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Loss of value on a Prius after a rear end collision?

I own(ed)a 2005 Prius with 70K miles until it was rear-ended quite badly 2 weeks ago. The impact had severed the wire to the battery causing the car not to start, not to mention the extensive damage to the frame and body. I wasnt hurt.
<br/> But the dilemma is this, this is my first "nice" car, I just graduated and dont make oodles of cash yet. I had carefully calculated and included the car payment+ insurance in my monthly budget, but the pay check will not allow for other repairs or frequent trips to the repair shop.
<br/> The question is how do I open the discussion with the Insurance company? They will only pay for aftermarket parts, not new. Also, currently if I will have to replace my car I will have to pay close to $13,000+. If they repair my car, I am afraid it will never be the same and there is obviously going to be severe loss of value.
<br/> Can anybody please help me to decide how I should go about this? should I negotiate with the insurance company to pay for loss of value? should I bite the bullet, take what they give me and hope that the car doesn't give me any future trouble? Please help!!


  • edited December 2010
    If the car has extensive damage to the frame, as you say, I would think you'd have a good case for insisting that the insurance company declare the car a "total loss", as in "totalled." In this case, the insurance company takes the car and gives you "replacement value" to buy another one.
  • edited December 2010
    Thank you for the reply. I assumed that they would do this as well, but when I talked to the collision center adjuster, she told me that they are going to repair it. Which leads me to believe 2 things- 1. The damage was not as extensive as I thought (but the rear bumper had collapsed on the wheel and I couldn't drive it even to pull it off the road) or 2. My car is not worth as much as I thought (I am not so sure about this since Prius is still a well selling car and I had purchased it from a dealer less than 10 months ago and the car was in excellent condition due to all the servicing being done at the dealership regularly).
    It could be neither, but I am not well versed in this stuff.The question is, if I decide to get it repaired and make the requisite payments on it, I would have a car that in theory I paid well over $15000 for, but in actuality is worth anywhere from $6000 to 12,000 (75-25% loss of value). Should I press for "total loss evaluation?
  • edited December 2010
    The rear bumper is made out of polyurethane, not steel. Relatively minimal damage can require you to replace it. That doesn't mean the car is totaled. Pics would help us render an opinion.

    As for what it's worth, the insurance company doesn't care what you paid for it. And even assuming you paid what it was worth, it's no longer worth that because cars get less valuable by the day.

    Insurance companies do, however, tend to try and pay you trade-in value on the car, when you should insist on private-party value. Trade-in can be thought of as wholesale. You won't be able to pay wholesale for a replacement, and therefore you shouldn't have to take wholesale from the ins co.

    Did you determine that it has frame damage based on the bumper, or did someone inspect it and tell you it has frame damage?

  • edited December 2010
    I notice that frequently after an accident the owner of the car suddenly becomes knowledgeable enough to declare that the car was previously "in excellent condition" I ask what qualifies you to make this conclusion?

    I have no ide why you included your graduation, employment, or budgeting data in this post as it does not affect the process you should take (if any) to recover "loss of value".
  • edited December 2010

    You can insist all you want..but in all probability they WON'T total the car unless you have a lot of facts to back up a claim. Get several outside estimates from several body shops including the dealer.
  • edited December 2010
    Thanks for all of your replies. I have attached a couple of pictures to give an idea. Let me know what you think
    4000 x 3000 - 2M
    4000 x 3000 - 2M
    4000 x 3000 - 2M
  • edited December 2010
    Something else to consider---how long were you planning to own this vehicle?

    If you are planning to "drive it into the ground", then worrying about someone seeing an accident in the history of the car (and it having a subsequently lower value) should not matter much.

    Or, if you are planning to re-sell it, when were you planning to do that? Frankly when I'm looking at cars if I see an accident, followed by several years of normal ownership (and mileage), that won't bother me much. My current car was in two accidents within the first 50K of it's life... I bought it at 115K and it's been decent ever since, no complaints.

    Will it need a replacement battery? If so, that might actually be a good thing--you're getting a replacement battery at 70K, it's life is probably close to 1/2 over anyway...
  • edited December 2010
    "They will only pay for aftermarket parts, not new."

    Aftermarket parts are not used parts, they are new parts. They just aren't manufactured by Toyota.

    It's just the back end of the car. Once they fix it, what are you afraid will have cronic problems?

    Get it fixed and keep driving it. Bemis has a good point, try to get NEW battery packs out of the deal. Have you ever priced out how much it will cost you to replace those battery packs?
  • edited December 2010
    It looks totaled to me..But if they fix it, when you get it back, check how the RR door opens and closes..Check it's fit carefully all the way around..It has to be perfect to seal out water, dirt and noise and to open and close correctly..If the fit and finish is "factory" and everything works properly, there is no "Lost Value".. Will the RR door open and close now? It's worth what every other 2005 Prius is worth...They are not going to stamp your title "This Car Was Wrecked".
  • edited December 2010
    Here in California, she would get a "Salvage Title" with the damage shown in the pics-- I say this, because my son's car had similar damage. A car with a salvage title is only worth 50% of the KBB price... no big deal, if you keep the car forever. Me, personally, I would never buy a car with a salvage title... my brother and sister both had salvage title cars, and both caused them constant headaches, before they finally sold them.
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