Insurance wont Write it Off

Hi Gang. Ok, here it is… My wifes 2011 Mazda 2 (6003km) was hit broadside on the passenger side. Body shop estimate puts the work at around $8500. My problem is that the insurance company wants to fix it, not write it off… is this safe?

- The major repairs are as follows;

-Right Center Pillar has to to be changed

-Side Curtain Air Bags deployed

-Air Bag Module has to be replaced.

-Interiour head liner to be replaced

-Front and rear passenger doors to be replaced.

I might be wrong… but I always thought that if the frame was bent or air bags deployed it was a write off. BOTH happend in this accident.

Any help on what we should do? Fight the insurance company?

A write-off occurs when the repair costs exceed the vehicle value, apparently not the case here. You could get another estimate from a different shop (at your expense).

You might let the insurance company know that you will not sign off on the repairs until the car has been driven enough to be certain that there are no water leaks, wind entry, wind noise, door misalignments or electrical issues, etc., etc., etc.

I think this would be a good case to try and go after them for diminished value.

Only 6003km, Eh ? I Believe That’s Only About 3600 Miles. Are You In Canada ? I Don’t Know All The Conventions Of The Insurance Companies, But You May Be Stuck Having It Fixed.

Here’s something to think about. I gave this advice to a recent similar query regarding an 09 Mazda 6.

Having Had The Misfortune Of Managing A Dealership (Not Mazda, VW, But I Did Manage A Mazda Parts Dept.) Body / Collision Shop (And Writing Estimates) For 2 Years Somewhere In My Past, I Would Like To Offer A Suggestion.

Don’t get too excited yet, as this may not work for you, but I’d check it out.

I’m sure they have a used car sales lot, but does your Mazda dealer operate its own body / collision repair shop ? I take it that’s where the car is now, A Mazda dealer body shop ?

Having one’s “new” car trashed is awful and makes you wonder if it will ever be the same, not to mention the lost time and inconvenience.

I had several customers go through this and had a couple of customers who were able to take a “do over,” make a fresh start without it costing them a fortune. We got several departments at the dealership together (new car sales, used car sales, body shop, parts dept., General Manager) and came up with an arrangement (with the help and blessings of the insurance company) whereby the vehicle owner traded in the damaged car for a brand new one while it was apart in the body shop.

It was win-win. The customer got to start fresh without much delay, the New Car Department sold another car, the Used Car Department got an almost new trade (albeit repaired, but used car salespeople sometimes don’t care about that, they’re used car salespeople), and the Body Shop (and Parts Dpartment) got some business.

If you can get the dealer to see how this could work (business for several departments) and if they’d be gracious enough to help you, it could work. Would you be willing to pay a little to make it happen, if need be ? How much ? Have something in mind (factor in peace of mind, inconvenience, future diminished value of car, etcetera).

I’d call my New Car salesperson and run this by her / him if you’re interested.


Vehicles that get hit this hard generally always have other issues involved. Adjusters and almost all body shop people have little mechanical experience. Things like bent suspension components (front and rear), tweaked subframes, etc. may be out of their league.
There’s also the issue of buckled floor pans, etc. and this may be difficult to detect. It sometimes requires removal of the carpet to check for paint cracking and I doubt this was done, or will be done.

If this car is repaired then I’d want a guarantee they are going to be responsible for any hiccup that crops ups no matter what. This should be in writing before you sign off on anything because verbal promises are absolutely worthless.
What happens if a year later irregular tire wear is showing up? They would likely blame this on your hitting a curb or pothole, needing a normal alignment, etc. and proceed to pass the buck.

If this is the other party’s insurance company and you want the car declared a total then tell them there are looming medical issues due to headaches and neck pain so it’s off to the chiropractor as a first step towards your medical rehab. That may get them thinking. :slight_smile:

This Car Would Have A High Salvage Value (The Value Of The Damaged Unrepaired Car) That Helps To Work In Favor Of A “Total Loss” Outcome.

There are several thousands of dollars worth of good parts there, including engine, transmission, many body exterior and interior parts, electronics, etcetera. This mone can be recouped by insurance if they declare it a total loss. This needs to be factored into a decision whether or not to repair a vehicle.

2011 + only a few thousand miles makes for some very desirable salvage parts or a very desirable wreck that many buyers would like to purchase and repair. The fact that the damage is body damage and not so much mechanical damage leads to fewer “opens” that make repair estimates questionable.

I’d see what amount of money that the shop and insurance company are placing on the salvage.


“Adjusters and almost all body shop people have little mechanical experience.”

Hmmm. I was told on another thread that body shops “replace axles every day.”

Learn something every day.

Any chance you can get a check for the repairs, do a push pull or drag in for 3k trade in, and get something else with the $$$$?

Replacement cost on your car is over $14,000. Of course they want to fix it, and it might work. About all you an do is let them fix it and see if it runs satisfactorily after they are done with it. You don’t have to accept it if it is not fixed right. And you may be entitled to a rental car for the entire time your car is in the shop.

Most insurance companies won’t total a vehicle unless the repairs exceed 70% of what the vehicle is worth.


Weird. Before This Post, This Car Talk Question Was Showing Being Last Updated On 2/1/11, But I Found No Such Thing. Is It Just Me Or What ?

Chances are a spammer replied to the thread, and it was deleted.


Put it this way: If you paid for the damage out of your own pocket, would you give the car to a junkyard or would you choose to pay $8,500 to get it back on the road.

It is true, you are wrong. Making things up about cars or repeating things you have heard in the office won’t help. Both repair shops and an insurance company agree that your car isn’t a total loss. I think you know what any judge in any court would decide.

In answer to the question, you should get the car repaired and not try to fight with the insurance company. I’m from Hartford Ct. My former state depends on insurance companies. Keep sending in the payments.

BC, That’s Probably It. Thanks.