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  1. #1
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Auto Insurance after a crash
    My poor little 2006 ION took quite a shot on Monday. Quite a shot.

    I was at a green, waiting for someone in front of me to make a turn, when I was hammered by someone who didn't see me sitting there. He was going 45 or so and never touched the brakes.

    I don't have a picture to share yet, but will.

    I'm ok, albeit a little stiff from the whip lash.

    The repair estimate (which is preliminary) is creeping up on 65% of the blue book on my car, believe it or not.

    I think I'd like to see the car totalled, because after the hit it took, it's probably not going to be the same afterwards.

    My insurance company, who's off the hook because his insurance is taking full responsibility, will total a car if the damage reaches 65% of the value. His insurance totals at 75 to 85%. New York State will "brand" the title of a crash vehicle at 75%, assuring that future owners will know about the accident.

    I had the car towed directly to the Saturn dealer, who will use OEM parts to repair. That should help bring the cost up a little. (or a lot ).

    Anyone know how I can prove a lessened value of the vehicle based on the accident, in order to ensure it gets totalled?

    Also, my insurance agent indicated I could have my insurance company total the vehicle, even though the crash wasn't my fault, without any penalties to my premium. I'd just be responsible for the deductible until we could get it back from his insurance.

    Thoughts, or does anyone have experience with this?

    (FYI: specifics: 2006 4d ION, KBB value $8500 or so in GOOD condition). Insurance company repair estimate is $5000, but by their own admission, Saturn's need to be ripped apart to tell for sure, because the plastic tends to "pop out" after a crash, hiding potential interior damage. There is only cosmetic damage on the front, where I was pushed into the vehicle in front of me.)
    Kevin Webster
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  2. #2
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    January 19th, 2005
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    Glad you're ok. My sister in law just got her car wreck pushed over to totalled when she was able to effectively argue the point with the adjuster/insurance company that they were going to be much more out of pocket than just the car repairs because of the length of time she would need a rental replacement vehicle while her car was being repaired. It had about the same amount of damage as you say yours did, but someone nailed her fullforce when they ran a red light.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    The most important thing is that you are alright. People nowadays are in such a hurry; they just don't pay attention. I'm terrified thinking that one day my kids will be driving, but thankfully I have 9 or so years before the oldest can...

    I'm by no means an expert, but I believe if there is frame damage, you'll have a better chance of getting the car labeled as 'totaled.' I don't believe frame damage can truly ever be repaired as there's always the chance that the welding, etc. can pop or be destroyed altogether should an accident occur in the future. It was smart to have the car taken to the dealer.

    Take care to insist all replacement parts are new and not refurbished. I don't think there will be a chance for them to substitue used parts since the car is so new, but you never know. Pay close attention to the estimate paperwork.

    Good luck!
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
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  4. #4
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    My '77 Toyota Celica GT was totalled in an accident that WAS my fault (although the cop on the scene said there were extenuating circumstances due to it being dusk, snowing and the oncoming truck might have been speeding). Anyhoo, I didn't WANT my car totalled out because I loved it (wonky steering and all). My insurance company gave me more for the car than I paid for it because it had actually appreciated in value in the seven years I'd owned it.

    Ain't life strange?

    I'm glad you're only sore and hope that's all it comes down to. You might be able to argue that it would cost the insurance company less to total the car than to pay for repairs AND the use of a rental vehicle until repairs are made. I renegotiated a settlement once on that basis.

  5. #5
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Just be glad you're okay, whatever the outcome. They start getting nasty when you're actually hurt.

    I was hit in a very similar situation in 2000 (stopped behind a city bus). The driver hit me hard enough to knock me into the car in front of me and them into the car in front of them, all from a dead stop. Then he limped his car away, never to be seen again. My insurance company tried to blame me.
    Eathan Mertz

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  6. #6
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Well, here's a twist. We have a discrepency in the value of the car that vairies by $3000. I say $8500, insurance is claiming $11,500.

    That changes things significantly.
    Kevin Webster
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  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Well thank God your OK.

    That is a twist indeed.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  8. #8
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Glad you are ok and the car took the brunt of the impact.

    You've gotten some good advice here.

    But, you must remember this: Your insurance company is a for-profit organization that won't give you a 1 cent break in this type of a situation. You need to find the real value of the car yourself.

    Find what you need from Kelly Blue Book at http://www.kbb.com/

    You need to go through their checklist in great detail, listing the specific equipment and specifications of your car. The most important element, outside of "condition" is the mileage. In a car 1-2 years old, high or low mileage can make a difference of several thousand $$$.

    Not knowing the specifics of your car, I ran it through Kelly's system twice, once with low mileage, excellent condition, and lots of extras, and a second time with higher mileage, few extras, and fair condition, and the two figures I got were $7,000 apart ($13,600 - $6,400).

    Try this and see what you come up with. Your insurance company has already done it.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  9. #9
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Glad you are OK.

    I think most appraisers will use NADA as opposed to KBB cos I had a "pedal to the metal" friend. So try to go with KBB

    Not sure how can you appraise your car for a lower value as people are always trying to get that value higher. At the end of the day, if you have a lower appraisal value, you get less $$ if they write off your car.

    Why not get the car fixed, then sell it following that?

  10. #10
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Why not get the car fixed, then sell it following that?
    And that, in essence, is what's going to happen. Again, let me do what I've been doing for 2 years around my hometown and occassionally in this forum: Say something really nice about Saturn.

    They've stepped to the plate, knowing that I was concerned about lasting damage from the crash. They have offered my $1000 over the KBB value I was looking at for a trade, and giving me a new car at what will cost me $6.00 per month than I was paying currently.

    Sure, they'll make money on the deal, but they're a business, and all I can ask for from them is a fair shake, and I'm getting that.

    Coincidentally, it turns out that in New York, as least as it was explained to me, insurance companies look at retail price as opposed to KBB when determinig whether or not to total a vehicle. That was the discrepency in my valuation versus that of the insurance carrier.

    And thank you all for the kind words.
    Kevin Webster
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