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Old 2011-12-22, 20:52   Link #1
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Please help save my car!

A while ago, I had a car accident. It was a rear-end hit (the other driver hit my car from behind) so the damage was all on the back of the car. The insurance company determined that it was a total loss of cost. I think it means it pays more for them to fix my car than just take it away. So they were going to take away my car. But I couldn't afford buying another car so I sent it to an auto body shop and had it fixed. I have it passed the state safety inspection and I thought that was over.

But then I heard from my insurance company and just learned that I have to have it pass a different state inspection--urr, the salvaged car inspection? Has any one have experience about it? Does anyone know what it is? What does this inspection check on a car? Please, I don't have the money to buy another car. I am willing to fix whatever necessary to keep it. Thank you. Oh, and this is Massachusetts, if this helps.
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Last edited by guest; 2011-12-22 at 23:30.
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Old 2011-12-22, 21:24   Link #2
Xellos-_^
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Instead of posting here, call the Massachusetts DMV. Your insurance company doesn't tell you how many test or what kind of test your car has go through. Your states Dept of Motor Vehicle does.
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Old 2011-12-22, 22:10   Link #3
Vexx
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Also, the insurance company can choose not to insure any car they want... or just price it for the perceived risk. Go find another insurance agency like Progressive or whatever.

Yes, "totaled" means the cost of fixing exceeds the value of the car. Its cheaper for them to hand you the $$$ value of the car and salvage the remains. They can't "take away your car" without handing you a check for the 'bluebook' value.

Now, like you say, you may be unable to find a replacement car for that $$$$ and have to spend a bit more. I wonder how it cost you to have the car fixed and whether that could have been applied to a replacement car.
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Old 2011-12-22, 22:16   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post

Yes, "totaled" means the cost of fixing exceeds the value of the car. Its cheaper for them to hand you the $$$ value of the car and salvage the remains. They can't "take away your car" without handing you a check for the 'bluebook' value.
in most cases you should be able to keep the car as well. Happen to one of my clients, his truck was hit and the damage exceed the value of the vehicle. The adjustor let him keep both the vehicle (only needed) minor repairs and a check for the market value.
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Old 2011-12-22, 23:30   Link #5
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So I should call DMV, see how many tests my car has to go through, then find another insurance company?

I think the damage per se wasn't so bad since it's all on the back but the car is old so it doesn't pay. It's a 97' Toyota Corolla. They wanted to pay me roughly $1700 to tow my car. But I said I needed to keep the car because I couldn't afford to buy another one. But they told me if I chose to fix the car, it had to pass state safety inspection. And I did. Then I got a phone call from insurance company saying I need to have it passed another different kind of test. I don't understand why two insurance agents told me two different things (just state safety inspection and sate safety inspection plus state salvaged car inspection).

Anyway, is an adjuster from an insurance company? Can I get a replacement car with this value?
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Old 2011-12-22, 23:34   Link #6
Vexx
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I'll defer to Xellos.. the rules vary from state to state. IMO, as long as the DMV is happy, screw the whining insurance agents. Which ever test the company that you buy insurance from wants might be important but they can't violate state law either
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Old 2011-12-23, 12:49   Link #7
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guest View Post
So I should call DMV, see how many tests my car has to go through, then find another insurance company?

I think the damage per se wasn't so bad since it's all on the back but the car is old so it doesn't pay. It's a 97' Toyota Corolla. They wanted to pay me roughly $1700 to tow my car. But I said I needed to keep the car because I couldn't afford to buy another one. But they told me if I chose to fix the car, it had to pass state safety inspection. And I did. Then I got a phone call from insurance company saying I need to have it passed another different kind of test. I don't understand why two insurance agents told me two different things (just state safety inspection and sate safety inspection plus state salvaged car inspection).

Anyway, is an adjuster from an insurance company? Can I get a replacement car with this value?
there is no replacement value for vehicles insurance except for brand new vehicles which some companies do insured at replacement value in the event of a total loss. Every other vehicle is on Actual Cash Value (ACV). Your policy if it has Comprehensive(Comp) and Collision(Coll) coverage would usually read something like - Actual Cash Value minus deductible - or some similar wording.

