stand. At least then, you'll have something to argue.

Ours actually turned out to be about $8,000 when all said and done, but since repairs were started, they went ahead and paid the whole thing, including car rental for 3 weeks.

And by the way, it's the fault of whoever rear ended you. So the poor guy in the middle probably gets nailed twice if the accident causer has no insurance. His deductible and his insurance will have to pay for yours.

Call your insurance agent right away, though.

Raleigh's Mom
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:29 PM
Sorry that you are dealing with this. It is not fun! My husband totaled our truck in January. Single vehicle accident -- he slid off the road in the snow/ice and turned the truck up on it's side. We have State Farm, and they were so easy to deal with.

The truck did not seem to be in bad shape, even though they totaled it. Although insurance does not give you replacement value for a vehicle, we got a decent amount from State Farm and the truck was paid off. We had just replaced the transmission a few months before, and they added that amount to the value of the truck. I would definitely tell the insurance company about the repairs.

We ended up buying the truck back from the insurance company and getting it repaired. It was a pain (and took SEVERAL months) dealing with the state to get the salvage title and then to get it inspected to get a "clear" title. It was worth it to not have new truck payments, though.

Hopefully, for you all, the other driver has insurance with a decent company. I have been hit before at the other driver's fault, and while the car was not totaled, I had no problems dealing with the other driver's insurance company.

Good luck!

sketcher
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:34 PM
And by the way, it's the fault of whoever rear ended you. So the poor guy is the middle probably gets nailed twice if the accident causer has no insurance. His deductible and his insurance will have to pay for yours.
Call your insurance agent right away, though.

Well, the insurance company has already sent an adjuster to the body shop and they totaled the car.

Do you mean that the insurance company of the girl who was pushed into our car will pay for our car? And then her insurance company will go after the guy who hit her?

littleum
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:39 PM
Insurance, as a rule, only gives you the bluebook value of the car. Which is, in theory, the replacement value of the car.

Things like "new brakes" and what not do not generally factor into that. Those are considered wear items and part of the regular responsible upkeep on the car. Things like rims, radio etc MIGHT be arguable, if they were previously disclosed to the insurance company.

You can always try to argue the point about the recent major investment into the car. Don't hold your breath.

ReSomething
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:47 PM
Anybody remembering the person whose (relatively new) car was totalled and valued lower because it was the farm car and had dog hair and hay bits in the carpeting and upholstery?

IFG
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:54 PM
I think in MA, you deal with your own company. My husband got rear-ended, and our company worked with us. We have Amica, and they were fabulous.

Good luck. It is a PIA.

HorsingRound
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:56 PM
Years ago, my mom's older car was "totaled" after an accident. Her car was in pristine shape before the accident: low mileage, good repair, etc. Of course, the insurance company wanted to give her the average blue book replacement value, but my mom found "comps" in the form of ads in the paper for cars like hers in excellent condition, which she took to the agent. She managed to convince them to give her the true replacement value of her car.

Also, if you don't have it now, in addition to "uninsured motorist" coverage, you may want to consider "under insured motorist" coverage, which covers your car and you in the event the person who causes an accident doesn't have enough coverage.

sketcher
Dec. 26, 2010, 05:57 PM
How bad is the damage?


It's bad. The front quarter is destroyed - including the hood. Also both doors on the drivers side and the rear quarter. There was also fluid dripping so who knows what the internal damage was. But it is a BMW and the body parts would have needed to be replaced and I'm sure the parts themselves are outrageous.


Insurance, as a rule, only gives you the bluebook value of the car. Which is, in theory, the replacement value of the car.

Things like "new brakes" and what not do not generally factor into that. Those are considered wear items and part of the regular responsible upkeep on the car. Things like rims, radio etc MIGHT be arguable, if they were previously disclosed to the insurance company.

You can always try to argue the point about the recent major investment into the car. Don't hold your breath.

I was thinking that if we sold the car after having that work was done that we would have asked more so that logic should hold in an insurance claim.

But my guess is that they are going to stick it to us one way or the other.

I'm just not sure what we are entitled to or how to find that info.

