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Old 12-09-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
fab5friend99
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Question Car insurance settlement

I was in a rollover accident 2 weeks ago. Thankfully I came out of it with only some huge bruises and various aches and pains, nothing too serious. It was totally the other car's fault. They pulled out right in front of me and they received a ticket. Their insurance company is accepting liability. My 9 month old Highlander was totaled. Unfortunately the value per the insurance company is about $4000 less than what I paid for it.

My insurance company said to ask the other company for reimbursement for the things that were broken in my car like my laptop, mp3 player and various other small items.

I've never been in an accident before and am unsure about everything I am entitled to. The other insurance company did say they would give me 1 day's pay for pain and suffering for the one day I missed work. I haven't talked to them since the first time the day after the accident but they did say they would talk to me in 2 weeks so I am not concerned about that.

My biggest concern is the $4000 I am losing in the value of the car. My last car I had for almost 11 years so I normally don't care about the depreciation of new vehicles once they are driven off the lot since I keep them for a long time. I think that I am entitled to getting reimbursed some if not all of this value.

What words of advice can you give me in negotiating with this other insurance company?
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
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You know I have always hired an attorney. I hate not getting what is rightfully due to me. I am so sorry. I hope you feel better soon.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fab5friend99 View Post
I was in a rollover accident 2 weeks ago. Thankfully I came out of it with only some huge bruises and various aches and pains, nothing too serious. It was totally the other car's fault. They pulled out right in front of me and they received a ticket. Their insurance company is accepting liability. My 9 month old Highlander was totaled. Unfortunately the value per the insurance company is about $4000 less than what I paid for it.

My insurance company said to ask the other company for reimbursement for the things that were broken in my car like my laptop, mp3 player and various other small items.

I've never been in an accident before and am unsure about everything I am entitled to. The other insurance company did say they would give me 1 day's pay for pain and suffering for the one day I missed work. I haven't talked to them since the first time the day after the accident but they did say they would talk to me in 2 weeks so I am not concerned about that.

My biggest concern is the $4000 I am losing in the value of the car. My last car I had for almost 11 years so I normally don't care about the depreciation of new vehicles once they are driven off the lot since I keep them for a long time. I think that I am entitled to getting reimbursed some if not all of this value.

What words of advice can you give me in negotiating with this other insurance company?
Check around with auto dealers to see if they have a comparable used Highlander less than 1 year old and find out what they are asking. Maybe a demo vehicle.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:33 PM   #4
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And, that is the reason I just purchased gap insurance on my new car. You are right in that the car drops in value the moment you drive off the lot. No insurance company will give you the money necessary to purchase the same car or to pay off your loan if you owe more than the blue book value. Gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe and the insurance settlement.

Sorry you're in this situation, OP. It happens way to often.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:34 PM   #5
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I would also meet with an attorney.

Was your car financed? If so, did you happen to get the GAP insurance? That would cover the rest of the loan if you have one.

If you didn't have a loan or if you did and don't have GAP then I'm not really sure how you'd go about getting that $4k. Is their valuation correct? Have you looked it up on the Kelley Blue Book site? You're going to take a hit because of the depreciation but maybe you can get them to come up a bit.

You may be able to get them to give you some money for the personal belongings but again it will be depreciated value.

Glad you are okay.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #6
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You also want to make sure to look at their evaluation to ensure they are giving you credit for all options/ packages that are on your car. If you find missing items on the evaluation tell the adjuster you want them added. Not everything add will have value associated with it but most missing options / packages will hopefully give you something.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #7
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Unfortunately you are not entitled to receive the amount that it cost you to purchase the car nine months ago. I think the other posters have given good advice about checking the value, making sure your options are included, etc.
Good luck.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:12 PM   #8
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I was in a accident with a deer and our at the time 7 year old conversion van. When we looked around and found a comparable van, it made a difference in what the insurance did. Because of what the cost of replacement of that vehicle and the fact that we had proof, they decided to repair instead of replace, it was cheaper for them.

You never know what might happen if you don't try.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fab5friend99
I was in a rollover accident 2 weeks ago. Thankfully I came out of it with only some huge bruises and various aches and pains, nothing too serious. It was totally the other car's fault. They pulled out right in front of me and they received a ticket. Their insurance company is accepting liability. My 9 month old Highlander was totaled. Unfortunately the value per the insurance company is about $4000 less than what I paid for it.

My insurance company said to ask the other company for reimbursement for the things that were broken in my car like my laptop, mp3 player and various other small items.

I've never been in an accident before and am unsure about everything I am entitled to. The other insurance company did say they would give me 1 day's pay for pain and suffering for the one day I missed work. I haven't talked to them since the first time the day after the accident but they did say they would talk to me in 2 weeks so I am not concerned about that.

