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Insurance Claim Negotiation

Discussion in 'Body Work & Detailing' started by crunchie_frog, July 9, 2017.

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    1. crunchie_frog

      crunchie_frog Active Member

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      Okay, it is a stretch to post this question in the forum, my apologies if it is not appropriate but I know there are some experts on here that can give some good advice.

      A clown lost control of his vehicle in front of me on the interstate changing lanes and speeding in the rain. Bounced off the guard rail in front of me and I have damage on the front bumper hood, front left fender, grill, AND driver door. I have a 99 Mountaineer 5.0 AWD that to get another one in the same condition (near perfect as can be) would cost me near $3,500 to $4,000 from my experience looking at and buying four of these and then brining them up to perfect mechanical condition. The problem is the insurance company is only wanting to pay out $1,500 and keep the vehicle (total loss). So, the way I see it, I am out $2,000 to $2,500.

      Any tips for negotiations with the adjuster/insurance company to minimize my losses? I know it is a stretch, I guess I feel what is fair is I am put right back in the same vehicle same condition at no loss.
       
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    3. boominXplorer

      boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      Your only fight will be using comparable used car ads showing similar milage and condition. You can fight to get the cost of an exact replacement and a few bucks for the inconvenience but that's about it I would think.
       
    4. Turdle

      Turdle Moderator Masterbaker Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I have found ( for others reading) , a documented registry right here on our forum, logging what you have done to the vehicle, really helps in this situation.

      In this case you might negotiate to take the 1500 and keep the truck, if they will allow it. Otherwise you will not sign a release, and may even take it to the state insurance commissioner. Right?

      hoods, fenders, bumpers and doors painted to match can be found at salvage yards. 1 day of wrenching and you are all fixed up. If you really feel the mechanicals of the truck are sound, fixing the cosmetics will be no problem. Good luck!
       
    5. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      When my 96 (XLT V6 4x4) got pounded by hail in 2014, it got totaled out by my insurance. It was a garage queen for most of it's life before me. Shiny paint. Excellent interior. Around 100K miles, I think. Only exterior flaw was below the passenger taillight where I backed into an F150 and broke my taillight out and tweaked the metal below it. Taillight was replaced with a used one.

      My insurance company deducts for some/most/all modifications done to the vehicle. The only ding I knew of I got was from a K&N FIPK intake. Unsure if they deducted with the amp under my back seat, or the sub in the OEM location with an aftermarket metal grille. The only other visually obvious modifications were window tint, and maybe the Gibson catback.

      Payout was $2983.43. Buyback was $559.94, so I pocketed $2423.49. Even the claim adjuster who inspected my vehicle told me to buy it back :snicker:(well, duh)
       
    6. crunchie_frog

      crunchie_frog Active Member

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      Thank you for the advices. I have looked up similar vehicles for value negotiation and I have receipts for all of the parts I have installed myself. Over the years, I am guessing I have looked at 30 or more of these 5.0 AWD and most every one of these I have looked have looked at have leaks of some sort, worn suspension parts, ratty interior, lights and switches not working, poor alignment, poor brake maintenance, CEL on, etc. Mine had none of these things. I agree I can fix the damaged parts easily (I have replaced body parts from the junkyards before) and I will see what they will settle for giving me the vehicle.

      The last time this happened to me (hit by another vehicle as they were running a red light) I had a 351 C6 4WD Bronco in the same excellent condition as my Mountaineer and I got shafted by the insurance company. I wish I still had that vehicle, a real beast. I said never again so I will go to the state insurance commissioner and small claims court if we cannot settle for something that is reasonable for this loss.
       
    7. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      Depends on the insurance company. My daughter's 2002 Sable was totaled by another driver in 2013, and State Farm paid us more than we paid for the car AND let us keep it (still driveable). My son's '97 Mountaineer with 197,000 miles, but exceptionally nice, was totaled by another driver with Farmer's Ins 6 months later, and Farmer's didn't care how nice it was. It was just a run of the mill '97 Mountaineer to them, BUT they did let me take the wheels with nearly new tires for next to nothing as long as I put some sort of tires and wheels on it.

