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Help! Insurance dilemmas after total loss auto.

ZepkoZepko Member Posts: 1
edited December 2021 in Honda
Hi! I'm quite stressed after a car accident and would appreciate a little guidance. A lady ran a stop sign and plowed into me and it looks like my vehicle will be a total loss. I have full coverage via Geico, but was hoping on some insight on 3 issues:

1. Extending rental car time. My policy covers a rental up to 30 days and I've been using one for the past week. Trouble is, I'm authorized through Thursday, when my adjuster estimated he'll finish. It sounds like I'll only have a car until the claim is considered "settled" when they cut me a check, but that doesn't come close to making me whole because I'll need a vehicle to find a car.

I live into the boondocks, with zero public transport, and can only afford something used. Last time, it took me 2 months to find something decent (getting beaten to good deals, etc) and the car market is much tougher now. I can't go past the covered time, but could I reasonably argue that I will need the rental vehicle for the full 30 days so I can go see various cars, etc? Otherwise, I'll have to pay for some kind of rental out of pocket while I get a replacement, which defeats the purpose of rental coverage. Is the guiding principle here when the claim is considered "closed", or compensation for expenses I'll have to incur by not having a car for that full 30 day period?

2. Accurate car valuation. I'm worried about getting a reasonable value for my vehicle, especially with current inflation. What's the best way to find accurate comps that could be used to negotiate that sum, if needed? Is it enough to gather amounts from Kelly Blue Book, or comparable vehicles of the same type/condition/mileage, or is there a specific way to know whether I'm being unfairly lowballed or not?

3. Fixing the car anyway? If the cost of repair isn't wildly disproportionate vs the value of the car, I may want to keep it. Finding an affordable car in the condition/type of my vehicle in the market will be challenging, time consuming, and costly in other ways (not having reliable transportation, gambling on hidden issues, etc). I have a feeling the repair costs won't be *that* much higher than the value of the car, so I may throw in an extra grand or so if needed to repair it on top of what Geico gives me, even if that means it'll be a salvage title. But my questions are:

a) How do I go about this? If I go this route, can I still get it repaired with Geico's authorized repair shop that did the estimate, or am I on my own and have to have it towed to some random repair place?

b) How do I know what types of damage are worth repairing, and when the car will have future issues no matter what I do? For reference, here's a photo of the damage - I got hit right in front of the driver side door, including the wheel well, etc: https://imgur.com/NfzA4ML

Thanks so much, would really appreciate any insight!
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