In Reply to: Accident Question posted by John on September 23, 1999 at 07:38:13:
You can never force your insurance company to do anything. I was in a similar situation a few years ago when someone hit my old car and the insurance company tried to write it off based on some low book value. I knew their offer was low relative to what the car was really worth and I negotiated the settlement upward by providing a number of real "for sale" ads for similar cars in similar condition in the same market. I spent weeks combing auto trader type mags to find ads to use as documentation. You may or may not be successful with a similar strategy. In the end, it turned out really well for me because I got a decent settlement which not only paid for fixing the accident damage but also a number of other age-related body and paint problems as well. You should note that if you decide to repair the car after you accept the settlement for the write-off, you will likely have to pass the standard mechanical fitness certification in your state/province before the insurance company will cover it. This could result in additional repairs beyond the body damage (e.g., exhaust system) and additional costs. Also, if you have "loss of use" coverage, you may find that it does not apply to a write-off since, in the insurance company's view, the car is not being repaired.
: My old car got hit (thank god it wasn't my new E46) and it looks like the car will be a total loss. The problem is the car (1992) is in great condition (new head gasket, suspension, a/c compressor, belts,
: radiator, tires, brakes, battery, etc.) but the mileage is 160,000.
: Insurance will likely only pay book value and adjust downward for the high mileage. I'm screwed because I just put in $6,000 to recondition the car in top shape and
: I'm still going to get less than book value because of the car's hi miles.
: What can I do?
: 1) Can I force insurance to pay me full book value w/ no downward adjustment for the miles since I replaced/repaired everything?
: 2) Can I accept the lowball offer from insurance and attempt to recover any portion of the $6,000 I spent in the above repairs/improvements?