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  1. #1

    Default What Happens if Your Car is a Total Loss After an Accident

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California.

    I am curious how to approach this. So my dad was hit on the back from a car both ends they were safe. Everything was reported guy had insurance so everything seems to go good. Now the thing here is I told my dad by seeing the hit (it was on the back) this is going to be a total loss this time. Now before I go on I did say this time. This isnt the first time they have been hit its like that car keeps getting hit on the back this has been the third time its just so weird. Anyhow the last time they got hit the hit was nasty, but they decided to fix it and it was not a total loss (the adjuster said it was probably going to total loss, but nope). Last time I think it cost close to 9k to fix.

    Fast forward to this time I checked KBB and I told him his car was valued at $5,500 to $6,500 and I told him by the hit it looks this is going to be a total loss. Now my big question is this how do you handle t he insurance here? I can see them offering $5,000k however my dad rather have them fix it if thats whats going to happen. How can you handle this or push it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: What Happens if Your Car is a Total Loss After an Accident

    Quote Quoting li/<o
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    How can you handle this or push it?
    Couple of comments.

    1 - Since your Dad's claim is with the at-fault person's insurance there will be no deductible.

    2 - If the repair cost exceeds the total loss threshold your Dad will have two choices.

    a - Accept the settlement and turn the car over to the insurance company.

    b - Keep the car and accept the settlement LESS the salvage value, then do the best he can in getting repairs done for that money because he won't be getting any more. He could also end up with a salvage or rebuilt title which will make the car's potential sale price considerably lower in the future should he decide to sell.

    There is nothing to "handle" or "push."

  3. #3
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: What Happens if Your Car is a Total Loss After an Accident

    Quote Quoting li/<o
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    my dad was hit on the back from a car both ends they were safe.
    Huh? Your dad was hit or a car he was driving was hit? Sounds like the latter. What does "hit on the back from a car both ends" mean?

    Quote Quoting li/<o
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    how do you handle t he insurance here?
    Not really sure what you're asking. Since the other driver had insurance, the other driver's insurer will have an adjuster inspect the car and determine whether the cost to repair is more or less than the car's fair market value. If the adjuster determines that the cost to repair will exceed FMV, then the adjuster will offer to pay your father the FMV. If the adjuster determines that it can be repaired for less than FMV, then the adjuster will authorize repair. Your father is free to express a preference to have the vehicle fixed, but the insurer won't pay more than FMV. If your father elects to keep the vehicle, then the insurer will pay him FMV less salvage value.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What Happens if Your Car is a Total Loss After an Accident

    Thanks everyone for the advice. The reason my dad wants the car to be fixed is because the car has been very reliable and its still running strong.

    I told him that this time they wont fix it they will offer him a cash offer and he can keep the car (deducts as mentioned if he keeps the car) or keep the whole payment offer. The good news is the car is still fully operable it still runs its just the back is pretty badily hit.

    Also to clear he was hit from behind from another vehicle everything was noted and its just right now waiting on the insurance and the adjuster to be in the picture and see what he says. I just never delt with this so want to be fully prepared to not be taken advantage off.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: What Happens if Your Car is a Total Loss After an Accident

    Quote Quoting EJay
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    AJ, if his father believes the value of the vehicle is significantly higher than the valuation by the insurance company and he is able to prove this to them, couldn't he potentially have the vehicle repaired instead?
    Yes.

    The problem is that insurance companies don't budge much on valuations. With a claim against another driver's insurance company, there is very little budging going on and to get a substantial increase in value one would have to sue the at-fault driver and prove, in court, what the value is. And, of course, the insurance company will provide an attorney and an expert witness as to valuation so even a lawsuit might not be successful.

    When you file a claim on your own collision coverage and aren't happy with the valuation, you can invoke the Appraisal provision of your own policy. Unfortunately, the insured has to pay his own appraiser and half the fee of the mediator so that isn't often cost effective.

    To control the cost of claims the insurance industry has auto valuation down to a science. Everybody thinks that their car is worth more than it is (even me). If the insurance industry paid claims based on what the insureds or the claimants think, insurance rates would be so much higher than they are.

    Nobody is ever happy with the results of an insurance claim, not even me, and I've had several.



    Quote Quoting li/<o
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    I told him that this time they wont fix it they will offer him a cash offer and he can keep the car (deducts as mentioned if he keeps the car) or keep the whole payment offer.
    You don't know what the insurance company will do until the insurance company does it. You'll just have to wait and see.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What Happens if Your Car is a Total Loss After an Accident

    Ya I just have to wait. The insurance dealing with this is "All State". I guess its commercial insurance that is going to deal with this. I got no update just waiting. Just sucks very solid car no issues the big issue is letting go off from a good working vehicle since now adays its just hard to get a good quality car.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What Happens if Your Car is a Total Loss After an Accident

    Quote Quoting li/<o
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    very solid car no issues
    Well, there's one issue. It's jinxed. It's accident prone. LOL. I had a vehicle like that. I bought a 2000 Ford Ranger brand new. 700 miles on it and a woman ran a stop sign and hit the front. Over the next 3 years I got rear-ended 3 times. Finally saw the light and got rid of it. Bought a big F250. Never got hit in that truck.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What Happens if Your Car is a Total Loss After an Accident

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Well, there's one issue. It's jinxed. It's accident prone. LOL. I had a vehicle like that. I bought a 2000 Ford Ranger brand new. 700 miles on it and a woman ran a stop sign and hit the front. Over the next 3 years I got rear-ended 3 times. Finally saw the light and got rid of it. Bought a big F250. Never got hit in that truck.
    I feel it jinxed three times and so many hits. The car is very sturdy was the reason my parents didn't want to get rid of it.

    Anyhow never came back for the outcome my dad took the money and got it fixed (haggled to get a bit more and they agreed). It cost him half so he took the rest of the $$$ for himself. Thanks everyone for the wonderful advice.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What Happens if Your Car is a Total Loss After an Accident

    Quote Quoting li/<o
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    Anyhow never came back for the outcome my dad took the money and got it fixed (haggled to get a bit more and they agreed). It cost him half so he took the rest of the $$$ for himself.
    Yeah, I've done that. Insurance companies don't care what you do with the money once the claim is paid and closed.

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