Out of State Accident

kelemvorkelemvor Member Posts: 3
edited May 2014 in General

I live in WI and that's where my vehicle (2002 Durango) is registered. I was driving in Alabama when my car was hit by a drunk driver. We haven't heard back yet for sure but we're all assuming it will be considered Totaled due to the air bags deploying and it being so old. The other driver did have insurance but we haven't heard anything about that yet either.

I'm trying to figure my options in preparation for whenever we hear back.

I was told by a coworker that if I can find the same year, make, model, miles, etc of my SUV at a reasonable price, that my insurance company is required to buy it for me if I tell them to instead of me taking a check from them. I don't know if that's always true or not or how it works when various states are involved.

Anyway, just looking for info on what I should expect in the coming days since it's mostly not my insurance company that will probably be making the decisions.

Thanks.

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Answers

  • rm2008rm2008 Member Posts: 31

    Hi kelemvor,

    Sorry to hear about the accident. I've never heard of the insurance company buying a car for someone. Usually they just cut a check and I have a feeling that's what they'll do here. Still, it doesn't hurt to ask. It'll take them some time to go over the accident report. If a police report was filed, they may wait to issue the check until they see it.

    Hope this helps,
    Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor

  • clachnitclachnit Member Posts: 35

    I think Ron is right on this one.

    Here's some helpful info from the office of the Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner about what happens when your car is totaled:

    "An insurance company will “total” your car if repairs would
    cost more than it is worth. An insurance company will use
    various sources to value your car, including, but not limited
    to, the National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car
    Guide (“Blue Book”) or the CCC Information Services, Inc.,
    guide. The company’s offer, therefore, might not recognize
    your car’s condition, special features or value on the local
    market. Companies must use a fair and reasonable method
    to determine the value of your car. You have the right to
    know how the value was determined and you should be
    sure to give the insurance company all the information that
    may affect the value of your car.

    It may come down to negotiations between you and the
    insurance company to reach an agreement on the value of
    your car. A company is more likely to raise its offer if you
    can show that your car would sell for a higher price in your
    area. Get several used car dealers’ written price quotes for
    a similar automobile. Newspaper used-car ads also can
    build your case.

    Remember, an insurance company won’t compensate you
    for the sentimental value of your car."

    Two things: 1) There's no mention of the insurance company buying a car for you, so it's likely not something your insurer is required to do under Wisconsin law. Here's a link to the complete document

    2) There are so few used-car ads in newspapers anymore! We'd suggest using Edmunds TMV to show your car's value:

    Also, as Ron suggests, you can just call your insurance company or agent and ask them what happens next. They'll likely give you the straight story.

    --Carroll Lachnit, features editor, Edmunds.com

  • kelemvorkelemvor Member Posts: 3

    So how does the fact that the person at fault is in/from Alabama. do their laws take precedence since that where it happened? Not sure how all that works.

  • philip17philip17 Member Posts: 25

    Alabama laws will affect the outcome of any tickets or charges stemming from the accident. But Alabama's laws won't affect the way that your insurance company values your car. It's important to remember that your insurance company wants to settle your claim quickly, but they also want you to feel good about the settlement so you will continue to give them your business. Here is an article that describes the claims process: Confessions of an Auto Claims Adjuster.

    Philip Reed, Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454

    @kelemvor, not that I was thinking of you, but....

    A reporter would like to speak to someone who recently got into a car accident and was spared injury after the car's knee, hip, curtain and/or front airbags were deployed. If you believe a car's many airbags saved you from injury in a car accident, and you want to share your story, please send your daytime contact information to [email protected] no later than Friday, May 9, 2014 at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET.

  • kelemvorkelemvor Member Posts: 3

    @Stever@Edmunds said:
    kelemvor, not that I was thinking of you, but....

    A reporter would like to speak to someone who recently got into a car accident and was spared injury after the car's knee, hip, curtain and/or front airbags were deployed. If you believe a car's many airbags saved you from injury in a car accident, and you want to share your story, please send your daytime contact information to [email protected] no later than Friday, May 9, 2014 at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET.

    In our case I think the airbags might have done more damage than they saved since we were hit on the side but only had front airbags. :)

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