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Questions About Auto Insurance & Accidents

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Comments

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 18,227
    The other guy should be responsible for replacing your car and for paying the difference between it's value and the payoff.

    Good luck!
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  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 12,898
    I doubt that it would be totaled ... generally, the cost of repairs has to equal some percentage of the car's value (I want to say 75%, but don't hold me to that).

    That means you'd have to have $24,000 worth of damage.

    But, I agree with @isellhondas‌ - the other party's insurance should cover your repairs or your loss.

    Glad to hear everyone is OK.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 43,494
    "Detroit has the dubious distinction of being the most expensive location for car insurance rates, according to a new study that breaks down insurance cost by ZIP code.

    Brooklyn, New York took 2nd place on the most expensive list, followed by Philadelphia."

    Study Uncovers Top 10 Most Expensive Locations for Car Insurance Rates

    Moderator

    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 46,698
    It really all depends on what the estimate of damage is. If the estimate is a certain percentage of the car's value, the insurance company will total it. Insurance companies have discretion as to how much this percentage is. It can range from 50% to approx. 65%. In this case, you probably want to hope they will total it. If they don't, and you have to accept the repaired car, you can still make a claim against the other party's insurance company for "diminshed value"---that is, what % of value you have lost because the car now has a 'black mark' on it, and would be harder to sell for full value. You'll need to hire an appraiser who specializes in Diminished Value claims, since insurance companies don't like to pay this type of claim and will resist. So everything has to be done very professionally.

    If the other party's insurance company refuses to pay DV you have the option of suing them for "bad faith" (small claims?) and/or suing the party you hit you directly. By suing the party who hit you, that usually gets a rise out of their insurance company to settle up with you.

    Hopefully, none of this will have to happen, and you'll get paid off for a total.

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  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,502
    I have a DV claim pending in small claims court for Feb. 4. I'm suing the guy that hit me because Mercury Insurance is a bad faith insurer that doesn't negotiate fairly. They told their guy to postpone the small claim so now it'll be 3/11. Just another unnecessary delay for BS reasons "scheduling conflict" when the defendant received notice more than a month ahead of time.
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  • kkendrajkkendraj Posts: 4
    Back in September I was in an accident where the other peron drove head on into my lane and hit me. The accident is still trying to be figured out seeing as it was a four car accident. My insurance is currently paying for everything while another insurance is investigating the situation to see who and how much the other insurances owes mine. Nothing will be finalized till the end of next month. My car is now totaled and I have a loan on the car, my insurance wants to give me 9600 when I owe a little under 12k. I don't see how it's fair that I am not at fault and I'm the one who gets screwed. My guy said that even when the other insurance companies finally pick up the tab that they won't pay what I owe and that's just how it works... Is this correct? 
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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 18,227
    Yes, that's how it works. The other insurance company will pay you what the car is worth and what it is worth has nothing to do with what you owe on it. You can always sue them for the difference but you probably won't prevail.
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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 43,494
    edited January 28
    @kkendraj, what's the make, model and year of your wrecked car?

    This article has a good overview of the process:

    Confessions of an Auto Claims Adjuster

    (btw, I deleted your other discussion since you found this one).

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  • kkendrajkkendraj Posts: 4
    @stever‌, thank you for deleting. 2008 mistubishi eclipse SE. I just don't see how I'm the party that isn't at fault but I'm the one who is basically being punished. I now have to drive a pos(atleast it's a car) and have 2 car payments now. How does the innocent party get screwed? I just want my life to go back to the day before the accident. 
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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 46,698
    Well I think the argument goes like this---your insurance contract promises to pay you Fair Market Value, whereas your loan includes finance costs which are over and above FMV considerations; however, you don't have to accept their offer. You can counter offer or you can hire your own appraiser if he/she thinks they can come up with a higher number (and prove it). And even if the insurance company rejects your appraiser's appraisal, they might bump up their offer. If all else fails, you have the right to an arbitration hearing (which you pay 1/2 of) and the appraiser is your advocate in the hearing, facing the insurance company's appraiser, in front of (or by phone) a refereee that is mutually agreed upon by the two parties. Your appraiser has to be careful which referee he agrees to, because some are in the pocket of the insurance companies. This system is quite corrupt but it is still possible to get a good outcome. If you hire an appraiser and are forced to arbitration , this is going to cost you maybe an additional $600 bucks or so, so take that into account before you refuse the insurance company's second (hopefully better) offer.

    You might say that it would be foolish for an insurance company to hire an appraiser and pay for 1/2 an arbitration rather than just give you the money they will spend---but they will hire them anyway.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 18,227
    kkendraj said:

    @stever‌, thank you for deleting. 2008 mistubishi eclipse SE. I just don't see how I'm the party that isn't at fault but I'm the one who is basically being punished. I now have to drive a pos(atleast it's a car) and have 2 car payments now. How does the innocent party get screwed? I just want my life to go back to the day before the accident. 