Has anyone used a public adjuster for an auto claim?

littleum
Dec. 26, 2010, 06:15 PM
I was thinking that if we sold the car after having that work was done that we would have asked more so that logic should hold in an insurance claim.
?

Well, yes and no.

You put $2,500 into the car, but that doesn't increase the car's value by $2,500.

I don't know how much your car was appraised at, let's say... $10K. Putting $2,500 of work into it doesn't make it a $12,500 car. Maybe, at best, a $11,000K car. Investing any kind of work into an older car is really a guessing game as to "is it worth it"

The best you can do is try to find comparables... you will have a hard time arguing that the car is worth $X when cars that are very similar to it are selling for $X - Y.

LauraKY
Dec. 26, 2010, 06:20 PM
I'm so sorry. We were worried ours was going to be totaled as well, but just squeaked by.

My dad had "replacement value insurance" for his old Lincoln Town car. It was probably 15 years old when he totaled it and he swore they were going to give him a check for a new car. None of us believed him...until the check came. He carried that check around in his wallet for 2 months just so he could show it to me every time he saw me.

I don't know how you get replacement value car insurance, though. He bought his car new from the dealer.

SPF10
Dec. 26, 2010, 06:55 PM
Just went through this as well, company car 08 Cobalt totalled because the cost to fix it would have been $6800. We got $8600 after our deductible and THANK GOD FOR GAP INSURANCE! That paid off the rest of it so we are clear. Will always get GAP insurance on cars from now on if it is offered, especially with other people driving them:yes: Insurance Agent said that they do use something similar to Blue book for valuation purposes. Good Luck.

mvp
Dec. 26, 2010, 07:18 PM
Been there, done that.... and two insurance companies are wondering how the F they could have paid so much on two diesel rust-bucket trucks. And the one you met is still alive!

Start with the NADA database. That's the one insurance co.s and wholesalers use. Its values are a tad lower than Kelley (considered closer to retail), but more specific. You can rate your car's condition and modifies the price.

I like to get repair estimates first, and then be there with paperwork in hand when the adjuster shows up. They may hear your number, look at the car and say "total." But you can do this retroactively, too. Body shops inflate estimates. Insurance companies know this. They have some kind of gentlemen's agreement about that. (But see below.)

But! $2,500 in tires just recently isn't quite the same as "Yeah, you fixed the brakes 'cause you had to." The adjuster who checked out my rustbucket, noted the new tires. And I pointed out hitch, brake controller, yada, yada.

Were those 110,000 miles are primarily highway? And can your SO more or less prove that? I assume your address and work place address would do it.

Then when they call you with their pay-out price, treat that as an offer. If they don't offer you "high NADA" get on them about the tires.

You may or may not actually want to fix this one. If too much is bent, the car will be technically fixed but "sickly" ever afterward. (From above) if you do want to fix it, you need the right shop, IMO.


If you do want to fix it, don't buy it back from them. As scrap, a car is worth about $200. Make them give you that, ferchissakes, you are in mourning!

sketcher
Dec. 26, 2010, 07:25 PM
MVP, thank you. First hand experiences are good!

Added: Thanks to everyone else who shared their experiences as well.

HelloAgain
Dec. 26, 2010, 07:28 PM
My car was totalled in a tornado (yup) recently and Progressive was quite generous. Even after our deductible we got back more than we could have reasonably sold the car for, it was a 2002 Hyundai. They towed it on tuesday, declared it a total loss within 24 hours, and we had our check on friday.

My experience is that this is what happens with most people. They get back more than the street value. They don't want to haggle with you, they want you to go away quickly and happy AND come back and insure with them for years.

NJRider
Dec. 26, 2010, 07:37 PM
When my Taurus was totaled and they only wanted to give me $1000 bucks, I was able to successfully get $4,000 after I found comps of Tauruses of similar age and mileage. I got whacked by an old lady who had caused 3 wrecks in 2 years! I also contacted the DMV about getting her license revoked, she was a menace!

