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Old 10-10-2013, 12:14 PM
 
3,183 posts, read 7,165,339 times
Reputation: 1818

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You have to remember that insurance companies do things their way until an attorney gets involved. Attorneys can force them to do things they never would do for the average person who has no leverage.If you or your child has any injuries you will need an attorney. The attorney will help you negotiate a fair price for ALL damages. Before you hire an attorney it is best to have him answer some very direct questions about what he will do. Because you must wait 3 years before you can sue the other driver in court you need to find out what will happen to you financially while you wait the 3 years.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Miami
411 posts, read 826,565 times
Reputation: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
Have you ever had to actually make a claim? Because that ain't the way it works. LOL
Ha!

People don't realize that when they buy an automobile insurance policy the insurance company actually sends them documents that vaguely explain what they are going to do in the event of a loss.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:51 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,979 times
Reputation: 10
i was rear ended and insurance company wants to declare it totaled. I still have a loan on the car and what they want to give me will only pay off loan with a few hundred left. I will not be able to make another loan due to financial problems so i won't be able to buy another car. What can i do?
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:53 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,979 times
Reputation: 10
If anyone has any advice please share....
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:09 PM
 
Location: East TX
2,116 posts, read 3,023,209 times
Reputation: 3349
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgdillon View Post
i was rear ended and insurance company wants to declare it totaled. I still have a loan on the car and what they want to give me will only pay off loan with a few hundred left. I will not be able to make another loan due to financial problems so i won't be able to buy another car. What can i do?
You have a few options, most of which you probably won't like:
1. Buy a really cheap car with the few hundred dollars left over.
2. Buy a bus pass.
3. Go to a secondary lender (last chance finance) and pay a ridiculous interest rate for a car that is not what you really want and pay it off as quickly as possible to restore your credit.

This is simply a tough situation and thankfully the insurance will cover what you owe and not leave a balance remaining. You can research the price of comparable vehicles in your area and try to negotiate for more money from the insurance company, but the odds are not in your favor. They do this for a living and in the fine print is usually enough loopholes to prevent them from paying more than what they think is the "fair" number.
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
2,052 posts, read 5,836,901 times
Reputation: 1298
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgdillon View Post
i was rear ended and insurance company wants to declare it totaled. I still have a loan on the car and what they want to give me will only pay off loan with a few hundred left. I will not be able to make another loan due to financial problems so i won't be able to buy another car. What can i do?
How damaged was it? Is the car driveable or semi repairable? Any pictures? If it is not damaged too much, is still safe to drive and is mostly cosmetic damage, you can ask them to pay the funds towards the loan less the salvage value (about 15% of the total value or so) and you can keep the car with a salvage title. Now depending on where you live, you might or might not be able to keep it licensed or get it licensed again without having it inspected. This all depends on your state transportation department and you would need to make sure about it prior to deciding to keep it.

I know my older car, if it got bumped in a parking lot, could be "totaled" with only $2K of damage. That is nothing, and I would for sure keep it as long as it was safe to drive.

Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
13,632 posts, read 12,257,134 times
Reputation: 20038
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgdillon View Post
i was rear ended and insurance company wants to declare it totaled.
I'm sorry that happened to you. I know how much that stinks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgdillon View Post
I still have a loan on the car and what they want to give me will only pay off loan with a few hundred left. I will not be able to make another loan due to financial problems so i won't be able to buy another car. What can i do?
Unfortunately, your personal financial situation, and what is owed on the car, have nothing to do with what you are owed for your loss. What you are owed for the loss is the market value of the vehicle. Whether you own the car outright, owe $5,000 more than its value, or break sticks, the value of the car is the same.

