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After a car crash - Insurance advice?

plantlust's picture

On Wed before Thanksgiving (it was my Friday), I was on my way to work and a complete JERK turned left in front of me.  I never had a chance.  My poor baby Volksy is totalled (just spoke to the mechanic today - can you believe 1500usd for EACH airbag?  And when the airbags blow they totally destroy the dash?).  The good news, if you can call it that, is that another Renault (1984 Alliance) has been taken off the roads. 


My last accident was a looong time ago, so I need advice on how to handle this, insurance-wise.  I have StateFarm.  The other guy, who by-the-way received a richly deserved ticket, has some insurance company I never heard of.  I have already informed StateFarm, the other company called me the Friday after the accident.  Now what?  I guess my point is that my Volksy was worth more to me as a functioning car than dead as a small heap of money.  No way will I be able to find a 1996 Golf GL in its precrash shape for the "totalled" money that the insurance company will give me. 


Has anyone had experience in this?  Any ideas on how to handle this situation?


Here I'm a bum, there I'm a genius.  Thank God the French exist.  Woody Allen

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.

MadMom's picture

(post #41654, reply #1 of 26)

This is a common problem when a car is totalled.  Basically, the insurance company ends up paying you for the "average" car (and just try finding one that is as good as the one you lost for the price they pay you!)  One option, depending on how much damage actually was done, is to actually buy back your car from the insurance company and use the rest of the settlement to fix it.  Sometimes you can buy back the car and make all the repairs for less than you get for the totalled vehicle.  It would really depend on what has to be fixed and how much you get and how you feel about driving a vehicle with major damage, even after it's repaired.  Sorry to hear about this...it sucks.

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

MER02's picture

(post #41654, reply #2 of 26)

You should immediately write down in as much detail as much as you can remember about the whole thing.

I was in an accident two years ago. It took a long time to get the official decision. You don't want to lose your edge by forgetting the little important details..

Good luck.

gjander's picture

(post #41654, reply #3 of 26)

A co-worker of mine had a similar experience recently with a car he had spent significant money repairing.  The car was worth something like $3000 but he had spent something like $2000 repairing it.  Of course, the insurance company doesn't care about that but like most things in life, insurance settlements are negotiable.  He filed a small claims suit against them and they settled the morning it was supposed to go to trial.

StevenHB's picture

(post #41654, reply #4 of 26)

Before you accept payment for the car, go look for similar cars and make sure that they are sold, by a used car dealer, at something like the price that the insurance company offers you. If you can demonstrate that the settlement offer isn't the "going rate" for a car like yours, you should insist that they increase the offer.


Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
TEChh's picture

(post #41654, reply #5 of 26)

Plantlust, It's likely that your insurance will now increase because you told them of the incident. If it was the other persons fault, his insurance should pay for your automobile. From now on call his insurance to try to work everything out...please, stay away from yours.

StevenHB's picture

(post #41654, reply #6 of 26)

The rules regarding fault and increasing premiums vary significantly from state to state.


Plantlust: Find out the rules and procedures in your state. In Massachusetts, if you are found to be at fault, you can appeal the finding at a hearing.



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
ehBeth's picture

(post #41654, reply #7 of 26)

Plantlust - definitely check out what rights you have in your jurisdiction. Try to find out if you can get an independent appraisal - is there an opportunity for adjudication? Definitely comparison shop as noted above (why can't we see previous posts while posting - bah).


For future reference, it's useful to know what the laws in your jurisdiction are in regard to reporting/not reporting to your own insurer. In some areas it's fine - in others you can be denied renewal or be assessed a very significant non-disclosure premium.


If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
dixie1's picture

(post #41654, reply #8 of 26)

IMO - it doesn't matter whose fault it is/was, totalled or not - your insurance is certainly going to go up, so just get ready to pay it.

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #41654, reply #9 of 26)

My insurance will not go up unless I am at fault.

dixie1's picture

(post #41654, reply #10 of 26)

Well, mine has - no fault to me. I must have a crummy insurance company - All State


Edited to say this was about 4 years ago, so maybe they will no longer go up if it is not my fault. But, everytime I have had a claim - my fault or not - my insurance premium has increased. I quite claiming anything just so my insurance premiums would not increase.


Edited 12/5/2003 11:07:15 PM ET by dixie

Gretchen's picture

(post #41654, reply #11 of 26)

Edited to say this was about 4 years ago, so maybe they will no longer go up if it is not my fault. But, everytime I have had a claim - my fault or not - my insurance premium has increased.


Why would you "have a claim" if something is not your fault--like the accident we are talking about. Her insurance company doesn't even need to be involved.
 I do see you might make a claim if someone hit you and did not admit it.  However, we have had broken windshields, etc., reported them and not had an increase--EXCEPT when there was more than 2 claims in a certain time period.
Edited to add that if the claim is over a certain amount plus multiple claims--I think $1000--then premiums might increase.


Gretchen


Edited 12/6/2003 7:36:49 AM ET by GRETCHEN50

Gretchen
dixie1's picture

(post #41654, reply #12 of 26)

You are correct - I should not have a claim. Sorry, I was crossing over to my homeowner's insurance

ehBeth's picture

(post #41654, reply #17 of 26)

Why would you "have a claim" if something is not your fault--like the accident we are talking about. Her insurance company doesn't even need to be involved.


