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TDFreak
Florida Fan
9 posts
Member since Dec 2009
5950 posts

Question about “totaled” cars and insurance

Want to see if there are any experts on OT regarding next steps after insurance totals your car. Any possible options that I am unaware of.

So, my kid had a single vehicle accident. Kid is ok. Fairly low speed. Moderate damage. Air bags didn’t deploy. Front end damage. Collision shop repair estimate exceeds 80% value of car, so insurance totals it. They will send me a check after I send them the title.

Obviously, the payout is less than getting another comparable vehicle, so some out of pocket will be required on whatever replacement car I end up buying. Which leads me to ask: Has anyone simply paid a little more than the insurance check, had the original car fixed completely, and gotten the car roadworthy again?

Assuming it’s not some significant hidden damage, I am about to relinquish a pretty decent car (single owner with 90,000 miles) which to me is a little disappointing. I’m not debating the sincerity of the insurance company or the repair shop in totaling the vehicle. Just wondering if there are any OT’ers with experience to share.


Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
64865 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
quote:

Has anyone simply paid a little more than the insurance check, had the original car fixed completely, and gotten the car roadworthy again?

Yep and the same insurance company insured it. This was back in the 90s so stuff may have changed.


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geauxpurple
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2014
9584 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
quote:

the payout is less than getting another comparable vehicle
Maybe you need to get more from the insurance company.


homesicktiger
LSU Fan
High altitude hell
Member since Oct 2004
1230 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
EXACT same thing happened to my daughter's car a couple of years ago. Great low mileage car with only body damage, but enough to be totaled. Had it fixed, but afterwards, the insurance company would not fully insure it since they'd already paid to total it once (ie. no comp/collision coverage). A year later, a drunk driver plows into and destroys it, and flees the scene ... a great $7k low mileage used car to the scrap heap and absolutely no recourse to the hit and run drunk driver.



TDFreak
Florida Fan
9 posts
Member since Dec 2009
5950 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
Thanks for the tips! Keep ‘em coming!


fallguy_1978
LSU Fan
Best States #50
Member since Feb 2018
43035 posts
 Online 

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
I believe you can do it but you'll have a salvaged title and can only get liability on it.

I guess it sort of depends on if your insurance will allow that.
This post was edited on 11/26 at 11:08 am


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151
TheHarahanian
LSU Fan
Duh
Member since May 2017
18578 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance

My dad was looking at a used truck a few years ago, and ran a carfax report on it which revealed totaled status.

The seller of the vehicle didn’t know it had been totaled when he bought it. Dad couldn't buy it because his insurer refused to cover a vehicle that had been totaled.
This post was edited on 11/26 at 11:09 am


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Obtuse1
Wofford Fan
Westside Bodymore Yo
Member since Sep 2016
20355 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
quote:

Which leads me to ask: Has anyone simply paid a little more than the insurance check, had the original car fixed completely, and gotten the car roadworthy again?


It is done a fair amount but note it will have a salvage title. Usually a result of two situations:

1. the owner has a hookup to get it repaired cheaper or they are willing to leave some of the minor cosmetic damage or limit the amount of respray and/or blending taking the chance it doesn't blend perfectly.

2. it is a rare or unusual car that will be hard to replace in the condition it was in or at all. I did this with my mildly flood damaged (maybe via water hose) LFA, bought it back from the insurance for $4k, joke was on them it was worth 100 times that even "flooded". Obviously, a joke it wasn't mine but it is a true story a guy (who may or may not have "watered" his Lexus LFA) bought it back from the insurance company for 4 grand, heads did roll at the insurance company and the owner (now a known con artist) got in a wee bit of trouble not directly related to the LFA but it was the thread someone pulled that unraveled his whole world.
This post was edited on 11/26 at 11:16 am


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unclejhim
LSU Fan
Folsom, La.
Member since Nov 2011
3347 posts
 Online 

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
You will be limited on the amount and type of insurance available.


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Kadjin
LSU Fan
edge of the basin
Member since Oct 2013
1207 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
You can keep the vehicle, they will buy you out and issue a salvage title, then use that money to get it road worthy again. Had this exact situation, did exactly that. If the work is beyond your capabilities ask around and find somebody that does it side hustle. Insurance goes through a body shop that wants to replace everything plus a paint job, it’s a racket. I’m my situation the body shop quoted insurance around $7k. I had it done for about $1500. I bought everything and paid a guy a few hundred to put it back together.

