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I have a 2000 Toyota Avalon that was caught in a hail storm.  My insurance company wants to total the car and write me a check for the appraised value.

I have seen ads on craigslist selling cars.  If the title is a salvage title, the cars sell for about 50% less than if they have a clear title.

if I intend to sell the car some day, I'd want to avoid having the car totaled.  So:

1. Is it even possible to request that the check be written for slightly less than the amount to total the car, say $50 less?
2. Does it make sense to do so?

Member Summary
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Depends on the State
CA doesn't offer a Rebuilt title. (It's all Salvage)

But Colorado is 'Rebuilt From Salvage'.

forbin4040 (Jun. 22, 2017 @ 1:57p) |

Doesn't a comprehensive claim not impact rates? I don't remember, haven't used my comprehensive coverage in a long time.... (more)

jaytrader (Jun. 22, 2017 @ 2:00p) |

Is a 17 year old car with a ton of hail dings going to have enough value for a salvage title to make any difference at a... (more)

ledwards (Jun. 22, 2017 @ 4:09p) |

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rated:
how much money would you net ?

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State?

Some states require insurance company to total car when repair is estimated at just 70% of value.

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scrouds said:   State?
 

  Colorado?

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StevenColorado said:   I have a 2000 Toyota Avalon that was caught in a hail storm.  My insurance company wants to total the car and write me a check for the appraised value.

I have seen ads on craigslist selling cars.  If the title is a salvage title, the cars sell for about 50% less than if they have a clear title.

if I intend to sell the car some day, I'd want to avoid having the car totaled.  So:

1. Is it even possible to request that the check be written for slightly less than the amount to total the car, say $50 less?
2. Does it make sense to do so?

If they total the car, don't they take it?  Doesn't resale value become immaterial?  Or do you get the check AND get to keep the car?  Even if you do keep the car, you are talking about a 17+ year old vehicle; the difference between salvage title or not is going to become immaterial at some point.  

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fwuser12 said:   
scrouds said:   State?
  Colorado?

  Colorado requires the insurer to total the car when the cost to repair exceeds the fair market value.

https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/00175247.pdf

If you want to keep the car, your own insurer will write you a check minus your deductible and the salvage value of the car. You would then be required to get a branded (aka salvage) title to the car.

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In my state:
Minus deductible, replacement cost (TTL), and salvage value, which adds up.

Generally "salvage" title cars are worth less.  If you can show that the salvage was due to a hail claim, you could mitigate that title value loss.  People just don't want a franken-ride or flood damaged vehicle.

You probably can't get them to unbrand the title by taking a smaller check on it.

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If you plan to drive it till its dead, that will take some time with a yota, see what you can keep it for.  This is a good excuse to liquidate 90% out of a vehicle equity and still have some good wheels just with dents.  Mind you its not a Crown Vic but we can let you by.

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StevenColorado said:   I have a 2000 Toyota Avalon that was caught in a hail storm.  My insurance company wants to total the car and write me a check for the appraised value.

I have seen ads on craigslist selling cars.  If the title is a salvage title, the cars sell for about 50% less than if they have a clear title.

if I intend to sell the car some day, I'd want to avoid having the car totaled.  So:

1. Is it even possible to request that the check be written for slightly less than the amount to total the car, say $50 less?
2. Does it make sense to do so?

1) No
2) No

  In a total  car case
You have three choices
Total the car and give it to the insurance company, they write you a big fat check.
Total the car and buy it from the insurance company, they write you a check for about half.
You don't claim on the insurance and pay for it yourself. The car isn't totaled.

Only 1 case is where you get a 'clean' title, and you really don't want the third option.

The car is damaged, it's totaled.  that means the cost to fix is over 50% the value of the car (Depends on insurance, some go higher on the percentage)

If you plan to sell it in the future, you most likely will not get more than the 'totaled value'.  
Most people will keep a totaled car as a beater to drive around
Most 'scam artists' will keep a totaled car , make the title clean, and then sell it.
 

