Advice for dealing with insurance company after totalling vehicle?

  • gixxer01
    Participant
    Avon, MN
    Posts: 639
    #1541875

    Wife was in an accident this morning (she is a little sore but appears to be fine). Anyway, the vehicle will probably be totalled by the insurance company (we hope, as its a pretty messed up). Wondering if there is any wisdom in the IDO community as to things to watch for and or be weary of. The police report puts the fault entirely on the other driver, so we’re fortunate there.

    It sucks though, haven’t even had to change the oil in it yet.

    Thinking of a possible buy back, any advice there?

    raynestorm
    Participant
    Lake Wisconsin
    Posts: 59
    #1541925

    I would avoid a buy back, especially if the frame is damaged. It’s also getting pricier to do buy backs, since salvage yards are buying them back, and they make a killing selling the usable parts.

    I’m not sure which insurance company you have to deal with, but I had to deal with a cut rate company when a guy hit me and totaled my car. I take care of my vehicles and they are immaculate. However this insurance company looked in my local classifieds during winter, and took the 3 lowest prices of similar cars to mine (beat up and horrible shape during snow months). They took the average and told me that’s what I was getting. I said no way, that’s $2000 under blue book (was a $6500 car)! I had to submit 3 cars I could find in my area that were similar. I did that, but they declined my vehicles.

    I ended up having my buddy write a receipt from his auto garage, saying he purchased and put in a racing motor for $2500… That was the only way I could get close to blue book from them… My insurance company wanted nothing to do with the battle, since I wasn’t at fault… Took 8 months to finally get paid, all along I had to keep paying my auto loan with no car to drive.

    TripleA
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 655
    #1541947

    Simply get a check for the repair cost after you get 2 quotes from reputable DEALERSHIPS, (pick the highest) — or take the buyout- just ensure the “buyout” is enough to replace the car with a similar car model. Use NADA as a guide. Don’t take less than what it costs to properly replace the vehicle. Essentially go off of your instincts…. If it does not feel right tell them NO and fight back, remember you pay them monthly and the very few times in a lifetime you ask them for something they are REQUIRED* (morally) to produce the compensation they promised when they sold you the policy. They OWE you.

    nhamm
    Inactive
    Robbinsdale
    Posts: 7348
    #1541949

    (she is a little sore but appears to be fine)

    This is most concerning for me. Other guys can advise on the car, but I would hesitate on anything related to health. I’ve known MANY people who didn’t feel symptoms from an accident weeks after. Really took a physical toll for months, and a lot of money and therapy to fix the issues.

    Best wishes for her.

    Justin Schneider (Woods & Water Insurance)
    Participant
    Hugo, MN
    Posts: 1936
    #1541993

    If you’re considering a buy back, make sure you find some comparable vehicles on the marketplace that you can compare your total loss payout to. Many times, the initial payout is quite low and it takes some going back and forth between the insured and the insurance company to come to an agreement that makes sense for both sides. Also, utilize your agent during this process. They are the ones that work on your behalf and serve as a liaison between yourself and the insurance company. With that said, my experience is that on claims that are the other drivers fault, these seem to get handled a little more smoothly, as the insurance company will be subrogating against the other parties insurance carrier and ultimately won’t be on the hook for your damages.

    One last piece of advise is don’t accept being sore as just being ok. Auto accident injuries have a tendency to get worse over the course of a few days so it’s always a good idea to go in and get checked out. That’s what the insurance is there for.

    Nice Fella
    Participant
    Posts: 457
    #1542015

    I also have to comment on the injury side – don’t assume that a little soreness is Okay, especially after a crash that totaled a vehicle. My wife’s Blazer was rear-ended by a DWI driver 10 years ago, also was “a little sore”. Ten years later she’s still seeing a chiro, massage therapist, and now acupuncturist to try and alleviate the pain from accumulated scar tissue in shoulders and neck. Classic whiplash is more than just wearing a collar for a couple days. Have her see her doctor, or a specialist. The other person’s insurance company will be calling you to sign off on medical, and ohhhh will they be polite.
    I hate to say it, but I’d also contact an attorney for guidance. You have a lot at stake and no experience in how to handle this to protect yourself, your family, and your assets. Best part is that you’re in control as the other driver (and his insurance company) is 100% at fault. We all want to be a nice guy, but insurance companies prey on that. Good luck!

    TheFamousGrouse
    Participant
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 10714
    #1542035

    Sorry to hear about the situation Gixxer and I hope your wife is ok.

