Got into a Minor Accident - Car Was Declared "total Loss" - What Should I Do?

Discussion in 'Auto Insurance Forum' started by kn1000a, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. kn1000a

    kn1000a New Member

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    Hello, I am new to this forum and also to dealing with accidents and insurance companies. A few months ago, I got into a minor car accident: I was backing up from a public parking lot when the other party collides into me. What resulted are dents and scratches on my sliding van's door of the passenger's side, and some scratches on the other party's car's front bumper. The other party does recognized it's their fault, and we provided each other our insurance's info.

    My van is a 2001 Toyota Sienna with 129k mileage. I bought the car from another buyer, so this is not at all a new car I have since 2001. The car has never been in an accident until now.

    I will attach some photos of the damage area here since I can't link them~

    As you can see, the dents are nothing serious, and the van is indeed still drivable. I contacted my insurance first, and they said that under my policy my car was not cover as it was someone who hit me, and not me hitting them. They told me to contact the other party's insurance company, and I did.

    After a few months of slow progress and constantly calling them to remind them of my claim, they decided that based on the photos I submitted to them (when they requested), my car is a total loss. They transfered my claim to an Adjuster and the guy told me that I can either offer them the car so they can buy back through another salvage-car collecting company, or I can apply for a salvaged title from DMV (since I'm from California). When I asked them if they can compensate me, they dodged the question saying it's too much to compensate for.

    For now, I will take the car out and get a repair shop to estimate the damage and send in the estimation to my Adjuster. But I would also like to know if there is any other methods of getting this resolve. I simply want money to repair that slightly dented doors; it's not like the car is undrivable, plus it has never been in an accident before, so I was suspicious when they described it as some total wreck :\

    I appreciate any advices.

    Attached Files:

  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Well-Known Member

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    Wait a minute. Who told you that?

    You either have collision coverage or you don't have collision coverage. If you have collision coverage it doesn't matter who hit who your insurance company would be contractually obligated to pay for the repairs to your vehicle.

    If you don't have collision coverage your insurance company is out of the picture with regard to your car damage regardless of who hit who.

    Read your policy. Do you or don't you have collision coverage?

    As to your predicament with the other driver's insurance the Kelley Blue Book puts your car's value at about $1800. That's the low line with no extra features so you'll want to go to KBB's website and do your own valuation based on the exact model and submodel and features.

    I think you will be shocked by the repair estimate. I see about $1500 in damage and that's if the door mechanism still works. If I am close, then your car is a total loss based on insurance industry standards. If you want to keep the car you'll end up with a salvage title and your settlement reduced by the salvage value.

    There may be a way to get around that so when you get the estimate come back here before you send it to the other insurance company and let's discuss your options. When you get back here give me the results of the KBB evaluation, too.

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