Concerned about my car not being considered a total loss

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:29 am   Post subject: Concerned about my car not being considered a total loss  

I have a 2007 Hyundai Tuscon with 20,000 miles on it. On Sat we were rear ended and pushed into the car in front of us. We were at a complete stop and the girl who hit us was going about 40 mph. The estimates (before it has gone on a lift or a frame machine) are around $6,000 to repair with our mechanic telling us the repairs could be double that once they get inside and see the extent of frame damage (apparantly he has already determined there is frame damage). I want the insurance company to declare it a total since I don't see that the car will ever be the same after this much damage, not to mention the diminished value when/if we try to sell it now that its been in an accident. The accident was 100% (per the state police) the other drivers fault and I'm frustrated that I'm going to be left with a not so new, not so great, structurally compromised car all because a 17 yr old was texting behind the wheel.



Any thoughts about anything I could say/do to plead my case with the insurance company?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:04 pm   Post subject:   

Has the adjuster stated that this is a complete estimate? When does the shop intend to have it on a lift and torn down so that additional damage can be seen? If this is a preliminary estimate (and it sounds like it is)...I wouldn't get too shook up until I knew it had been throughly inspected.



Do you have any idea what your vehicles ACV (actual cash value) is? If you'd like to post all the options (also 2 or 4 wheel drive)...I'll run it and see what the ACV is...also what state are you in? Most states have a percent law on the books...meaning when the cost of repair reaches this percentage (70-80% usually) then the vehicle is an automatic total...(warning in some states ALL the repairs don't count)...also the vehicle totals, when the cost of repair is equal to or more than the ACV minus the salvage value.



Why don't you call the shop, ask if the adjuster has been back out or if they are ready for the adjuster to inspect it (is it torn down)...then call the adjuster ask that they call you when the supplement has been done. Ask what their critera is for a vehicle to be deemed a total.



Another option is to have your carrier also inspect it...I assume you have collision coverage, your carrier can handle the claim then subrogate the at fault carrier.



Do you have a lein on the vehicle? If so what is your pay off? Do you have GAP?



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:28 am   Post subject:   

Yes, I have gap insurance... yes, there is a lien on the car.



It is a 2007 Hyundai Tuscon. 20,000 miles. Leather seats, sunroof, 2WD, multi cd player. Other than that just standard features.



I'm in NH.



I have called my insurance co. and they sent an appraiser to look at the car. Tomorrow the at fault party's appraiser is coming.



My understanding is that once the mechanic starts to "tear down" the car to uncover the rest of the damage, that constitutes beginning the repairs so at that point do insurance companies ever decide it is a total or do they say that since the work has started it's going to continue.



Thanks for any help you can give!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:39 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
My understanding is that once the mechanic starts to "tear down" the car to uncover the rest of the damage, that constitutes beginning the repairs
That is not true, you can give your consent for tear down only to access and inspect the damage...that does NOT in anyway, shape or form constitue a repair authorization nor does it mean repairs have begun..
Quote:
so at that point do insurance companies ever decide it is a total or do they say that since the work has started it's going to continue
. sure...many times we write a preliminary estimate say in a tow yard, (prior to tear down) then get it in a shop have it torn down and complete the estimate, and total it then. The trouble is most of the time, adjusters cannot write to repair or replace a part that they cannot see or capture the damage in a picture. A rear body panel might be a good example. On most cars you can't see this part very well until the bumper cover is off the car.



Let us know what your appraiser and the other carriers appraiser have to say after they have inspected it..


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:22 pm   Post subject:   

Hi, do we expect that the appraisers belonging to both parties would work with the same interests? Or is it that they might have different look outs under such circumstances?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:15 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
do we expect that the appraisers belonging to both parties would work with the same interests?
yes, I don't write an estimate any different if it's first or third party...
Quote:
Or is it that they might have different look outs under such circumstances
no, I wouldn't see why.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:09 pm   Post subject:   

One appraisal came back at $7000 and I quote the insurance agent who passed this info on. She said "the appraiser is really good and he doesn't think there's any supplemental damage". I told her that unless he has xray vision or brought a portable lift that I don't see how he has already determined that.



Can I call my mechanic and see if they will start to take the car apart and then look for more damage? Will I have to pay for that?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:56 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
Hi, do we expect that the appraisers belonging to both parties would work with the same interests? Or is it that they might have different look outs under such circumstances?




I have opportunities to examine estimates prepared by the same insurer for both insureds and claimants. I have found oftentimes, it does matter, who you are, what you drive, or where you live with regard to the types of repairs or parts used in those estimates on which settlements are based. Currently I am seeing one company write original equipment parts on their own insureds vehicle repairs because of the policy provisions and for claimants they are estimating with the use of alternative, generic, imitation parts and taiwan tin. It's a corporate decision and not the individual appraiser in those cases where they are given criteria in which to prepare their estimates.



In other cases some insurers write for certain procedures, oem parts on vehicles three years or newer, and some companies write a/m parts the day it's driven off the new car lot. So I would have to conclude that not all companies see indemnification under the same criteria or microscope.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:53 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I have found oftentimes, it does matter, who you are, what you drive, or where you live with regard to the types of repairs or parts used in those estimates on which settlements are based
Come on Mike, 'oftentimes' you are seeing bigoted adjusters? Who makes a decision on how to write an estimate based on where a person lives? Sorry, I don't buy that...I do agree that all company's have their own critera for a/m parts useage. I personally don't know any company's that write one way for first party and a different way for third party. I would like for you to provide the names of those company's that do that in our state Mike. The only way I could see this ever happening would be if there is a specific (first party) endorsement for new oem parts only...and that wouldn't be a 'company' thing that would be an individual policy thing. As far as I know, there are only one or two companys that even offer that endorsement.

