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totaled '95 Ford Escort
by H. Kelly
(Boulder County, CO)
Escort - damaged driver's side front fender and door
A friend's son slid on some ice in his SUV and into the side of my parked '95 Ford Escort station wagon. I was not in the car at the time. The damage done, according to two body shop estimates($1200-$1600 to make the exterior repairs), was more than the value of the car (+/- $1000).
I was told that, in all likelihood, were we to go through the other party's insurance carrier, they would total the car, give me a check for the current market value of the car, and then take the car, leaving me with a check but no wheels! Is this true? I live in Colorado.
My car is not at all totaled in any mechanical sense because it remains completely drivable, and the damage that was done was done at a very slow speed and seems to be on the exterior only, requiring the outer body on the driver's side to be repaired. Is it at all feasible that the insurance company would pay to repair the car and let me keep it, in spite of it being, at least on paper, "totaled"???
Thanks in advance for any answer or advice you have to offer this situation; my friend's son says that he can only afford to pay me $750.00 if we were to settle outside of the insurance. His deductible is $500.00, and this would be his family's second insurance claim for this calendar year. We all know their rates will go up even further if they report this to their carrier, and I have no collision insurance on my car, due to its age and value. $750.00 will not be enough to make my vehicle "whole" again, and he says if I don't want to go that route, he will have to go the insurance route, where, I presume, I will end up the big loser in this situation, due to absolutely no fault of my own.
We are sorry for the delay; we have been couple of days behind.
In a total loss, you will have the option to retain the vehicle as salvage. What essentially happens is that the insurance company buys the car from you as if the car was not in a car accident, and they sells it back to you as broken pieces.
This is the perfect situation where you can keep your car and get the insurance money.
Regarding the issues of not going through the insurance, that is something you must considered. You were put on this stop and now you are having to deal with this. If they are truly concern about their rates, then they should pay you what the car is worth. If they don’t, then they are going to be making monthly payments to an insurance company forever.
This is up to you, but if you believe that the $750 is not enough (it is not) then tell them that you will file an insurance claim and go trough that process. You could (depending on comps and other factors like mileage) get double that amount and get to keep your car.
This entire site tries to “teach” people how to deal with insurance companies because in many occasions they take advantage of people in your situation, however, less than $750 for your car is still a stretch. We believe you could file and do better, but of course there is the risk of doing worse.
As far as having deductible, remember that deductible’s only apply to first party claims, meaning the $500 only applies to the damage to the SUV, not your car. The insurance company will pay 100% of the value (what ever you agree that 100% is) of the damage.
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