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Is my car totaled?

I had this accident last week,
The other driver is at fault and I am currently filing through his insurance.

The insurance company has send me an estimate on the repair cost, it is around 60% of the car’s value.
The adjuster posits that the car is a total loss only if the cost is over 100% of the car’s value.
I am questioning their judgement because the repair they provided were only cosmetic (body, paint, replacing panels, frame pulling etc)
I insist that they have to check for mechanical damage since this car is AWD and I was completely stopped when the accident happen,
I am worrying that the impact may have damage the rear differential and transmission.

Some might say I am paranoid, but I don’t feel safe in a car whose frame was damaged.
Is there any way to convince them to consider the car a total loss?
Thank you for all the suggestions and comments.
Good luck and safe driving.

OK, I just got out of class with my insurance agent this afternoon. Don’t deal with the other guy’s insurance, deal with your company. Get your own estimate for your own insurance company, don’t rely on them. Your insurance company will pay you and then they will subrogate with the other company to get their money back. So deal with your agent and let them battle it out for you. 80% though is generally the cut off. 100% is a lie.

Agree you should follow the advice of your insurance Co. They have your and their own interests as first consideration and in this case the interests are in alignment.

Looking at the pics, I’m not too worried about damage to the AWD system. Lots of body damage is an issue. Frames can be realigned, and if the body shop does good work this can be made OK. Biggest issue is the paint. In 5+ years the newly repainted areas might not hold up as well as the original factory paint job on the front and mid sections of the car.

On the question is your car “totaled”. If it was an older car, 5+ years or more it would be totaled. It looks like your car is very new, one or 2 years old, it still has a lot of value and therefore the repair costs might not exceed the book value of the car. That means in economic terms it isn’t totaled. You might not want it anymore and consider it damaged goods, but that’s not the criteria for declaring a car a total loss.

If you are not happy with the car after the repair you can trade it in and get another new car.

First you need to call your Insurance company. Do not deal with theirs. Next 60% is boarder line totaled. If I adjusted this I would total it, because I know there is hiden damage that will push it over 80%-100%. Sometimes we will go as high as 110%, but those cases its not frame or a satfety isuse.

In a perfect world, your car should be totaled…But if they fix it, (and provide you with a rental while they are doing it) you should insist on a “hidden damage” clause in the claim settlement should other issues be discovered later…Heavy impacts can indeed damage engines and transmissions…

In KY where I currently live and probably most other states the damaged party has the option of where to have the car repaired regardless of where the insurance company prefers or can get the best deal. I would be taking the car for several estimates and only turn in the most expensive 1 or 2. If you truly want the car to get totaled out insist on having it fixed at the most expensive with factory replacement parts (no aftermarket parts). Also any hidden damage uncovered during the repair the insurance company is also responsible for and don’t sign a damage release until you know the car is right if they repair it. It’s possible you can find a few body shops that will write it up as totaled. A couple years ago my son was involved in an accident in one of my cars no frame or mechanical damage just body panel damage, the insurance company wanted to total the car and pay me book value, but I researched the replacement value of my car in the area where I live and informed the insurance company of present replacement costs. Same make cars that were 3-5 years older than mine with 50-80K more miles were selling for $1-$2K more than my estimates. After I informed them I had done my research that was the last I heard about totaling it. You have to do you homework too, regardless of what they try to make you think insurance companies are going to do what is in their best interest, not yours. Good luck and as others have already said work with your insurance company, they want satisfied customers. Dissatisfied customers often go to another company for their insurance needs. If they’re not willing to make you happy make them pay out the nose!! I was working with my insurance company (Allstate) on my son’s accident, because the at fault driver didn’t have insurance as required by state law and I was covered by under insured/uninsured motorist coverage. After that incident was over and I saw how my own insurance company that I had 5 cars, 1 motorcycle and my home insured with for 20 years wanted to treat me I switched to another insurance company (KY Farm Bureau), I showed them I could play hard ball too!! Allstate lost about $2500 per year in premiums by trying to total a car that was well worth more than the estimated damage on this incident. Not a very smart business move in my opinion!!! Within a few months Allstate contacted me on the phone wanting me back as a customer, I told them how they had treated me, that I was well satisfied with my decision and not to bother me again.

Around here if the repair cost meets 60% of the real value of the car they generally total it out. Real value meaning the actual loan value, etc; not some inflated retail price.

That puppy really got whacked and if it were mine I’d want them to write it off because quite often even competent body shops miss frame and floor pan damage. Sometimes it may take removal of the carpets, etc to even spot things like this.
Since the tail end got wasted this means they would be doing some serious cutting and welding back there and while the results may look good on the surface, it’s often a different story if one starts pulling interior trim panels and carpet later and seeing a lot of bad welding.

Caddyman is correct in his comments about engine or transmission damage being caused by collisions even though many adjusters and insurance companies may state that it’s not possible.
I’ve seen collision damaged engines and transmission in the shop and after wrecking an old Corvette many years ago and selling the engine out of it, I discovered that the engine that I sold (fine before the wreck) was burning through oil at the rate of 1quart per 5 miles. That’s not a typo either. It smoked like a prairie fire and was due to the crankshaft end play being magnified by the wreck and which then cause the breakage of several pistons and rings.

