How does this sound?
You have a 2002 Honda CRV AWD in great shape with 102,000 miles on it and you have a front end collision. The damage looks pretty severe but the airbags did not go off. Your vehicle is towed from the scene, you get a ride home and you call your insurance company. They give you your claim number and tell you they will estimate the damage on the vehicle and call you back in a couple of days. They finally complete the estimate and call you back to advise you that the vehicle will be a "total loss" but they give you two prices?
Two prices? Why two prices you ask the adjuster? If its a total loss, you should pay me fair market value for my car (aka RETAIL VALUE which insurance companies refer to as Actual Cash Value – ACV, because they don't want to pay you retail). Why would they give you a second number?
- The first number is what they will pay you to settle your total loss claim if THEY keep your wreck.
- The second number is what they will pay you for it, if YOU keep your wreck.
Why would you ever keep your wrecked vehicle? If you're not an auto body mechanic or closely related to one, the repairs are very expensive!
The first reason they give you two numbers is to focus your attention on the opportunity of keeping your wreck instead of the settlement offer, which is usually below retail value. Don't get confused here, they decisioned your vehicle for a total loss settlement. Tackle that first and make certain that you are getting the most that you can for the vehicle. Our advice is never to accept less than NADA book value which can be researched free of charge at http://www.nadaguides.com/. Fight for all you can, do not accept the first offer! Once you are satisfied with a settlement value, if you want to consider keeping your wrecked vehicle, then do so.
The second reason they do this is to make the car go away – literally! If you keep your wrecked vehicle, that is a great outcome for the insurance carrier because they can close out the claim faster, save auction processing fees to dispose of your vehicle, save on rental vehicle expenses and send you down the road. None of the savings are passed on to you by the way.
It perplexes me why an insurance company would want to intentionally steer a consumer into buying (in their words "retaining") a wrecked vehicle. Insurance companies are risk averse by nature and it makes no sense to "sell" the vehicle that they literally just bought from you because it was damaged beyond repair??? Seems somewhat hypocritical…especially when they will brand your title as "salvage". Friends, a salvage title means the vehicle is worth half (50%) of what it would be worth if it had a clean title. That is a best case scenario. Usually it's closer to 40%. And don't forget that your repaired "wreck" will have accident history and that pesky little fox (CarFax) will make sure that nobody will ever buy this thing from you.
In summary, buying a wrecked vehicle is a BAD IDEA. Buying your wrecked vehicle from the insurance company is a WORSE IDEA.
DamageMAX buys any damaged car, anywhere for top dollar. Even if we can't buy your vehicle, we will shoot you straight and tell you what the fair market value is on the spot. Besides, would you rather have cash or the damaged car? Seems like an easy decision for us…
Call 888 629 2137 or visit damagemax.com for more information on total losses.