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ryb21

Should insurance be totaling my car?

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I was in a car accident a few weeks ago, which wrecked the whole front end of my car (07 Chevy Tahoe). The other driver was issued a ticket for failing to yield the right of way. Shortly after filing a claim with his insurance (State Farm), they accepted liability and set me up with a rental. After speaking with my own agent, as well as the agent from SF who handled my claim, they essentially said they expected the car to be totaled between the damage done and the fact that the car is 10 years old.

 

A few days later I get a call from someone from State Farm, saying that the appraiser determined that the car was repairable and gave an estimate of $8942.99. She said their total loss threshold for the state (Texas) is 70% and that I'm right around 55%. Back calculating this, it looks as though they're appraising my car at a little over $16,200. Given the mileage (~112,000mi), KBB states that even in "Excellent" condition (which only 3% of the cars they value actually are) the Private Party value is $15,029. After sending out a few instant offers through KBB, the trade-in offers I received back average at about $9,000. I realize these are lowball offers and I could probably get them to come up a bit if I were to negotiate, but not by $7,000. 

 

Is State Farm over-valuing my car so that they can stay away from that 70% mark? I asked for both the estimate and appraisal report and so far, I've only received the repair estimate. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, should I argue that that value is unrealistic as I'd never manage to sell it for $16k. I've been planning on selling it for a few months now, and I can only imagine the accident I was just in will affect what I can get for it. Even if I were to keep it, I'm wondering the likelihood that it's suffered any mechanical damage and two months from now, I'll be back at the shop dealing with it yet again.

 

Waiting to hear back on the estimate from the shop I sent it to, but State Farm has been dragging their feet on getting it towed there from their storage lot. Depending on whether or not the damage ends up being more substantial than originally thought, they might just go through with the repairs and now I have to try and sell a car that's literally just been in an accident. I've also considered a Diminished Value claim, but want to consider all my options before proceeding. 

 

tl;dr: Got in not-at-fault wreck, insurance company wants to repair car since it doesn't meet their 70% criteria, possibly because they've appraised it for an unrealistically high number. Could I get them to total it to avoid all the hassle involved with selling car that was just in an accident?

 

Any advice?

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ryb21 said:

After speaking with . . . the agent from SF who handled my claim, they essentially said they expected the car to be totaled

 

Did you really speak with an agent, or did you speak with the adjuster who is actually handling the claim?  There's really nothing an agent for the other driver would be able to do for you.

 

 

1 hour ago, ryb21 said:

Is State Farm over-valuing my car

 

We have no way of knowing based solely on the year, make, model, and mileage.

 

 

1 hour ago, ryb21 said:

should I argue that that value is unrealistic as I'd never manage to sell it for $16k.

 

Argue whatever you want.  Since this particular question (and really your post as a whole) doesn't raise any legal issue, I'm a bit at a loss why you care what we might think about this.

 

 

1 hour ago, ryb21 said:

I'm wondering the likelihood that it's suffered any mechanical damage

 

If, as you wrote, "the whole front end of [the] car" was "wrecked," it would be impossible that it didn't suffer mechanical damage.

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When the insurer values your car for total loss, it typically includes a selection of dealer prices and private party prices for a similar vehicle.  Your approach is wrong.  You are looking at what you could sell it for.  Try looking at what it costs to buy a similar vehicle.  You are going to get numbers that are between Bluebook dealer and Bluebook private party.  If you want State Farm to total your car, are you willing to accept $9k?  I doubt it.  You'll want BlueBook.

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4 hours ago, ryb21 said:

should I argue that that value is unrealistic as I'd never manage to sell it for $16k

 

You can "argue" whatever you want but here's what you have to understand.

 

The other driver's insurance company is not your insurance company and owes you nothing until a court of law says so and says how much. Until then it's a matter of negotiation and the insurance company negotiates from a position of strength and you don't have any leverage unless you sue the other driver and prove, in court, that your car is worth $X and should be totaled out at Y%.

 

Your other option is to make the claim on your own collision coverage and see if your own company will total out the car for you. If your own company gives you the same result then you'll know that your car is reparable and not a total loss. Then you get it repaired and when it's done you make the Diminished Value claim. Just understand that a DV claim on a 10 year old car is probably worth a few hundred dollars.

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