    For everybody out there, Justin makes a key point. It’s when you have a Charlie Foxtrot situation like this that you will REALLY appreciate having an actual, real person as your insurance agent. This is the only guy or gal in the whole world who will be on your side AND be able to advise you with the spit hits the spam.

    All those cheapie-cheapie ads saying come to our website and get cut rate insurance mean that you’re on your own when something happens.

    Grouse

    Gregg Pfeifer
    Participant
    Fort Atkinson, WI
    Posts: 889
    #1542045

    Personal experience advice, get a lawyer immediately and don’t talk to anybody’s insurance company. Tell them you have a lawyer and that’s legally where the conversation with the insurance companies for you ends. Have your wife go to the doctor immediately and get checked out. Have her ask for therapy for any soreness and you’re lawyer will get you a check for her pains in addition to any medical coverage you have. The cash will be yours to enjoy after all is settled and life gets back to normal.

    I was rear-ended at a stop sign by a drunk uninsured driver at 7:45 AM. Insurance company battled damages and to repair/total for 3 months before they decided not to total my 1 month old Escape with $16000 in damage. I got a check for $3000 a year later because I went to PT for a couple months – covered by my insurance. I was left with a brand new but compensated uni-body and later traded the damn thing in. Killed a year of fishing – it was my new tow vehicle. I had a junker loaner car to get me to work while I couldn’t get my boat out and ended up selling it.

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #1542063

    Sorry to hear about the situation Gixxer and I hope your wife is ok.

    For everybody out there, Justin makes a key point. It’s when you have a Charlie Foxtrot situation like this that you will REALLY appreciate having an actual, real person as your insurance agent. This is the only guy or gal in the whole world who will be on your side AND be able to advise you with the spit hits the spam.

    All those cheapie-cheapie ads saying come to our website and get cut rate insurance mean that you’re on your own when something happens.

    Grouse

    x2

    das_bass
    Participant
    Mound, MN
    Posts: 332
    #1542135

    If this was in Minnesota, you have some options the insurance company might not tell you. If it is totaled, I believe you have the right to a replacement car that is no worse than the car that was totaled. If it wasn’t totaled, you have the right to pick who does the work on the car, not the insurance company. Personally, I wouldn’t be too interested in a Buy Back.

    And before you case any checks, be sure either there is enough to cover it, or be sure cashing the check doesn’t take the insurance company off the hook for additional costs.

    troutbum
    Participant
    St. Paul
    Posts: 476
    #1542167

    Did you owe money on the wrecked vehicle? Do you have gap insurance?

    gixxer01
    Participant
    Avon, MN
    Posts: 639
    #1542279

    She has an appointment with the doctor Friday afternoon. I too have heard of delayed injuries after a wreck and pushed her to get checked out.

    The vehicle was paid for in cash and there are no liens on it. We own it free and clear.

    We are in the process of trying to get the vehicle released from the towing company ( a complete nightmare in and of itself). And a complete racket if I do say so.

    I am curious to know how long after an accident one can claim an injury, or am I to assume like others have stated, that once an agreement is made there is no recourse.

    I can definitely sense the urgency from the claims specialist. Its got me on high alert.

    raynestorm
    Participant
    Lake Wisconsin
    Posts: 59
    #1542305

    Yeah, definitely get her checked out. I advise seeking a good chiropractor as well. Mine is really adamant about seeing people that are in ANY car accident. Mine is very thourough in explaining what he notices on the X-rays, and how muscles are tense in areas. A simple accident could put one thing out of place, and then cause a chain effect. I had a work injury 15 years ago and never went to chiro. I’m now in an intense manipulation schedule to correct 15 years of wrong. Also have advanced spine degeneration from not having things aligned correctly.

    Make sure you do not pay a dime out of your pocket to get your vehicle out of the tow yard. That’s his insurance companies responsibility.

    mxskeeter
    Participant
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts: 3578
    #1542329

    Get the wife checked out first.Let the car set at the tow company. The other guys insurance is on the hook for the tow bill and storage. Take your license plates off and remove all personal belongings from the car. That stuff is yours and the tow company can’t keep those items from you. If the car is totaled you don’t need the car back anyway. Having the car in impound they can’t remove it until you are satisfied with the settlement on the vehicle. YOU have to give the release so they can take it to auto auction. This actually makes the insurance company work a little faster because they don’t want to pay storage on the car. Storage fees cut into what they will get back from the auto auction. Now you have a little leverage so that they have to come up tho a reasonable offer of what your car is worth. Settling on the car only, does not affect your settlement for medical, lost work time,etc. Also if you needed the car for work transportation tell them you need a rental car to commute to work. This will also hurry them up because insurance companies hate loosing/spending any money on a claim. Good Luck.

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