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#1 Old 12-09-2011, 07:09 PM
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ddix1026
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Total Loss

OK folks. Been posting very sporadically in the last year or so, but I have to tell you all what is going on with my car..

2006 Sonata GLS V6.. 101,000 miles. Mechanically sound, still in great shape.

Back on 11/2, I got rear-ended by a 2011 MB SLK 300.. My car was damaged in the rear, but her car (a 21 year old, mind you, driving that car) was much more damaged than mine. Hers had to be towed away, I drove away with my car after the police stuff..

you could see there was damage to the bottom of the car, the exhaust, the bumper, etc. She was at fault, admitted as much on the police report (she said "it was my fault"). Got her insurance company to assess the damages on the car. They estimated it at approx. $3,100 damage. Took it to a body shop (a good, reputable one that my regular service shop recommended, as they have used this body shop on their own vehicles). Body shop looked at the car on Monday, determined that there was much more significant damage to the back of the car than what the insurance adjuster saw when they did the quick review of the car in my work parking lot. After doing a thorough review of the car and the damage, they estimated approx. $6,400 worth of damage.

Got a call from the other persons insurance adjuster who went to the body shop to review with the shop owner and he actually agreed with the determination. He then tells me that they are considering my car a total loss. OK, from $3,100 repairable damage to $6,400 and a total loss?

Now I'm screwed because I cannot (and I repeat, I CANNOT) afford to buy a new car, I owned this car outright (no car payment) and they will probably only offer me $7,500 to $8,000 for my car at actual cash value of the car. That is not enough to buy a new, comparable car. It would be enough to put a good down payment on another decent used V6, but as I said, I cannot afford a car payment.

It makes no sense to me that they would pay me $8,000 to hand over my car to them (which they would end up salvaging) but they wont pay $6,400 to get it fixed.. My only other option is to take the money, minus the salvage value of the car (which they told me was $2,500, so that would be somewhere between $5,000 - $5,500) and keep the car and try to get the car fixed on my own. The body shop told me to get the offered numbers for the salvage route and then call hem and they will see if they can work with that number.

I am guessing that the body shop can do the repairs for the $5,500 range (and that they are using MSRP dollars with the insurance company). However, from what I have heard, in NJ, an "operable" salvage title requires about 300 hoops to jump through and a final inspection, which costs $200 and I have to drive significantly out of my way to do it (there are only 3 salvage inspections in the entire state).

Of course, there is another option, but I dont know if its possible in NJ.. take the ACV (minus the salvage value) and not get the car repaired (or get it repaired a little bit at a time) and just drive it as-is (keeping in mind, I drove the damaged car for a month before i took it to the body shop, so it's obviously in drivable condition). I am not sure if NJ would even allow it once. It might depend on if the other insurance company reports it as a salvage car in addition to the total loss to the state of NJ.

I won't get any numbers until early next week from the insurance company for either the ACV of the ACV minus the salvage value.. I really don't want to get rid of the car. I like the car. I have it the way I want it, i like the stereo, its comfortable and at the end of the day, I can't afford not to keep it.

I don't really know what input I'm looking for. Maybe which option you think is best, or if you think its OK to go with the salvage title (also keeping in mind, I drive my cars until they die, and i never try to trade them in or sell them privately, so a deep hit on the re-sale value really isnt a worry I have for the car)

Sorry for the rant, just a REALLY bad day today with this information.

On a separate note, I am currently driving a rental (on the other persons insurance company's dime) and its a 4 cylinder 2011 Camry. Have to say, I f*ing HATE that car. I would much much much rather have my 5+ year old Sonata than this newer Camry....