The adjuster is employ by the insurance company. If you disagree with the valuation of the Adjuster, you can argue but BE POLITE, persistent but polite. Back it up with documentation and not just words. It doesn't happen often but it does happen.

Again with the test you insurance company is requiring your vehicle to undertake. Call the DMV, they have the final say over what kind of test your vehicles requires. If you find out your insurance company is BS you regarding the test, Drop them.
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Old 2011-12-23, 13:33   Link #8
DonQuigleone
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To be fair, for $1700 you probably could buy another car second hand. I've seen many cars advertised for as low as 500(though usually it's 1000 range). You need to know what you're doing though. We get all our second hand cars through our mechanic, which helps.
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Old 2011-12-23, 19:40   Link #9
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I called DMV Massachusetts today and he said that I only need to pass state safety inspection, you know, the one you do every year and usually at some gas station. Now I guess I will have to negotiate with my insurance company now. I am a terrible negotiator. Progressive insurance, huh? Maybe I should consider that....
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
To be fair, for $1700 you probably could buy another car second hand. I've seen many cars advertised for as low as 500(though usually it's 1000 range). You need to know what you're doing though. We get all our second hand cars through our mechanic, which helps.
I don't know what I am doing. So you take a mechanic to a second hand car dealer and have him examed the car before you buy it? Is that it? How do you get a mechanic to go with you??
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Old 2011-12-23, 21:22   Link #10
Afterstep
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If a car is considered "totaled" and the insurance company pays out for the value of a car, it is then no longer legal to drive and it has a "salvage title". Cars with a salvage title can have a regular title restored under some procedure for which I'm not familiar with the details, but a friend of mine buys flooded cars a lot, fixes them then gets the title restored.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvage_title

It sounds like they paid out for your car, then you took it back and repaired it anyway. This is a bit awkward for the insurance company who would normally stick it on a salvage auction, but I suppose they have to roll with it now. This means you'll have to get the title cleared before it's legal to drive if it ended up with a salvage title, but I'm not sure how helpful the insurance company will be with any of that.
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Old 2011-12-23, 21:56   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afterstep View Post
If a car is considered "totaled" and the insurance company pays out for the value of a car, it is then no longer legal to drive and it has a "salvage title". Cars with a salvage title can have a regular title restored under some procedure for which I'm not familiar with the details, but a friend of mine buys flooded cars a lot, fixes them then gets the title restored.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvage_title

It sounds like they paid out for your car, then you took it back and repaired it anyway. This is a bit awkward for the insurance company who would normally stick it on a salvage auction, but I suppose they have to roll with it now. This means you'll have to get the title cleared before it's legal to drive if it ended up with a salvage title, but I'm not sure how helpful the insurance company will be with any of that.
Ok, I will call DMV again and see what they have to say (if this is a salvage title, what do I have to do to clear the title). What do you mean by they paid out of my car? I did get to keep my car and fixed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
there is no replacement value for vehicles insurance except for brand new vehicles which some companies do insured at replacement value in the event of a total loss.
About that replacement value for brand new vehicles. Someday, yeah, someday, if I buy a brand new car, I can purchase this type of insurance so I will get money to buy a new car if my car is totaled in the future? After this incident, I think I should buy this kind of insurance if I get a new car.
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Old 2011-12-24, 00:55   Link #12
DonQuigleone
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guest View Post

I don't know what I am doing. So you take a mechanic to a second hand car dealer and have him examed the car before you buy it? Is that it? How do you get a mechanic to go with you??
No, we have a mechanic whose a bit of a handyman(and probably doesn't pay taxes...). He fixes cars throughout the area, and he knows who's selling and who's buying. So he generally links us up with cheap new second hand cars.

If you have a more conventional "visit the garage" mechanic then that doesn't work as well. However if you have a mechanic who you've used for a long time and trust, he may be able to recommend you a decent dealer and/or link you up with someone who's selling.

