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Questions About Auto Insurance and Accidents

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Comments

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,706
    If it's "just under 80% of the value", there is not much you can do.

    You either have them go ahead with the repair, which costs you nothing except the deductible, the cost of other transportation (unless insured for), and the hassle of getting it right. The big hidden cost is the diminished value, which you can claim in some states and not in others. When (if) you trade the car, it will bite you in a big way.

    The other option is to negotiate with the insurance company and have them cut you a check for the estimated cost of repairs -- this can be a lot lower than the actual final cost, once they've torn into it... so it *might* be possible to haggle a little there. Then you have to sell the wreck. It's not easy but it's doable; I had to do it a little over a year ago, and it worked out OK in the end.

    The way I looked at it, I took a hit when the car was smashed, and that money was GONE. So rather than get my car back after a $6k+ repair and have it be worth *maybe* $7, I took the check and sold it as is... of course, before the accident, the car was worth $8+, but that's water under the bridge at the moment of impact.

    Bottom line: Don't get hit...

    -Mathias
  • Hi,

      

    I am new to this board in posting, have lurked for awhile. Not sure if I should be posting this in the insurance or 3-series thread, but since it has something to with my experiences with the insurance issues, I figured I'd post here.

    On Nov 27th, in my 325i four door I was rear-ended by a VW Beetle. Her insurance is taking care of the tab, but there was extensive damage to the frame, rear suspension, and actually the rear floor pan of the passenger compartment was damaged (which I was told is not a replaceable item).

    Looking at least 12-15K damage.

      

    Now about the car, I just got it on August 30, 2004. It is a 2004 325i 4door with auto, xenon, metallic paint, leather, cold weather pkg, and premium package. I am leasing it for 36 months as a demo (got it with 11,300 miles, it now has ~15 K). The sticker on it was $37295, got it for $32795. I put 4 K down (including the usuals, 1st mo, they waived security deposit). I am paying about $445/month.

      

    The other parties insurance wants to repair the car, BMW finance has been contacted and will most likely want it totaled since they cannot resell it as certified used. I am now concerned I will not get fair market value for this car since I got so many options on a 2004. The guy at BMW finance thinks it will be unlikely to get a similar 2004 with same equipment and I will not be able to get a 2005 with the same equipment at the same monthly payment. He mentioned something about substitution collateral but if I actually have equity, I should not pursue sub. collateral. I was hoping to get some feedback on what type of price I might expect to get from the insurance to pay off the current lease and to start over with a new lease (which stinks because I spent 4 long hours in negotiations on this car), what others would do in my situation, and any other feedback. Since we were luckily not injured, I hear getting an attorney involved might be more costly. Basically, since it was not my fault, I just want a car (2004 is fine) with the same equipment and keep paying the same price. Also, can I assume my downpayment is gone. I fear I might have finally found a negative about getting a demo.

      

    Thanks for listening and let me know if anyone has some suggestions!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,793
    $15k damage on a $30K car is not even close to being totalled, so I'm not sure how they will pull that one off.

     

    But, the bigger question here, I think, is what happens at the end of the lease? I never thought about this. Is there some wording in a lease that exempts the leasee from having to pay money at trade-in time as a result of the accident? Obviously, this kills the value of the vehicle at lease end, so would the car company just wind up taking a bath on it, or would it be the responsibility of the leasee to pay diminished value?

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • I think I am doing everything on my end. It is at a BMW certified body shop, all replacement parts are BMW parts, and if I turn in the car in good shape that fine, I think. I do not think it is my responsibility (especially since the accident was not my fault) that the car cannot be resold as certified pre-owned.
  • I was recently rear-ended and now the person who hit me's insurance company is telling me that they are going to total my vehicle. I disagree with this decision, and I have researched the repair cost of my vehicle versus the amount of money it would cost the company to pay me to total my car. The repair would be cheaper than the cost to total it by approximately $1,000. Do I have to let my car be totaled when it is still driveable?
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    why would you NOT want to total it? It may be DRIVABLE, but is it still SAFE? What's the year, make and mode? It's value has a lot to do with the economics of declaring it a total loss.

