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Coruscanti Cognoscente

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Last week I was in an accident (not at-fault) and today I was at work when State Farm called but in the voicemail they said it looked like my car would have to be declared a total loss. They did not say how much I would get.

My car is (was?) a 2002 Acura RSX, with approximately 99,900 km on it. I bought it in July 2008 from Erin Mills Acura for about $15,000. So it was in good condition and everything.

Now my uncle was saying I should take the insurance money and try to get it fixed myself. Is this a good idea? A total loss means it would cost more to repair it than to replace it with the same thing yes?

However the tow truck driver said that they only give you 60% of what they value it at (I guess I'll find out tomorrow when I call them and see how much I'll get).

I was looking online (autotrader.ca) and did find some 2002 Acura RSX's with mileage under 100,000 km for under $10,000.

So any opinions would be helpful. And mods I didn't know where else to put this thread, so I'm putting it in General Discussions for now.
 

kettal

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If it's been declared a write-off, do you think any company will insure you in it in the future?

I hope there weren't injuries. Be sure you get some rest, I had been in a similar accident once, my brain wasn't working right for days.
 

nfitz

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If it's been declared a write-off, do you think any company will insure you in it in the future?
Sure they will ... write-off just means that it costs more to repair, than it's worth. If it passes its safety, they'll insure it.

But I thought that if they paid you out for write-off, they got to keep the car; which they then sell for whatever they can get.
 

Coruscanti Cognoscente

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If it's been declared a write-off, do you think any company will insure you in it in the future?

I hope there weren't injuries. Be sure you get some rest, I had been in a similar accident once, my brain wasn't working right for days.

There were no injuries in any of the three cars.

Sure they will ... write-off just means that it costs more to repair, than it's worth. If it passes its safety, they'll insure it.

But I thought that if they paid you out for write-off, they got to keep the car; which they then sell for whatever they can get.

Yeah but I was reading online (seemed to be mostly British sites I found) and they said you can buy the car back at "salvage price" or something and do they repairs yourself (i.e. find someone to do it for you).

When I call State Farm tomorrow, I guess I'll find out how much they'll give me.

Shouldn't the amount they give you be enough to buy the equivalent car today? You'd think, anyway.
 

UserNameToronto

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When I call State Farm tomorrow, I guess I'll find out how much they'll give me.

Shouldn't the amount they give you be enough to buy the equivalent car today? You'd think, anyway.

We had a similar thing happen a few years ago (deer @ 110kph on the 401...German engineering FTW).

A car with extensive damage, even after it's repaired, might not ever drive correctly. Parts might be slightly out of alignment, the gaps between the hood-fender and fender-door will never line up like they did before. It would bug me. I was glad when the insco decided to write ours off!

My insurer came up with a price based on book value. I researched Autotrader and provided examples of more comparable cars (in our case, with leather/sunroof/etc) that were all well above their first offer. I was eventually able to negotiate an extra $500 more.

The best part? The insurance company paid us about $2K more than the car cost in the first place! We made money on it. And we replaced it with another car that is (and remains) accident free.
 

Northern Light

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My own experience indicates that:

A) In the fine print of most policies it is the sole discretion of the insurance company as to how they 'make you whole'. That is put you back in the same financial position on paper as before the accident.

B) A write-off is a straight decision that the insurer has determined that the cost to repair the car to its pre-accident condition and value will be larger than the cost of paying out the blue book value.

C) What you are entitled to is blue book value, but as pointed out above, adjusters have room to maneuver on what they pay, as it is based on Vehicle, Age, KM Driven AND pre-accident condition. (In other words always good to get your car detailed before you get into an accident, :p)

If what's left of your car looks good, drove well before the accident and hadn't been beat-up previously, you can generous push the payout up a tiny bit.

D) If the company pays out, they get to keep the car. While you might be able to buy the 'wreck' that would highly unusual and probably put a few insurance people in a bad mood as they try to figure out how to vary normal procedure.

That's only my experience, not professional advice.

But on a personal note, I would suggest that you do your research and just try to insist on the best price they can give you; they'd likely prefer paying you an extra $500.00 to haggling in appeals processes or court.
 

wonderboy416

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If it's declared a write off then the ownership will indicate the vehicle is SALVAGE and possibly get re-vinned (did you at any point hand over the ownership to your insurance adjuster? he/she would have the vehicle re-branded to indicate it was a total-loss), very few insurance companies would want to touch this type of vehicle if they got a wind of that so be careful if you take the fix-er-up route.
 

mk39920

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Yes no no no yes no and yes

Most insurance companies will allow you to negotiate buying the car back from them, this is more common then you think. But remember you will be getting a wrecked car and less money. The car will be branded as "Salvage", after the repairs are done there are a few specialty companies can can do the inspection to have the car branded as "Rebuilt" again. Suspiciously these companies tend to have a large number of taxi cabs rolling through....

