Total Loss - Settlement Money is Not Enough to Buy Similar Car

Apr 18, 2014

  1. laguna
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    laguna New Member

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    Hi Guys, thank you very much for reading this!

    I was involved in an accident last week (we're all okay :)) when a lady did a U turn on a red arrow and hit my car. I have the police report that says it was HER fault. My car was totaled.

    I'm in California and I have a 4 door 2010 VW GTI (51k miles). I bought it CPO and got the extended warranty. VW gives you 36k miles warranty and the extended wty is up to 100k.
    Well, the thing is that they want to give me $20443 for it.

    I checked KBB and the value is KIND of correct (19000 is the price, but they have to pay for the taxes, so the price should be 21k).
    I know i can get some money back for my extended warranty.

    Now my problem(s):
    * If they give me that amount, it's not enought for me to buy a car with extended warranty.
    * To be able to buy extended warranty again i have to have a CPO and the cheapest CPO is 21k (+9% taxes!!!)
    * I just spent this month $1000 in new tires

    Maybe it sounds stupid, but with what they want to give me, i cannot have the same as i had. It's not enough to buy a car with extended warranty (even if I get 100% of the money of the extended warranty) or a CPO. I may have to buy it used to who knows who!
    What can I do?
    I didn't accept the first offer and the guy said some other adjustor is going to call me back on monday, but as far as I have read, they "never" give you more than $500 of the first offer.

    My insurance company is AAA.

    BTW, the cheapest car i could find that's CPO, automatic and with 4 doors is 23k (+taxes)
     
    laguna, Apr 18, 2014
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  2. laguna
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    laguna New Member

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    No, what I really want is them to FIX my car but they are not going to do it.
    I don't understand, you think I'm being unreasonable? Honestly, this is my first accident so I want to understand how things work. I just want the exact same car I had before the accident without putting money out of my pocket... I don't think that's unreasonable.
     
    laguna, Apr 21, 2014
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  3. Josh
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    Josh Retired Agent, Current List Broker

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    The root issue here seems to be that you want to get a new car with a warranty, they're obligation is to provide you with a car of similar kind/quality. I've bought two VWs CPO and one brand new. They're great cars and I love them, but they're not cheap.

    The "never give you more than $500 more than the first offer" is a fallacy. For any number of reasons they'll raise it. It's possible they won't raise your offer, but no reason to not plead your case. The key thing to keep in mind here is they don't owe you a warranty, just another car. They have pretty specific rules/guidelines about what is considered replacement. It's possible the adjuster would see things your way if it was explained properly, but they might also just hang their hat on them needing to provide you with the vehicle vs the warranty.

    The tires thing also sucks, but it's expected that a car has tires. If you still have the old ones around maybe they'd let you swap them, but I doubt you have them or that they'd go along with that. I do think it's more likely they would do that than agree that the warranty is a part of the vehicle, but ultimately the adjuster would make the call.
     
    Josh, Apr 21, 2014
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  4. laguna
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    laguna New Member

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    Thanks Josh!
    Yes, I don't expect them to pay for the warranty. I just want to have the option to add it :)

    Anyways, even if we forget about the extended warranty, I still have a good question: The KBB price is $18.9k but I can't find a similar car on the used car market for less than $20k (I'm checking 100 miles away from my zip code)

    So, I wonder how they came up with $18.5k + taxes or even if that is fair

    Thanks!
     
    laguna, Apr 21, 2014
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  5. BigSteve
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    BigSteve Super Genius

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    Try using NADA instead of KBB
     
    BigSteve, Apr 21, 2014
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  6. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    It's worthless.

    LEOs have no power to affix "blame". While it helps it they give out a ticket, ultimately, the adjuster(s) will make the call on blame - especially in comparative negligence states.
     
  7. laguna
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    laguna New Member

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    alright, i have more news.

    I talked to the total loss department guy. He said he doesn't care about anything i have to say. He sent me a PDF from JDPower that says that there are 3 similar cars to my car and they took them to calculate the value.

    I checked and none of those 3 cars are on sale right now (of course) so there's nothing I can validate.
    Even more, HERTZ called me saying that AAA cancelled the rental and I only have 3 more days paid for.

    If I can suggest anything: STAY AWAY FROM AAA!!!!

    I sent this guy adds for similar cars that would show him that the values are completely wrong, he disregarded everything. He just doesn't care. They wouldn't even provide the estimates that made them decide to total the care out.

    I don't know what else to do, but at least I know that AAA is a lot worse than I though.

    Ohhhh, one more thing: they said that I could take the case with State Farm, but that would make them disregard the case completely and I'd be on my own and good luck about who pays for the rental.

    ----------

    Last update, you can close the thread if you want after this post:

    I talked to my agent and my adjuster. I understood everything now.
    AAA wants to MAKE MONEY out of this accident. They are offering me an amount but they are going to ask State Farm for more money and they are NOT going to give me the difference.

    I escalated and talked to a supervisor and got a slightly better deal, still not good, but at least acceptable.

    Yes, as many of you are thinking: they are there to make money, but not like this (at least that's my opinion). They are already making money from me on every payment I have made and they are not losing because State Farm is going to pay them. So they lost me as a customer for a couple of hundred bucks.
     
    laguna, Apr 23, 2014
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  8. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Guru

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    I'm a bit confused. How do you know AAA is going to ask State Farm for more money? Did they tell you? And if so, is the difference just enough to cover the rental car and perhaps their work as well?

    Also, I don't understand why you ever went to AAA in the first place if State Farm is the company used by the at fault driver. I wouldn't have turned it into my own insurance unless I was having trouble with State Farm. State Farm doesn't have a contract with you, so they have to act to protect their client from liability.

    It feels like there is a lot missing from this story.
     
    VolAgent, Apr 23, 2014
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  9. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    The way they value cars isn't by KBB or NADA, not even usually by cars that are for sale, but they use prices of cars that have sold. It's more accurate.

    I can put my Jaguar in the paper for sale for $22K, but its not going to sell for that. If someone offered me $4.5K for it right now, I'd take it. The sale price would better indicate the value, not the asking price.

    This is why what you say didn't seem to matter, I'm sure they explained this to you.

    And yes, AAA will have State Farm pay for the claim. They get what they spent and a few dollars for handling it. On the flip side, then AAA writes State Farm a check for a different accident. It is all in the process, usually well behind the scenes.

    Do insurance companies make money? Absolutely, or else they wouldn't be in business.

    Glad you got a better offer and appears you have this resolved.

    Dan
     
    djs, Apr 23, 2014
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  10. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Guru

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    Not sure where my comment went, but all said the agents comments on this thread are correct.

    I will throw in one last comment.

    They probably did not make any money off of you. You probably gave them $68 every month for the last two years and they turned around and gave you $21,000.00. Good deal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
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