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Hit! Totaled?

3205 Views 61 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  adr5
Hi,
well, I was cruising along in the right lane on the interstate getting ready to exit when out of the far left lane a Toyota Corolla cuts in front of me practically perpendicular to the direction of travel. I slammed on the brakes as hard as I could, but we did not slow enough and the left front corner of my bumper, you can see the other cars wheel mark on my bump, hit their right rear wheel. The impact pushed me off the road and I went straight into a tree. Front airbags went off as soon as we made contact with the other car. Just like in the movies my car horn was wailing away. After checking ourselves, we were a bit beat up, we checked on the other folks, they seemed ok, I looked the car over. It does not look good.

We haven't heard from the insurance company yet, but I get the impression it is going to be totaled. They said the car was going to Copart and it would get inspected there. The car still ran and drove, the tow company drove it up onto the tow truck. We were planning on getting a new car later this year, but we really need a minivan for the next few months, so we don't want to buy it now when we really need the bigger car. So we are not sure how to proceed. My car, '12 EX-L with 121k miles, was running great. I did all the regular maintenance myself, so I knew the car really well. I did the timing belt, using the Aisin kit from RockAuto :), about a year ago. We felt comfortable taking it on long trips with no worries.

Any tips on dealing with the insurance companies? We have full coverage, but with a $1k deductible. This is completely the other person's fault, so their insurance should cover our deductible as well rental car. I want to make sure that I get enough money back so that we can get a similar car that has similarly been well cared for, but I think that is going to be tough. Any tips on where to look for a car like that? I don't think a Honda dealer would have a car of this age on their lot.





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I can't see the photo either. Sorry to hear. Losing a car sucks, but it's better than losing people.

Remember that you can find similar listings to show to the insurance company to negotiate on what fair market value would be.

Outside of that, hard to say much without the photo. IMO if you have all 3 of the trifecta (body work, interior work, engine/suspension work), a total is likely. Usually you can get away with any two but not all three.

As for finding a similar replacement, I won't lie, it might not be a quick process, but my recommendation would be to search on AutoTempest. After my 2010 Accord was totaled, I searched on AutoTempest for nearly a year and a half before I found my beautiful low mileage well-maintained 2012 Accord. I'm getting closer to a year since I got it, and it has filled in for the 2010 excellently and then some. It feels better than the 2010 in every way while still being familiar.
I think I fixed the picture problem. The interior is fine except for the two front airbags. As far as body work goes, at the very minimum I see both fenders, hood, grill, bumper cover, all the stuff under the bumper cover, AC condensor and the radiator. Not sure about suspension, I didn't look. I will check autotempest, thanks for the tip. Unfortunately time is important, so I can't take months looking for the right car.

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Glad everyone is safe. It will be tough though to get a well maintained replacement with this vintage as the ones you will find for sale most likely are being traded in for issues like the VCM, bad cats, or oil leaks at the spool valve etc..
Thanks. I figure at this mileage a few cars will not have had the timing belt service done, and I don't want to do it again nor do I want to pay big bucks to have someone else do it. I am familiar with VCM misfires as my car had that expensive ring work paid for by Honda back around 50k miles. I did not know cats were an issue with this car. I did know about spool valve leaks killing alternators. I will check to see if the alternator is a Denso, if it looks newer.
Yeah, it honestly doesn't look quite as bad as I was expecting given your description.

Airbag work = interior work and that will add an extra layer to this job. With that level of front end damage there is almost certainly mechanical work to be done with the AC condenser/radiator. With my Odyssey, I got lucky that out of the 3 collisions it's been in, 2 of them saw no airbags deploy and the one where the airbags did deploy, there was little to no body damage. Otherwise mine probably would have been totaled.

