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Questions About Auto Insurance & Accidents



  • Eimeria:

    It depends on the particular situation. Every insurance company is different in how they determine when a car will total. For example some use a percent of value so when the estimate gets to that point the car is considered a total.
    Some companies use 80% and some companies just use the value of the car minus its salvage value for a total loss. In your case I doubt they used a percentage formula as a 1997 honda accord with 10,000 worth of damage I would think would be a total especially with a front end hit because safety then becomes in issue. Can it be safely repaired? Sometimes an insurance company will take a vehicle to a shop thinking that it can be repaired and discover a lot of additional damage and figure out the car should be totaled but decide to repair it as they have already invested a lot into the car in order to discover that damage such as towing, storage, teardown costs and re-stock fees for ordered parts. A lot of times an insurance company will decide based on that. I am not sure about your situation but without more information then if they paid your ded. and $400 in rental then I myself would like to ask them why it is repairable. If I were you I would bring up the safety issue to repair the vehicle.
  • Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I did bring up the safety issue with them when I was told they were going to repair the car. They told me part of their decision was that the cost to replace the dual side front airbags was close to $2k. Otherwise the repair costs were not all that significant to them and there would be no difference in safety after the repairs were completed. To me, $8k still seems like a pretty significant repair cost, but I then again I'm not privy to the info that they used to decide to repair and not total the car. My foremost concern with the vehicle is safety. The car is now fixed and seems to run ok, but ... I still don't feel comfortable with my wife driving it to and from work everyday. I'm sure at this point I have no recourse, but I am left with a car with diminished value and uncertain safety.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    neither do the numbers. Attitude more than amptitude determines your altitude in business.
  • Uh Oh...

    Didnt we just give ya a value over in RWTIVs? =O

    Seriously, you need to pursue a diminished value claim.

    I'm honestly shocked that your car was NOT totalled.... $9800 on a 97 Accord SE with 70K?


    Still, that's easily (Undamaged.. no paintwork..etc..) a $8,500 wholesale car at the moment.. So $10,500 or so is what I'd say you should shoot for ona private party sale...If it hadnt been hit.

    It just doesnt make sense to me that this car was fixed.

  • I posted in the RWTIV about my Pathfinder. I was in the market for an Acura TL-S when I was involved in an accident in my wife's Accord. I was just driving along in the left hand lane when some jack@ss driving oin the other direction decided to make a left hand turn into one of the stores on my side of the road. He didn't even look and pulled out about 15 ft in front of me. Driving at about 35 mph, I never even had a chance to hit the brakes. Thank god for airbags and seatbelts. I was able to walk away with a concussion and some whiplash, but more importantly I walked away.

    I was shocked that the car wasn't totalled. I'm sure you're probably not going to be an expert on this topic too, but I figure it doesn't hurt to ask. Your advice on these boards so far hasn't steered me wrong (got fair value on my pathfinder based upon your estimate, and used your fax attack method to get what I consider to be a great price on my new TLS). What does a diminished value claim entail? Who would I even make the claim to (thoughts of me standing on a tall rock, thrusting a sword into the air and declaring "I now claim that my car has diminished value!" are rushing through my head =). )

    When I was arguing with them to total the car, they claimed that the car was worth about $12500. I disputed that figure, but I wasn't sure if I was shooting myself in the foot with that arguement. Me: "the car isn't worth that much. It's only worth $8k." Them: "OK. here's your check for $8k".

    If it were you, how would you procede?
  • Oy! I got nervous there..thought I might said "Yeah its worth 8K-8,500.. expect that" and you're running around getting hit at $5,500-6K thinking Im a twit! Whew :)

    You need to have the car appriased, in writing, with a statement like:

    Wholesale Value: $8,500, Retail Market Value:$10,900
    Deduct $2,000 for previous accident repairs.

    Then claim against the ins. co.

  • eimeriaeimeria Posts: 12
    I looked into filing a claim for diminished value by calling my agent to find out if there were any addendums that excluded those types of claims. They were shocked to hear that the car was repaired given the amount of damage it had received. The agent decided to look into it with the adjuster who handled my claim. The adjuster claimed that I gave permission for the repairs to be done. To me, that's an interesting defense. At no point was I given a choice in determining whether to repair it or not. Instead I was told that the car was repairable and given a ballpark estimate. At that point in time I argued vehemently that the car should be totalled, but the only satisfaction that discussion brought was that I was able to yell at some claims guy in the central office for 30 minutes. If you only tell me it is repairable, you aren't really giving me a choice. The agent has asked me to write a letter so that they can investigate the matter. I don't think that is going to do me any good in the end.

    As far as a diminished value claim goes, my agent told me they are not covered under my insurance in PA. Said my only recourse would be to take the other driver to small claims court when I go to get rid of the car.

