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Total loss on previously damaged vehicle?
My car was damaged in a flood that rose on my street overnight several months back. I made a claim, got it repaired, and have no problems since then. This past weekend it was in an accident, in which fault is still being determined.
The frame is bent, radiator is broken, plus all the cosmetic damage. The insurance company originally posted a $2600 estimate for the first look, now $5900 after looking at the mechanical side.
My problem is the car will have absolutely no value after it is repaired, which they are talking about doing. In fact, I'm not sure that it is worth $5900 before the accident due to the previous flood claim.
Am I right to fight for total, or can they really try to fix this lemon and give it back?
They have not contacted me since supplementing the claim,. and I'm not convinced that they will. I went to the dealership that is going to do the work and looked at the car myself, and took pics which I will attach.
What should I do next?
Well, can they fix a lemon? Sure can… they do it all the time. They will not tell you that it is a lemon or they may not agree on that point, but truth is, they fix cars they are not supposed to all the time.
The issue with total loss is this. They want to give you as little amount of money as possible. If they believe that it's cheaper to total, they will. If they believe it's cheaper to fix they will.
It's a business decision for them. Not a safety one. They don't care about your payments, financial interest, etc.
The fact that the vehicle as in a prior flooding may not legally affect this claim, as they will argue that the car is fixed back to preaccident condition and thus the value should be the same (you and I know this is not correct as if you were to sell this vehicle, the fact that the vehicle was in prior flooding will affect the Carfax report).
Read the following page and try to push for a total loss:
Auto Insurance Claim Advice
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