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I just found out she was involved in an auto accident where she was rear ended last week. They towed her car to a repair shop and the adjuster came back with an estimate of $6000 to repair it. It was a low speed collision but apparently there's some "internal damage" i'm assuming frame damage. It's a 2006 Honda Civic LX with 93k miles and the trade in value is around $6500/ $8500 private party. The other party has the same insurance and has admitted 100% fault. My sister is a busy professor so she doesn't have much time for this and was just going to just have them fix it and proceed. I suggested she just take the money. We're entirely new to accidents so I'm hoping some of you guys and gals can help out



1. Is it simple to just call the adjuster and tell him that since the cost of repair is almost the cost of the vehicle traded in, she would like to have the $6000 written out to her and she can take the car back (assuming it's driveable) . From here she'll try to sell the car as is (to a Body Shop?) and then get a new car.

2. Assuming the car is not driveable, she'll have the car repaired and then sell it. However since it'll most likely involve frame damage, she won't get as much money. I was thinking should she sue the other person to get reimbursed that depreciated value?

Are there any options that I'm missing?


They may have already started performing the repairs or ordered the parts since the last communication she had with teh adjuster was Monday and he told her of the repair costs , but he never asked her if she authorized to start the repairs. Would they need a signed authorization to perform the repairs? We won't find out more until Monday when the adjuster is back at work.

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Get your car? I thought it was your sister's car? BUSTED!

saladdin (Dec. 30, 2012 @ 10:22a) |

That wasn't the OP

insanehero (Dec. 30, 2012 @ 11:58a) |

I worked for an insurance company and I settled diminished value claims on a regular basis. Since, I've gone into it fu... (more)

Ravens52Lewis (Jan. 15, 2013 @ 11:27p) |

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The answer depends on the following: How was the condition of the car before the accident? Was it fully maintained? Any work needed? Is your sister looking for a new car? If she takes the $6K will she have the time to get the car fixed or sell the car? I think if the damage is over 65% of the cars value, the insurance company usually totals it.

The car was perfectly fine prior to the collision. No issues at all. I just took a look at the quote, it's actually $6900 ($3000 parts, $3900 paint/labor). Looking at the pictures, it's definitely frame damage but i can't tell if its' still driveable or not so i'll have her confirm on Monday.


She wasn't looking for a new car since she thought it would be a quick fix but my parents and I have convinced her to get a new car for safety and avoiding any issues with a high mileage car.

If she can take the money, she won't have time to sell privately so I was thinking she sells it to a Body Shop, hopefully she'll get it for at least $4000.

1. Is it simple to just call the adjuster and tell him that since the cost of repair is almost the cost of the vehicle traded in, she would like to have the $6000 written out to her and she can take the car back (assuming it's driveable) . From here she'll try to sell the car as is (to a Body Shop?) and then get a new car.

2. Assuming the car is not driveable, she'll have the car repaired and then sell it. However since it'll most likely involve frame damage, she won't get as much money. I was thinking should she sue the other person to get reimbursed that depreciated value?

Are there any options that I'm missing?

************************

She has two realistic options:

1. Get the car fixed and drive it. It will have no resale value, so she'll drive it into the ground.
2. Your option #1 above. Sell it damaged for parts, and get another car.

If she's too busy to shop for another car, she's sure too busy to file suit. A lawyer won't be free and she stands to get a few thousand bucks, and then likely have some real fun collecting.

In theory, she shouldn't need to sue in order to get fair compensation for diminished value. She just needs to ask her claim rep / adjuster about this, and tell him what OP posted here, that the car was in great condition relative to its age and mileage.

If it's totaled over a certain percentage, she should be able to get more from the insurance company based on retail value depending upon state laws.

This probably varies by state but on my experience the insurance company decides if it is a total loss and issues a check based on AVG dealer retail value of the car. They keep the car. There was also an option fir the customer to keep the car and take a lesser check. But when you do this (at least in NY) you get a "salvage title" which significantly reduces the value of the car even after being repaired. Nobody wants a car with a salvage title especially now as it could have been flooded due to hurricanes.

alphaivt said:   They may have already started performing the repairs or ordered the parts since the last communication she had with teh adjuster was Monday and he told her of the repair costs , but he never asked her if she authorized to start the repairs. Would they need a signed authorization to perform the repairs? We won't find out more until Monday when the adjuster is back at work.Relax until Monday. I doubt they are going to do $6000 in repairs to a car worth only $6500. They are likely going to cut her a check. The next question is for how much. Start looking for advertisements and online sales of like vehicles so you can get her as much as possible.

