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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    3

    Exclamation Brand New Car Dented, Insurance Company Wants to "Write It Off As a Total Loss"

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: Oreogn

    Okay, I apologize if this is difficult to follow, but please bare with me.

    My husband works for a company driving big crane trucks. He carpools with his co-worker "Joe".

    Well, the other morning, my husbandwent to pick up Joe. He parked the truck and forgot to set the park brake. The crane truck rolled into Joe's car, a brand new (less than a month old) Kia Sorento which Joe owes over $20,000 on. Luckily, it was just a few feet, and only the back corner panel appeared to be dented.

    So, Joe and my husband go to work, speak to their superiors, file insurance claim. Mrs. Joe goes to body shop, she is assured that only the back quarter panel was dented, nothing was tweaked, frame is fine, etc. and is quoted $5,000 to fix the panel. Mrs Joe calls Mr Joe, he says it is a lot to fix just the corner panel, but whatever, insurance is covering it.

    A week goes by, and today the company my husband and Joe work for calls. the insurance company is going to total the car (call it a "total loss") and cut Joe a check for $14,000. A check for $14,000, for a car he owes over $20,000, over a dented corner panel. Like I said, the car was just drove off of the floor of the showroom this month.

    What is going on here? Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? They were assured the car was not damaged other than the dent, why on Earth would they "total" it? They say they are going to "write it off a s a complete loss". Is it because it is a Kia?

    Joe just drove this car off of the lot this month, and put quite a bit down on it. Are we liable for the remaining balance Joe owes on the car?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Brand New Car Dented, Insurance Company Wants to "Write It Off As a Total Loss"

    Quote Quoting hashbr0wn
    View Post
    My question involves insurance law for the state of: Oreogn

    Okay, I apologize if this is difficult to follow, but please bare with me.

    My husband works for a company driving big crane trucks. He carpools with his co-worker "Joe".

    Well, the other morning, my husbandwent to pick up Joe. He parked the truck and forgot to set the park brake. The crane truck rolled into Joe's car, a brand new (less than a month old) Kia Sorento which Joe owes over $20,000 on. Luckily, it was just a few feet, and only the back corner panel appeared to be dented.

    So, Joe and my husband go to work, speak to their superiors, file insurance claim. Mrs. Joe goes to body shop, she is assured that only the back quarter panel was dented, nothing was tweaked, frame is fine, etc. and is quoted $5,000 to fix the panel. Mrs Joe calls Mr Joe, he says it is a lot to fix just the corner panel, but whatever, insurance is covering it.

    A week goes by, and today the company my husband and Joe work for calls. the insurance company is going to total the car (call it a "total loss") and cut Joe a check for $14,000. A check for $14,000, for a car he owes over $20,000, over a dented corner panel. Like I said, the car was just drove off of the floor of the showroom this month.

    What is going on here? Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? They were assured the car was not damaged other than the dent, why on Earth would they "total" it? They say they are going to "write it off a s a complete loss". Is it because it is a Kia?

    Joe just drove this car off of the lot this month, and put quite a bit down on it. Are we liable for the remaining balance Joe owes on the car?

    Thanks in advance.
    Joe needs to find out exactly why they want to total the car. He also needs to talk to the body shop to find out what else is wrong besides the dented quarter panel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    New Jersey
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    Default Re: Brand New Car Dented, Insurance Company Wants to "Write It Off As a Total Loss"

    Two things lead me to believe that there is frame damage on the Kia.

    1. a 60,000 plus LB truck rolls into a 2,800 LB car

    2. a Kia doesn't have a full frame, it has a unibody

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    3

    Question Re: Brand New Car Dented, Insurance Company Wants to "Write It Off As a Total Loss"

    Quote Quoting Who'sThatGuy
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    Two things lead me to believe that there is frame damage on the Kia.

    1. a 60,000 plus LB truck rolls into a 2,800 LB car

    2. a Kia doesn't have a full frame, it has a unibody
    Well, not to nitpick, but a 30Klb truck and a 36504000 lb Kia Sorento, not that it matters.

    I don't know, obviously I was not at the body shop, nor have I seen that paperwork, but the shop ASSURED "Joe" that the dent was the extent of the damage.

    So, what can my husband do? Can Joe take the vehicle to another shop, perhaps the dealership (I do not know why his wife didn't do this in the first place).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
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    9,170

    Default Re: Brand New Car Dented, Insurance Company Wants to "Write It Off As a Total Loss"

    Quote Quoting hashbr0wn
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    Are we liable for the remaining balance Joe owes on the car?
    Joe would be owed the value of his vehicle less any proceeds he receives from the insurer... So, yes, your husband would owe Joe some money, although the amount has nothing to do with what Joe owes the lienholder...

    Quote Quoting hashbr0wn
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    So, what can my husband do?
    Aside from making recommendations to Joe, your husband can do nothing until he is sued...

  6. #6
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    Jan 2010
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    New Jersey
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    Default Re: Brand New Car Dented, Insurance Company Wants to "Write It Off As a Total Loss"

    Quote Quoting hashbr0wn
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    Well, not to nitpick, but a 30Klb truck and a 36504000 lb Kia Sorento, not that it matters.

    I don't know, obviously I was not at the body shop, nor have I seen that paperwork, but the shop ASSURED "Joe" that the dent was the extent of the damage.

    So, what can my husband do? Can Joe take the vehicle to another shop, perhaps the dealership (I do not know why his wife didn't do this in the first place).
    "Big crane trucks" way more then 30,000 LBS, Truck chassis alone weight 20,000 to 25,000 LBS. Then the body of the truck adds even more weight. So ether your husbands truck weights more of my guesstimate or you inaccurately described what type of truck your husband drives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Brand New Car Dented, Insurance Company Wants to "Write It Off As a Total Loss"

    I guess I inaccurately described the truck. To me, it is huge. To them, it is the lesser of the crane trucks, I guess they use it for getting into the smaller spaces. anyhow, it wasn't the enormous one they sometimes drive (my husband and "Joe" were thankful for that) but to me it is still huge. But I ride a bike.

    Anyhow, the weight I was told by Joe and my husband (who have to weigh the truck on long distance trips) is 30,000lbs. Sorry for not being more clear.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
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    Default Re: Brand New Car Dented, Insurance Company Wants to "Write It Off As a Total Loss"

    Still 30,000 LBS hitting a 4,000 LB car will do damage.

    The reason that the auto body assured Joe that the car only had a dent was to get the job. Once they tear into that dent they start to find other things wrong.

    It's not the auto body that wants the car totaled, it's the insurance company that wants to total the car.

    Say the car is worth $14,000 and has $20,000 in damage, the auto body would fix that car if the insurance company would let them. Why? Because it's money in there pocket. So it's not the auto body that found the major damage, it was the insurance adjuster and he works for the insurance company, not the auto body shop.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
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    28,906

    Default Re: Brand New Car Dented, Insurance Company Wants to "Write It Off As a Total Loss"

    If the car was less than a month old with only a few thousand miles, it's difficult to believe that the insurer's offer of $14K is fair market value (FMV). If I were Joe I would be arguing that with the adjuster - where in the entire nation could I get a similar car for only $14K?

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