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Why do you have full coverage on a 17 year old car? I dropped the full coverage once the value dropped to like $5 or $6k. I self insure to about $5k as that my threshold for assuming the risk.

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Pics???!!!

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in my first car accident the repair shop boasted that they were able to convince the adjuster not to total my car (I was mad because I rather of had it totaled) so maybe its worth trying to talk to them

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ach1199 said:   Why do you have full coverage on a 17 year old car? I dropped the full coverage once the value dropped to like $5 or $6k. I self insure to about $5k as that my threshold for assuming the risk.
I carry "full coverage" on an 18 year old truck.  The collision portion of the premium is just about $100/year.  To me, that's worth it.  

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dcwilbur said:   If they total the car, don't they take it?  Doesn't resale value become immaterial?  Or do you get the check AND get to keep the car?  Even if you do keep the car, you are talking about a 17+ year old vehicle; the difference between salvage title or not is going to become immaterial at some point.  
  Exactly so. This is like the 3rd thread in a month where people think they get to keep their totaled car & a check for the value of the car.

What's wrong that FW members don't stomp on that falsehood?

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forbin4040 said:   Total the car and buy it from the insurance company, they write you a check for about half.

 

  
Maybe this is a rule of thumb, but I may have also made out like a bandit when my 2002 BMW vert was 'totaled' for some non-flood water and mold damage and was able to buy it back at the salvage value of ~$650. Insurance valued it at pre-loss of $7800.

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StevenColorado said:    If the title is a salvage title, the cars sell for about 50% less than if they have a clear title.
 Unless it's pristine or low mileage it's a $2,000 car now without salvage. In 5 years it might be worth $1,500 with or without salvage. On an older car, condition is more important than history.

rated:
It's an imperfect metric because cost to repair doesn't necessarily correlate with the types of damage, but the point of branding titles is to prevent people from unknowingly buying cars with severe damage history that may impair usefulness or safety. If you could just voluntarily take less settlement and quickly make slightly less than the spread between the salvage-title value of the car and the non-salvage-title value of the car, not too many titles would get branded on potentially-repairable cars, would they?

This car is well down the path where value has plummeted and cost to repair has begun to climb due to difficulties in getting parts. Another vote here for the salvage title isn't going to make much difference (especially since you probably won't fully fix it).

By the way, listing prices aren't selling prices. There are a lot of sellers who are delusional in trying to sell nice cars and price them where there is very little or no market, whereupon the listings languish. The sellers of salvage-title cars know that's a big negative to a lot of buyers, so they don't have quite the rose-colored glasses other sellers do and know they need to price aggressively to be considered.

rated:
dcwilbur said:   
ach1199 said:   Why do you have full coverage on a 17 year old car? I dropped the full coverage once the value dropped to like $5 or $6k. I self insure to about $5k as that my threshold for assuming the risk.
I carry "full coverage" on an 18 year old truck.  The collision portion of the premium is just about $100/year.  To me, that's worth it.  

  That's damn right.  The one time I listened to FWF, I dropped collision on an 11 year old car.  Soon thereafter, some moron wrecked me from behind.  Now I have to deal with their insurance directly and it's just not worth the hassle.

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ach1199 said:   Why do you have full coverage on a 17 year old car? I dropped the full coverage once the value dropped to like $5 or $6k. I self insure to about $5k as that my threshold for assuming the risk.
  Full coverage usually means collision coverage. Hail damage does not come under collision but comprehensive coverage. I keep comprehensive coverage on all my vehicles no matter how old. It's cheap and covers a lot of things indluding glass breakage, deer damage, etc. I would think that hail damage would come under comprehensive. Collision kicks in only if the vehicle was moving when damaged.

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SummerSoFar said:   
forbin4040 said:   Total the car and buy it from the insurance company, they write you a check for about half.

 

  
Maybe this is a rule of thumb, but I may have also made out like a bandit when my 2002 BMW vert was 'totaled' for some non-flood water and mold damage and was able to buy it back at the salvage value of ~$650. Insurance valued it at pre-loss of $7800.