Cheers folks!
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#2 Old 12-09-2011, 07:45 PM
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Sorry for the crap you have to go thru. Keep the car Especially if you can't afford another car. And just like you said, I love my car as well. I will keep it till the day it dies..... and then trade it for a Genesis sedan.
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#3 Old 12-09-2011, 08:03 PM
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I can't tell you what to do, except to add a tick in that mental column that has become crammed full in my own mind and turned me into a permanent misanthrope. The car may be "drivable" but once the car absorbs that kind of impact, it will never be 100% safe again. If you were to get rear-ended with the car in this condition, it will not perform as it was designed in terms of impact absorption. If you really feel financially screwed, a small-claims lawsuit is always an option.
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#4 Old 12-09-2011, 09:02 PM
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oh, i know the car is not as safe as it was before the accident.. im really hoping for the option that includes them giving me enough money to get it fixed on my own...
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#5 Old 12-09-2011, 09:34 PM
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ddix1026
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that's more of a trade in value for a car that has 60k to 70k miles.. at 101k miles, that drops about 2k... when i looked up the values on KBB, Edmunds and NADA, it was closet to 7k-8k for my style with my miles.. if its anywhere over that, i'd be fine with it and have them subtract the salvage value and i can get it fixed properly on my own..
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#6 Old 12-09-2011, 09:50 PM
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As I see it you only have 1 option.

You don't really want to deal with all the salvage mess and repairs without the backup of insurance company so taking the money is not an option.

If they don't want to fix it you can't really make them.

So I would try this:
1. Why do you talk to them at all? Have your own insurance deal with them. They can do it better and they should be on your side. Also I'm not sure about your insurance but some of them include legal support in the policy. Could be useful for you to have a lawyer deal with that as well.
2. take the money for the total loss, but don't take what they offer. You must negotiate with them. Prove that you cannot buy the same car in the same condition for 8k. Show them ads of the same car with the same mileage and ask for as much money as they cost.
3. Finally, if you negotiated more money you will either get enough to buy the same used car, or they will change their mind about fixing your car because now the fix is not as expensive as the car itself.

Basically, if you make this transaction as complex for them as possible they will agree to your terms or at least come close to what you're asking.
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#7 Old 12-09-2011, 11:51 PM
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If you are lucky enough to get 8k out of a NJ ins carrier, that def is enough to get another Sonata V6. I bought mine 2 months ago with 75k in MINT MINT MINT condition for 9.5k. I'm in Edison if your wondering.

As for the salvage title. Yes you can go that route, but you will most likely NOT be able to get full coverage for the vehicle and the value of the vehicle will be cut in half if you ever try to sell it. Short term gain long term loss unless you plan on keeping it until it falls apart. I did a salvage title on the Acura Legend I had and I could NOT get full coverage for any price. Now, I didn't go through the hoops you mention, so maybe that was the problem, but I also didnt know those hoops even existed then.
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#8 Old 12-09-2011, 11:53 PM
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Sorry ddix and you know I wish you the best!
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#9 Old 12-10-2011, 09:21 AM
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I work for an insurance company and your best bet is to find other 06 Sonatas or something similar (05 or 07) for sale. Not just in your town, look at boarding states to show the price is common for that vehicle. I just did a search for a dealer in NY about an hour and half away from me with great prices and found an 07 Sonata Limited with 68k for $9,999.
We went through a similar case about 6 months ago at work when one of our clients was hit by another driver. She had a Ford 150 Lariat and she came up with truck for sale that were $5,000 more than what the company was offering her. Today, she is driving another Lariat because the company gave her more. The truck I believe came from NJ, we are in NY... hope this helps a little bit

Old Garage: 2009 Sonata 2.4; 1999 Grand Cherokee 4.0; 1999 300m 3.5; 1994 Firebird 3.4; 1995 Beretta 2.2; 1989 Grand AM 2.5
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#10 Old 12-10-2011, 02:46 PM
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Sorry for your bad luck ... KC still has two bashed-in doors/fenders on the drivers side but runs great. I'm getting her fixed soon. Your situation is different; agree it's not protecting you because of where the damage is.

There's one comment that I cannot let go. Full-coverage is for newer/financed vehicles. If you have full coverage on an older vehicle, your insurance company is taking your money. Ask your insurance company how much max they'd give you for collision and comprehensive on an older vehicle and be sure you're sitting down when they tell you how little. It just doesn't make any sense to carry collision and comprehensive (i.e., full coverage) on an older/paid for vehicle. Yes, you're taking a risk, but you're not throwing money away.

If you believe otherwise, please reply; I've been wrong in the past.

I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. Co NF ucius
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