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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Auto Insurer vs Body Shop vs Me

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: New York.

    My car, was crashed in late January of this year. I thought it was totaled but apparently it was not. Its a 2002 Subaru with high milage, and the damage done to it was just over $5000. The damage was most the front end: fenders, grill bumper, radiator and hood. The car was repaired after paying the deductable.
    I took my car to the the shop yesterday, mid July of this year, because it was making a loud noise in the front end. It turn out that the entire frame is rusted/rotted out and the cost to fix was quoted as "twice as much as the car is worth".
    Now my issue is this: Why was the car valued at so much if the frame was on its last legs? Shouldn't the body shop noticed this? Does the insurance company or body shop benefit from such a scenario? I just cant see why the car wasnt totaled out 5 months ago when clearly it was not worth over the $5000 that it was valued at (seemingly prior to the crash much less after it). Are there any actions that I can take? Any help is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Auto Insurer vs Body Shop vs Me

    maybe they didn't see the rusty frame. It can happen where the metal rusts out underneath a layer of paint or rust proofing and missed. I would hope their inspection was thorough enough to have not missed it but it is possible.

    so, should the car have been totalled? sounds like it but I suspect the problem comes into play where the damage from the accident is not what caused the car to be damaged to that extent. As such, you would either fix the car as it was or figure out what a rusted out Subie is worth and look for that as payment. So, if a rusted out Subie is only worth $1.95, that is all you would get from the insurance company. You would not get the value of the damages.

    what can you do now? nothing. They returned the car to it's pre-crash condition, rust and all. You are now in the same position as you were before the accident.

    actually, if anybody lost anything here, it was the insurance company for paying $5k in repairs on a car that isn't worth $5k.

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