Dance_To_Oblivion
Dec. 26, 2010, 07:39 PM
Honestly if it is questionable I always prefer the car to be totaled. My husband just wrecked a car a couple weeks ago. It was a single car accident (ice) and our insurance company has been great (Allstate). We had just purchased the car in May and they actually gave us 98 dollars more then we paid for it then! A few years ago I was rear ended and my Suburban was totaled. That one was a bit of a battle but in both situations initiating a positive relationship with the body shop was essential. They really fought for me.

Both vehicles I have had totaled I was paid a very fair price for them (able to replace them with the money I got from them) and it worked out just fine.

bumknees
Dec. 26, 2010, 07:50 PM
A few years ago over labor day weekend oldest ds was on the way to work when he was rear ended. I want to say the insurance company was all state but not sure on that. But I/we spent hours and hours on the phone with their guy. First they wanted to total it.. ok fine..Then they said we will give you 250$ for the car.. mmm no not at all no way no how... The car while not in mint cnondition it was in good condition and we had just gotten it 'winterized' ( ie changed out bodly fluids, breaks checked etc).

the guy who rearended ds isurance company tried to have ds take the blame for hte accident. Lucky for him he said I dont know talk to my mom on this... I told the guy to go" frick himself along with the horse he rode in on" to put it nicely... I am very good at using 4 letter words...

the insurance guy then offered the 250$ and I told him no way cold ds replace his car with that if we wanted it to be a safe running car. the guy said 'proove it'... So we went around with vid camera in hand. Went to 'regular' car lots ( the ones that do not deal in junkers.. or shold have been jnked a long time ago).. No dice no vehicle available for that not even avilable for that as a down payment. So off we went to the 'should have been junked a while ago lots" We found a hurst a 1960's modle hurst... We also found a vehicle( only becaus I really dont know what else to call it) that was in hte front an Mitishabeshi(sp) talon in the front, the back was a mazda something or other, the midsection was iirc was another mitishabeshi(sp again) something or other... and who knows what the vin number came from.. Ther was a 'good looking' vehicle until you actually got up and looked into it.. then you see it had no floor at all the peddles were attached by 1x4's that were bolted somewhere to the body/frame.. I sent a copy of the vid to him and his supervisor and one to the corp hq... All with notes on how these are the vehicles that ds could replace his car with would they want their child to drive any of them? If not how can they expect me to allow mine to just because their client hit my son my son should not be punished for it...
It still took bout 15hrs on the phone betwen their guy, and someone at corp hq to get a decient settelement for ds...
Oh yeah they did not want to pay for any injuries to ds or his trip to ER that ds made at my sugestion for the just incase. Those 13 hrs got them to pay forthose as well...
And the rental hah.. They thought that 3 days would be good enough.. mm no it I insisted that it be used( at their expense of course) until replacement could be found or 1mth which ever comes first. the then wanted ds to drive( love that one) to cleveland to get the rental from what ever company they normally used. I asked them how is he to DRIVE the close to 70 miles each direction when he has no vehicle due to their client running into it? they said I could drive him in my car.. I said fine BUT they would have to pay for MY time( arbeturay amoutn I think was 15$) and Mileage wear and tear on my car etc( what ever the Fed govt paid at the time); Or they could deal with the one rental company wher we live... They decided it would be better for them to go with the company here instead of paying for my time et al. Oh yeah and for tehe amount of time I demanded.. Yeah I demanded not requested. But hen again ask dh I have a phd and teach the class on being a Beyotch and getting what I want when I want and how I want... And when it comes to my family esp my kids a mama bear doesnt hold a candle...

It took a lot of time and effort on my end and if I had wanted to drag it on more being on the phone for more hrs I am sure I could have gotten a higher settelment then what we finally setled on... BUt all in all the settlement cheque was written for more than we paid for the car And they covered all his medical apts for back strain, loss of wages, et al.. the cheque written to ds for 4500$... Think all total they paid about 10k counting his medical, and what ever else they paid for..

islandrider
Dec. 26, 2010, 07:56 PM
I am JUST on the other side of this from an accident 8/27/09 and JUST got my settlement a few days ago. I was rearended on the fwy by a young girl going very fast and I was at a standstill. My 05 Matrix was totaled. I still owed 8G or something so I got 5 or 6 G. I bought an 05 Prius and loved it!