Your best off to cut your losses and walk away, always negotiate the price as stated already print off a bunch of ads from auto trader showing the high end price of your make model and year... Good luck and consider driving an accident free car as an investment in your personal safety.

Edit: here is some more info on the MTO's branding system and how to have a structural inspection done http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/branding/index.shtml
 
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investican

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So what happened with your insurance?

I was in the accident in the summer. AT FULL FAULT (front and back severely damaged -- had a concussion, burned left hand, banged up knee and had trouble breathing the next couple days; nothing serious and I was 100% fine and happy considering the damage on the car--Total Write off) and it was a 2006 Lincoln zephyr 00K km and I bought it 3 weeks before that for 20 000$ and when they took it they said 15 000$ but a good 10 minute talk on the phone about the prices and telling them not to play games and I will fight this so lets all save time here....next day got a cheque for 21 500$ and went same day to buy another 2006 Lincoln Zephyr.

Hope you got a good settlement
 

wonderboy416

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So what happened with your insurance?

I was in the accident in the summer. AT FULL FAULT (front and back severely damaged -- had a concussion, burned left hand, banged up knee and had trouble breathing the next couple days; nothing serious and I was 100% fine and happy considering the damage on the car--Total Write off) and it was a 2006 Lincoln zephyr 00K km and I bought it 3 weeks before that for 20 000$ and when they took it they said 15 000$ but a good 10 minute talk on the phone about the prices and telling them not to play games and I will fight this so lets all save time here....next day got a cheque for 21 500$ and went same day to buy another 2006 Lincoln Zephyr.

Hope you got a good settlement

Well you're only entitled to what a similar replacement would cost. The actual wording is very vague stating "of like kind and quality". They will almost always low-ball you though, so you were very smart to push for more.

Fantastic car btw, really underrated.
 

investican

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Well you're only entitled to what a similar replacement would cost. The actual wording is very vague stating "of like kind and quality". They will almost always low-ball you though, so you were very smart to push for more.

Fantastic car btw, really underrated.

Thanks. Its a really nice car and I don't regret anything about the car except that it has a very wide turning radius which can be very annoying especially driving downtown when need to make a sharp turn.

I hope Coruscanti didnt get screwed too much on his insurance.
 

Brandon716

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Since the post was first created, I was rear-ended on Nov 17th, less than two weeks later the car broke down because of problems related to the rear-end. I've since been through getting another car and going through insurance to get paid for the rear-end incident... Good luck, hope you have found other means to get around by now.

I have a minimal insurance policy, but the other driver who had the same company also had a policy and I was reimbursed last week.
 

investican

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Since the post was first created, I was rear-ended on Nov 17th, less than two weeks later the car broke down because of problems related to the rear-end. I've since been through getting another car and going through insurance to get paid for the rear-end incident... Good luck, hope you have found other means to get around by now.

I have a minimal insurance policy, but the other driver who had the same company also had a policy and I was reimbursed last week.

Glad to hear you got the money you needed. Did you get the same car?
 

wonderboy416

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I have a minimal insurance policy, but the other driver who had the same company also had a policy and I was reimbursed last week.

What insurance you have has no impact on your policy when you're not at-fault. Amazingly it doesn't matter what coverage the person who hit you carried either (providing they have valid Ontario insurance, it can be a little sticky if they're out of province). The laws state that when you're 100% not at-fault you will always be re-reimbursed for your damages by your OWN insurance company. This is why Ontarians have the best mandatory coverage on the continent. It means you don't have to deal with another insurance company or the courts, your own company fixes your car no questions asked with no deductible.
 

Coruscanti Cognoscente

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My insurance company gave me about $12,500. I didn't end up getting another RSX though. I mean I could have gotten another 2002, but it was hard to find one that had comparable mileage (less than 100,000 km) and comparable features (heated leather seats, sunroof). Plus I figured I might as well get something newer. I considered a 2006 RSX briefly, but figured there wasn't much point in getting a car that's now discontinued. So I got a 2006 Honda Civic Coupe EX. So far I've found the Civic to drive pretty much the same as the RSX. However, I feel the Civic (Ontario-built) isn't as well-built as my Japanese-built RSX. But maybe that's just in my head.

As for dealing with the insurance, they were pretty good. The adjuster said I have 2 years to submit a claim for more money on the value of my RSX (i.e. send them in 5 ads for the same year/model and if they cost more they would give me more money). But I would rather just forget the whole thing.
 

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