Quote:
So I would have to conclude that not all companies see indemnification under the same criteria or microscope
I agree, as I've said all carriers have different critera for a/m part useage. But I've NEVER seen it differ within the same company for first and third party claims. Again, who are these company's? I know adjusters at about every company, so I'd like to find out how they get away with something like that. As well as determining repair decisions based on a home address


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:02 am   Post subject: insurance  

From MY experience, anyway,.....when the Adjuster was 'inspecting' my car, he said "Legally...even if what I ahve looked at, so far, has 'totaled' your car, I STILL have to look at ALL of the damage." I even took the vehicle to my mechanic to look at (the Jeep was still driveable). (Thinking outloud)..If ANYONE had gotten into an accident, what does it matter where you live?!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:24 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
If ANYONE had gotten into an accident, what does it matter where you live?!
I don't know, doesn't make any sense to me either.. Rolling Eyes nor have I ever seen or heard of it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:19 pm   Post subject:   

You're just not looking at it from the same perspective as repairers. I've personally seen state legistors that seem to make some insurers hop and skip to their tune but the same could not be said of the average mike or lori.



I face enough retribution and steering from the insurance company that practices paying for oem parts on insureds and a/m on claimants without naming them, but I could soon have a collection of their estimates to show pattern and practice to make the point. It's only a recent turn of events due to circumstances I would mention to you in person but not in posting or even in a phone conversation that could be taped to be used against me in a deposition.



I don't suppose either of you ever heard of the Yellow sheeting that took place in the industry years ago? Claims that came in on yellow sheets were a signal to the adjuster that the claimants most likely lived in poor areas, were minorities, were too poor to hire attorneys, were uneducated, etc. They were lowballed on their claims and the ones that came in on white sheets were handled entirely differently. That was well documented on news shows in the 90's. I'd like to think that stuff doesn't happen anymore, then you read about incidences where a judge ordered a flying pig out of a claims office. Everytime an adjuster was able to deny a claim, they would flip a switch on the pig and it's wings would flap. It would be nice to think these are only isolated incidences. I am sure these are not practices any insurance company CEO would authorize, they come from a much lower level I would think.



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:02 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I don't suppose either of you ever heard of the Yellow sheeting that took place in the industry years ago?
Been working in P&C insurance for 20 years... never heard of that. I did not find anything on a google search either. I've heard of Red Lining in the banking industry.

Quote:
I have opportunities to examine estimates prepared by the same insurer for both insureds and claimants. I have found oftentimes, it does matter, who you are, what you drive, or where you live with regard to the types of repairs or parts used in those estimates on which settlements are based.
What you drive? Sure, I write those up differently. Are you saying repairs made to a $100,000 BMW are the same as to a $3,000 Dodge Neon? Its my understanding that repairs are going to be made differently to these vehicle due to the materials and design. As far as to where you live? I've got better things to do then to somehow adjust what I write based on my location.



Quote:
Currently I am seeing one company write original equipment parts on their own insureds vehicle repairs because of the policy provisions and for claimants they are estimating with the use of alternative, generic, imitation parts and taiwan tin. It's a corporate decision and not the individual appraiser in those cases where they are given criteria in which to prepare their estimates
Sure... one is dictated by a contract another is dictated by law. what does the insured's contract call for, OEM? Also, if the carrier only owes for AM parts on an insured's vehicle but they pay for OEM, there is nothing wrong with that. I'd call that "good service"!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:05 pm   Post subject: Help!!  

I actually found all this information very interesting because about 12 days ago i got in a car accident myself. The person was driving a companys truck and I was driving my Honda Element 2007 SC model. I was hit in the front and my car is looking pretty bad. My insurance company after the inspectors look at it said that it can be fixed with about 7000. Now my car has not been taken to a body shop it is not drivable. I thought this was going to be total loss I dont feel like my car will ever be the same with a front hit that bad. what can I do? I was thinking about sending it to Honda's dealer to have them estimate the cost of repair with original parts because the insurance company is telling me about taking it to one of their body shops but I am not sure what parts they will be using on my car? what should I do?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:04 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I thought this was going to be total loss I dont feel like my car will ever be the same with a front hit that bad
Many people think this, but that thought process is very dated. These days many vehicles don't even have traditional frames, they are unibody. So the body panels make up the frame. Frame straightening machines are also much more advanced as well. Much of the $7000 are probably for parts and labor, that is, a higher cost of repair does not need t indicate that a vehicle cannot be put back like it was prior to the accident.



You _always_ have the choice where your vehicle is going to be repaired. Typically a vehicle won't have been moved into an insurance preferred shop without the owners consent. If you want to have it moved someplace else for the repaired, this is up to you. The insurance company will submit the written estimate to that new shop and the new shop will be able to make the same repairs for that amount.



Having an Honda dealer make the repairs is not going to change what parts the insurance company pays for.



If you don't want to have the vehicle repaired you can keep the money and sell the vehicle as it is. Or you can have it repaired and sell it.
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