I was hurt though. Nerve damage (possibly permanent) down R. leg. I had lots of treatment and used up my 10G medpay. Young girl had a low policy limit. I was helped through this by an accident atty. I collected her policy limit which was 15G. Still have the nerve pain though not as bad. She got off so easy OMG.
I could've sued her but after doing some sleuthing she had no assets of course as she was just 21. Anyway, good luck.

Canaqua
Dec. 26, 2010, 08:12 PM
You are probably out of luck on the brakes and the tune up, but you should be able to get something out of them for the brand new tires. If not, see if you can get the tires and then sell them on Craigslist ;).

I'm wondering who your insurance company is? I'm in Mass too and I use Liberty Mutual, they have always been fair with me. Right now, they say they'll pay you for a replacement car one model year newer than the one that was totalled.

Grataan
Dec. 26, 2010, 09:20 PM
Dr Mr G's car was stolen and declared "lost" or "totalled" when we were both still in school.

It had a nice CD player, rims, brand new snow tires and we had just put in a new transmission.

State Farm paid for the blue book value of used in good condition plus the value of the CD player, rims, tires, and transmission work.

Off topic: Just when we had found a suitable "OMG we are going to be 400K+ in debt as a young married couple" replacement car (read: it has wheels and reliably runs) the car was found. We were able to buy it back from the insurance company for like $500 or something ridiculous-made some repairs in our non existent spare time (thank heavens for mechanically inclined neighbors) and kept it for the rest of school. It did have a salvage title, and we were able to sell it for about $2000 to another poor starving med student who needed an "OMG I'm going to be 200k in debt as a young man" car

ET: to clarify, we decided that we needed a second reliable car since we had totally different schedules with both of us spending lots of time in clinics etc. (State Farm did not force us to buy it, merely gave us the option. They still paid the original claim)

Christa P
Dec. 26, 2010, 09:40 PM
I went through this last year. I was driving my 1993 Toyota Corolla with 245,000 miles on it. The other guy ran a red light and t-boned my car in the drivers side.

This is the aftermath:

http://s620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/cap7297/Totalled%20Car/

The car to the right of mine is what hit me.

His insurance company took 100% liability and they gave my $1930 and I got to keep the car (gee thanks :lol:). I called my repair guy/ auto recycler and got another $100 for the car, which means I was paid a little more than the $2000 I bought the car from my mom for 9 years earlier.

BTW, I did walk away from this, but I went to the chiropractor very regularly for a couple of months. My insurance did pay for that.

Christa

PS funny story reporting in my insurance.
I called them and said the car was totalled.
Thier response was that they would decide after taking a look.
I assured them it was definatly totalled -think there was any chance of repair :D.

GoForAGallop
Dec. 26, 2010, 10:43 PM
I think in MA, you deal with your own company. My husband got rear-ended, and our company worked with us. We have Amica, and they were fabulous.

Good luck. It is a PIA.

No, not necessarily. I was rear-ended (although MY Jeep wasn't totalled...HIS car was though) and I dealt specifically with his insurance company. They called me up the day after and everything.

That being said--the agent from his company assigned to me was 1) a complete asshole who treated me like an idiot because I was an 18-year old girl at the time, despite the fact that I was/am very law/car saavy and 2) a complete flake about calling me back/settling things up/etc. I got sick of it, called MY agent, who immediately said "Oh, honey, let me give him a call and set him straight. We're here to protect YOU, and if he's being an ass, I'll deal with him."

I dunno what was said, but the other guy's agent was a lot nicer next time he called, and the whole process was much speedier. So keep in mind that even if you are primarily dealing with the other guy's insurance, you are also paying YOUR insurance to help you.




I was thinking that if we sold the car after having that work was done that we would have asked more so that logic should hold in an insurance claim.


Unfortunately that's not the case, as littleum so nicely put it, because:


Well, yes and no.

You put $2,500 into the car, but that doesn't increase the car's value by $2,500.

I don't know how much your car was appraised at, let's say... $10K. Putting $2,500 of work into it doesn't make it a $12,500 car. Maybe, at best, a $11,000K car. Investing any kind of work into an older car is really a guessing game as to "is it worth it"

The best you can do is try to find comparables... you will have a hard time arguing that the car is worth $X when cars that are very similar to it are selling for $X - Y.