      My '89 Bronco II was totaled by a drunk driver. Both of us had Farm Bureau insurance, and the same adjuster dealt with both vehicles. He took into account what I had paid for it 2 1/2 yrs earlier and parts I had replaced, and pretty much covered everything. I got more $$ than I had purchased it for. And they paid me an extra $1000 for pain and suffering on top of my doctor's bills. The adjuster later told me they'd spent $700 in storage fees on my Bronco II.

      You should ask how much they'll pay you if you keep it. You might be able to keep it and get enough to at least buy the parts needed to fix it.
       
    8. RangerX

      RangerX Elite Ranger Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I rolled my current Ranger when it was 7 years old. Insurance declared it totaled and offered me an amount. I told them that's way low, went home and gathered ads from autotrader showing similar year similar equipped Rangers for sale in my area that were well above what they offered. They gave me a comparable amount. Then I asked how much they will get from the salvage yard, and bought it back for that amount. Still driving it 17 years later!
      Doing your homework and opening your mouth does pay off.
       
    9. crunchie_frog

      crunchie_frog Active Member

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      Well, things turned out much better than I thought they would. I had receipts of all of the work I had done on it (parts costs ~$1,500) and took comparable condition vehicle ads from craigslist (avg price $3,150) along with describing the condition the vehicle was in. The adjuster was very nice (I was shocked) and she said she admitted she had not considered the condition of the vehicle in her initial offer. I am going to pick up a check for ~$3,000 and will get to keep the vehicle! If I can find the parts, I will do the repairs this weekend. I was able to drive it home from the tow lot, only a few miles. I guess I have a shorted wire somewhere from the damage as it had drained the battery. Didn't have time to troubleshoot last night after I got it home.
       
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    10. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      That looks like a good deal! Glad it worked out!
       
    11. skoville

      skoville Elite Explorer

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      Congratulation, C-F ! So nice to hear good news about insurance companies for a change.
       
    12. crunchie_frog

      crunchie_frog Active Member

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      Update. Searched all around local salvage yards and local non running vehicles to see if I could get lucky and find body parts matching my existing body color dark blue (wedgewood blue). Finally had to get parts from a 99 Mountaineer that was black, the only one I could find with all the parts in "good" condition. Got front bumper and cover, grille, header panel, all front lights (only needed driver's side), driver front fender, driver side running board, driver rear door, paid $425. Got all the parts on yesterday so I could get it driving. Given that the old color is really "faded" dark blue and the parts are "faded" black, not really a whole lot of difference at a glance though I probably will get it painted.

      So anyone ever have any luck with Automotive Touch Up paint for painting? I guess if I painted the whole thing it might be okay? Otherwise, I may just leave it as is...
       
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    13. J_C

      J_C Well-Known Member

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      Wedgewood blue is metallic and will be very hard to match with a touch up paint. Getting that metallic sheen right is probably beyond DIY from spray cans even if you did the entire vehicle. If you want to DIY paint it all then I would go with a non-metallic color.

      You were lucky to get what you did. Normally when you have a vehicle in Very Good condition you need to go with a company that offers classic car coverage, where you are charged more for whatever value you want to declare the vehicle to be. Literally you could insure a $200 piece of junk for $1M if you wanted to, and to pay the premiums on that, but in your case the declared value would only be a ~couple thousand higher.

      When it's the other guy's fault, your insurance makes up the difference then they can opt to sue the other company if it seems worth their while.
       
      Last edited: November 9, 2017
    14. crunchie_frog

      crunchie_frog Active Member

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      Thanks for the advice about the paint and the classic car coverage. I have not painted it yet, but as I said in a previous note, it is not that noticeable with the parts I replaced. In this case, it was the other guy's fault and his insurance company was the one who treated me fairly.
       

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