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View Full Version : how much damage on a car before insurance scraps it?


OS
06-21-2003, 04:26 AM
I had a moderate accident recently and there's damage to both wheels/tires, body and bumper. There is probably damage to bearings and drive shafts/CV joints. Possibly suspension damage also. details and pictures here (http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?catid=38&threadid=1075379)

I've been thinking about having the car junked since the repair cost will probably approach a sizable fraction of the car's market value (~7-8K) and I don't like having a car that's been in an accident. Also it bothers me that the car has been hit in drive wheels, which is basically what makes the car go and turn.

What percentage of a car's market value does repair have to meet in order for insurance to declare the car a loss? I've heard it's pretty common for insurance to get rid of the car even in only moderate damage.

I tried calling my friend who works in insurance but she hasn't gotten back to me yet.

Thegonagle
06-21-2003, 04:35 AM
It's usually aruond 80% of the car's current estimated retail market value.

kyutip
06-21-2003, 04:37 AM
The insurance company will junk the car if it cost more to fix it than junk it.
Remember, to fix the car, not only there is the cost of fixing the car but also the cost of providing you with a ride when your car is in shop. When they junk the car, they got some money back.
It's up to the insurance company though.

NutBucket
06-21-2003, 05:02 AM
I would say that it would have to cost them more to fix it then to replace it. Personally, I would not want to drive that car if it were fixed. I'm guessing the suspension was tweaked and to fix it properly would not be cheap. I agree with you that you should try to get the car junked because of that.

Eli
06-21-2003, 05:06 AM
Err.. Just looking at the pics,

I doubt you're going to get it totalled. :(

masterxfob
06-21-2003, 05:17 AM
Originally posted by: Eli
Err.. Just looking at the pics,

I doubt you're going to get it totalled. :(

not even close....

Looney
06-21-2003, 07:18 AM
LOL you think insurance is going to scrap the car for as little damage as that?

jlee
06-21-2003, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by: Moralpanic
LOL you think insurance is going to scrap the car for as little damage as that?

It's not just the external damage..

Eli
06-21-2003, 08:07 AM
Originally posted by: CadetLee

Originally posted by: Moralpanic
LOL you think insurance is going to scrap the car for as little damage as that?

It's not just the external damage..Yeah, but with so little external damage the internal damage couldn't possibly be bad enough to warrant scrapping the car.

bigshooter
06-21-2003, 09:06 AM
What kind of car is that? I don't think you have 7-8k damage on there. My roommates fiance's car got hit pretty good, and caused $6000 damage. Her car is only worht $10,000 but they didn't total it out. You'll probably have to go to an inspection office for your insurance agency and have them check it out, as well as getting an estimate. Asking them to junk it out will not help, but u can make sure tehy fix EVERYTHING. When my SUV (yes I'm one of those evil suv drivers) got broken into, and had my stereo and everything stolen, i made my insurance company replace any interior part with a scratch on it, replace all the plastic paneling inside that may have been touched by the guys that broke in, as well as getting the truck professionally cleaned. Although your situation is different, if they choose to fix it, let them fix what they say needs to be fixed, then take it somewhere else afterwards and have them check it out. If there was anythign missed take it right back, also if you notice ANYTHING that may not be normal after driving it, make sure they fix taht as well.

edit: also if you are dealing with your insurance to fix evertyhing, they may decide to junk it out if it comes to be a signicant percent of the value of the car. If it's the other person's insurance they will go the cheapest route possible. If it costs $10 less to fix it than junk it out, they'll do that.

iamwiz82
06-21-2003, 09:08 AM
I doubt there is much, if any, suspension or axle damage. That looks like a light hit.

LostHiWay
06-21-2003, 09:23 AM
First off from looking at the pics there's no way they'll total it out. I've seen cars look 10x as bad as yours and still not being totaled. Also, it looks like you have a newer car...if you're still making payments on it and by some very, very slim chance they do total it out you'll most likely end up in the hole to the bank unless you have gap coverage.

OS
06-21-2003, 07:06 PM
It's a 2000 prizm (corolla). There are about 9 months of payments left. My insurance company called me and said I'm completely not at fault and it'll be taken care of without any more detriment to me. I guess the other driver's insurance will pay for the damage. Is there a way to ensure repair quality won't be sacrificed?


The damage is somewhat worse in person, pictures don't capture 3d very well. It doesn't show that the panel/bumper are pretty loose now and the headlamp/sidemarker assembly seem affected. The main thing is body work is expensive, I had ding/chip in the pain on the car and it was estimated at 500 dollars.


Basically I don't want to keep the car if there is suspension/axle damage, I guess that's not likely, but I'll take it somewhere to have it looked at. Maybe it's partially pyschological because the accident/situation could have been a lot worse. I was going ~45 and if I hadn't been paying attention the entire side would have been gone and so I also wonder where the rest of momentum went to.

DrPizza
06-21-2003, 07:17 PM
I doubt it did anything to the car that can't be made as good as new... unless your frame was bent, any damaged part of the suspension can be completely replaced. (and there's no way your frame was bent). As far as 500 for a little paint chip.... you were getting ripped off! If it were my car, I'd have the insurance company pay for a new quarter panel, but I'd only have them remove the dent (relatively minor). Then, have them replace any damaged components of the suspension. Looks to me like the damage <$1500. (but, that's by prices here locally... we don't get raped as badly as you would in a more urban area)

Angrymarshmello
06-21-2003, 07:36 PM
This is a totaled car (http://www.boomernet.com/chris/wreck.jpg)

Yours, is not. Especially being worth about $7-8k.

OS
06-21-2003, 08:29 PM
Well I just took it to a mechanic and the immediately visible damage he says is around 1k, but the car would still need to be taken apart and examined for additional damage. He says internal mechanical/suspension damage won't be immediately visible, but there's no frame damage.



Originally posted by: Angrymarshmello
This is a totaled car (http://www.boomernet.com/chris/wreck.jpg)

Yours, is not. Especially being worth about $7-8k.

is 7-8K supposed to be alot?

I know some of you guys think I'm insane about looking into scrapping the car. But I recently a friend who had a bmw, spun it out and wrecked the rear end. He said the damage was fairly light so he had it fixed. But there were problems after each repair and he kept taking it back. In the end all the repairs added up and exceeded the value of the car. His agent was like, you should have just called it a loss at the beginning.

I guess if I'm not happy with the car after all this, I'll just trade it in for a new corolla.

Syringer
06-21-2003, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by: OS


is 7-8K supposed to be alot?

I know some of you guys think I'm insane about looking into scrapping the car. But I recently a friend who had a bmw, spun it out and wrecked the rear end. He said the damage was fairly light so he had it fixed. But there were problems after each repair and he kept taking it back. In the end all the repairs added up and exceeded the value of the car. His agent was like, you should have just called it a loss at the beginning.


That's only because whoever worked on his car were idiots. And plus BMW parts are valued just a tad higher than on say a Geo.

I've seen cars in MUCH MUCH worse condition than yours that weren't close to being totalled.

freebee
06-21-2003, 10:48 PM
Sometimes repairs can be really expensive. Recall my thread about me hitting 2 parked cars. The headlight (non-HID) on my subie cost some 300 bucks for OEM part. Little fog light is 125 a piece. And so forth....little fender bender...5-10mph... cost me about 1.5 grand on my car alone (and I had the panels replaced with putty/hammered out...neglected all safety standards), plus the damage to the other cars totaled about 10k+.

ultimatebob
06-21-2003, 11:38 PM
Ah, that damage is nothing. All you need is some minor body work and perhaps the replacement of some suspension components, and you're good to go. It's probably less than $2,000 to fix.