The car "fox" is going to have that vehicle decrease in value because of this accident. Her insurance company will probably give her the retail cost at a dealership for a similar car. So perhaps 8500

I was in a very similar situation previously, insurance was going to pay $7K for a Honda with 80K miles that was worth about $7K. I just requested the check, and called a couple of junk yards, found one to pay me $1500 for it's engine (they came and towed the car away about 2 hours later). Seriously took me about 10 minutes of my time. Honda engines are a hot commodity. I also had a friend that totaled his Honda (the engine was fine although 150K miles on it). He put an add on Craigslist and had 30 calls within the first couple of hours. He was shocked someone paid him $1200 and hauled the thing away.

agree with chuzzlewit... take the check then find an auto salvage company (junk yard) to buy the car.

Sisters, pics please

chuzzlewit said:   I was in a very similar situation previously, insurance was going to pay $7K for a Honda with 80K miles that was worth about $7K. I just requested the check, and called a couple of junk yards, found one to pay me $1500 for it's engine (they came and towed the car away about 2 hours later). Seriously took me about 10 minutes of my time. Honda engines are a hot commodity. I also had a friend that totaled his Honda (the engine was fine although 150K miles on it). He put an add on Craigslist and had 30 calls within the first couple of hours. He was shocked someone paid him $1200 and hauled the thing away.

This sounds good. So I just tell her to request no repairs, take the $6900 estimate as a check, take hold of the car (well leave it at the dealership but i'm sure they won't like it just sitting there taking up space), call a few junk yards and have them come in to take the car? hopefully the car is still driveable because if the dealership says "get your car off my property" she won't have anywhere to keep it until the junk yard picks it up. also, this maybe too much of a hassle for her but i'll check.

thanks!

If you don't even know if the car is still drivable you should probably find that out first

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   If you don't even know if the car is still drivable you should probably find that out first

yeah i will. i just jotted down four junk yards <5 miles from the dealership. i'm hoping there won't be any issues with them picking up the car via their own tow truck.

If you are looking for the most money , junkyards are the last place to go because you'll get the least money


If Its still driveable you would likely get 3-4x as much by putting it on eBay

But then you will need to take pics , deal with non paying bidders , keeping it stored someplace till the buyer picks it up etc.

You have to weigh if you want easy or the most money

Ok, new update! turns out she may have authorized them to do repairs already... she's not sure. we won't know for sure until tomorrow.

SUCKITSTAPLES, she's looking for the easy money. If she's able to get the $6,900 check, i'm hoping a junkyard will pay at least $2000.

Given the numbers you quoted, the car should be declared total loss, and the insurance co should pay her market value. This should be on the high end, even higher than private party.

alphaivt said:   chuzzlewit said:   I was in a very similar situation previously, insurance was going to pay $7K for a Honda with 80K miles that was worth about $7K. I just requested the check, and called a couple of junk yards, found one to pay me $1500 for it's engine (they came and towed the car away about 2 hours later). Seriously took me about 10 minutes of my time. Honda engines are a hot commodity. I also had a friend that totaled his Honda (the engine was fine although 150K miles on it). He put an add on Craigslist and had 30 calls within the first couple of hours. He was shocked someone paid him $1200 and hauled the thing away.

This sounds good. So I just tell her to request no repairs, take the $6900 estimate as a check, take hold of the car (well leave it at the dealership but i'm sure they won't like it just sitting there taking up space), call a few junk yards and have them come in to take the car? hopefully the car is still driveable because if the dealership says "get your car off my property" she won't have anywhere to keep it until the junk yard picks it up. also, this maybe too much of a hassle for her but i'll check.

thanks!


I'm pretty sure you are under no obligation to get repairs done when you have an insurable loss (unless of course there is a lienholder, then that would complicate the matter). If you get the check and have the car deemed a total loss, you'd have to convert the title to salvage, therefore you could not just turn around and sell it to the highest bidder even if it is driveable.

dcwilbur said:   alphaivt said:   They may have already started performing the repairs or ordered the parts since the last communication she had with teh adjuster was Monday and he told her of the repair costs , but he never asked her if she authorized to start the repairs. Would they need a signed authorization to perform the repairs? We won't find out more until Monday when the adjuster is back at work.Relax until Monday. I doubt they are going to do $6000 in repairs to a car worth only $6500. They are likely going to cut her a check. The next question is for how much. Start looking for advertisements and online sales of like vehicles so you can get her as much as possible.
This.

