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Old 09-17-2011, 09:57 AM
 
134 posts, read 327,112 times
Reputation: 77

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Four of my friends tell me that if the frame of my 2004 Rodeo has been bent, then my truck should be considered totalled. It had front end damage 4 years ago (other person's fault) and it took 3 months to fix. It also had a slight repair to the frame. Now I have a rear-end collision where one side was bowed slightly...enough for the new bumper to not fit properly. The collision repair people are being very vague as to what they fixed and gave me the "I know what I am doing and I have the equipment to fix it".

One mechanic who saw my car right after the accident told me that the spare tire under my vehicle was pushed far enough to touch and it pushed in the suspension rod near the rear axle. Therefore, he told me to stop driving it and get a rental. The collision shop says "your rear tire is fine, it didn't even touch the suspension rod" My son saw it himself when he looked before taking it to the shop.

Now, the shop wants me to sign off on the check and hand me the keys. I want the other guy's insurance company to put in an agreement to pay for rear tires if it has allignment problems and my tires need to be replaced every 2 months or so many miles....

any thoughts???
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 14,459,039 times
Reputation: 3608
Kelley Blue Book ,$7,150

Why wasn't it totaled out or the damage wasn't as great as you stated?

I'd call my INS agent.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:06 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
29,785 posts, read 49,764,017 times
Reputation: 36744
Get a few professional opinions (quotes with discussion)

Do some research on findings

write a kind (but FIRM) letter to Ins Company stating your required remedy.

If they yank your chain, (and you have reasonable demands) write a very succinct letter stating your reasonable requirements. CC your attorney. (this usually works for me... been rear-ended 3x by cell phone talking SUVs)

If all else fails, pay your Attorney $100 to write a letter.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:13 AM
 
134 posts, read 327,112 times
Reputation: 77
Some close friends insist it is true when a frame is bent, even slightly, the vehicle is usually totaled. The insurance co tell me that isn't true but tabulated into a formula on a computer and a vehicle isn't totalled until it starts to exceep 80% or deamed unsafe to drive. My insurance company agrees with the other insurance company. Also, my insurance company tells me I would need to make a claim as the other person being an uninsured motorist in order to qualify for them to get involved. Sheesh... did all the rules change?
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:20 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 40,767,496 times
Reputation: 14563
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustTess View Post
Some close friends insist it is true when a frame is bent, even slightly, the vehicle is usually totaled. The insurance co tell me that isn't true but tabulated into a formula on a computer and a vehicle isn't totalled until it starts to exceep 80% or deamed unsafe to drive. My insurance company agrees with the other insurance company. Also, my insurance company tells me I would need to make a claim as the other person being an uninsured motorist in order to qualify for them to get involved. Sheesh... did all the rules change?
Not true on the frame thing. Generally when the frame has been damaged the vehicle generally has enough other damage to make it a total loss. In some collisions, the frame can be damaged beyond repair. In more minor collisions when there is some minor frame damage involved, it is easily repaired. Frame damage does not always equal total.

Do you have full insurance coverage or just liability/uninsured? If you have full coverage the repairs generally go through your insurance company who then seeks compensation from the other insurance company. If you don't have comprehensive coverage, then you are dealing solely with the other company.

You have the right to dispute their decision, but you need to have some ammo which has to include estimates from other repair shops that the vehicle is a total loss.

It sounds like this is going to end up with the vehicle being fixed, but I would also pursue them for diminished value as well to put some extra money in your pocket.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,664 posts, read 29,098,085 times
Reputation: 5146
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustTess View Post
,,Now, the shop wants me to sign off on the check and hand me the keys. I want the other guy's insurance company to put in an agreement to pay for rear tires if it has allignment problems and my tires need to be replaced every 2 months or so many miles....

any thoughts???
The insurance should still be responsible for anything you find soon after. Demand a alignment job now. If you pay it is fairly reasonable, any adjustment can get expensive.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
2,544 posts, read 4,014,940 times
Reputation: 1956
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustTess View Post
Some close friends insist it is true when a frame is bent, even slightly, the vehicle is usually totaled. The insurance co tell me that isn't true but tabulated into a formula on a computer and a vehicle isn't totalled until it starts to exceep 80% or deamed unsafe to drive. My insurance company agrees with the other insurance company. Also, my insurance company tells me I would need to make a claim as the other person being an uninsured motorist in order to qualify for them to get involved. Sheesh... did all the rules change?
In another life I fixed collision damaged cars and trucks. Frame repair was a common thing, and actually was sort of my specialty. Frame damage does not by itself cause a car to be totaled. I have even replaced entire frame rails in unibody cars or full frames in trucks. The insurance company is telling you the truth when they say that the threshold for totalling a car is 80% of the value. If it's under 80% (sometimes the limit is 75%), it doesn't really matter what the damage is, they will fix it. Usually if the shop feels it is too much to fix, they will find a way to total it.

If you or your mechanic friend saw the spare tire pushed into the rear suspension, insist that at least a 4 wheel alignment be included as part of the repairs. The alignment tech will report if there is suspension damage, as he will be unable to align the car.
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