Yeah what Forbin said is only true if the salvage value is "about half" of the value of the car before the damage.
My experience matches what you said SummerSoFar.
If the car is totaled and you want to buy it back, they give you a check for the value of the car, minus the salvage value of the car.
So if they say your car was worth $16,000 before the accident, and they think salvage value is $2000.00, you'll get a check for $14,000. (In some cases you also get taxes and registration back as well)

  

rated:
CO has about a million hail damage repair shops. Did you get the estimate there or at a Body Shop? A Body Shop if going to quote you for either panel replacement and refinishing or filling, sanding and painting and it'll easily be more than the value of most cars. I had a civic totaled there for hail. I wanted the car, so I bought back the salvage title from the insurance company for about 1/3 of the car's original value. I took it to a hail specialist and they popped out roughly 95% of the dents for a little less than another 1/3. I pocketed the rest and drove the car with the remaining dings in it for another 10 years. I sold it then for almost what I paid them for the salvage title. You can definitely come out ahead in the deal if you try.

rated:
prosperity said:   
ach1199 said:   Why do you have full coverage on a 17 year old car? I dropped the full coverage once the value dropped to like $5 or $6k. I self insure to about $5k as that my threshold for assuming the risk.
  Full coverage usually means collision coverage. Hail damage does not come under collision but comprehensive coverage. I keep comprehensive coverage on all my vehicles no matter how old. It's cheap and covers a lot of things indluding glass breakage, deer damage, etc. I would think that hail damage would come under comprehensive. Collision kicks in only if the vehicle was moving when damaged.

  Unless your state has no fault auto glass coverage, I wouldn't use my policy to pay for broken auto glass unless every window in the car was broken.

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stanolshefski said:     Unless your state has no fault auto glass coverage, I wouldn't use my policy to pay for broken auto glass unless every window in the car was broken.
  
Absolutely. Or at least the broken glass is overly expensive to replace, such as with some vehicles.

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SummerSoFar said:   
stanolshefski said:     Unless your state has no fault auto glass coverage, I wouldn't use my policy to pay for broken auto glass unless every window in the car was broken.
  
Absolutely. Or at least the broken glass is overly expensive to replace, such as with some vehicles.

  Usually, one window isn't worth the comprehensive deductible plus increase in insurance rates.

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StevenColorado said:   I have a 2000 Toyota Avalon that was caught in a hail storm.  My insurance company wants to total the car and write me a check for the appraised value.

I have seen ads on craigslist selling cars.  If the title is a salvage title, the cars sell for about 50% less than if they have a clear title.

if I intend to sell the car some day, I'd want to avoid having the car totaled.  So:

1. Is it even possible to request that the check be written for slightly less than the amount to total the car, say $50 less?
2. Does it make sense to do so?

  
50% less is such wrong as to the market value of a repair salvage title vehicle.  More like 20-30% off the 'fair market value'. 

My dad has been in the business since 1987.   We have bought and sold hundreds if not thousands of cars...

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troutmd said:    
50% less is such wrong as to the market value of a repair salvage title vehicle.  More like 20-30% off the 'fair market value'. 

My dad has been in the business since 1987.   We have bought and sold hundreds if not thousands of cars...

  I say your dad is a great salesman to get 70-80% of FMV on salvage titled cars. Are these buy here pay here financed sales?

rated:
I've had 3 windshields replaced (different vehicles) over the years. My deductible is $50 and my rates never increased.

I just can't get over how many people who are afraid to use their insurance. In 25 years I have never had an increase due to a claim.

rated:
Seems like it's best to let your insurance declare it totaled and take the check. However, if one of your goals was to drive the vehicle as long as possible, perhaps it would be worth checking on the insurance company's policy about the deadline to make a claim.

Long story short: Kids scratched my car and shortly after the comprehensive claim and painting it happened again. I figured this would continue to occur so asked the insurer if I could wait until a later date to get the car painted in case more damage was done. I was told that I had up to two years to take care of the claim. So, I waited until close to the two year deadline and had three incidents taken care of under one claim.

