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Old 10-01-2013, 08:19 AM
111 posts, read 264,114 times
Reputation: 42


I got in a fender bender (very minor) with another car and it was their fault. I am working through their insurance and a great body shop. They came back and said my car is a total loss because it is not worth fixing the car since the value of the car is low.

97 Volvo Sedan. $3200 in damage, $3990 value. They said they can cut me a check for $3100 for the car and give it back to me to keep it. I asked them about do I have to submit for a Salvaged Title or Declare it to Virginia, but they (Progressive) said I do not. I asked why and they said because it is under $10,000 value and/or older than 5 years from production it is not needed.

Is this accurate? If so that would be great. I just want to be able to drive my car and fix it on my own time (hood and grill broken in fender bender).

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Old 10-02-2013, 06:58 AM
762 posts, read 1,341,115 times
Reputation: 940
(Disclosure - I'm not a lawyer or licensed insurance provider). Below are the definitions used for an insurance company notifying an ownder who kept the vehicle of salvage in VA (there are different rules for an owner or insurance company determining a vehicle is "unrepairable"). Seems like the 5 year/$10,000 thing is correct in terms of requiring a salvage title.

That said, the last bullet seems to give leeway to the insurance company or owner to notify DMV of a salvage even if it isn't a late model...In other words, the insurance company would be required to for late model cars, but optionally could even if it isn't. I don't see why they would, but I think they can, based upon that bullet. HOWEVER, when reading the VA code 46.2-1603, it only states an insurance company needs to apply for a salvage certificate for late model vehicles and that an owner (does not mention insurance company) can for any vehicle.

So, if you are asking for a non-legal opinion from some random person on the internet, I say the insurance company's statement is accurate. There seems to be a tiny bit of gray area the insurance company could exploit if they were "out to get you", but I can't think of any reason to do so.


Any late model vehicle, defined as the current-year model, and the five preceding model years, or any vehicle whose actual cash value is determined to be at least $10,000 prior to being damaged, that has been:
(a) acquired by an insurance company as part of the claims process other than a stolen vehicle, or
(b) damaged as a result of collision, fire, flood, accident, trespass, or any other occurrence to such an extent that its estimated
cost of repair, excluding charges for towing, storage, and temporary replacement/rental vehicle or payment for diminished
value compensation, would exceed its actual cash value less its current salvage value;

any recovered stolen vehicle acquired by an insurance company as part of the claims process, whose estimated cost of repair
exceeds 75% but does not exceed 90% of its actual cash value, or

any vehicle that is determined to be a salvage vehicle by its owner or an insurance company by applying for a salvage certificate for
the vehicle, provided that such vehicle is not a nonrepairable vehicle.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:21 PM
119 posts, read 335,359 times
Reputation: 34
sounds like it's "repairable" but they're choosing not to repair it, just pay you for damages, so it's not really a salvage title, because if you paid to get it fixed on your own it would not be salvage?
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