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Auto Insurance - Get rid of old cars?

Thanks for info. I was under the impression that once a car is “totaled”, it is done. My friend actually called his insurance and they said they will insure it if he repairs it himself (they will pay him 80% of the cars value).

Still, I think that because of the auto insurance companies, the body shops can charge whatever price they want. They know the insurance is either going to declare the vehicle totaled or pay them for the repair…there is “less” competition that way.

Quite the opposite. Body shops are often hamstrung by insurance companies. Insurance companies often dictate the prices they will pay and the parts to be used, all in the name of helping the customer with lower premiums. There’s competition, and then there’s someone coming into your business and saying “I’ll pay $XX per hour for your labor or I’ll take my business elsewhere.”

“I think that because of the auto insurance companies, the body shops can charge whatever price they want.”

It’s really no different with medical insurance. The doctor’s staff checks your level of coverage in order to determine the maximum amount that will be paid by your insurance carrier for a certain procedure, and–guess what?–that is the amount that is usually billed to you.

I think in many cases eliminating insurance companies–auto or medical–may actually lower the final price. Eliminating the administrative costs, billing, improved cash flow could result in a lower cost.

A few years ago my mom cancelled her dental coverage, it cost too much, didn’t cover enough, and had all-around poor service. Later when needing an emergency root canal and crown, her dentist gave her an estimated cost and how much the insurance would pay. She asked how much if she just wrote a check then and there. Somehow the price went down by $400.

Repair is labor and parts. Fender is 200. Painting it is 800. Install a window on your house. 300 for window and 650 for install. Waterpump is 115, labor to install is 375. A new bumper, grille, hood, inner fender is 800 in parts and 2200 in labor.

I need to agree with you. …but with one caveat. Without auto insurance, cars would be built like Model As. Automakers would have to respond with the cheapest, strongest car the third world (Us now) could manage to survive with.

I hit a deer with my old Riviera and it was totaled. I paid the $50 to get it back and they paid me the value of the car. I fixed it myself to prior condition and all I had to do was have my insurance agent verify it had been fixed and it could be fully insured again. Went to Europe on the difference.

Collision insurance is sort of a scam, I agree. But that’s just the way insurance works. Except for the deductible amount, it doesn’t matter who’s at fault. The agreement the driver and the insurance company make is that if you pay the premiums they’ll fix your wrecked car and give it back to you. Except if the fix-it price is more than the car is worth. Then they just agree to buy it from you at its pre-crash value. The idea is you can use the dough to buy a non-wrecked replacement. That should make you whole. That’s the idea anyway.

The reason this is a sort of scam is b/c you probably won’t be able to buy a replacement. You can’t buy something that isn’t available for sale.

The insurance company won’t give the totaled wreck back to you either. Not for free anyway. Not usually. There may be significant junkyard value in that car, and if you want the wreck back, you’ll have the pay the insurance company for it. Even though it is was your car, bought and paid for. I expect insurance agents get a lot of customer grief on this, so if you want it back and you’ve been a long time customer they’ll probably sell it to you for less than they’d get from the wrecking yard.

I didn’t wreck my Kawasaki ZRX1200 motorcycle nor did it need major repairs, I simply put 120K miles on it.
I think I could have gotten more money for it if I had parted it out and sold the parts.

George, how can you even say Collision insurance could be a scam? By that goofy thinking so is homeowners insurance. You buy products like these to protect yourself and your family from financial catastrophes. On a vehicle worth next to nothing collision would be a waste of money but on a late model it only makes sense.

Quite the scam. My 2003 Trailblazer was totaled in 2010. I couldn’t believe how much they offered me right out of the gate. Insurance paid enough for me to buy a replacement 2005 Trailblazer with less mileage AND included funds for taxes and registration to boot. IIRC, I even had about $750 left over after all was said and done. There’s a real life example. Some scam.

The cost for collision goes down as the vehicle value goes down. Even though I could afford to replace it on my own, they add value from not having to haggle with the other person’s insurance. I walk away and they do all the dirty work. Done that work myself before, not worth it to me now.

Collision insurance is a “sort of” scam I think is what I said. Not a complete scam. Of course there are benefits. I mean that if you like your older car, it’s been well maintained and in good shape, and want to keep it even if it gets in a wreck, the insurance limit issues can force you to turn your own car over to the insurance company, and you most likely won’t be able to find an equivalent replacement.

A non-scam version would be that the insurance company pays to fix whatever’s broken. Or produces an equivalent replacement vehicle and parks it in your driveway. Edit … Or pay you up to the limit, then allow you to keep the wrecked car.

To pay to fix whatever’s broken would require rates to go up. Do you want that?

The insurance company could give that as an option. Pay less to get less, or pay more to get more in other words. Me, I’d pay a little more in premiums for the option, in event of a crash ruled “totaled”, of keeping my Corolla and a check for the “totaled” limit.

You can pay more, there are some that guarantee ‘one year newer’ if you choose that option.

And you can pay for a policy with an “agreed value” instead of Blue Book valuation. This is useful if the car has been customized in a way that increases its value–perhaps you’re the owner of the only '92 Tempo in existence powered by a Pratt and Whitney PT67D turboshaft engine!

Tempo powered by Pratt and Whitney!!! I want one.

I agree with Texases. Nothing is free. You want more, ya gotta pay for it. I was paid more than I thought for my car with over 300K on from State Farm in Minnesota. Every state and every company is different but they used three separate valuations and then merged the three to a final figure. No hassle and $50 to buy it back if you want.

With car insurance, just as with homeowner’s insurance, some companies will serve their customers better than others. For example, when my roof sustained damage from Hurricane Sandy a couple of years ago, my insurance company paid–in full–for a complete tear-off/re-roofing. The actual damage was the loss of about 45 shingles in random places, but they said that this met their standard for a roof replacement, and they did pay the full $7,000 for replacing my roof.

By comparison, my next-door neighbor–whose roof sustained much more damage than my roof–was initially offered ~$300 by State Farm, in order to patch his roof. When he protested that patching it with shingles that couldn’t be matched properly would reduce the resale value of his house, he was told, “We’re not about to write you a big check so that you can take a vacation in The Bahamas”. Incredulous at that statement, he asked the adjuster to repeat it, and she did–word for word!

At my suggestion, he appealed his case to the state insurance commissioner, and–finally–almost a year later, State Farm cut him a check for $5,000. While it didn’t cover the full cost of his re-roofing, after about 9 months he was tired of both fighting and looking at the giant blue tarp on his roof, so he accepted State Farm’s reluctant low-ball offer.

@VDCdriver‌, you named the bad insurer, who is the good one (yours)? Maybe we can benefit from that knowledge too.