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Re: HELP!! Insurance company trying to screw me and my 4000Q!!


First off, I'd like to to say I'm sorry for what you're going through.  

I just went through this exact situation in a similar car.  The passenger
side front of my `86 CGT was pretty badly smashed in.  After cutting a
swath through some red tape, I found out that the insurance company
assesed my car's value at $2,500.  This was after I argued the point that
I had put considerable work into my baby:  custom paint, rims, new tires,
etc.  I also cited the car's short time with me (9 months) and my
emotional attachment to it.  I think I through in some tears somewhere.
[8^)  The damage was estimated at around $3,400, so they still wanted to
total her out.  So I tried to make a deal:  all the easy to replace
things, like headlights and turnsignals and the hood, I'd install myself.
 Instead of the insurance having to pay for a new part at market value,
they'd only have to give an "appearance allowance", which is usually
around $100 per incident.  This would in turn drive down the repair cost,
possibly lower than the "Total" threshold.  I could easily find a new
hood and headlights and stuff at the junkyard for less than $250.  And
since the car would still need to be painted, it would've work out fine. 
They said it sounded good to them, and authorized it

Unfortunately for me, I didn't have the time to find all those parts, nor
did I have a place to work on my car.  I ended up having her totalled. 
And I hate myself for doing so.  Another thing is the other guy's
insurance may not be as friendly toward you, (naturally), so they may not
be as open to suggestions.  They're looking for the easiest way t turn a
profit from your, (or their), loss.  Just keep that in mind.  I hope this

Love, Like, or Just Plain Tolerate,


`86 CGT (R.I.P.)
`82 Coupe (R.I.P.)

On Sat, 30 Jan 1999 08:24:10 EST VFChris@aol.com writes:
>Hello group, I wonder if someone can help me:
>The other day, I was involved in a collision with my 1986 4000Q.  Some 
>turned left across my lane of travel (he must not have seen me for 
>reason), I slowed as much as I could, but ultimately we had a head-on
>collision.  It was quite clearly his fault.
>The estimated cost to repair my car is about $3100.  At this point, 
>the other
>guy's insurance company is not arguing fault.  They accept 
>The trouble is, the insurance company is telling me the car is a total 
>because it's retail value is roughly $3000.  They don't want to fix 
>the car.
>I assume they want to pay me their assessment of the car's value 
>($3000), and
>then they get to keep my car (presumable to be dismantled for parts).
>In the interests of keeping things moving (because I am tired of 
>waiting for
>the insurance company's adjuster to look at it, or for phone calls to 
>returned that are not), I have been working directly with the body 
>shop to
>whom I took the car, and I already authorized them to fix the car, at 
>expense.  It's an easy fix; some light sheet metal and bolt-on stuff 
>up front.
>In my opinion, it is still a viable car, and it would be a shame to 
>junk it.
>So, my situation is, I need to demonstrate that my car is worth more 
>than what
>they say it is.  Certainly, the value they quoted me is the "book" 
>value of a
>good condition, standard 86 4000Q.  Beyond being maintained in 
>condition, I have made a number of customizations to the car that 
>increase the value of the car beyond the "book value."  The most 
>of these are a custom stereo ($2000), Euro head lights ($600), and 
>wheels ($1100).  I have receipts for all of this stuff.  This is just 
>materials.  I haven't even tried to assign a dollar value to my labor 
>to make
>these modifications.
>My thought at this point is, I could probably take all of the receipts 
>I have for "custom work," (not repair or maintenance), and ADD that to 
>value of the car.  In fairness, I should allow about 50% for 
>which would be $3700 x 50% = $1850.  Therefore, the car is worth 
>Pretty good math, huh?  I think I only need to demonstrate that the 
>car is
>worth $3875 ($3100 / 80%), to pass the insurance industry's magic 80% 
>used for deciding whether to repair or junk a car.
>So, my question to the group is, has anyone had any experience, 
>successful, or
>otherwise, in arguing the value of a modified vehicle?  My thought is 
>maybe my opinion isn't going to be worth much (despite it's 
>brilliantly simple
>and straightforward logic!  Haha), so I may need a "professional" 
>appraisal of
>the car.  Does anyone know of any firms that are able to assess the 
>value of a
>customized car?  I live near Philadelphia, PA.  I had contacted one 
>guy who
>does appraisals of cars like street rods and antiques, and he said 
>this wasn't
>really his area, and he couldn't help me.  If I don't get a 
>appraisal, what else could I do to help my case?
>So, that is the sad state of affairs right now.  If anyone can offer 
>experiences or suggestions, I would very much appreciate it.  Please 
>to me personally, as well as to the group, since I am not subscribed 
>at this
>Thanks in advance...