If all else fails, tell the adjuster about your recurring headaches and upcoming visit to a chiropractor for starters… :slight_smile:

Yikes dude, that’s a wallop. Cars today are designed from the get go to give there life to save yours. One of the main ways they do that is absorbing and spreading out an impact through the entire body structure. With this said make sure someone is checking the body gaps at the doors and front of the car, as well as the roof for creases. This type of damage is not uncommon in an accident such as yours. I think the cut off for total is between 70-80% depending on the company. Since it’s not uncommon for more damage to be found after getting into the repair ( as others have said), this cars damage will most likely exceed the cut off for a total at the end if the day.

Good news, the car did its job. You’re in one piece, that’s more than I can say for your car. As everyone has said, call your insurance company and let them get their hands dirty for you.

Looking at the side view picture, it does NOT appear as though the body line on your Subaru Legacy was altered between the door and the rear quarter panel. The wheel arch is also OK. The door is probably hard to open, but that can be cured with a minor pull. From the pic of the truck against your car, it looks as though MOST of the damage was up high, not in the area of the rear bumper and its extensions into the unibody “frame” of the car. The wreck looks a lot worse than it really is due to the large amount of bent sheet metal and broken window, but look at the areas that are NOT bent, and would have been had the impact been lower and/or harder. Is the trunk floor bent? I’m guessing it’s not. The truck was probably going 25-30 at impact.

I agree that working through your own insurance company is wise, unless you’ve claimed a couple of other wrecks in the last few years. If that’s the case, their ignorance may be bliss.

The other guy’s adjuster is nuts saying that the damage has to be 100% for a “total”. The car still has considerable value as a “rebuilder” once an insurance company buys it from you. It would then be issued a “branded” salvage title, and sold to a salvage yard or body shop (probably the latter) at an auction. If the damage, or cost of repairing it is 60% of RETAIL + sales tax, (because that’s what you’d have to pay to replace it) then it should be your call as to whether or not you allow it to be fixed.

In short, it can be successfully fixed.

OK guys, I didn’t click on disagree on any of your answers. I hope for the same courtesy.

First of all, you are not paranoid. Anybody not concerned about hidden mechanical damage in an accident like yours is either oblivious to real life or rich enough to have a stable of spare cars.

Secondly, the liable driver’s insurance must make you “whole”, which means the vehicle must be returned to its condition when the accident occurred or compensate you for the total vehicle value plus your out of pocket costs if such repair is not possible. That means that if after they repair the body hidden damage is discovered, they must also correct that. The process is called “amending a claim”. Your agent will work with you on this.

At what point an insurance company considers a car “totalled” varies deoending on state laws and individual insurance company policies. It does vary. You may even have options on this, so be sure to ask your insurance company…YOURS, not his.

Your car saved your life. No matter how this ends up, the car has done its job. And quite well, I should add.

My brother has a Cadillac that was hit from the side by a drunk driver. The vehicle was towed to his house and the adjuster from the drunk’s insurance company came out and tried to tell my brother how much damage was done and where it was to be repaired. My brother told him “No” and had the Cadillac towed to the Cadillac dealer. The dealer’s body shop found some hidden damage and that added to the expense. The insurance company of the drunk that ran into the car threw a fit and thought my brother ought to pay for the additional work. Being an attorney, my brother laughed at them. They then tried to worm out of paying the Cadillac agency.
Stand your ground. Choose your own body shop and the insurance company of the person who did the damage might just decide it’s less trouble to total out your vehicle.

A car was brought in to us one time with a complaint of abnormal tire wear. The car had suffered a collision several years previously and the tire wear issue was just now showing up.

Apparently some suspension components had been replaced at the time of the repair also.
A check with a tape measure showed that the 2 wheels on the passenger side were about 1/2" closer together than the 2 on the drivers side.
An even closer examination showed the floor pan underneath the passenger side was slightly buckled and this was visible externally and with the carpet pulled up. In a nutshell this car should have been written off at the time.

The last we heard the car owner tried to go back for a redo and the insurance company was refusing that request. Whatever finally happened with that car I have no idea.

Let’s back up for a moment and fill in some critical details:

  1. What is the year, make and model of your car?
  2. How many miles are on it?
  3. Do you have collision insurance?

MG, the only reason I did not click disagree on your posting is because I did not disagree with you. The Disagree button is there for people who disagree with a posting, and it is most definitely not a lack of courtesy to click it if someone disagrees with you on something you said.

Go through your carrier!! A few ins comp do total at 100% but most (at least those I deal with) total at 70%. It’s a high hit and so that reduces damage but good chance the roof is buckled also. 60% now? There will be hidden damage and that will drive it up.
Your the claimant in this so you need to roll up your sleeves and be mature and stern, otherwise call yourself a doormat.

Also push for a total!

The car is a 2010 Subaru Legacy, currently has 41008 miles

I have collision coverage, and my insurance company is taking care of it now. Thank you for all the comments.