Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can or should this car be saved?

My car was struck by a Land Rover while it was parked on the side of the road.  The driver flipped her car but fortunately she suffered only minor injuries.   I imagine that airbag did its job well and I am glad she is OK.

Now for the annoying part - waiting to see what her insurance company decides.  The car is 6 months old with low mileage so they will want to fix it.  But won't that take forever?  And will I want to keep a car that was hit so hard?  The parking brake was on, the car was pushed up over a curb, and came to a stop maybe 60 feet away. 

They said they will look at it and tell me in a few days what they are going to do.
Do you guys have any advice?  Won't my car be worth less now that it's had this type of repair?  I really don't think I'll want to keep it, although I have not made up my mind.

DH and I thought about car shopping today, but then I decided it would be more relaxing to sew something for myself.  I will put off car shopping as long as I can.  But I think I need to figure out how to deal with the insurance company asap.  Thoughts?  Thank you.


  1. I think we all feel less in love with our car after its been hit.
    When the frame is bent it often means the insurance wont rescue it because it may cause more damage to straighten it. On the same hand, if its fixed, trade it in and get something you will feel better about. Unfortunately if they total it, you will hardly get what its worth, and still have the rest of the bill to pay off.

  2. Robin, I rolled a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited several years ago. It had 18K miles on it, and there was >$30K damage. The insurance company wanted to fix, because it was a few thousand difference from replacing. I talked to a dealer. The bent frame (I had doors jammed too, and the skylight wouldn't open) would be reported to Carwhatever, and they would have a difficult time selling, meaning it would be hard to trade it. Or dealer would give me pittance in a trade, even if fixed with all new parts. Keep that in mind. Glad you're ok. K

  3. Wow! I read the post on SG but a picture IS worth a thousand words because she messed your car up! I have no advice to give especially since I'm not a car owner but it seems to me that the insurance company will do what's best for them and not if it was me I would junk it and use the insurance money on another one if you can do that!

  4. I got no advice. but here in New Zealand, we have to get a warrant of fitness every 6 months. Your car would fail the warrant, so you wouldn't be allowed to legally drive it. It would have to be fixed. We have a lot of older cars here. I'm a dedicated blog reader, thanks for sharing. Maggie looks stunning in her dress.

  5. If the other insurance wants to fix it - have your insurance company fight to scrap it ESPECIALLY if the frame is bent. Either that or make sure they fight to get you additional $$$ for the depreciated value of the repaired car (which will probably put you over the value of the car). More than likely they'll tell you to just take the loss on your taxes, but since it wasn't at all your fault, fight it!! In this case your insurance should be backing you up 100%.

  6. I'm pretty sure that a bent frame means the car is totaled. But definitely get an advocate for YOU if your insurance company won't fight for replacement value, or worse, if their insurance company is the same company you use. Good luck!

  7. According to my dh,the mechanical mensh, first thing is to have the car towed to a local body shop or the dealer or the insurance company is going to screw you over. They will try to screw you anyway, but at least at the body shop or dealer they won't low ball you. He thinks it's fixable because it's a unibody construction and there is no frame. He doesn't think it will even take that long to fix if you have a reputable shop. His first comment when he saw the picture was, oh that's an easy fix.
    IF the repairs total more than 75% of the value of the car they will total it.
    If your policy covers a rental car you should probably do that.
    Good luck.

  8. I don't have insurance advice but I'm sure happy to hear you weren't in the car when it was hit, and that the other driver is fine too.

    I can imagine this is truly frustrating and I hope all works out for you.

  9. I agree with Nancy. I've never had my insurance company disagree with the recommendation of a good body shop.

  10. That woman must have been going really fast. Glad you weren't in your car and that she wasn't seriously hurt.

    I think Debbie's right: I've always heard that if the frame is bent the car is considered totalled.

  11. Bent frame does not mean a total loss. The determination will be based on the laws in your state. I've work for a major insuarance company handling auto claims and worked in my family's body shop for 10 years before that.

    Get the vehicle towed to the body shop you would want to fix it. Pick a good, large commerical shop. Your insurance should be able to recommend a shop. Go with one that YOUR insurance recommends. Most state statutes say 70-75% damage will be a total. IF it is repairable, you can ask for diminution of value from the other carrier. Most policies don't pay DV for first party claims, unless state law mandates it. Georgia is such a state.

  12. I forgot to say that it does look like a total loss to me. Structural damage affects the roof and the door opening. The door will have to be replaced. The rear suspension is obviously damaged. There is going to be damage to the inner structure as well, but you can't see that until it gets taken apart.

    Good Luck


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