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Unread 11-07-2006, 01:47 PM   #1
Pyrotechnic
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Default OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

Sorry if this a little off-topic but i'm needing some info on how to deal with an insurance company as I got hit head on by someone who swerved into my lane this weekend. I'm hoping some of you here have dealt with similar situations before and can give me some insight to what I need to do to prevent myself from getting screwed over.


Heres the scoop. My truck is a 1978 Chevy Silverado. The offending vehicle was a 1990's something Isuzu Rodeo. The Isuzu swerved into my lane and hit me head on. The ticket that the other driver got was for "failure to yield left turn." I'm sure him turning left was some BS story he managed to muster up because before the impact, I did not see the drivers head, and he was driving in my lane way before the turn. The impact also happend before the turn that he stated to be turning into. There was no directional signal either. But he did get the ticket so that pins the fault on him so i guess that's what matters.

Now here's where it gets bad. My truck is totalled. The frame is bent to hell and the repair costs will greatly exceed what the truck is worth. The problem is, I've just invested $6000+ in driveline components. I'm talking brand new high performance engine with less than 300 miles on it, tranmission, rear end, new radiator, 4 new tires, new braking system all the way around, brand new exhaust not a few weeks old, and a front end alignment just the day before...ha.

Now I know the bluebook value on my truck is going to be very little or non existant because of it's age. The first thing I can think of the other drivers insurance company doing is saying the truck is totalled (which it is), then wanting to write me a check for a very low amount, and hauling the truck away were they can strip the truck of my investments and make themselves a huge profit.

The first goal right now is that I NEED to keep my truck. No matter what, the insurance company CAN NOT under any circumstances take that truck with the large amount of money I have invested in it. Most of the parts, mainly the engine, transmission, rear end, brakes etc are still good. Do I have the option to deny their money and keep my truck ? After all I do have the title. This weekend the truck is going to be put on a trailer and stored in an undisclosed location and locked up where they wont be able to find it.

I have more questions but for now I just need to know where I stand about keeping my truck. Any help is appreciated.
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Unread 11-07-2006, 06:36 PM   #2
jaydee
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

Depends on the insurance. If you have all receipts of your investments they may include that into the evaluation of what to pay you.

More importantly however most of the time you can buy the truck back for pocket change. My uncles car got wrecked but was still drivable. They said it was totaled and paid him. He then bought he rig back from the insurance company for $250.00 and then replaced a few things and was able to get it licensed again.

Best thing to do is talk to the insurance company being yours or theirs and ask them your options. I am pretty sure you can just deny the claim and keep your truck as it as well.
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Unread 11-08-2006, 04:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

Ah! A fellow Texan!

I also got in a wreck in January this year, and even though the other driver was clearly at fault, the officer declared a no fault, and I got nothing. You're luckier...

Follow JayDee. Otherwise, you might have to find someone else to buy the wreck back, as you collect an insurance check. Consulting with an attorney might not be a bad idea here.
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Unread 11-09-2006, 10:34 AM   #4
ricecrispi
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

Like Jaydee said, depending if you got a decent insurance company, they will pay you back for parts installed on your car if you have receipts. Some companies have specific policies.
Important things to know:
*Some companies require professional installation and no DIY home installs unless you are trained or certified mechanic
*Some will let you get away with just mechanic receipt showing you installed the parts and get a smaller amount. This is usually average parts cost.
*Some companies will cover only parts installed within a year. Others don't care when you installed it.
*Some might cover the performance car parts. Some won't cover "performance" car parts unless you notified them you nstalled these parts. Some companies won't cover it at all or specific parts regardless if you gave notice. Example installing a forced induction system or nitrous.
*Some companies are real PITA and have to determine if parts aren't damaged before reinbursement.


