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My 22 y/o daughter was rearended last week by a driver insured with Allstate. She drove her car off, he didn't. No one injured thank God. She had it evaluated today and the 1 body shop she took it to estimated $2100 to repair as the frame is bent. They said the other guy's insurance may want to total it.
Anyone have experience with this? She is a new college grad, moving out and starting a teaching position in 2 weeks. Not the best timing for all this. We were hoping the car would last another year.
Her car is a 96 ford taurus with 250,000 miles. It's been a great car but my husband has really maintained it too.
Do you have to take the insurance co's offer if they want to total it? Can they be made to repair it instead? How fast do you generally get a check if it is totaled? If repaired instead can we make them pay for a rental car?
Thanks for any advice,
Cara
 

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It's likely that a '96 Taurus with 250k miles is worth considerably less than the estimated repair bill of $2100. The insurance company will pay you the "total" amount the car is worth (less your deductible) and no more. So, for example, if they decide the car is worth $1800, and your deductible is $500, you'll get a check for $1300. If you want to have it repaired, you can, but insurance will still only pay you the $1300.
 

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Happened to my son last year. He was in my volvo. The insurance co claimed it totaled. I got a check for $1700.00. The rear tailight was broken and the tailgate was dented. Completly drivable. We fixed the light for about $50 and with a little persuading with a crobar and hammer it was good to go. Luckily in NY you are allowed to keep the vehicle without the title being labeled salvaged.
 

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You may be able to negotiate on the value. My mother-in-law had a 25 year old car with about 30,000 miles on it. It was stored in a garage, had regular maintenance and looked like a show car. When it was "totalled" the family fought the insurance company's assesment of value. The decision was reversed and the car was repaired.
 

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construction and Garden b
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never take their first offer!! with that mileage there will be little value to the insurance company but it was a drivable car. any recent repairs or new (tires, brakes) should be brought too their attention . being hit from behind there can also be damage too the trany and brakes, ford tranys have never been that strong, make sure if they do fix it that the mechanicals also work.
 

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I would let them total the car, depending on what they offer.

Fords are some of the best cars on the road, but 250k miles....how much longer can it last?

I would try to figure out what a fair value for the car is, and push for a higher amount if you can.

You can look at Kelly Blue Book online, and completed listings on ebay to help figure out what the car is worth.

I would take the check, if a decent offer, and buy myself another good, low mileage Taurus.

When my wife totaled our Pontiac Grand Am, I was surprised by the generous offer insurance made us. Allstate might make you a generous offer just to get you out of their life. If they start playing hard ball with you and making stupid low ball offers, I would tell them DD has some back and neck pain....

Clove
 

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STILL not Alice
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When the '95 Cherokee was stolen, the insurance company totaled it. The gave us a check for.. heck, I don't remember exactly, between 1500 and 2000? We bought it back for (I'm thinking) $300, did not have a salvage title or anything. Did the repairs ourselves for around $200, and were able to get it insured with the same insurance company!

If it's drivable for another year, I'd say let them total it, buy it back, and bank the difference toward a downstroke on her next vehicle. As already noted, a little persuasion with a crowbar and a hi-lift can make things straight enough to be functional.

IMO, of course. :)

Pony!
 

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Good info above except you don't loose your deductible amount. If it wasn't your DD's fault then HER deductible is covered by the offending party.
 

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Go with ford major's advice. Don't take that first offer. They will want to total it, not gonna give you $2,100 to repair a 96 car with 250,000 miles on it. If it was me, after their first off I would pick a number between what their offer was and the repair cost and tell them I wouldn't settle for less. Then after I thought we'd reached an impasse (probably three or four communique) I'd agree on a settlement. Don't waste any money on an attorney for this. There is apparently no personal injury and an old car, you'd just be wasting your money.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for the advice. I think they do take the car here for salvage (if deemed totaled) in OK but I wouldn't want her driving it with frame damage anyway.
As pointed out it is older but was still very drivable. I think if she can get 1500 will be happy.
Cara
 

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Please be careful in your correspondence with the insurance company. If $1,500 is what you want, DON"T TELL THEM THAT! At least not initially (unless of course that is their initial offer).

If, in the early stages of things, they get an inkling that that's what you'll accept, that's all you'll get. Be an advocate for yourself! Play semi-hardball and settle later rather than sooner.
 

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The blue book value of a 96 Taurus with 250000 miles is $2505, so any frame damage is a total.

I don't recall a taurus as having and actual "frame" to damage as I thought it was a unibody style, are you sure it isn't just the bumper struts that are damaged?

If the damage is just wrinkled sheet metal, take their "total" money offer (after haggling, of course) and make it part of the deal that you get to keep the car. Replace the tailights with ones from the junk yard and keep driving it until it dies. By then she will be working.

When dealing with the insurance co, remember that it is their representative's job to save the company as much money as possible. Don't take it personally.

I got broadsided and my car got totaled. I had to really haggle with the insurance company of the hit-and-run drunk driver that hit me, but they ended up paying me for the car and letting me keep it. Then I sold it for $200...even with it's side pushed in a foot!

Also remember that a body shop is a for-profit business, and the damage may not be as bad as the first shop claims. Get a couple of estimates before giving up on the car.
 

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Mother,Artist, Author
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steff bugielski said:
Happened to my son last year. He was in my volvo. The insurance co claimed it totaled. I got a check for $1700.00. The rear tailight was broken and the tailgate was dented. Completly drivable. We fixed the light for about $50 and with a little persuading with a crobar and hammer it was good to go. Luckily in NY you are allowed to keep the vehicle without the title being labeled salvaged.

In some instances your better off that its totaled rather than repaired when it comes to an older vehicle. Unlike what someone else posted, sometimes you can get more.

And if you do go the totaled route, what Steff said above is a possiblilty. Some states allow you to keep the vehicle or buy it back for very cheap cheap money. My brother did that when his Toyota pickup was totaled and he bought it back for $50 plus had the ins. check. So he made out. But that doesn't happen all the time.

I do agree with others who said 96 Ford with 250,000 may not have been worth much. I know DH car is a 94 Mercury Grand Marquie, with 180,000 and it has a book value of about $2000 on it.
My concern is that the frame is bent. Granted they can pull it back into alignment but it will now have a weak spot. Something else to consider.
 

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Every insurance company has a different policy.

When the old brown car was totalled, they let me keep it. I then used the inusrance money for a down payment on something that did not have a hole in it. I drove the old one for a couple of weeks.
 

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When I got rear ended the guy's insurance offered some totally unacceptable settlement
figure. When I refused it, they said take it or leave it. My reply was: "I think I'll wait a little while, my neck is starting to ache and feel a little strange, and it never did before I got hit". Within days I had a much better offer.
 
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