Nicely explained. A car is only worth so much. If you have a $1000 junker and dump a new tranny and an engine into it.....it's still a $1000 junker, just a $1000 junker with a new engine and tranny.



My experience is that this is what happens with most people. They get back more than the street value. They don't want to haggle with you, they want you to go away quickly and happy AND come back and insure with them for years.

Sorta. If it's YOUR insurance paying out, they want you to be happy, yes. If it's the OTHER GUY'S insurance paying out....they don't really give a flip about you. They want to pay out as little as possible, and you're not their customer.

sketcher
Dec. 26, 2010, 10:48 PM
I'm wondering who your insurance company is?

We have Family Farm and they have treated us fairly thus far.

We had to push back a bit after the big ice storm in 2008 because they thought we should be able to inhabit our house which had a limb stab through the roof and break rafters. They were denying hotel costs to people who didn't have power but we actually had structural damage to our house (as well as no heat/power). I asked our adjuster if we needed a public adjuster and she suddenly acquiesced to hotel rooms, food bills and boarding the dogs out.

But overall we're happy with Family Farm and would recommend them, especially if you own horse property.

sketcher
Dec. 26, 2010, 10:53 PM
Nicely explained. A car is only worth so much. If you have a $1000 junker and dump a new tranny and an engine into it.....it's still a $1000 junker, just a $1000 junker with a new engine and tranny.

I'd be a lot happier if it were a $1000 junker. But it was a very nice car in pristine condition.

houserabbitz
Dec. 26, 2010, 11:16 PM
So, we had a car in mint condition, just put $2500 in tires, brakes and a tune-up. The accident was 100% the other person's fault and they fled the scene on top of that. They were caught a few minutes later - we're not sure what their story is yet.

Actually, the person who caused the accident pushed another car into our car so technically he didn't hit us and there is another driver involved but I can't imagine that would make a difference as she was not at fault either.

It is my partners car and she drives about 50k miles a year and it now has a total of 111k miles even though it is in great shape.

Anyone have suggestions on dealing with the insurance company? We really can't afford to buy a car right now! I'm afraid the insurance will just depreciate it down to nothing due to the mileage.

Are they supposed to give us replacement value? Are we entitled to be made whole? How about the $2500 we just put into it?

Any hints, experiences, suggestions??

I am not sure about the laws in your state, but I will tell you how it's done in CA (for the most part).

When a vehicle is totalled, insurance (in general) will give you the "market value" of your vehicle in the area in which you live. Per the Department of Insurance in California, auto insurance companies are not allowed to use Kelly BB to come to a settlement, because it is not accurate, e.g., an Escalade in Oakland, CA, may not be retailing for the same amount in Lexington, Kentucky because of demand, or lack there of. The insurance company I work for pulls private party ads, because you are a private party and not a dealership, for vehicles for sale in the same condition as yours prior to the loss (exact same make, model, mileage, condition, inside and out, etc.). You may not get dollar for dollar for the tires, depending on what they are (aftermarket rims, no), but you might get close to what you paid for depending on how new the tires were. You do not get extra compensation for general maintenance of the vehicle (oil changes, tune ups, etc.) because you need those things in order for the vehicle to operate.

As a car gets older, a certain amount of wear and tear is expected on both the exterior and interior, you can receive more for the value if your vehicle exceeds those expectations and is in better than average condition.

Despite what people think, auto insurance companies in general aren't trying to give unfair values for totalled vehicles, the last thing they want is a bad faith claim with the department of insurance. Unfortunately people think they get dollar for dollar for whatever they have done to their vehicles, and I think *mint* condition is subjective. Good luck! :)

GoForAGallop
Dec. 26, 2010, 11:23 PM
We have Family Farm and they have treated us fairly thus far.

We had to push back a bit after the big ice storm in 2008 because they thought we should be able to inhabit our house which had a limb stab through the roof and break rafters. They were denying hotel costs to people who didn't have power but we actually had structural damage to our house (as well as no heat/power). I asked our adjuster if we needed a public adjuster and she suddenly acquiesced to hotel rooms, food bills and boarding the dogs out.

