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Thread: Auto Valuations in Accidents

  1. #1
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    Auto Valuations in Accidents

    My old reliable Buick, which was finally paid off and all mine, got rear ended. I was told by one collision repair shop that the damage is so extensive that the cost of repair is higher than the value of the car. I know that State Farm ( not who I have as an insurer ) uses NADA as a guide to value. The insurance company of the guy who hit me ( he was issued a ticket etc. ) is a notorious fly-by-night ( or shall we just call a spade a spade and say "they look outright CROOKED to me ) outift.

    I am likely going to see the collision shop today that this dubious "high risk" insurance company uses for its assessments and "adjusting". If they indeed say that the car is totalled, I may be in a position son where I have to decide how to fight a lowball offer. Attorneys cost money and this is not a Rolls Royce we're talking about here.

    Of course, I can submit the claim through my own insurance company if ( eventually ) the other company proves too stubborn in its ways etc. But then I have a $500.00 deductible and higher rates coming to consider, if I take that route.

    I will not discus any potential personal injury potentialities in this open forum. PM's only for that. Yes, I do have a sore neck.

    In the Kelly Blue Book it lists two different kinds of valuation categories. "Trade-In value" and "Resale value". The latter is twice as large as the former, i noticed. Which category are insurance companies supposed to use when calculating ?
    cute as a bug

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    I just spoke to the collision repair shop to schedule my visit today. They told me that their arrangement with the dubious insurance company is that they have to cut their labor rate to less than half what it is normally. And that they will use ( warrantied ) "aftermarket" parts, as opposed to "new" or "used" parts that the first collision repair shop I spoke to the other day showed as options. I wonder what the difference is between "used" and "aftermarket" ? Maybe parts made by companies other than he original manufacturer. ( Hmmm. Just answered my own question, didn't I ? ) Since these are warrantied parts ( probably for a year ? I forget what she said ) then maybe I shouldn't worry ?

    Of course they may still decide that it is too expensive to do, and thus consider the valuation of the car as totaled, bringing back my original question.
    cute as a bug

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    They should use the resale value, since in theory that's what you have to pay to replace your vehicle after it has been written off. I've heard of people finding used cars of similar make/model/year/mileage as their written off vehicle in their area and using those prices to dispute low ball offers from insurance companies. I have no idea how well that works though.

    RE: aftermarket parts - I had an aftermarket bumper used as a replacement on my vehicle once and it was a piece of shit. It was a chrome bumper and it started rusting about a month after the warranty expired. What a surprise. I should have kicked up a fuss and tried to insist on OEM replacements only (but my vehicle was only 2 years old at the time, if you are in beater country, you are probably going to have to settle for whatever is offered if they don't write your car off).

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    I just got back. The owner said that he provides a lifetime warranty for his aftermarket parts. Seemed like a decent guy. He advised me to watch out ( if I get a check offered to me by the insurance company for a car considered totaled ) for small print "gotchas" on the check, that constitutes a waiver of me getting anything else from them due to the incident in question. Some folks just sign the check because they need the vehicle / money NOW and are looking more for gotchas on a form / document vs. on the check. But he surprised me by saying that he thinks the insurance company will prefer to repair vs. paying ( lowball or not ) for a totaled car. He said that I'm going to have to sign something with him enabling me to avoid signing checks to pay the collision shop for their work. This is supposed to mean I don't have to worry about being on the hook for their repairs if the insurance company is slow to pay. I forget whether he called it a "power of attorney" or "waiver" or what the exact term was. I'm going to get his emailed repair estimate later today, and ( I suppose ) he can email me that thing, too, to look it over for a while ahead of time, and satisfy myself that it's kosher from my POV etc. Or...not. That would be a red flag, I think. But his attorney may have instructed him to do things in a certain way...blah blah
    cute as a bug

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    %$#@!! The collision shop guy has still not given me the estimate he was supposed to have accomplished last Friday or on Monday. I was told Monday that he was still waiting for cost figures from his suppliers and tha they should come within a day or so. Now it is Thursday, of course.

    I have to wonder if this guy isn't part of the "Unique" system of delay and hoodwink. "Unique" has a terrible repuation, which even the collision shop owner acknowledged with a rueful grin.

    Unique sent me a form to fill out that I received on the weekend last, which I haven't filled out yet. Have to try to take care of that today. As well as duct taping the tarp to the buckle spot ( hole ) in the trunk top / side area. Its warmer today, but rainy. Supposed to help an injured friend prepare for moving tomorrow. I was busy with him this past weekend, and thought we were done, as far as what he needed from my participation. Nope. Today he has decided to have me help with bubble-wrapping stuff.
    cute as a bug

  6. #6
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    I'd call my own insurance company and discuss the situation with them. If they are good I'm betting they'll make you jump through a minimum of hoops before taking care of you and suing the other insurance company for what they paid out.

  7. #7
    Senior Member skip's Avatar
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    I really wouldn't be doing this without legal counsel, not even filling out that form and especially not signing anything. Insurance companies have armies of attorneys on their side working to keep every last penny out of your hands. You need someone on your side. I know it costs money but bungling this will cost you, too. Get a referral from your state bar association's web site and go from there, shop around, look for a young attorney looking for work, set up a payment plan, barter, whatever, but don't go this route alone. That would be a bad idea. Take it from someone who knows.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

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    Skip and Starjots are on the right track. At minimum you want to get your insurer to wage jihad against their insurer, or at least give you some advice. They may even offer services for dealing with this kind of thing as part of your existing coverage.

    Non-OEM parts on a Buick are going to be shitty.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jyng1's Avatar
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    It's all a little odd to me. I backed into an old guy recently who was dicking around in my vans blind spot and I did quite a bit of damage to his car but nothing to mine.

    I just dropped into my insurance company, filled out a form and that's the last I've heard of it.

    His insurance company contacts my insurance company who then pay his insurance company. He gets paid by his insurance and since it was my fault but there was no damage to my vehicle, neither of us pays an excess.

    Might be more simple here cause you can't sue for personal injury. There's also an insurance Ombudsman to make complaints to if you're being fucked over. I think a Congressman is supposed to fulfil the same role in the States.
    Last edited by jyng1; 03-28-2014 at 12:01 PM.

  10. #10
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    The Congressmen here in the States sometimes get paid off by the insurance people.
    cute as a bug

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