Just go up to him and ask about it. All these guys usually know the lowdown on the local car market, and all the mechanics usually have links to a local dealer they do repairs for.

If you've got a good long relationship with your mechanic, he knows that if you get a good car through his reccomendation you'll be using him for future repairs for the foreseeable future, so it's in his interest to do well by you, as people with old cars are a good steady source of income.

Of course if you don't have a decent relationship with your mechanic this won't really work as well, as he'll have no real reason to help you out.

Just go up to him and ask "Hey, my car recently got totalled, you know anyone selling a car in the area? or a decent used car dealership where I won't get shafted?"

He probably won't even charge you a finders fee, as the implicit guarantee that you're going to continue to go to him for repairs is very beneficial to him.

There's 3 professions you should always have as a friend: A Mechanic/handyman, a Doctor and a Lawyer!

Having that mechanic contact will allow you to tap into the local black market.
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Old 2011-12-27, 13:29   Link #13
Afterstep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guest View Post
What do you mean by they paid out of my car? I did get to keep my car and fixed it.
If the damage of the car exceeds the total value of the car, it's considered a total loss and the insurance company basically buys your car from you. That might sound like your car needs to be pancaked, but some vehicles have very high repair costs and depreciate pretty fast. Cars are considered totaled pretty quick if the airbags go off for example (expensive).

I agree with DonQuigleone. Finding a good mechanic you trust (is hard, but) will allow you to probably save a lot of money referring you somewhere to get a decent used car. The used car market is surprisingly "cheap" if you can sidestep the regular BS that surrounds it, but l you'll need to find someone that has their hands in it. If you find someone who can check up on prices, then you might want to do some math before getting full coverage. On a brand new car it might make sense, but for an older car, paying an extra $1k per year could mean you could have bought a better car in 4 years if you get hit, and wouldn't cover something like a catastrophic engine failure anyway.
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Old 2011-12-27, 23:15   Link #14
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I called DMV Massachusetts today and found out that I don't need a salvage title because my car is over ten years old. As long as I pass the state safety inspection, I can drive the car again. But I need to make sure that it is still insured, which I called the insurance company and it is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Afterstep View Post
If the damage of the car exceeds the total value of the car, it's considered a total loss and the insurance company basically buys your car from you. That might sound like your car needs to be pancaked, but some vehicles have very high repair costs and depreciate pretty fast. Cars are considered totaled pretty quick if the airbags go off for example (expensive).

I agree with DonQuigleone. Finding a good mechanic you trust (is hard, but) will allow you to probably save a lot of money referring you somewhere to get a decent used car. The used car market is surprisingly "cheap" if you can sidestep the regular BS that surrounds it, but l you'll need to find someone that has their hands in it. If you find someone who can check up on prices, then you might want to do some math before getting full coverage. On a brand new car it might make sense, but for an older car, paying an extra $1k per year could mean you could have bought a better car in 4 years if you get hit, and wouldn't cover something like a catastrophic engine failure anyway.
I have been thinking about getting a used car. But I think since I don't know a thing about cars, it's not a good idea for me. I am wondering if there is a program like getting a new computer? Like if you pay certain extra amount of money to insurance company each month, you can get money from them to buy a brand new car in a few years? I know there are some programs like this for new computers but maybe there are some for cars, too?
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Old 2011-12-28, 00:18   Link #15
Xellos-_^
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Age: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by guest View Post
I called DMV Massachusetts today and found out that I don't need a salvage title because my car is over ten years old. As long as I pass the state safety inspection, I can drive the car again. But I need to make sure that it is still insured, which I called the insurance company and it is.


I have been thinking about getting a used car. But I think since I don't know a thing about cars, it's not a good idea for me. I am wondering if there is a program like getting a new computer? Like if you pay certain extra amount of money to insurance company each month, you can get money from them to buy a brand new car in a few years? I know there are some programs like this for new computers but maybe there are some for cars, too?
no program like that i know.

for used cars, try those certified cars which is basically used cars refurbish by the original car manufacture.
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