My biggest concern is the $4000 I am losing in the value of the car. My last car I had for almost 11 years so I normally don't care about the depreciation of new vehicles once they are driven off the lot since I keep them for a long time. I think that I am entitled to getting reimbursed some if not all of this value.

What words of advice can you give me in negotiating with this other insurance company?
I would also double check to see if you are entitled to more money for pain and suffering. One day pay does not seem like too much. Not sure what it is like there, but in the province I live in you would be entitled to more money. As another poster has said I would talk to a lawyer. Just to see what else you could be entitled for. The other insurance company should be paying to replace all if your personal items and maybe the difference in money from what your car is worth.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkshel View Post
The other insurance company should be paying to replace all if your personal items and maybe the difference in money from what your car is worth.
No, that's not how auto insurance works (unless you have gap insurance as was pointed out earlier.) It doesn't give you what you paid for the items originally
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:50 PM   #11
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Insurance should put you back to where you were before the accident. So you should be able to buy a 9mo old car that is the same as what you had before. I would check what's available for sale and print out the results if they are different than the figure you've been quoted. It will not necessarily pay the full price, unless that is the going rate for similar vehicles.

I agree though that one day's pay for a rollover accident seems on the low side. Let them know if you had any dr appt or lingering pain. That is a pretty serious accident so I wouldn't settle anything until you know you are truly fine.

Good luck & glad you are ok!
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:51 PM   #12
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See if your insurance company uses NADA value to calculate the value - some companies are using an appraisal service- they use the lowest "comp" vehicles they can find and calculate the value comparing those to yours. The values are terribly low. It may be worth it to have the other (at fault) company pay for your car if they use NADA. If you were not at fault you should have that option.

I would also check into damages from the injuries you suffered. See what is offered without an attorney - they receive 35-40% of any payout offered.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:32 AM   #13
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In some states, you can just tell the insurance company to find you a comparable vehicle and purchase it for you instead of taking the money.

I think you either need to do some homework on the replacement cost of your vehicle, or hire an attorney.
I have a hard time believing a Toyota lost $4,000 in value in just 9 months, that is, assuming you didn't overpay in the first place. I did work with a guy who had a truck totaled (a Toyota too, but that shouldn't matter) and the insurance's offer was a couple thousand below what he paid, but they pointed out, they were offering full sticker price for that model, and that he overpaid. He countered that, if they could replace his truck for that, do it. They did. They were able to get him a brand new truck for less than their cash settlement offer .
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:06 AM   #14
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Are you looking at the $4,000 drop in value as the true difference between the sales price and what the insurance company is offering...or the TOTAL price you paid to the dealer?

Sales tax, dealer fees, registration fees can all add up to a tidy sum on a brand new vehicle like a Highlander. I don't know that insurance companies take that into account when deciding what 'value' to assign to a vehicle.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:11 AM   #15
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Three things going on here, I'll start with the easiest to the hardest.
  1. Personal effects that were damaged or destroyed should be replaced by the other company. This includes electronics, clothing, CDs, etc. Make sure you document everything, have proof of what the object was/is (ie. make/model of computer, etc.)

  2. Personal injury is separate from the damage to your personal effects and your vehicle. Loss of work is a valid claim as are medical expenses (how these are handled vary by state; i.e., in no fault states these are paid for by your insurance company); beyond that, you would most likely need to sue for pain and suffering, but expect it to be very long and drawn out and you'll really need so substantial proof of long term injury (i.e., physical therapy) and don't confuse suing for pain and suffering as a way to recoup your losses on the last item.

  3. Property damage, or your vehicle. Insurance companies pay replacement value for your vehicle, basically what a similar vehicle is worth when you get in an accident. Insurance companies use many different measures to obtain these values, some use NADA, Blue Book, Black Book or local inventory searches. The important thing is to make sure that the quote they obtain is for a substantially similiar vehicle (ie. leather, sunroof, options like running boards, towing package; however color is rarely considered as a factor unless it is an expensive option, which would rarely be the case on most run of the mill vehicles). If the quote comes back for a substantially similiar vehicle less than the amount you owe on the vehicle, it doesn't matter, they are making you whole; they have given you the amount required to replace your vehicle. Make sure they are adding sales tax to whatever value they provide for the vehicle as this is a cost you should be able to recover as you will have to pay this when you buy another vehicle.

    Now you can ask for the insurance company assistance to find a vehicle that is substantially similar to your own for the amount of money they are giving you, but that still doesn't mean they will absolve the debt on your prior vehicle, and if anything that will probably make matters worst because it's unlikely the loan company will transfer the debt from one vehicle to another. You will need to pay off the first before buying the next (or refinance the first into a personal loan).
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