    What it boils down to is being upside down on a car loan leaves a person vulnerable when something like this happens. It may not sound "fair" but an insurance company is only liable for the market value of your car and what you happen to owe on it is of no concern to them.

    You can certainly take Mr. Shiftright's suggestion and find out what happens. Just the threat of arbitration may very well cause the insurance company to raise their offer but be aware they can be real stubborn too and they have people on their staff whose job it is to fight.

    Good luck!
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  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 12,898
    One other suggestion I can make is to go on-line and look for cars like yours (year, trim, mileage) that are for sale - this should give you (and the insurance company) an idea of the cost to replace your car with one just like it.

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    ·
  • kkendrajkkendraj Posts: 4
    Awesome! (Sarcastic) oh well, I'm suing them in any case for injuries so hopefully I'll get enough to finish off the loan and get me atleast a down payment on a better car than the pos I'm currently stuck in. 
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  • kkendrajkkendraj Posts: 4
    Thanks for your help though.
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  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,502
    Theoretically, if you are getting fair market value, you could rebuy the same car "age and mileage" and be just as upside down as you were before. That would be being made whole, which is the best you can expect from insurance. A lot of insurance companies are fine operating with a standard MO (method of operation) of making people 'almost" whole, and making them fight for that last 20%, and I'm not talking about including deductibles.

    Who'd of THUNK uninsurance doesn't cover underinsurance when it comes to waiving the deductible? I talked to several people about having the uninsured deductible waiver, and everyone was of the opinion underinsured and uninsured fell in the same category; well, it doesn't, not in CA. I'd of been better off if the guy that hit me and was at fault was UN-insured rather than Underinsured.
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  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,684
    kkendraj said:

    Back in September I was in an accident where the other peron drove head on into my lane and hit me. The accident is still trying to be figured out seeing as it was a four car accident. My insurance is currently paying for everything while another insurance is investigating the situation to see who and how much the other insurances owes mine. Nothing will be finalized till the end of next month. My car is now totaled and I have a loan on the car, my insurance wants to give me 9600 when I owe a little under 12k. I don't see how it's fair that I am not at fault and I'm the one who gets screwed. My guy said that even when the other insurance companies finally pick up the tab that they won't pay what I owe and that's just how it works... Is this correct? 

    Sadly, this is how it works...when you owe more than a car is worth, an at-fault insurance must pay what your car is worth, not what you owe...realize that your loan may have negative equity rolled into it from a previous car loan where your trade-in was worth less than you owed, so the negative balance was included in your current loan...or, another possibility is that when you bought your current car, you only put down $500 or $1,000, which means you drove off the lot in negative equity, meaning you then owed more than the car was worth...now, add a few years, the car is depreciating rapidly, but your loan, over 4 years (maybe 5,6, or 7) is being paid down slowly, and your negative equity "grows."...this is a good reason for GAP insurance...

    Things like this never happened back in the 1960s, 70s and even the 80s (I know, ancient history...but it IS relevant as to how we got this way now, about as close to cause-and-effect as you can get)...back then, folks almost ALWAYS put a down payment of 20%, which solved the depreciation problem on day one...then, loans rarely went longer than 3 years, so your loan balance went down about the same "velocity" as your depreciation...so if your car was totaled at the end of year 2, you probably walked away with a little money in your pocket after paying off the loan balance...

    Now, jump forward to today, or about the last 15-plus years...down payments rarely exceed $1-2,000, so you start out on Day 1 owing more than the vehicle is worth...most cars are financed at least 5 years, maybe 6 or 7, so your loan balance takes forever for the principal to drop, as you pay mostly interest for the first 3-plus years...

    These 2 factors add together to make it worse...small down payment with longer loans means that you literally have no equity in your car until year 4 in a 5 year loan, maybe year 5-6 in a 7 year loan...THEREFORE, when your car is totalled (totaled?) you will owe more than the car is worth, and the liability insurance (or, even your OWN insurance) will only pay what the car is worth, not what you owe, because what you owe is your fault for taking advantage of lower down payments and longer loan terms...you didn't think you got all those "benefits" for free, did you???
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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 18,227
    60 month loans are bad enough but some people go for a 72 or 84 month loan which is NUTS!

    They are buying cars that they really can't afford and leaving themselves in a very bad position should something happen.
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  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,502
    edited March 17
    I had a small claim court case the other day, I think everything the judge said was favorable to me, but I don't know the final judgment as he said he'd like to further research and take the case under advisement for up to 2 weeks.

    He did mention he questioned the validity of Mercury's Appraisal report which is another way of saying that report was doctored.

    An insurance company hiring a sham shill appraisal company to do their bidding; no way! LOL.
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