But overall we're happy with Family Farm and would recommend them, especially if you own horse property.

It's "Farm Family," and I only correct you because I too have them (for farm/home/ and vehicle insurance) and absolutely ADORE them. They have been great in every aspect. Just want people to be able to find them and switch! :D

houserabbitz
Dec. 26, 2010, 11:31 PM
Also, if you don't have it now, in addition to "uninsured motorist" coverage, you may want to consider "under insured motorist" coverage, which covers your car and you in the event the person who causes an accident doesn't have enough coverage.

UM/UIM, (uninsured/underinsured motorist) applies to your bodily injury, not the vehicle. There is a coverage called UMPD (uninsured motorist property damage), which applies to property damage, but typically has a low limit, not enough to cover damage to a nicer, newer vehicle. It can also serve as a deductible waiver. If you are hit, and the person who hit you has very low property damage limits, assuming you have collision coverage on your own policy, your insurance company owes you for the value of the vehicle. Coverage can be very confusing. I don't even suggest going through an agent, because agents don't seem to understand the language, I see it all the time. I think it's best to go directly through the insurance company and have them explain all your coverage... "full coverage" means different things to different people.

Coreene
Dec. 27, 2010, 01:10 AM
My dad's car had just gotten new tires a fortnight befor when they totaled his out, and he was reimbursed for the tires too.

Peggy
Dec. 27, 2010, 01:22 AM
I got compensated for the fairly new tires (not the whole amount, but they upgraded their condition to the next highest level). Did kind of make me wonder how carefully they looked at the car in order to miss the fact that the tires were relatively new. Got the same answer on the new brakes as someone else said above. As houserabbitz said, they based the value on similar cars that had been sold (or were for sale) in my area and then did +/- (for my car, more - than +) for mileage, condition, and so on. Quite honestly, I thought they'd almost over-valued the thing. No gap insurance in California. Insurance company is State Farm.

dupont_esteban
Dec. 30, 2010, 11:41 PM
When a vehicle is totalled, insurance (in general) will give you the "market value" of your vehicle in the area in which you live. Per the Department of Insurance in California, auto insurance companies are not allowed to use Kelly BB to come to a settlement, because it is not accurate, e.g., an Escalade in Oakland, CA, may not be retailing for the same amount in Lexington, Kentucky because of demand, or lack there of. The insurance company I work for pulls private party ads, because you are a private party and not a dealership, for vehicles for sale in the same condition as yours prior to the loss (exact same make, model, mileage, condition, inside and out, etc.). You may not get dollar for dollar for the tires, depending on what they are (aftermarket rims, no), but you might get close to what you paid for depending on how new the tires were. You do not get extra compensation for general maintenance of the vehicle (oil changes, tune ups, etc.) because you need those things in order for the vehicle to operate.

As a car gets older, a certain amount of wear and tear is expected on both the exterior and interior, you can receive more for the value if your vehicle exceeds those expectations and is in better than average condition.

Despite what people think, auto insurance companies in general aren't trying to give unfair values for totalled vehicles, the last thing they want is a bad faith claim with the department of insurance. Unfortunately people think they get dollar for dollar for whatever they have done to their vehicles, and I think *mint* condition is subjective. Good luck! :)
Call your insurance company and ask them to intervene on your behalf. My car insurance is with The Hartford and during my claim, they were extremely cooperative, calling me to update me about my claim status. The trick lies in establishing a nice rapport with your insurance agent and subsequently with the body shop that will give the estimate to the insurance adjuster. Do some research on your own about buying a similar car in your location and show the proof to the insurance company. If you have bills for your new tires, you can show these as proof of recent expenditure, though how you get compensated will depend on the car insurance (http://hartfordauto.thehartford.com) company handling the claim. There are good ones and not so good ones out there. All the best!

mypaintwattie
Dec. 31, 2010, 12:27 AM
Anybody remembering the person whose (relatively new) car was totalled and valued lower because it was the farm car and had dog hair and hay bits in the carpeting and upholstery?