     

    Interesting, in the posting above yours he would LIKE to have his car totalled.
  • I owe more than the car is worth for one thing; however, I don't feel that it is unsafe if it can be repaired correctly. I trust the body shop that would be doing the repair...they have done it for me before and it withstood this lick....also, I am much too busy to have to start researching the multitude of info out there for another car purchase right now when my car is a good car and fine to drive once repaired. Why should I go "in the hole" because some reckless driver decides to hit me?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,706
    I'm with the older boys here... take the money and move on.

    But you give us precious little to go on; if it's a $20k BMW, you don't want it repaired 'cuz the value will be in the tank; if it's a $3k Camry, it doesn't take a big hit to put it into the "total" category.

     

    But you've made up your mind, so here's how to do it: Get it totaled; you are entitled to the replacement value -- realistic retail price, sales tax, the whole ball of wax. That, my friend, is more than your car is worth. That is good news.

     

    Having paid you, the ins co. now owns the wreck. And they don't want it. So they'll sell it back to you for cheap -- actually, they'll just reduce the payout to you by a certain amount that you will have to negotiate with them.

    (side note: all this can be harder than just buying a new car, but ok...)

    Then you're free to find a shop to fix it for you, and you can negotiate the price with them. If it's an older car, you might want to not do all the cosmetic stuff that they would otherwise do; see what they say. It sounds like you trust them.

     

    A good repair place is like a good dentist... you're glad to have them, but you don't want to go...

     

    Good luck,

    -Mathias
  • What is the Georgia law about retitling a salvaged vehicle? Specifically, is the owner required to re-title the vehicle and/or the ins. co. that paid the claim?

     
  • Mathias,

    When you say the "whole ball of wax" are you referring to anything other than the replacement value ($3,500 per the adjuster) $4,600 per Edmunds) and the sales tax (7% in Georgia)?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,706
    "Whole ball of wax" is "retail value of similar car, plus tax, title, license".

    In other words, the cash money it takes so you can go to a car dealer, buy a similar car to the one that was totaled, and drive away in it.

     

    That's a sight more money than the "actual cash value" of your vehicle at the time of the accident. If your car has a replacement value of around $4k based on "retail book", its ACV is probably only half that.

     

    What I'm saying is, it's not so bad... except for the negative equity, which is now rearing its ugly head.

     

    Good luck,

    -Mathias
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    Question for you: Isn't there now the potential for him to have even more negative equity in the decreased value of a car with extensive(?) repairs? Especially if this makes it to the Carfax report.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Negative equity is only a problem if you sell it before the loan is paid off. If he's planning to repair and keep, the only smart move is to keep it til it's paid off.

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  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    I had a similar experience about 20 years ago and have not been upside down in a vehicle since. Thanks.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    If the car is RE-totalled within the next couple of years, that would be some of the most insane of bad luck stories.

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  • Your right. I do plan to keep the car until it is paid off - and even longer if it keeps running.
  • You said:

    If the car is RE-totalled within the next couple of years, that would be some of the most insane of bad luck stories.

     

    Would you believe that this is like the fourth time this vehicle has been hit? I kid you not!
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    It must be some kind of accident magnet, or is simply cursed. I wouldn't want to be in it for #5.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Maybe you should consider the purchase of a vehicle without the magnetic bumpers :)

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  • patj1patj1 Posts: 2
    I hit a car. The police was already near the accident because it was raining. the driving ahead of me stopped on a green light I hit him in the rear. The police did not give me or the other driver a ticket.But I don't have insurance. Should I pay for his repairs or let his insurance pay and see what happens?
  • patj1patj1 Posts: 2
    I hit a car. The police was already near the accident because it was raining. The driver ahead of me stopped on a green light I hit him in the rear. The police did not give me or the other driver a ticket. But I don't have insurance. Should I pay for his repairs or let his insurance pay and see what happens?
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    You will pay any case. Either directly, or will repay the other driver's insurance company.

     

    How you managed not to receive ticket? Rear end obviously is your fault ("following too close"), and driving without insurance is crime.
  • If his insurance pays him, they will most definately come after you for payment.