If you disagree with the insurance company's valuation of the vehicle, then you can negotiate with them and try and get them to come up in price and hopefully you can get a few more dollars. Do more research into your car's value. Hopefully that will get you enough cash to buy a get around car till you get your situation straightened out.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:35 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,007 times
Reputation: 10
I was in an accident, hit from behind. The at fault party's insurance wants to total out the car, leaving us with no car. They will not allow us to get our own estimate either. They will only use their estimate. We are willing to for go the paint job. We just want the brake light and some of the body work done. They will not work with us. They told us our only options are to total the car out and the money will be sent to our finance company and they will give us any portions that exceeds the amount owed on the car, or to for go the claim, canceling out any payment we would get. We live in GA, and I don't understand how they can total out my car when it's still able to be driven, and they are not giving us an opportunity to use our own shop at a lower estimate. They will not even negotiate a lower cost on their end. Our car is a 2002 Mercedes S430 and it is/was in very good shape. It was the other driver's fault and we are the one's having to suffer. Can anyone please give me advice??? FYI: I didn't have gap coverage at the time of the accident.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:19 PM
 
955 posts, read 2,002,655 times
Reputation: 1415
@bettylee1204


You don't have too many options here. The problem with them accepting an estimate from your own shop is that estimates on repairs often change. Once your shop gets the car apart, they often find other damage, and then the costs increase. The other issue is that an average mileage 2002 S430 runs about 5-6k. Each company will have there own determination of a total, but generally around 75-80% o the value, which means if your repairs run much over $4k, they won't deal with it. The other problem is that in some states, even if the insurance company would deal with you, the title is required to be branded salvage or rebuilt if there is more than a certain percentage of damage. As such, it is no longer in the insurance company's hand as they won't leave you with a branded title. You can check the regulations in your state.

So, unfortunately, your options are pretty much:

1 - Negotiate a better settlement if you feel like the value they offered isn't fair for your vehicle
2 - You can usually buy-back the car from the insurance company for the salvage value which should be pretty low. If you want to take their money, and repair it yourself, this can be a good option if you are going to keep driving the car. Again, you can check with your state's regulations, but this will likely end up with a salvage or rebuilt title. That will hurt resale, but if you are going to keep driving it, may not matter.

Also, feel free to reach out to the insurance commissioner in your state who may help guide you with anything the insurance company can/can't do. It doesn't sound like they are doing anything wrong, but you can ask.


Good luck, it always stinks losing a car you like/trust.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:45 PM
 
14,309 posts, read 14,103,544 times
Reputation: 45441
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettylee1204 View Post
I was in an accident, hit from behind. The at fault party's insurance wants to total out the car, leaving us with no car. They will not allow us to get our own estimate either. They will only use their estimate. We are willing to for go the paint job. We just want the brake light and some of the body work done. They will not work with us. They told us our only options are to total the car out and the money will be sent to our finance company and they will give us any portions that exceeds the amount owed on the car, or to for go the claim, canceling out any payment we would get. We live in GA, and I don't understand how they can total out my car when it's still able to be driven, and they are not giving us an opportunity to use our own shop at a lower estimate. They will not even negotiate a lower cost on their end. Our car is a 2002 Mercedes S430 and it is/was in very good shape. It was the other driver's fault and we are the one's having to suffer. Can anyone please give me advice??? FYI: I didn't have gap coverage at the time of the accident.
ZZ gave you a good reply and I can't add much to it.

I will say this: When your car is damaged in a collision the law allows an insurance company to do the following: 1. Repair the car; or 2. If the repair cost of the car exceeds its fair market value, the insurance company can simply pay you fair market value. You are not entitled to have the car fixed if it is cheaper to "total it out".

Fair market value can be defined as what it would cost to buy a similar vehicle on the used car market. Typically, these values are derived from sources such as "Kelly's Blue Book (KBB)" or the "National Automobile Directory of America (NADA)". Both have websites and it is possible by imputing some information about your car to obtain a fair market value. There is no obligation on the part of the insurance company to pay what the estimate you independently obtained is. The question is how closely any estimate approaches fair market value.

As ZZ says, it is generally possible if your car is "totaled out" to retain the vehicle as salvage. Your compensation will be reduced by the amount of the salvage value of the car. However, you can keep it and try to fix it if you want to do so.

Ultimately, if you disagree with the amount the insurance company is offering you, you may decline to accept it and instead sue in court. In which case, the court will hear evidence and determine the fair market value of your vehicle. Sources like NADA and KBB are generally what the courts rely most closely on.

That's about it.
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