If your insurance company has a similar two year claim period, you can at least drive the vehicle almost a couple more years before having to cash out on the claim. (Don't know if the payout in two years will be less than it is today or if the payout is tied to the date of loss.)

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zapjb said:   
troutmd said:    
50% less is such wrong as to the market value of a repair salvage title vehicle.  More like 20-30% off the 'fair market value'. 

My dad has been in the business since 1987.   We have bought and sold hundreds if not thousands of cars...

  I say your dad is a great salesman to get 70-80% of FMV on salvage titled cars. Are these buy here pay here financed sales?

  
No, cash purchases or most are bank loans.  No 'in house' financing.

I can tell you that I am a physician now, I buy all of our vehicles that are totaled and of course I get everything at cost and donate labor myself or my dad does.  I have more than 50% on anything I drive.  We have a 2016 Yukon Denali XL with 5K miles that we put a frontend on, and a 2014 Dodge 2500 Longhorn Diesel 4x4, also wrecked in the front.  Just bought a play toy Jeep this week, Paid about 50% of value for it, but it needs most of the front end and airbags replaced.

Just updated from a 2011 Escalade (front wreck also), 44K miles, sold it for 28K about 3 months ago.  Similar ones that were one owner, original title was mid to low 30s.

We have heard the whole 50% value thing for decades, but I am just saying that isn't the case, or if you find someone selling for that, you stupid not to purchase.  You cant go purchase a wrecked car from the salvage auction and donate the labor and have 50% in the vehicle, let alone make a small profit on it.

As far as salesman, not really.  The cars sale themselves.   Pictures of the wreck, and quality work.   Buying salvage is the smartest thing to do for anyone that is especially going to drive the car until it has a ton of miles...

Good luck..

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While there might be quality people that do good work restoring salvage vehicles to retail condition, the problem is that if you buy a salvage vehicle, you likely will be the last owner of that vehicle. 

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calwatch said:    the problem is that if you buy a salvage vehicle, you likely will be the last owner of that vehicle. 
  Is this a riddle? Like, when you are looking for something you misplaced, it's always at the last place you look.

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troutmd said:   No, cash purchases or most are bank loans.  No 'in house' financing.....
  I did not know banks would make car loans on salvage titled autos.

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zapjb said:   
troutmd said:   No, cash purchases or most are bank loans.  No 'in house' financing.....
  I did not know banks would make car loans on salvage titled autos.

  
I would assume they are rebuilt titled autos.

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taxmantoo said:   
zapjb said:   
troutmd said:   No, cash purchases or most are bank loans.  No 'in house' financing.....
  I did not know banks would make car loans on salvage titled autos.

  
I would assume they are rebuilt titled autos.

  Had to lookup.
Link
Once a vehicle is fixed after earning a salvage title, it's given a rebuilt title. In most cases, a rebuilt title is only provided after the car has been fixed and inspected by the state or jurisdiction that issues titles. If the repairs were satisfactory, the title is changed from "salvage" to "rebuilt" in order to reflect the repairs that were performed and note that the car is now fixed.
 

rated:
Depends on the State
CA doesn't offer a Rebuilt title. (It's all Salvage)

But Colorado is 'Rebuilt From Salvage'.

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stanolshefski said:   
SummerSoFar said:   
stanolshefski said:     Unless your state has no fault auto glass coverage, I wouldn't use my policy to pay for broken auto glass unless every window in the car was broken.
  
Absolutely. Or at least the broken glass is overly expensive to replace, such as with some vehicles.

  Usually, one window isn't worth the comprehensive deductible plus increase in insurance rates.

  Doesn't a comprehensive claim not impact rates? I don't remember, haven't used my comprehensive coverage in a long time.

rated:
Is a 17 year old car with a ton of hail dings going to have enough value for a salvage title to make any difference at all? At that point I would think it was time to call one of those charity "come get my car and give me the deduction" places.

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