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What are my rights? | Total Loss

by Randy

Our security guard bumped the side of my 1988 Toyota while parked in a parking space in our parking lot and put a dent about the size of a basketball behind the passengers door.

His insurance company called me the next day and said they would like to tow it to check it out and I said that they could drive it, because it was a small dent. Anyways they picked it up and gave me a rental for work.

Three days later they call and tell me that they are going to call it a total loss to which I replied it was a small dent.

They told me they could give me a check for $375.00 or $275.00 and have my car back. I told them I want my car back, and then they tell me it will be branded a salvage and I said no it won't.

The car was already at an auction yard before it was delivered. I called my insurance and sent them a picture of the dent and they called his insurance company to tell them that I don't want their money, if it means totaling my car.

My insurance company said that their manager was going to give me a call which never happened. I have not cashed the check they sent and now I have received a letter from the DMV saying that the registration is no longer good.

There is something wrong with the system when I'm being punished for another persons actions. I just want my car and a clean title.


Hello Randy,

Unfortunately you are in a difficult spot. The insurance company is totaling your car because the fair market value of your car is low and the cost of repair is about 70% that amount.

If this is the case, the insurance company may not have options but to render your car a total loss. You can choose to keep it but would receive less money or you can give it to the carrier for more money.

This is one of those difficult situations. Look over our total loss pages on how to dispute your estimate and the fair market value, you may be able to show that the vehicle is indeed fixable.

Good Luck,

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