My car wasn't new, but when I was involved in an accident last year I just know the dirt and hay in it contributed to the lowball price my insurance co. gave me. Car is a 2002 Ford Focus and at the time had something like 130k. Damage wasn't that bad, but the body shop padded the bill to more than the car was deemed worth, something like $2k. I kept the car and had it repaired, and it was fine for 6 months, but has been a never ending mess of problems since. If you keep it you have to have it retitled as a salvage, which means some hoops to jump through. If I had to do it again I would have just shed a few tears over it and gotten a new car, but I did the stupid thing and kept it because I couldn't afford to put anything else toward what they wanted to give me, and because it is the first car I paid for all by myself. Just be prepared to haggle with your insurance over how much it is worth. I know I was able to submit receipts for maintenance and they gave me a little more, but not much.

Guilherme
Dec. 31, 2010, 10:52 AM
So, we had a car in mint condition, just put $2500 in tires, brakes and a tune-up. The accident was 100% the other person's fault and they fled the scene on top of that. They were caught a few minutes later - we're not sure what their story is yet.

Actually, the person who caused the accident pushed another car into our car so technically he didn't hit us and there is another driver involved but I can't imagine that would make a difference as she was not at fault either.

It is my partners car and she drives about 50k miles a year and it now has a total of 111k miles even though it is in great shape.

Anyone have suggestions on dealing with the insurance company? We really can't afford to buy a car right now! I'm afraid the insurance will just depreciate it down to nothing due to the mileage.

Are they supposed to give us replacement value? Are we entitled to be made whole? How about the $2500 we just put into it?

Any hints, experiences, suggestions??

What does you policy say about payment of losses? That will determine who much you get paid.

In general the company is liable for the "blue book value" of the car. If you look at the NADA book (or most others) there is a base number that can be raised or lowered by condition or other factors. In fact value is a range, not a hard number. Be prepared to document that the vehicle is in much better than average condition. The burden is upon you to show that enhanced value.

Be straight with adjuster.

We had one totaled as a result of getting "T-boned" in Atlanta a few years back. We did a bit better than average because we could show an above average condition in the vehicle. But it was our job to do so.

Good luck in your dealings.

G.

mvp
Dec. 31, 2010, 11:23 AM
If you keep it you have to have it retitled as a salvage, which means some hoops to jump through.

In my case this wasn't true, though that may have been an oversight on the insurance co.'s part. I still have the original title for my war veteran truck.

There are good reasons not to keep the once-totaled car, first and foremost its being NQR afterward. And with a Salvage Title, I suspect it's resale value would drop to just about nothing.

If the NADA database doesn't ask for your zip code, it is a good idea to look around for ads for "comps." I did that and it was part of my conversation with the insurance co.-- my basis for establishing the street value of my truck in my area.

Oh, and PS-- sketcher is your SO OK? Geez! You'd have thought that would have been the first question for all of us. I hope so.

KateKat
Dec. 31, 2010, 11:41 AM
Sorry this had to happen to you! Nothing pisses me off more than getting hit, I've been rear ended twice in the past three years.

Definitely deal with this through your insurance company, don't try and go alone with the other drivers insurance company. That is what you pay them for, after all. Its easier to let the insurance claims rep deal with giving you a check right away, and then letting them subrogate against the driver at fault. You may have to pay your deductible, but if the subgrogation is successful (which in this case, I don't think it will be a huge issue since you're not at fault) you will get that back.

And as others have said, fight for the value of the car if you think the insurance company is trying to give you too little. I know many people who have successfully gotten more money after their car was declared totalled.

mypaintwattie
Dec. 31, 2010, 12:44 PM
In my case this wasn't true, though that may have been an oversight on the insurance co.'s part. I still have the original title for my war veteran truck.

There are good reasons not to keep the once-totaled car, first and foremost its being NQR afterward. And with a Salvage Title, I suspect it's resale value would drop to just about nothing.

Here in Cali they won't issue me new registration tags until it is retitled, which requires inspections and a smog check. Technically my tags are due 1/20, but I've waited over a year to do it all so they can wait a little longer:lol: And yes, with a salvage title a car is worth pennies, you can't even get a blue book on it.