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Possible Total Loss

by Hilda Chacon
(Dallas, TX, USA)

I was in a wreck on last night, 8/30/11. (hit & run), I was unable to capture the fleeing truck's license plate # but my passenger side door & part of the body was damaged, my passenger door does not open. I have full coverage on my vehicle - 1998 Honda Prelude with approx 134k. Dallas Police did come out, gave me a service # until it is assigned a report #.

I want to make sure my insurance company (Progressive) doesn't do me wrong & leave me in limbo. I do have uninsured motorist coverage. I drove my car this morning to a body shop near my office where I'm awaiting on their estimate. I had a call from Progressive Claims Adjuster earlier today & based on my description of my accident "he thinks" it might be a total loss. However, I love my car & don't wish to make monthly car payments on a newer vehicle as I'm satisfied with my car.

What are some things I should be in alert for from my insurance company as I don't want to be screwed by them? Progressive wants me to release my car to them so they can produce their estimate but I really don't want my car to move from where it is currently at my choice of body shop. Is it necessary to have my car moved just for an estimate on their part or should that not be the adjuster job to do that no matter where my car is located?

The Progressive adjuster also told me that "if" the car is declared at a total loss that I only have up to 72 hours for a rental car, does that sound right? I feel I should have a rental car for any amount of days until I fix my car as this is what I choose to do. I feel like they want to total-loss my car so they can sell it & get more money off of it.

Help, I need your advice on what I should do. Being a single mom of a college kid is not easy on me right now either. Any advice & help is greatly appreciated.



Hello Hilda,

The total loss process can be difficult. Yes, some of the things they are saying sound right and unfortunately familiar. The issue here is that the vehicle has not sentimental value. It will be its fair market value, which it is dollars and cents, and nothing more.

Some states do cut rental cars very soon after they are deemed a total loss. Contact the department of insurance to double check if you have 72 hours or more time.

Please see our sections on total loss here:

You are also advised to talk to local attorney.

Good Luck,

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