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Old 03-14-2014, 02:35 PM   #1
pinkgyrl
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Default Fiance killed my car - advice on salvage?

I've only posted one time or maybe twice before - if I did something wrong, will someone give me a head's up? I only use a perfume forum besides having been on this one.

My fiance let someone wave him in front of a line of traffic and here I am - I am the only owner for 16 years (purchased and is a 1998 model). Insurance company claimed total loss for a repair estimate of 11k - had shadetree mechanic inspect vehicle - it appears that rear axle is bent and unibody *may* be twisted. The engine is fine - she started right up (and thus, the tears started again) - the car moves but, of course, the two side tires are damaged - rear is bent into the car. Most concerning for me is that the hatchback won't shut b/c the bottom of the car appears "smaller" than it did before below the hatchback (this car spun about 5 times in accident) - and the right door is about 1/2 inch above where it should be though I haven't tried to open it b/c right now it's shut tight - and I don't want people in the neighborhood messing with it when they walk by the car.

The insurance company is trying to claim so far 1600 to 3000 for salvage - and around $15K for total loss b/c of "hail damage" (3 rock hits) and "faded paint" (car is 16 years old!). This car has ran flawlessly for 16 years - only needed under $2000 of non-maintenance mechanical clean-up ever. It has around 140,000 miles (I don't have the heart to get into the car again to get the precise mileage).

Any advice on what to do with insurance company here? I've already tried to get a higher total loss value b/c of hard top and CD player, etc - but he took off $1000 which offset that for supposed hail damage and faded paint. (I have pictures - it hasn't been waxed for awhile).

I'm a foreclosure attorney; I don't deal with car insurance - so this is a new area for me - I've never totaled a car ether for that matter until I let a person that I shouldn't have drive a car that I loved. Obviously, I won't be getting another car like this with the total loss amount - do I want to deal with the salvage trying to beat their amount b/c of the engine?

Thanks for any advice - here are pictures:







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Old 03-14-2014, 02:49 PM   #2
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Ok, insurance company is really hurting me - they got an "offer" from salvage company for $7,000. But, they won't repair it for $11,000? All of the advice that I have received had informed me that they hardly ever give this much for salvaged vehicles. Apparently, for salvage, the same man advised me of its "rarity" (duh) in an e-mail 5 minutes ago but in e-mail 20 minutes before that claimed that "faded paint" took value down. I'm going to do some research about the ratio of salvage versus the ratio of declaring car a total loss - this just doesn't feel right to me.

Thanks for any advice,
Wendy
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:42 PM   #3
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No, unfortunately the insurance companies aren't usually interested in repairing a vehicle when the repair costs are so close to the total value of the vehicle. Usually (in my experience at least) if the cost to repair is greater than 50% of the value of the vehicle they'll total it out rather than repair it.

According to your information and KBB the value is ~$13k, and the repair costs are somewhere around $11k. They're not going to do that, especially when the salvage value of the hulk is only around $7k. Your best remaining option is likely to turn in any receipts for recent significant work you've had done to the body or drivetrain. Sometimes that will increase what they'll settle with you for.

Good luck with it in any case.
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
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Have they provided you with a buy back price? One way they're often happy to work is that they'll pay you the "value" of the car, in this case said $7000. Then they'll sell it back to you for a lower amount... It saves them from other losses they're bound to incur while disposing of the vehicle. Check some local shops (not dealerships) and see how much it'll cost to get it road worthy and then as time and money permit have the cosmetic stuff taken care of. If it were me (and I wasn't able to work on my own cars) I'd start with getting estimated to get the frame straightened, get the rims checked to make sure they're straight and try to find a local Supra owner or two who may have time to swap the axle/knuckle/strut or whatever is needed. It'll be cheaper to upgrade some of this with aftermarket "performance" parts.

Option number two would be to buy it back and try to sell it "as-is" now that spring is here. The value of this kind of car spikes around tax time and stays fairly high through most of the summer. You won't get a lot as it's non-turbo and hard top but it may put you over what the insurance company is offering and that much closer to being able to afford another.
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:52 AM   #5
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I was wondering what happened to the fiance, he had the accident, he should be helping you. I had almost same situation but got lucky the shop low balled insurance company, then told the insurance they have found more damaged once they removed the panels, company had already paid for half of the repair agreed to pay the rest. a dishonest repair shop sometimes come in handy, otherwise I would have lost my car.
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