OP - remember, even if $6000 were somehow the least she could get, there are additional expenses. If she were to have it repaired, how long would that take? She would need a rental car during that time. So maybe 1 week @ $35/day and you've got another $200-300 added on. It's an inconvenience, so tack on something for that. Make a case for how well it was taken care of, how much it would fetch in the highest of all blue book values (private transaction), etc. and get as much as possible.

And also, the $6k was just an estimate. It could end up being more or less. For the insurance company, approach with a number like $9k and explain the list of things that will ultimately be added in, and how it's better to just settle it now and not deal with surprise estimate changes, etc.

I was in the same situation when my 04 camry XLE 90K was rearened 3 weeks back. Adjust cut me a check of $2000 for repairs which I know is not correct. I choose to get them repiared in this cost.. and as expected, when they start pulling the parts apart, they restimated the damage repair to around 4.5K and gave me a rental as well for 2 weeks.

I will get my car back on 27th from Body Shop but i visited them to see the progress and didnt like the quality of work.

I talked to a supervisor of the claim rep and told him that I would like to get a diminished value claim as well and he suggest to wait till I get the car back.

Will keep you posted when I get the car on tuesday (Nov 27)

mmaf said:   Sisters, pics please

alphaivt said:   My sister is a busy professor

She may look like these professors:

http://www.hercampus.com/life/academics/11-hottest-female-profes...

Or not.

Pics of college students here:

http://www.maxim.com/girls/campus-cuties-2010

[duplicate]

[duplicate]

macosx said:   mmaf said:   Sisters, pics please

alphaivt said:   My sister is a busy professor

She may look like these professors:

http://www.hercampus.com/life/academics/11-hottest-female-profes...

Or not.

Pics of college students here:

http://www.maxim.com/girls/campus-cuties-2010



alphaivt said:   The car was perfectly fine prior to the collision. No issues at all. I just took a look at the quote, it's actually $6900 ($3000 parts, $3900 paint/labor). Looking at the pictures, it's definitely frame damage but i can't tell if its' still driveable or not so i'll have her confirm on Monday.


She wasn't looking for a new car since she thought it would be a quick fix but my parents and I have convinced her to get a new car for safety and avoiding any issues with a high mileage car.

If she can take the money, she won't have time to sell privately so I was thinking she sells it to a Body Shop, hopefully she'll get it for at least $4000.


I don;t understand the "safety" issue. The car she was in was rear ended so bad it warped the frame and she is fine but somehow a new car is "safer"?

Majority of cars since 1980 are unibody where what minimal frame they have is integrated into the body. To fix they will graft (weld) a used rear half of a car in place of the damaged portion. Most will try to repaint that part only - after 10 years it will not match plus they usually do not properly finish the parts you don't see (hence it will rust). Try telling the adjuster you want new OEM parts used --- not aftermarket (which don't fit well) or used parts (which could have prior damage or corrosion. Don't tell them you want the cost to repair BUT the retail cost to replace the vehicle with one of same year and condition. Also ask for a rental until issue is settled.

I sold an 07 civic lx 147k for 7800 bucks on craigslist very recently. These cars are holding value extremely well and its worth fixing.

I would take the 6k, find a shop and pay them 2500 to fix it, pocket the rest. Fenders are 140 a piece brand new at honda. Bumpers 250. Radiator support is 250. You should be able to fix whatever it is on this car for 2kish.

Another guy said if you fix the car it will have no resale? You've lost your mind. These cars have the highest resale regardless of prior damage. If it gets 35-40mpg, miles are right, and it looks acceptible...it brings top dollar period. Specially with loan rates 3% right now...even banged up thats still 80 bucks a month for someone.

Just want to add 2 cents ( reviewed others' opinions).
Make sure to determine good value of car. Don't take what insurance company offers. You can review online asking price for similar model (same year and similar miles) and send them to insurance company.
I went through same thing couple of years back. I proposed higher valuation (around 800 more) than what insurance company was offering and adjuster took it without any question.

She just called the adjuster and he said they can write a check out but the shop may have already started repairs. So it'll be the 6900 minus the cost performed already. Won't know until an hour later when the shop opens up. They also only total the car if the repair is up to 90%of the value.

When this is all said and done, you should talk with her about staying aware of what she authorizes or doesn't authorize. The fact that she has no idea if she already authorized the repairs is amazing for a college professor, even if she is busy.

