Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Car totaled, insurance help

CauldCauld Registered User regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So, last week my car got hail damaged. I have comprehensive coverage with a $1000 deductable, so I filed a claim. My insurance company (progressive) said my car is totaled as they estimate the damage to cost around $5800 to fix, while my car (a '98 Corolla) is only worth $4575. The gave me two options, outlined below:
option  Value      tabs      sls tax    subtotal    deduct.   salvage   Check
A           4575         0     297.39       4872.39     1000         1350      2522.39
B           4575     63.25     297.39       4935.63     1000        0         3935.63 


if I go with option A, I get to keep the car but only get $2522.39
If I go with option B, they take my care but I get a check for $2522.39. I understand not paying for replacement tabs if I keep the car, but why should I have to pay the salvage value of the car if I keep it? I understand this is a profitable business practice to them. But consider the following. Imagnie the damage to my car was $4400 worth. I would, in theory, be able to get $4400 worth of repairs to my car (assuming I paid the deductable).... why does it matter whether I repair my car, keep the car, or salvage the car. I pay insurance so that they compensate me for the value of the car in case that value is decreased do to accident/weather/etc. I feel I should get the full value of my car, minus the deductable.

I looked at my contract and there was no mention of the salvage value being factored in. I plan on calling them, but thought I'd ask here first and see if someone else is better at finding this fine print I may have missed.

I live in MN.

Cauld on

Posts

  • CooterTKECooterTKE Registered User
    edited June 2008
    most companies will total the car if the cost is 50-75% the value of the car. The salvage cost is basically you buying the car from them, so it is close to what they would sell the car at auction for. If you keep the car it will probably be branded as a salvaged car title and could be more difficult to sell or trade in if you wanted to.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Option A gets you $2500 plus a beat up (presumably driveable) car.

    Option B get you $3900 and no car.

    That's why there's a difference.

  • KMFurDMKMFurDM Registered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2008
    Who is doing the damage assessment? Progressive or a third party?

  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    yes, I understand that. But aren't I entitled to $3959 worth of repairs? And if I'm entitled to that amount worth of repairs, why am I not entitled to a check for that amount?

  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Progessive did the assessment, though I don't really see how its relavent since they assessed the damage to be more than the value of the car. In MN I am entitled to take it to any body shop I like.

  • KMFurDMKMFurDM Registered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2008
    Another shop may quote progressive less to fix the damage and not total the car. It's worth looking into.

    BTW...what kind of damage are we talking about?

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I don't think you're entitiled to what you think you're entitled to (complete value of the car less deductible in repairs). You will have to check your policy to see what they've actually promised you.

    The insurance company will see giving you the market value of the car (less deductible) as fulfilling their end of the contract. Usually they don't even give you option A.

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I suspect that in the wording of your insurance somewhere they explain that if the car is totaled, they pay you and take the car (your option B above). This is what you are paying for with your coverage. By default the insurance company keeps a totaled car.

    In this case they're just offering you the option to keep your car if you like, by paying the salvage value out of the insurance payment.

    This is standard operating procedure for a totaled car.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Cauld wrote: »
    ...$1000 deductable... so I filed a claim. My insurance company (progressive) said my car is totaled as they estimate the damage to cost around $5800 to fix, while my car (a '98 Corolla) is only worth $4575. The gave me two options, outlined below:

    Should you not be getting $4800 if the repairs are $5800 and your deductible is $1000? Regardless of the "worth" of the car? Sounds to me like they're using the blue book value of your car in order to not pay for your coverage. However, it's hard to tell without your specific policy.

    If your deductible is $1000 and the repairs cost $5800, cost of the car be damned, they should be paying you via your policy. That's a serious fuck ton of money for repair from hail damage on an older car like that. What are we talking about; a smashed windshield and some dents?

    Edit:

    The wording around "totaled" seems somewhat dubious for insurance companies.

  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Djeet wrote: »
    I don't think you're entitiled to what you think you're entitled to (complete value of the car less deductible in repairs). You will have to check your policy to see what they've actually promised you.

    The insurance company will see giving you the market value of the car (less deductible) as fulfilling their end of the contract. Usually they don't even give you option A.

    All I want is market value of the car (less deductible). The market value of my car before the damage was $4575, my deductible is $1000... so shouldn't I be getting a check for around $3575 whether or not I keep the car?

  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    Cauld wrote: »
    ...$1000 deductable... so I filed a claim. My insurance company (progressive) said my car is totaled as they estimate the damage to cost around $5800 to fix, while my car (a '98 Corolla) is only worth $4575. The gave me two options, outlined below:

    Should you not be getting $4800 if the repairs are $5800 and your deductible is $1000? Regardless of the "worth" of the car? Sounds to me like they're using the blue book value of your car in order to not pay for your coverage. However, it's hard to tell without your specific policy.

    If your deductible is $1000 and the repairs cost $5800, cost of the car be damned, they should be paying you via your policy. That's a serious fuck ton of money for repair from hail damage on an older car like that. What are we talking about; a smashed windshield and some dents?

    Edit:

    The wording around "totaled" seems somewhat dubious for insurance companies.

    My contract makes no mention of salvage value, nor totalling. All it says in regard to comprehensive coverage (besides defining what is and isn't covered) is:
    INSURING AGREEMENT - COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE:

    If you pay the premium for this coverage, we will pay for sudden, direct, and accidental loss to a:
    1. covered auto, including an attached trailor; or
    2. non-owned auto;...

    A loss not caused by collision includes:
    1. contact with an animal (including a bird);
    2. explosion or earthquake;
    3. fire;
    4. malicious mischief or vandalism;
    5. missiles or falling objects;
    6. riot or civil commotion;
    7. theft or larceny;
    8. windstorm, hail, water, or flood; or
    9. breakage of glass not caused by collision.