You can always buy the car back for cheap and strip it. You should ask to thoroughly inspect the car before buying it back. Some parts get damaged beyond salvage, others impossible to strip, and etc... Just say you have stuff in the car you have to take out. If you already did this, just say you forget something else was in the car.
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Unread 11-09-2006, 01:31 PM   #5
Pyrotechnic
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

Still waiting on news from my agent but whatever decision I go with, the truck and it's title will not be in the insurance company's hand at anytime whatsoever. I've simply got too much time and money invested in that engine. If it was off the shelf parts and i could reproduce it overnight, great, but that engine took lots of time and planning and I simply cannot afford to take a check for it at this point, especially when it only has 300 miles on it.

I guarantee you, once they get their hands on it and they see that engine under the hood, the sell back price will be ridiculous and I may as well have paid for my engine twice or that engine will be out of there faster than the blink of any eye and I never see it again. The truck is not in impound right now though, I made them tow it to my house. It's sitting outside my house with the hood chained shut, so its still in my hands.

My agent is sympathetic to my situation as he's done a lot of performance work on cars as well, but the other insurance company is Progressive which I hear is a real bitch to deal with.

Hopefully something can be worked out under which I keep the truck and collect some money for repairing it, which I could turn around and put towards another truck to transfer my investments over to. I'll keep ya'll informed as this story unfolds.
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Unread 11-09-2006, 03:40 PM   #6
ricecrispi
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

I don't promote insurance fraud and if you take my advice do at your own consequence. I'm only offering this info because of your situation and I am sympathetic as well but do this at your own risk. I didn't do this myself but I had a friend in a similar situation when his project car got ruined and this is what we did.

Sounds like the car hasn't been inspected. If you want to keep the car price down to buy it back if you decided to total it this is what I suggest.

Don't mention to the appraiser/inspector what you done or installed in the car. Let him find out himself what you installed or put on the car.

Couple days before he shows up, pour oil under the engine area and throw on some dirt on it to make it look like the engine is leaking oil. Pour some oil on engine block to make it look like its leaking from gasket or a seal. Splatter some oil onto the hood and around the head. Use grease with old oil and cover the block, trans/bellhousing, rear end to make them not look like they are brand new.
Mention to the apraiser the engine is leaking oil immediately.

Make the interior look really dirty. Throw some papers, empty coke bottles, some left over food, newpaper etc and make the car look and smell like crap. I would also try to make the exterior dirty as possible.

Good luck getting that engine and parts back. Sounds like you built it by hand from main bearings to the valve springs.
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Unread 11-09-2006, 07:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

On a similar line of inadvisable things to do; rip out the engine before the other company comes over to look at it.

Otherwise, at least you're in possession of it now; that puts you in a good position.

Keep us posted.
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Unread 11-10-2006, 09:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

If you tell Progressive that you want to keep the truck, you should be able to get a check for the normal payout minus salvage value. Because none of the good parts have been damaged, I don't see a reason to fight for more.
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Unread 11-10-2006, 10:40 AM   #9
Pyrotechnic
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerSandwich
If you tell Progressive that you want to keep the truck, you should be able to get a check for the normal payout minus salvage value. Because none of the good parts have been damaged, I don't see a reason to fight for more.
Well another truck with a straight frame, body and decent interior without engine or tranmission would go for around $750-$1000 depending on condition. A fairly nice running and driving truck would be about $2000-$3000. Hopefully I can at least get the $750-$1000 plus the $150 towing fee. Theres also the front suspension alingment that I got done TWO DAYS before the accident...i'm debating bringing out the receipt for that, because thats money litteraly wasted.
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Unread 11-10-2006, 07:26 PM   #10
HammerSandwich
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

Maybe this will help you feel better. I once worked with a guy who spent something like $1200 having Aamco R&R his Chrysler's tranny and rebuild it. The day after he picked it up, his 17y.o. daughter drove it into a tree.
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Unread 03-14-2007, 03:19 PM   #11
Pyrotechnic
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Default Re: OT: Insurance Claim Help Needed!!!

Case closed. They initially offered me $4000 with me keeping the truck, but I asked for $5000 so they offered me $4500 and I accepted it. Not quite as much as I was looking for, but in a typical case with these trucks they probably only would have paid $500-$1000.

Now to start from square one again with another truck. Months of searching still haven't turned up another truck in decent shape.
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