First Collision- will they total my car?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Lindan Lee, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. Lindan Lee

    Lindan Lee New Member

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    Damage to the right front side. Frame/hood fine. Only 71k miles- and I need to keep this car. I'm afraid the insurance company will total it because it's a 2008. The pictures look terrible- but the damage is the front panel, light, bumper and probably a broken tie rod. What do you think?
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  2. Another

    Another Senior Member

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    Get three estimates from independent shops. Do your homework on valuation. Values are sky high these days. Doesn’t look like a total to me. Probably $2500.
     
  3. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yes, that is enough damage on an old vehicle to total it (if the left wheel isn't pointing in the same direction as the right then it is totaled). It will depend on the insurance company and the estimates.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't think so
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I am assuming you have collision coverage on this car and it was your fault. My feeling is that insurance companies automatically write it off by claiming it "totaled" rather than trying to fix it. If the repair cost estimate is more than the value of the car, then definitely they will total the car and pay you the value of the car minus your deductible.

    I had collision coverage on then ~10 years old car which my son was driving and had an accident. Even though it did not look very bad (some dinged fender and door and lost side mirror) and the car was drivable, the repair estimate by the adjuster came back with more than $5000. The insurance company called the car totaled and was going to pay me the value of the car, which I think was something like $4500. Since the car was still drivable and the damage was mostly cosmetic rather than structural, I decided to keep the car. The insurance company just subtracted the estimated price of the totaled car of that year and model on auction from the check and gave me the rest, which was ~$3500. I then took the car to a local body shop to have it repaired on cheap. Just to make it safe to drive. The cost was a little over $1000. So, in the end, I ended up with a net gain of ~$2500.

    There is a precaution to doing this. You have to first check with your state DMV to see if you are allowed to re-title a totaled car and make it legal to drive, and what it would take and cost you to do that. Every state has different rules on this. I have read somewhere that some state does not allow re-titling of a totaled vehicle. In my state, as long as I submit to DMV, proof of repair and safety inspection after the repair, I can apply for a re-title on the salvaged vehicle. Still, it took a quite bit of time and effort to get it done. The car had to remain off-street until it was inspected and re-titled and registered again with the new title which took a little over a month and a half for me. So, if this is your only car and you need the replacement immediately, then it will cost you more for a rental. I did not need to have a rental in my case.
     
  6. Lindan Lee

    Lindan Lee New Member

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    You're good! First estimate just came in at $2,320.90- and I can start breathing again.
     
  7. Lindan Lee

    Lindan Lee New Member

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    Fortunately, it looks like a tie rod is broken, but the tires align when the steering wheel is moved.
     
  8. Aegean

    Aegean Active Member

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    Old + hybrid + significant damage if new parts used = TOTALED

    However, you can ask the insurance adjuster to keep the car yourself. They will deduct an amount that they would get in an insurance auction, let’s say $800 and pay you the rest. You will get a new salvaged title with no registration. Then you could repair the car using used parts paying yourself and have it inspected and get a branded salvaged title.

    My vehicle was salvaged. What do I need to do to get it on the road again? | TxDMV.gov
     
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  9. rogerthat

    rogerthat Active Member

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    Agree with the majority of responses - 100% write off. I had similar damage a few years ago and bought the car back from my insurance - BUT as Salamander King noted, make sure you completely understand the process. In Georgia it was a pretty lengthy and relatively confusing process to navigate.
     
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  10. alftoy

    alftoy Active Member

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    Write off. Better to check with your insurance adjuster instead of us amateurs. I bought a write off, most damage was the rear bumper. Not even close to the extent of your damage.
     

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  11. Another

    Another Senior Member

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    Remember, insurance companies will alway try to total out an old car instead of repairing it. This is so they don’t have to pay a chain of smaller claims that add up to more $$$. Even after you’ve paid premiums for a long time and no other claims. Takes some work to argue with them but can be worth it if the car is repairable.
     
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