In no fault states/provinces, everything goes to your own insurer.  It's a real weird mix of things, so you need to check carefully on who you report what to.  I recently had a file where the accident was in Indiana, the driver lived in Kentucky, the vehicle was registered in Illinois, and the insurance policy was written in Michigan. Kentucky has no-fault insurance - but only if the accident is in Kentucky. Illinois and Indiana don't have no-fault, Michigan has no-fault - but only if the driver has worked in Michigan for a specified number of days within the previous 365 days. As a result, this guy won't get any medical benefits from any auto insurer unless he can prove the requisite number of days in Michigan. It's a complicated mess, to be polite about it.


 




If you can't play a sport, be one.
If you can't play a sport, be one.
StevenHB's picture

(post #41654, reply #18 of 26)

In Massachusetts if you get into an accident and you are determined not to be at fault, your insurance rates do not go up.  The rules vary significantly by state so you need to do some research. I've generally found my insurance agent to be quite helpful in guiding me through some of the issues (she recommended that my wife appeal a premium surchage, which she did, successfully).



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
plantlust's picture

(post #41654, reply #19 of 26)

Would appreciate a head's up if any of you happen to notice a 1996 VW Gold 4-door hatchback, manual (please oh please), and a sunroof-anything else is optional  for sale.  I found one in Iowa but that seems to be it for the moment.  Apparently there were either not many sold or people are just not getting rid of them. 


Trying to get enough money together to actually PURCHASE a replacement.  Somehow the insurance company doesn't want to actual buy the car for me.  Gee I wonder why?  *sigh* Anyway, you can email me either thru this forum or my name thru earthlink.  Thanks.


If I were kind and adoring, how would that be?...very boring       ?

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.

StevenHB's picture

(post #41654, reply #20 of 26)

Did you try the used car section of autobytel?  Cars.com?


Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
plantlust's picture

(post #41654, reply #21 of 26)

Strictly the local Volksy dealers and I've got brother checking his part of the state (and I think he's checking w/his Volksy network too). 


Bad thing is the insurance doesn't want you to deal w/anyone who isn't a "legitimate dealer".  Yeah right.  They accept a used car dealer (rolling my eyes) but won't accept me bringing an ad in from a private citizen. 


ARGHHH.  Getting in a car accident is a royal pain!


If I were kind and adoring, how would that be?...very boring       ?

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.

plantlust's picture

(post #41654, reply #22 of 26)

Woo Hoo!  Going to pick up a replacement Volksy tomorrow.  1996, VW Golf, 4dr hatchback WITH a sunroof, 4 brand new tires AND less miles than mine had for 4000usd.  Owner is a very cantankerous old Cherman guy on the north side of Chicago.


Leaves me enough money from the insurance company to purchase a remnant chunk of granite for the upstairs, get some paint and have some cushion in case something goes wrong with the car.


Hmmm, maybe I should check over the job section and purchase a couple of lotto tickets.  Looks like life is improving.


My preciousssss, I wantsss my precioussss NOW.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.

assibams's picture

(post #41654, reply #23 of 26)

Good for you!

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

RuthWells's picture

(post #41654, reply #24 of 26)

Yay!  Good news, PL.  Enjoy your new baby!


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

ehBeth's picture

(post #41654, reply #25 of 26)

Ooooooohh, nice little hotrod there. Enjoy!

If you can't play a sport, be one.

If you can't play a sport, be one.
plantlust's picture

(post #41654, reply #26 of 26)

So my father drives the baby to his place(me following in Buck's car), which takes over an hour, without ANY incident whatsoever.


I, on the otherhand, get pulled over by a cop 15min into a 40min trip. 


I truly think I should drop my ethics, morals and anything else remotely holding me back from the life of money and scattered acreage that I so richly deserve.  The nice police officer let me off AND told me not to put the plates on the car until it's been registered w/the state under my name(all this after telling me that I didn't look like a criminal).


My preciousssss, I wantsss my precioussss NOW.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.

Marcia's picture

(post #41654, reply #13 of 26)

So sorry about your accident but glad that you are not hurt. Did you get a police report at the scene? This is very important, espcially if one is not at fault! It's obviously too late now, but perhaps one was made.

Gretchen's picture

(post #41654, reply #14 of 26)

And to reiterate what someone else said, look in your paper or other sources for what your car is selling for on the market--not what the book says is the value.  And if you have recently done any major replacement (we had just put in a new radiator on a car) make note of that.

Gretchen

Gretchen
VKeel's picture

(post #41654, reply #15 of 26)

just have to add my two cents... Warning! The other ins. co. is contacting you so they can settle ASAP. They want to pay you off before you realize how injured you really are and how long they may last. Soft tissue injuries sometimes take a few days to show themselves. Make sure your doctor gives you a clean bill of health before you accept any money. Check out the Kelly Blue Book to see what your car is really worth. Might want to see what similar cars are going for on Ebay etc.. I was surprised how well Volkswagon hold there value. Last year we donated my '82 diesel Jetta to charity and the KBB value was over $2200. As the accident was not your fault, I wouldn't be afraid to ask your ins. what they would've valued the car at. The other ins. co. will definitely low ball the amount, but if you inform yourself on the value and can back it up, you will probably be able to get a higher amount. I am glad you are okay.


Best of luck,


Vicky

Gretchen's picture

(post #41654, reply #16 of 26)

And you need  a rental car until it is settled. 


 


Gretchen
Gretchen