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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default I Could Fix This Car But They Totaled It

    I was involved in what I thought was a minor accident, when I got cut off by another car. I was going less than 5 mph. There was no damage to the other vehicle. The hood of my car was pushed back and there were some scratches to the top of the bumper.

    The estimated repairs to my car are $4,300. My insurance company wants to total the car and pay me $6,146, less $500 for my deductible, giving me $5,646. This isn't enough to pay off the loan on the car. I'd rather just have my car fixed and given back to me.

    They also claim that the Michigan Vehicle Code requires them to issue a salvage title on my car because the damages are 75% of the total cash value of the car. But their own estimates in correspondence indicate that repairs are less than 75%, and I can show higher blue book and black book values than they recite. I can also get a lower repair estimate myself. Also, there was no damage to the mechanical parts or structure of my car, and the frame is fine as is the wheel alignment, so it is perfectly safe to drive if the cosmetic damage is fixed. The most significant damage is to the hood, radiator, and air conditioner, and everything else is dings and scratches and a broken headlight.

    Why would an insurance company total a car and pay out more money, when they could simply repair the car and give it back? This will cause me great financial hardship. I will have to continue to pay off the car, and I won't have a trade in to purchase a new car.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Totaling a car can be "cheaper" than fixing it

    Insurance companies give themselves the option of totaling a car and paying out a higher amount than the repair, because they sell the totaled vehicles for parts. Although it may seem at first that it costs them more to total the car, in fact it costs them less after they sell the car for parts.

    Your rights in negotiating with your insurance company are primarily governed by the terms of your insurance policy.

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