    While the money that I will lose in value of the car is important to me, the safety of the driver (my wife) is more important. At this point, I don't see any great options that I have. I'm going to write the letter so that they can start an investigation, but as I said, I doubt anything would come of that. I've documented all conversations I've had regarding the car, but they have no incentive to do anything at this point. do you have any advice? this is all uncharted territory for me.
  • I got hit in a parking lot by a Progressive driver about a year ago. My car was stopped and he backed into me. I honked at him, but he kept on coming back. But since nobody saw the accident other than the two drivers (well, one of us - he never saw me) - it was a cold, rainy day so nobody was outside - Progressive denied paying my claim. Police won't come if you're in a parking lot - it's private property.

    To make a long story short, the other driver lied to my insurance company, Progressive didn't work with State Farm at all (my ins. co). When I gave my statement to Progressive, the agent asked me why I didn't get my car out of the way before he hit me (remember, I wasn't moving at all)! To make a long story short, I got screwed out of my $250 deductible because Progressive wouldn't pay (they said it was 50% my fault even though I wasn't moving) and the other driver lied.

    The end.

    Moral of the story: If you hit someone and there are no witnesses, just lie. You'll get away with it.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    50/50 is acceptable because you could have been lying as well. No independent witness? No case.
  • Something told me you'd say that.

    I'll ask you this: How can someone be 50% responsible when their car WASN'T MOVING?
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    and you stopped first. Being stopped in the middle of the aisle doesn't make any difference. Your engine was running, you were behind the wheel, your foot was on the brake, your hand was on the horn, but all you have to do is prove it. Now, had you been parked between cars in the proper space & the other guy backed into you, 50/50 is not fair. 50/50 is fair as you were out there also, but only stopped before he hit you. When your damage is on the middle side of the vehicle, you get more than 50/50, but when your damage is on your backside, the company figures it's a draw.
  • Couple of days ago my beautiful red 97 honda civic dx coupe (75k) was rear-ended by a SUV at a stop light. The car was towed to a local autobody shop who is telling me that the car might not be total by the insurance and it is repairable. However to me there are significant damages to the car such as the entire rear is smashed-in, the SRS light and check engine light is on. The fuel tank and the bumper reinforcement including the chassis and my exhaust is bent. The driver side quarter panel is pushed in because of the impact. Now I check the blue book value of my car which says 7,000. I don't know the cost to repair but I was wondering if this could consitutes a total wreck. Also could I compromize with the adjuster to total the car. Because I know I have a lot of headache to simple get the SRS and check engine light check out aside from the car not being and driving perfect anymore. Also I think the autobody shop is trying make me one of their customers. I told him that I don't want the car repaired. Therefore should I bring the car home so the adjust could have a look at the car at my home.

    Thank you,
  • kbtoyskbtoys Posts: 62
    Can an insurance company raise your rates on a comperhensive claim? Also which one would raise your rates more, speeding or collision? Last how does an insurance company go by when they decide to raise your premium when you get a speeding or collision or comperhensive? Is there a formula or do they just make the figure up in there head on how much your premium is raised?
  • I saw him coming, I honked, I was stopped.

    I was not 50% at fault. He admitted to his ins. co. that he backed out without looking and that he heard me honk. They still said I was 50% because there were no witnesses.

    Like I said, apparently all you have to do is lie to get out of being liable for something as long as there isn't a witness.
  • cfg1cfg1 Posts: 85
    If he admitted that he backed out without looking and heard you honk, what did he lie about?
  • That's what he told his ins. co. (or so said the person I talked to over at Progressive).

    He changed his story when he talked to my ins. co. (State Farm). He told them he didn't hear me honk and that he did look back before backing out and didn't see me.
  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Posts: 272
    him coming back why didn't you put your car in reverse and back up? If you had time to honk you had time to move your car.
  • He came out of the spot very fast. I saw him put on his reverse lights and stopped so he could see me. He then shot out of the space backwards and hit me going about 10-15 mph - way too fast for a parking lot.

    It wasn't your typical person slowly backing out of a space.
  • mateyomateyo Posts: 22
    A few months ago I walked out to a parking lot to find my car had been hit by another car. No witnesses, no note, no nothing (other than $1,300 in damage). I filed a claim with my insurance, paid the deductible, and they paid the rest. Unfortunately I didn't carry uninsured motorist coverage at the time (now I do). Will my rates go up when I renew this summer, and tarnish my record for the next 3-5 years? The insurance co. will not give me a straight answer.
  • phoenix6phoenix6 Posts: 1
    I had an accident 2 weeks ago. The man who hit me was not only a "red light runner," but was also an uninsured motorist. My car was a 2000 Suzuki Esteem GL (bought in Maryland). I am concerned that I will walk away with nothing at all. I understand my lienholder needs their $$ (they list their buyout at $9,600).

    My insurance company said they will pay nothing more than face value for the vehicle. Does this mean that the insurance company will settle with the lienholder and leave me without any money to buy at least a second-hand vehicle, or will they offer me a small settlement amount for my unfortunate state?

    Thanks for your help.

    Just call me,

    Not Wanting to Walk in 115 degree heat at 50 years old.
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