     

    If they don't pay him, the other driver will most likely come after you for the cost of repairs.

     

    Both ways, you will have to pay for your mistake.
  • kmagkmag Posts: 98
    I was involved in an accident on Friday morning. I was cut off on the freeway and spun several times, hiting the wall on the front and rear. The airbags deployed and the front end is caved in enough to damage the radiator, and most likely some other stuff under there as well. Thankfully I am OK.

     

    The car is a 99 Buick Regal LS. Although I really had grown to like it in the two months I had it, I hope that the car is going to be totalled. I know from experience that a collision on either end can easily do 4000 of damage, and this car would cosmetically need a complete front end, hood, both fenders, bumpers, lights, grill, plus the damage underneath the hood, plus the rear bumper, airbags, dash and windsheild. It would seem like the damage could easily add up to more than the cost of a similar car, 7-10K, and I dont know that Id feel too confident about the car knowing the hit it took.

     

    The car is at a body shop today and I expect to hear from the insurance co. soon as to what they want to do.

     

    Reading this board I see that there are many instances where the ins co. fixes a car that objectively should be totalled. Is there any negotiating strategy to get things to go the way you want them to? Do I even have any say in what goes on? If they are going to fix it can I demand OEM parts? And could I insist on new tires, since mine could have been damaged by the spinning? I have had cars repaired before from crashes but not from a hit like this.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,793
    i'm not sure of all the details on your car, but a '99 Buick Regal LS, according to Edmunds, is about a $4K trade-in. So I'd say its definitely going to be totalled. I mean, aren't airbags alone like $1500?

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • I was in an accident where I rear ended the other vehicle. I was traveling down the Garden State Parkway, a toll road in NJ. I am an insured driver from MD. As we approached the toll plaza the car in front of me started to turn into another lane. I too was looking to change lanes and looked behindto my right to see if it was clear. When I looked back the car in front of me had completed his turn and the car in front of him before his turn (2 cars in front of me) had come to complete stop because that toll lane had just closed. As I noticed this I applied the brakes but was unable to stop. I called the police myself fearing any future complaints from the other party involved. The officer took the above statement from me and returnde my information and said I was free to go.

     

    Now I have since been informed that in NJ an officer can issue a ticket up to 30 days after the incident. If this is in fact true, what type of ticket if any am I looking at? And more importantly, what would the fines and points associated with it be?

     

    My insurance company is taking care of the other cars damage and my car is damage free. But I know with the law the way it reads that I am at fault in the eyes of the law. But not being issued a ticket on the spot makes me more nervous because I have no idea what, if anything, to expect.

     

    I have heard careless, negligent, and following too close. But I dont see how I could get a following too close, seeing as I was behind another care and was approaching a toll which was less than 50 feet away. I also hope they don't say it was negligent.

     

    Any insight or thoughts would be appreciated.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    And what is a difference for you?

     

    I think that the right diagnose would be "excessive speed for the conditions". However, in my experience, when a car is rear-ended, police always tickets for "following too close". My wife was rear-ended two times. The both times the drivers at fault did not follow too close - they were just distracted and started braking too late. My wife saw it clearly. However, in the both cases they were cited ("arrested" in police speak) for following too close.

     

    By the way, law knows only two generic kinds of guilt: intentional and negligent. Given you had no intentions to cause the accident, if you are in fault, you were negligent. "Following too close", as well as "excessive speed for conditions" is just a specific kind of neglect.
  • Hi guys. I was in an accident the other day where someone T-boned me...I was hit in the front drivers side to the front corner panel. Side air bag deployed, front driver door needs to be replaced and the front left wheel and axle were badly damaged. This car was a 99 Infiniti G20 touring model w/ 82k miles in perfect condition. Can anyone estimate the amount of the damage and when is a car considered totalled? When the value of the damage is more than the car is worth? Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Rick
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    As a rule, insurance companies are totaling cars when damage exceeds 75% to 80% of its value.

     

    Why not 100%? Because repair costs tend to exceed the initial estimates. Additionally, insurance companies get few bucks back by selling the totalled car to salvage yards.
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