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Discussion Starter #1
Well, about a month ago some of you may remember my 68' cougar (mom was original owner) was rear ended on my way to school. I wasn't hurt and the damage didn't look too bad so I wasn't too worried. Now getting estimates and such I'm worried their going to total the car and hand me $500 with their deepest apology. All the reputable shops that seem to do nice work are quoting me about 4-5 grand in total work and parts and all seem to cringe when I ask how likely the possibility is of the insurance co. totaling my beautiful cat. Most have said I should get it appraised as an antique/ collector car before any work is done. Cougar parts around here are hard to find and seem to be much more expensive. What can I do to be sure that this car appraises well? And if they do total it what then are my options? I'm going to have to buy the car back right? HELP…
-Sorry I think this should have gone in the non-tech forum my apologies...
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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: CougarKid on 1/8/02 2:30pm ]</font>
 

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Like everybody said - get it appraised. That would be a sure way to show the value

Not to use you as an example or anything but a lot of us would benifit from getting our vehicles appraised in case what happened to you happened to us. Makes me cringe thinking about this stuff...

If you look in the paper and find some other cougars for sale that are similar to yours, you can also fight the value the insurance company has placed on it (granted they are selling for over the price it will cost to fix).

I wouldn't think you would have any trouble convincing the insurance the value of your couger is over $5000

Good luck
 

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The problem is...

You've been paying premiums for a 60's model Ford with huge numbers of miles... In other words, CHEAP!

If you had been paying a premium for an expensive vehicle, they'd probably pony-up the extra cash.

My insurance company asked what the car was worth, and took a picture when I took out my policy. They said if the car was to be valued over $6000, I would need to have it appraised first. I didn't want to fool with it, and just took out a premium for a $6000 car. My 6 month payment is just over $200... and that counts theft, vandalism, and animal strikes... just not full coverage. (where they pay for MY car if it's my fault)

Good Luck, but you're probably screwed unless you can buy it back. You might cut a deal with the adjuster if you can get someone to write an estimate for around 65-70% of the "total" value. This will allow you to keep the car and not get it totalled. It may, or may not be enough to fix it, but... I've been there with my 86 Pontiac Parisienne. I worked with the guy, (and a buddy who's a bodyman) to get $1300 out of the insurance. They wanted to total the car. The insurance would NOT pay more than 70% of it's value for repairs because shops often call in "extra" items that need fixed after they get started. In the end, I fixed it out of the junkyard for around $400.


Good Luck!
 

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I take it it is the insurance company of the guy that hit you trying to total your car. If it is worth it to you , get a lawyer! They should be "making you whole" instead of trying to screw you. Is the car in your possesion? If not get it! Batstards are trying to get out cheap. My neck would be showing some signs of post traumatic injury. Then they'd do what you want!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm in Arizona and fortunately I have possession of the car. I gather from a conversation with the other guys adjuster that they are close to totaling it, and after the accident my transmission is shifting funny, sometimes not shifting, and I'm afraid once that gets factored in ,$$$$$ I'll be way above value.
 

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Too late now but get specialty ins. I have my 67 Fairlane insured with a company that I put the value on and the premiums are based on that value. I have it for $12000 and am going to go to $20000. I also have my 67 Falcon with 34000 original one owner miles this way. You have to send pics but thats no big deal. Try and find a car dealer who deals in old cars maybe he can put a value on your car BEFORE it was wrecked. I talked to my agent about it and according to him they really don't mind insuring these cars because they know that we very rarely let these cars out of our sight. Good Luck
 

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Couger if you are near Ft. Collins I have a brother in law who does apprasials on classic cars for banks and insurance companies
 

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Cougarkid, Do you have an agent you (or your folks) used to buy this insurance? If he (or she) is a good one, he might be your best help in the matter.

Don't assume you have to take whatever they offer. Plan on negotiating. You can negotiate as a good guy or a bad guy, but don't just roll over and play dead. Make it clear to whomever you deal with at the company that you want to keep this car and make it whole. You might just run into a good guy who will cut you a good deal (they are humans too).

If they ask you for any numbers like, "What do you think this car is worth?" either be evasive or aim high. Don't give them the rope to hang you with.

Good luck. Don't panic. All problmes can be solved
 

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Oh, if it's HIS insurance, have a lawyer (or yourself) contact his provider and inform them of your recurring "neck pain", etc. They should then be anxious to write you out a nice repair check. All you will have to do is sign on the dotted line... agreeing the issue is settled, and they have no more liability.


Be sure to inform them you DO have a doctor appointment, and you'll be sending them a bill... even if you do not. Talking with a lawyer, and having HIM contact the insurance company will get better results. Do your research, and don't play dead. Don't stop until you are happy, and are at the same place you were BEFORE the accident took place.