Finally got an answer back from the shop, they're 60% done with the repairs. At this point we're just going to let them finish it. My sister will get the car back and then file a claim for diminished value and then try to sell the car private party/trade in. Can this diminished value claim be bypassed and just have the insurance company buy the car for market value? or was that only available when the repairs haven't been done or the car is deemed totaled?

alphaivt said:   My sister will get the car back and then file a claim for diminished value and then try to sell the car private party/trade in.Why would you sell it? A six year old car with 93k miles and a known repair history? Just keep driving it.

"My sister is a busy professor".

Oxymoron alert!!

alphaivt said:   Finally got an answer back from the shop, they're 60% done with the repairs. At this point we're just going to let them finish it. My sister will get the car back and then file a claim for diminished value and then try to sell the car private party/trade in. Can this diminished value claim be bypassed and just have the insurance company buy the car for market value? or was that only available when the repairs haven't been done or the car is deemed totaled?

My least favorite threads are when there is a wealth of good suggestions given to the OP and they use none of them. (although in this case, it's the sister's fault)

It's just one giant c*cktease.

Insurance companies are required to make you whole. There are no rules about totaling the vehicle, its completely at the discretion of the insurance company. They basically have two options, pay you out a lump sum, or agree to cover the repairs.

If they agree to cover the repairs, then they will pay the repair shop directly, and this has the advantage of that if there is additional damage that was not known at the time of the estimate, it will be covered -- and you don't have to deal with paying a repair shop, or any negotiation.

If you take the lump sum, you will need to negotiate how much they give you, based on the value of the vehicle, the depreciation, the amount of damage to the vehicle, whether or not you are selling them the vehicle in the process (i.e. they are totaling it). All of this is negotiable, however once you agree to a figure and they pay it, you are stuck with it. So if you agree to $6k thinking it can be fixed for $5k, but it actually costs $7k, you're out $1k. On the other hand, if they agree to $6k, and it actually costs $5k, you've pocketed $1k.

If you want to claim some sort of diminished value, good luck with that. They may give it to you, or they may tell you to sue them. If you've already signed paperwork saying that they made you whole by repairing the car, then you are SOL with any diminished value claim.

sumitmangl said:   I was in the same situation when my 04 camry XLE 90K was rearened 3 weeks back. Adjust cut me a check of $2000 for repairs which I know is not correct. I choose to get them repiared in this cost.. and as expected, when they start pulling the parts apart, they restimated the damage repair to around 4.5K and gave me a rental as well for 2 weeks.

I will get my car back on 27th from Body Shop but i visited them to see the progress and didnt like the quality of work.

I talked to a supervisor of the claim rep and told him that I would like to get a diminished value claim as well and he suggest to wait till I get the car back.

Will keep you posted when I get the car on tuesday (Nov 27)


Just an update, repairs are still going on as Body Shop has some issues with resetting the airbag lights and asked for re appraise the claim amout.. Total claim rose to 6.5 K now

I will be asking for the diminished value claim on top of this when I get my car.. But I think that year will change by then and my car would be 1 more year old .. It will give insurance company a better chance to reject my DV claim

sumitmangl said:   sumitmangl said:   I was in the same situation when my 04 camry XLE 90K was rearened 3 weeks back. Adjust cut me a check of $2000 for repairs which I know is not correct. I choose to get them repiared in this cost.. and as expected, when they start pulling the parts apart, they restimated the damage repair to around 4.5K and gave me a rental as well for 2 weeks.

I will get my car back on 27th from Body Shop but i visited them to see the progress and didnt like the quality of work.

I talked to a supervisor of the claim rep and told him that I would like to get a diminished value claim as well and he suggest to wait till I get the car back.

Will keep you posted when I get the car on tuesday (Nov 27)


Just an update, repairs are still going on as Body Shop has some issues with resetting the airbag lights and asked for re appraise the claim amout.. Total claim rose to 6.5 K now

I will be asking for the diminished value claim on top of this when I get my car.. But I think that year will change by then and my car would be 1 more year old .. It will give insurance company a better chance to reject my DV claim


Get your car? I thought it was your sister's car? BUSTED!

That wasn't the OP

Skipping 1 Messages...
I worked for an insurance company and I settled diminished value claims on a regular basis. Since, I've gone into it full time & started my own site to give appraisals.

It sounds like you have a valid claim to me. You just need to know that dim value is tough to negotiate just because of the wide array of opinions on it. You should get an appraisal from someone and present it to the liable insurance company along with a demand letter.

Then, follow-up by phone a few times until you get a decent offer. Considering that your repairs were so high as a percentage of your ACV, your dim value claim would be higher.....maybe 15-25% of the pre-loss value.

Good luck.



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