Seems repairable with some work but not by you unless you want to take on a decent sized project.
Thanks for your input. Unfortunately I am not in a position to do the work myself. I am in the process of selling our house, so that takes priority and will keep me busy for a while. If the rails are not tweaked, it looks like just replacing bolt on parts. I figure hood, fends, bumper cover, grill, bumper reinforcement bar, AC condenser and radiator. I could do all of that except for the AC condenser that requires special machinery. But who knows what other hidden damage is under there?
I just got confirmation that the car will be deemed a total loss. The adjuster said his preliminary estimate is for $9000 to fix the car, but there could be hidden damage that would not show up until they started to take the car apart. The adjuster confirm sub-frame damage, which makes me think the front rails are also damaged. So now I need to go car shopping. I think I will try to get a similar car, an Odyssey with about 120k miles that has been well serviced, to tide us over till the end of the year. Let's see what they offer us, but I think the preliminary offer is going to be around $10k which is low based on the cars I have seen advertised for sale.
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Thanks, I'll check them out. I just got the adjusters comps and they are all on the low side. I will use some of these in my response.
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Glad everyone is safe. It will be tough though to get a well maintained replacement with this vintage as the ones you will find for sale most likely are being traded in for issues like the VCM, bad cats, or oil leaks at the spool valve etc..
I've done some shopping and it looks like the ones on dealer lots have been traded in with many of the problems I already took care of on my car. They all need the timing belt service, spark plugs, coolant replacements and most have torn door arm rest covers. All the stuff I have done to my car. That is the information I got from the dealer and from the pictures. I would not know about bad cats or spool valve leaks till I do an inspection in person.
Of course they are.
It always seems like such insult to injury when someone hits you, destroys your car, and then they do not want to pay for it.
Yup. I checked out a few, and some have sold already. But I am going to use them for comps as the adjuster is lowballing us by huge amounts. Based on the cars I have seen, I would need to get about $15k + taxes and fees to break even. Their initial offer is $10k. Good thing I keep receipts for all the parts I buy. At dealer prices all the work I put in that most of the cars this age that were traded in have not had done is right around $3k. I'll do it once, I am not going to do it a second time because some careless drive smashed up my car. Not to mention all the time I am wasting doing all this research. And the time I will waste actually buying the vehicle. :( :(
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Generally deployed airbags equals totaled even if the actual structural stuff is perfect, because recertifying an airbag system that was triggered can no longer be blamed directly back to the OEM and nobody wants the liability if their replacement SRS failed next time due to some installation error and someone is injured more than they otherwise would have been. And the underwriter behind the insurance company won't cover a thing with a "possibly faulty" replacement SRS system.
Had it been only an airbag deployment that totaled the car, I would buy it back form the insurance company. I have no problem replacing a couple of airbags. The body shop estimates that safety systems, air bags, sensors, and seat belts would cost about $3500 in parts. I could get junkyard airbags and then send the modules and seatbelts to Safety Restore to get those parts rebuilt and reprogrammed. I am sure that would be way under $3500. But since there is structural damage, I am not considering it.
I am guessing the amount of money you should receive for injuries and pain and suffering with an air bag deploy should cover the cost of replacing.
We have no plans to sue for pain and suffering. I can't see suing for sore thumbs and a tiny cut on one thumb. I think the judge would laugh me out of court.
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No idea where you are but we just traded in our 2013 EXL with 107K (as in today). Dealership in Newport News, VA now owns it. Same color as yours.
I'm in the NYC area, so that is far. Otherwise I would look into it. Has the timing belt service been done on your car? I've notice most of the cars I have been seeing have not had that service done.
This is how the insurance claim process works every single car sitting on a dealer lot or a used car lot they will take the list price of that car and they will reduce it by a predetermined amount based on your vehicle and then essentially that reduction amount is to bring the car from "dealer ready" to normal wear and tear

where you need to haggle and argue is that every car sitting on a used car lot with 100,000 miles is already at normal wear and tear.... not every car is in mint pristine condition just because it's sitting on a lot somewhere.

The insurance company is going to refuse to not apply that equalizing reduction amount to every car they will insist that it has to be done what you can do is argue that comparables that have serious problems scratched a bumpers rip seats etc should not be applied as a comparable in your scenario.

Also for the value of your car when they give you the PDF comparable sheet you need to go over that and if it says your seats are normal wear meaning they have rips and cracks fine but if your seats actually are in really nice shape you need to insist that they give you dealer ready condition.

The same goes for on the comparable report for your engine if they try to give you normal wear and tear on your engine what does that mean on a car with 100,000 miles maybe it has some leaks here and there no but the reality is if your car is not leaking anything and it works fine you should get dealer ready condition because the dealer sitting on a used car lot is going to be in the exact same condition.
Thanks for the info. Our car had normal wear and tear for a car with 120k miles. The biggest difference I am finding is that none of the comps the adjuster sent us has proof of a timing belt service. When you add in the other things that need to be done at that mileage, like spark plugs and coolant swap, it's up near $2k in service. This is all work I personally did to my car a little over a year ago. It shows I was taking care of my car for the long term. We already sent that info, with receipts, to the adjuster. Let's see how he responds.

In the mean time I just saw a 2014 with similar mileage to my 2012, but it is an EX and mine was an EX-L. I might go check it out and see if it looks like a good deal. The seller said they just had the timing belt service done as well as new brakes and tires. I might jump on it before we settle with the adjuster. It seems good Odysseys sell quickly.
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They don't use kbb for value, they use vehicles for sale on lots, pick the roughest ones and then further reduce their value.
That is what it seems like. But they do not check maintenance, just cosmetics, on those vehicles. Since I did a lot of work in the past year and a half, I am pointing out all the deficiencies in maintenance on those vehicles. Especially since that will add up to thousands if I take it to the dealer. So far, no response from the adjuster.
Wait until you get a pdf of your valuation report.
They(the adjuster) doesn't check anything on any vehicle.