Hurry up and do it though, before things get set too far in motion.

Good Luck!

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: n2omike on 1/9/02 3:24am ]</font>
 

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Sign nothing until you get what you want, your car 100% fixed!!! Insist on it. Their client screwed up your car, a family heirloom, a gift from your Mom. Take no crap, and make sure they understand that you will accept no less than 100% satisfaction. Get a lawyer!! Some will consult for free at first, then you can gauge the cost. Perhaps the adjuster needs to know that that will be your next move.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hmmm, sounds like the voices of experience. Thanks guys! you've all got some great advice. I think I'm going to end up on top after all in this whole situation. I've put at least 5 grand into the car and MY agent seems pretty positive that after an apprasial and all my reciepts are added up I'll be in good shape. My good friend has voulenteered his father's services (he's an atourney) in case things get sticky. Probably best to have him call the company at the first sign of any trouble. I just want my baby back the way it was... And I could have sworn I had a 428cj BEFORE the accident, the collision must have knocked some cubes out of the block...
 

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I know this advice is like shutting the barn door after the horses have run off, but next time around get it professionaly appraised. That's the first thing I did after I bought my '70 Torino GT. The cost was only $150.00. It appraised out at 12K and the appraisers sent pictures and documents to my insurance company afterwards. Well worth the peace of mind.
 

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I feel your pain man. my first car was a '68 XR-7 that was totalled by a little old lady in a cadillac (doesn't that sound like a bad movie joke). she made a left turn right in front of me and scattered pieces of the cougar over a 50 yard area. Good luck and don't let the bastards screw you around
 

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I had similar experience not to long ago with a restored car of mine, I got on the net and found all the parts to fix it and had the various companies fax the prices to me on their letterhead,This shows the adjuster that the parts do still exist! When I went to the adjuster for the bonehead that hit it insurance company, I brought all my pictures, receipts and that parts list and got absolutely no BS out of them, Cut me an excellent check and Iwas on my way.Don.t take any crap from them , You want it fixed!!!!
 

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CKid, you've been given good and bad advice. I'm an auto adjuster for Farmers Insurance in California. Trust no one. Check everything your self. Laws do vary by state, and procedures by company. You don't want to piss off the guy with the checkbook, if you do he may not pay you less than deserved, but he won't do you any favors either.
The insurance co owes you the lesser of the repairs to or value of your car. You do want to be informed about the value(what you could sell your car for prior to the accident) not necessarily how many dollars or things you've put into it, ie if you cut your car in half and then repair it, you may have $3500 into it, but I doubt you've increased the value. But have all repair receipts or document repairs for the adjuster. Try to find comparable cars selling in your area. Get all info on them including pictures. No insurance co will pay you for sentimental value. If you can't find any local, expand your search. Cars.com may be helpful. It's not too late to get an appraisal, he'll be able to determine it's pre-accident condition. Ask the insurance adjuster how he will determine the value of your car.
Tell the adjuster the last thing you want is a salvaged or junk title. Insurance companies are required by law to report total loss vehicles. They also don't want to keep paying for repairs past a certain dollar amount. Agree to sign a release against further claims for the property damage if need be. DON'T claim fasle injuries. An attorney won't sway most insurance companies. Got to run. Keep me posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey thanks RPM! I was hoping someone on the board was an "insurance insider".
I'm right now in the process of geting my reciepts in order and getting a pro. to appraise it. I'm deffinately not tempted to clain any injuries and my atourney is only for any last resort that It may come down to. So far the plan is to just get it appraised fixed and on the road with the least ammt. of friction. As fortune would have it leaving work today some appraiser had left his card on my window... weird isnt it?
 

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RPM and Kid. My wife works for Farmers here in MI. I'll hit her up for some info tonight. As far as my own personal exper. I had a car that got wrecked twice. Here's a trick that I pulled. If they want to total the car, tell them that you want cash in lou of repairs. It isn't a magic solution but it keeps the car from getting totaled and puts the money in your hand to be repaired by whomever YOU want to have the car repaired. Ask RPM, tell them not to use JAP parts as replacment parts. ADJ use this method to keep costs down. If it was made by Ford it is to be replaced by Ford. Period. Repaired is not replaced.
 

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The wife says that RPM is right. Don't piss of the man with the money and hope that he's a strait shooter. Be straight up with him otherwise he will think you are trying to screw him. He will be able to tell what was in nice shape and what wasn't. Yes, do research. Find out what the car is worth and what parts cost. Show him your reciepts for what you've done to the car. Most of all, be honest and tell him that you just want it fixed. If all else fails, take the money and get it fixed later when you can. Don't let them total it.
 
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