    In addition, we will pay for:...

    only dents, no glass was broken

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Cauld wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    I don't think you're entitiled to what you think you're entitled to (complete value of the car less deductible in repairs). You will have to check your policy to see what they've actually promised you.

    The insurance company will see giving you the market value of the car (less deductible) as fulfilling their end of the contract. Usually they don't even give you option A.

    All I want is market value of the car (less deductible). The market value of my car before the damage was $4575, my deductible is $1000... so shouldn't I be getting a check for around $3575 whether or not I keep the car?

    Well, yes, but it's probably in your policy they can take a car for salvage if they determine it to be "totaled". To me it sounds like they're going to take the car, repair it, and sell it and are over quoting the repairs to make it seem totaled. Get an appraisal from an independent body shop, not a dealership, for repairs and you may get better results while still keeping your car.
    Cauld wrote: »
    only dents, no glass was broken

    $5800 for dent damage? Get real. Seriously, you could buy the same car at a junkyard or even a dealership and just be like "oh here ya go, all fixed". I smell all sorts of foul. Get it checked at a reputable shop.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I can't speak to your particular policy, but when a car has incurred more than a certain percentage of market value in damage the insurance company will deem it a total loss. Look in your policy documentation about what occurs when the insurer deems the insured vehicle a total loss. They payout the market value (perhaps you can counter that the vehicle has a higher market value, it's not easy to do this), less the deductible and when they do that they have just bought the vehicle off you. They own it then.

    Progressive is not interested in fixing up totalled cars. They really are just going to auction it off. Maybe if you're insured by some nobody insurance company that kind of shenanigans occur, but given the sheer number of claims the big guys have to deal with they aren't going to dick around too much resolving a claim on a 5-6K car.

    Also, the most you're insured for (in a payout situation) is the market value of the car. You have to pay the deductible (in this case they are diminishing the payout by the deductible amount). They will not payout more than the value of the car.

    Edit: Hail damage can get really expensive in a bad storm. I could do enough damage with a ballpeen hammer to a 5K car so that the effort/money to get the car repaired (door panels, hood, roof, trunkdeck, and quarter panels) and repainted would exceed the value of the car.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Djeet wrote: »
    I can't speak to your particular policy, but when a car has incurred more than a certain percentage of market value in damage the insurance company will deem it a total loss. Look in your policy documentation about what occurs when the insurer deems the insured vehicle a total loss. They payout the market value (perhaps you can counter that the vehicle has a higher market value, it's not easy to do this), less the deductible and when they do that they have just bought the vehicle off you. They own it then.

    Progressive is not interested in fixing up totalled cars. They really are just going to auction it off. Maybe if you're insured by some nobody insurance company that kind of shenanigans occur, but given the sheer number of claims the big guys have to deal with they aren't going to dick around too much resolving a claim on a 5-6K car.

    Also, the most you're insured for (in a payout situation) is the market value of the car. You have to pay the deductible (in this case they are diminishing the payout by the deductible amount). They will not payout more than the value of the car.

    Should the deductible not be valid, then, in this case? Since the deductible is only really for "I'm paying for part of this damage, still a claim, you pay the rest" and if it's a total loss, and is to be scrapped or auctioned then shouldn't it be "well since I'm not actively going to be paying for the repairs, and you're effectively scrapping my car, I should be given full market value of my vehicle," I hate insurance policies. I mean isn't that what a the deductible is there for, because you have to foot some of the repair bill? Not as a way for them to cut the bottom line a little bit for scraping a car.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    The deductible is levied per claim, and a payout from a "total" is a claim. It also serves to dis-incentivise you in making claims. The insurance company knows you're not going to bother filing a claim unless it's over your deductible (and usually not until it's considerably over the deductible).

    Edit: Cauld, if I were you I'd get the salvaged car back, and wait til hail season is over (summer, but before autumn) and find a local PDR guy (assuming the hail did no paint damage). For hail/dings/dents a body shop will often cotract out to PDR and mark up 100%. Insurance companies are usually wise to this and their adjusters cut out a lot of the markup, but you may be able to deal directly with a PDR guy. You want to be outside of hail season because during those times is when the PDR guys are the busiest and they can command a premium.

  • TexiKenTexiKen unable to feel my retinal assessment Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Go with option A. $2500 plus a car that still runs but is dinged up, which if you just turned around and sold will probably get you at least half your blue book value (probably 3k).

    You either sell your car and put all the money towards a new vehicle or you don't fix the hail damage and have $2,500. Or you can use that to fix the hail damage.

    And I've never seen hail damage go beyond 3k. Usually collision shops can dry ice the dents out for pretty nominal fee. Would you be able to show us a picture of the damage?

    asip_zps327288aa.jpg
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    TexiKen wrote: »
    Go with option A. $2500 plus a car that still runs but is dinged up, which if you just turned around and sold will probably get you at least half your blue book value (probably 3k).

    You either sell your car and put all the money towards a new vehicle or you don't fix the hail damage and have $2,500. Or you can use that to fix the hail damage.

    And I've never seen hail damage go beyond 3k. Usually collision shops can dry ice the dents out for pretty nominal fee. Would you be able to show us a picture of the damage?

    I was planning on keeping the car and keeping the cash. That's clearly the best choice.

    I'm not sure about getting pictures of the damage, all I have is a camera phone right now. They're small dents.... there's just a lot of them on the roof, the hood, the trunk, the other part around the trunk and both of the rear side panels. It was walnut-golfball sized hail though.

    The insurance guy was of the mindset of replacing the body parts instead of fixing them, as he mentioned the roof is an expensive piece to replace. I can't imagine him beeing too knowledgable about hail damage though, being from Miami.

  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Get a second opinion regarding the cost of repairs.

Sign In or Register to comment.