If the difference between dealer ready condition and normal wear is $2200 then that is what they deduct from the value from any comparable.
So 2 EXL vans with 110k miles have prices of $12k and 15k?
What's the difference then? I would argue condition. But they will deduct the $2200 from each to give a value to compare to yours.
I think I understand what you are saying. When looking at a dealer car they automatically deduct $2200 from the price because that is what they assume it will cost the dealer to get an average trade in car showroom ready. That is ridiculous. If a car dealer spends that much money on every car they get they will go out of business in no time. Either that or they are buying really crappy cars really cheaply.

I just looked at their market valuation report again. They adjusted the value on the cars that are most similar to mine by $2200, just as you say. Others were adjusted by differing amounts, as low as $1300. One was a negative amount, but that car had twice as many miles. So it looks like adjust for miles and then do $2200. My problem with that is that none of the cars we checked on could verify the timing belt service had been done. That is a major expense that my car has had done that they are not accounting for.

No matter the outcome, I really would prefer to get a one owner private party sale from someone who can show proof of regular maintenance. I figure that will be a little cheaper than buying from a dealer and will make up that ridiculous $2200 deduction. Thanks for sharing this. I now have a better understanding of what the adjuster is doing, even if I don't agree with it.
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Correct, they take the comparable, adjust +/- for mileage to match yours. Then they take off a $1000-2200ish amount (1069in my case)depending on value of car and call thisa condition adjustment.
Here are a few screenshots of my valuation report.
My report looks the same. Now that I look at mine again, they are using $2069 to adjust the price. So they are assuming my car would need $2069 to get it to showroom condition, which is pure BS. The adjuster is taking his time responding to our concerns.
This is the cccone conditioning guidelines.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...AQFnoECCkQAQ&usg=AOvVaw3VcUc-frj249YQlL5zYmE_

10year old car "dealer ready engine category says "minor seepage"
Thanks for this link! This explains a lot. This gives me ammo to justify changing condition to dealer ready in areas like paint. In other areas, specifically mechanical, my car is exceptional.
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So after presenting the adjuster with evidence that I had recently performed about $2500 worth of necessary maintenance on the car, he offered to raise the offer by less than $1k. Still including a $2000 deduction to get the car dealer ready. This is not looking good. I told him if he can find a similar minvan that has had the necessary done for his offer, point me to it. This is ridiculous. I think I may need to file a separate claim against the other drivers insurance. I expected my insurance to give me a fair evaluation and then get that money from the other insurance company.
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Interesting, when I got rear ended a few years back I told my insurance about it but the other guy's insurance took care of everything directly. My insurance was just on standby in case something went awry.
They actually handled most of it fine, paid me a little extra for a goof they caused (which helped pay for a goof I did that cost me money lol, it worked out in the end I guess). It was just a repair to my vehicle, not a total out though, and I did half the work myself (and pocketed the rest!).
Did you have full coverage?
Stay firm. You can absolutely open a claim with the other driver's insurance, you have nothing to lose as you're not at fault. This way you won't have to deal with the deductible either, which your insurance would probably pay you back later after they get reimbursed by the other driver's insurance, if you were to follow through with the claim with your own company. See what they give you.

What is the total price they are offering you now?

Today's offer is 11, 666.52. That number is after our $1000 deductible. That's not going to get us a replacement Odyssey. All of the local Odysseys that are similar to mine are right around $14000 from a dealer and around $13000 from private parties. Factor in taxes and registration fees, about $1400, and $2k to get the timing belt service and spark plugs done, and we are right around $15000. So he is still far short.

I just got the accident report today. Funny but online it says it is not ready. When I called, they said, it's ready. If I go to the police station it is free. If I want to down load it, it is $10 plus a $3 convenience fee. In any case, the accident report says the other person did an improper lane change, so 100% their fault. I will be contacting their insurance and starting a claim there. I'm coming up on 3 weeks of car rental.

In the mean time, I found a 2013 Touring with 130k miles on it from a private party. They said all the services have been done, but we will see. It is one year newer and one model up from mine, but it is 8k miles more. They are asking $13k. If I can get $15k from insurance, I could break even on this car.
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So I went to check out the private party sale '13 Touring. This is the one the owner told me was in excellent condition with service records. 1 owner and no accidents. I had very high hopes. I drive an hour to check it out. The car has 4 different tires of different ages and wear. As I walk around I get to the passenger side and I clearly see half the side has been poorly painted and you can see tape lines. The seller can't believe the car was in accident. He then tells me maybe the prior owner, I thought it was a 1 owner car. The lower valence is cracked, he said he did it parking. The side door doesn't open unless you yank it hard. The interior has stains on it and the mats don't match the carpet. The engine compartment is so dirty it is not funny. It looks like a flood car. The sunroof jams. The headlights are cloudy. He told me so many lies that I can't believe he had the timing belt done. Not to mention the engine was vibrating quite a bit. He was also "firm at $12,500". I wouldn't consider that car at half that price. I thanked him for his time and left. I just wasted 2.5 hours. :( :( I can't believe how much someone will lie in an ad and in person.
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