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#5063 of 5338 Re: Getting insurance to pay [mr_scott1]
Jul 20, 2012 (7:16 pm)
Inform the adverse insurance company you are willing to accept a brand new replacement truck equipped as yours was/ is & you would be willing to sign a non injury statement. A non injury statement can be worth up to $10,000 in order to settle the Bodily Injury Liabilility potential claim.
If the above isn't acceptable, then be willing to accept a replacement truck and the most you will contribute to that would be $3,000 due to usage you have had.
Aug 16, 2012 (3:30 pm)
I'm a little confused about Salvage Titles. From everything I've read, a car needs to have damage amounting to more than around 70% of its value in order to be considered a Salvage vehicle. So how is it that I constantly come across ads that say things like "This vehicle has a salvage title due to a minor hit on the front bumper"? Clearly, a minor hit on an $8000 car's bumper is not going to cost anywhere near $5600 to fix. Are sellers like these just lying through their teeth and/or hoping buyers are complete idiots? Or is there a legitimate way a vehicle with minor damage might get a salvage certificate?
#5068 of 5338 Re: Salvage titles [pumpirony]
Aug 16, 2012 (6:38 pm)
Every insurance company in every state has their own guidelines for declaring whether a vehicle is a TOTAL LOSS. Repairs that exceed 50% of the car's actual cash value is the industry-wide minimum starting point for total losses. In other words, cars that can be repaired for 49% of ACV are never 'totaled'.
But the threshold is usually higher than 50% for most companies. It can also vary widely within a single company. Geico might have a 60-70% threshold for claims in the state of Virginia; but a 75-80% range as a rule for claims in Georgia.
The vast majority of insurance company will total anything at 75% repair cost or higher. The salvage value for the vehicle, avoiding paying for a rental car during repairs and closing the claim much faster will easily account for the remaining 25%. They also like to avoid the risk of reopening a claim on an extensively repaired car, so they eliminate that risk by getting rid of the car.
The vast majority of 'totaled' cars with fairly minor to moderate damages are third-party claims. To the company that you have auto insurance with, you are considered the 'first party'. If you hit another vehicle and you are at fault, you insurance company has to pay for the other guy's car- the other guy is the 'third party'.
They have a legal contract with you and, as long as they repair your vehicle properly, they have lived up to their obligation. If your car has an ACV of $20,000 and repairs will cost $10,500, they will repair it and their legal obligation is met.
But with a third-party claim, the vehicle's owner has more rights in most states and the total claim cost could be a lot higher than just the vehicle repair! They may claim thousands in diminished value as a result of the accident, they could file claims for future problems that they believe stem from the accident (example- their A/C system needs replacing six months after the car had extensive repairs from a frontal impact; components near the A/C were damaged or replaced, and most courts will side with the third party in such a situation). Those things can easily cost a lot more than just totaling the car at the 50% repair cost mark. There are also some third parties that clearly intend to make trouble for the insurer, drag the claim out as long as possible, involve outside appraisers or even file a complaint with that state's governing office over insurance. In a lot of cases where the adjuster or claims rep feels that the person will be "trouble", they will total a car just so they can walk away from the potential hassles. I have seen one case like this where the car was a 3-week old Lexus (the cheap one, but ACV still about $29,000) and the repair cost was going to be less than $6000 (repair cost 20% of ACV) but the third-party was the wife of an attorney. Two days into the claim, the insurer just cut a check for $29k to be done with it! But it takes a special kind of -hole to accomplish that! =)
With all of that said, PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL if you are thinking about buying and repairing a car that has been declared a 'total loss'...no matter how good the deal may seem!!! For every one success story I hear about buying a salvage vehicle and getting a great car for a steal, I hear 50 horror stories that often can't be fixed! Just recently I read about a young man who bought a salvage titled Infiniti G35 coupe (his dream car) and repaired the body damage and most mechanical damage on his own over s period of almost one year. He was planning to pay for paint work and to finish the mechanics, but when he took it to the body shop to be painted, they discovered extensive frame damage AND the driver's side airbag had deployed in a prior accident and never replaced. The diagnostic control module (computer that controls the airbags and seatbelts) had also been removed and several other components required for the SRS/airbag system to work were also gone! The safety components would cost at least $5500 to replace. But that was irrelevant because the frame/structure damage wasn't repairable at any cost!!! He had about $18,000 invested (and a year of his own labor) when he learned the truth! At that time, comparable G35 Coupes (same year, make, model, miles) started at $19,500! He spent $18k and had nothing of any value, but for $1500 more he could have had a never-wrecked, perfect condition example of his dream car...I really felt sorry for that poor kid....
Before you buy any salvage vehicle, it is CRITICAL that you have a mechanic or body man who SPECIALIZES in that specific make of car perform a FULL inspection!!! Even if costs you $150 or $200 to have them go take a good look or even have it towed to their shop, it will be the smartest thing you could ever do!!! They will be more qualified to tell you what the car needs and how much it will cost than anyone else , period.
One final note, many auto insurance companies will NOT sell physical damage coverage for anything with a salvage title. PD coverage is commonly know as Comprehensive (aka- Comp or "Other than Collision") and Collision coverage. So even if you buy and repair the car for a steal, you may only be able to buy Liability and Uninsured Motorist Coverage, not full coverage with PD.
#5069 of 5338 Re: Salvage titles [igozoomzoom]
Sep 09, 2012 (12:21 pm)
Thank you for your very detailed reply. It did a terrific job of explaining something that didn't make a lot of sense to me.
However, I would be curious to know what you would make of the following situation: You run an Autocheck and the ONLY negative item is a Salvage Title. No Junk title, no accidents reported, no police reports, no insurance loss title or probable total loss record. Is this an indication of a problem with relying on Autocheck?
#5072 of 5338 waiting for other driver's insurance
Sep 18, 2012 (1:51 pm)
A van was stopped in the middle lane of a highway. My wife slowed her Toyota Corolla to avoid hitting it. The sedan behind her rear-ended her, causing her car to swerve and crash into the far-left guard rail. She was able to drive the car home, slowly--the engine wasn't hit--but there's enough damage to the back (trunk won't close) and entire side that it's not feasible to drive. The driver who hit her apparently isn't interested in filing a claim, because we've been calling his insurance company (Geico) and he hasn't been returning their calls. And the van driver is out of the picture, though the police spoke with him. Meanwhile we're without the car or a rental. So we just have to file the claim with our own insurance company and accept the consequences? (higher premium, possible liability for guard rail damage, etc.). There's no other action we can take to get the involvement of the other insurance/drivers?