ETA: This was my teenage sons truck that was paid off, it didn’t have to be perfect, just road worthy and decent looking. In my situation it made perfect sense. Damage was all cosmetic, engine is tip top, tires were new and brakes had just been serviced.
This post was edited on 11/26 at 11:22 am


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Tiger in the Sticks
LSU Fan
Back in the Boot
Member since Jan 2007
1265 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
Titling may differ depending on the state of residence. I would make sure you have a thorough estimate; some shops may only write to the total loss threshold. Are there any significant supplements that may be needed? Also may want to contact the insurer to see if they’ll write a policy on a repaired total. If so, will they extend comprehensive and/or collision coverage?







This post was edited on 11/26 at 11:18 am


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IamLSU02
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2013
85 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
I own a collision center and deal with insurance and totaled cars all the time. You can absolutely retain the vehicle and have it repaired. You will have to apply for a reconstructed title once repairs are complete to get another title for it. There are also insurance companies out there that will provide full coverage, and not just liability, for cars with reconstructed titles. The idea of getting more from the insurance company for your vehicle is not going to happen. They should present you with two options and for simple math purposes, we will say your car is worth 10k. Option A: sell the car to them and they will pay you 10k less your deductible (+tax and title in Louisiana). Option B: keep your car, and they will pay you $10k less your deductible and the salvage value(amount they can sell your vehicle for at salvage auction). In Louisiana, getting a reconstructed title is not hard at all. You just have to fill out some paperwork and show proof of repairs to state police.
Hope that helps.


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200
MMauler
Member since Jun 2013
19216 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
Although I think it depends on the insurance company, this same scenario happened to a good friend of mine. He wanted to buy the car back and fix it up for his kid. However, the insurance company would not let him. The adjuster told him that, the car goes through some process and it’s put up for auction. Further, the adjuster couldn’t tell him when the car was going to be put up for auction. He wound up just buying his kid another car.


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gumbeaux
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2004
3943 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
Be sure the insurance payment on the totaled vehicle is comparable to today’s used car price. Used car prices are much higher since the pandemic due to the lack of new vehicles.

My 2016 truck 4x4 with 80,000 miles was totaled and insurance tried to pay the old price. They agreed with me after I brought up today’s used car price and I got an extra $6000


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CaptainsWafer
USA Fan
TD Platinum Member
Member since Feb 2006
56893 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
quote:

Obviously, the payout is less than getting another comparable vehicle, so some out of pocket will be required on whatever replacement car I end up buying


The payment/value should be of the vehicle totaled, not a replacement, not a comparable, nothing else.


ETA

quote:

Which leads me to ask: Has anyone simply paid a little more than the insurance check, had the original car fixed completely, and gotten the car roadworthy again?


You can keep the salvage and rebuild it but it will have a reconstructed title, and will be worth significantly less when fixed.
This post was edited on 11/26 at 12:00 pm


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21
SG_Geaux
1 Post
Member since Aug 2004
75681 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
quote:

Insurance goes through a body shop that wants to replace everything plus a paint job, it’s a racket.


You don't have to use the insurance companies body shop.


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ldts
Member since Aug 2015
2541 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
My dad used to do that. We had a Honda that had been totaled 6 or 7 times (my brother used to get in a lot of wrecks). Each time, my dad took the insurance check and kept the car. A friend of his would fix it very cheaply.


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Bestbank Tiger
LSU Fan
Premium Member
Member since Jan 2005
66030 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
Yep. I bought a car with a reconstructed title. Insurance totaled it and the owner fixed it up and got the title rebuilt.

I had no trouble getting it on the insurance. It might be tricky to sell when the wheels fall off but I'll worry about that when the time comes.


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SpaceCamp
Member since Nov 2020
229 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
Dealing with this exact scenario right now. Must be the season for kids to get into car accidents. Try to negotiate with the insurance if possible. We ended up getting a lot more than expected (only 2.5k less than what we paid for it 9 years ago).


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sparkinator
LSU Fan
Lake Claiborne
Member since Dec 2007
4260 posts

re: Question about “totaled” cars and insurance
A lot of good info. I had an older extended cab 4 wheel drive truck that was totaled. No frame damage and nothing mechanical damaged. A woman just pulled out in front me and I didn’t have time to stop. I bought it back from the insurance company for $450.

My son and I pulled the front cap and bought a complete one from the wrecking yard for $300. They even pulled it for us. We just drove over and loaded it up. It looked ok when we were done. Body lines weren’t perfect, but we got $4000 from the insurance company even after they deducted $450 for me buying it back.

What pissed me off the most was the fees at the OMV. I had to buy a salvage title and then a reconstructed title. That fee was more than the truck buy back. I asked my son that was helping me if he saw anyone from the government out there helping us? If he saw anyone from the government helping us pull the old front cap off the truck? Or helping us put it all back together, yet the check to the OMV was the most expensive payout on the entire truck.


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