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Re: my totaled 90 and parts
> If somebody wants me to grab something else off the
> car, I'll see if I can talk the junkyard (Clody's) into it. Obviously, the
> smaller and more insignificant, the easier.
Until the insurance company has paid you for it, it's still *your* car and
you're free to take any parts off that you want, no matter where it's parked.
Even if they intend to total it, there's no law that says you have to give
them a complete car ... if you really want to keep the wheels and tires or
stereo, etc., then keep them and have them adjust their value for the car
accordingly. In general, salvage yards will rarely pay more than 20 percent
of the retail value of the car so, for example, keeping $2k worth of car
stereo or whatever shouldn't cost you more than $400 at the outside.
> Now, my question: Farmer's (the other driver's insurance) is going to get
> back to me with an offer for a check. If it seems low to me, is it open
> negotiation (perhaps by citing prices in the paper), or do I just have to
> take what I can get?
By all means, negotiate. And don't forget the time-factor of money ... the
sooner you want to settle, the less you will end up getting. IME, the longer
you can drag out the negotiations, the more you'll eventually collect. Don't
forget the medical waiver most insurance companies want you to sign has value
to them as well ... I've had friends collect up to $5k just for signing the
waiver alone, even though they weren't seriously injured! Even if you only
suffered headaches and sore muscles, there's also the time you'll have to
take off to shop for another car, etc. to be considered. Again, I know of no
law that prevents you from being compensated for these things as well.
> How long will they tolerate my keeping the rental car while I car shop?
(they've been evasive on this point)
The insurance companies will usually use this as a negotiating lever on their
side ... if you can, buy your replacement car with other funds since the
insurance company knows that most people can't afford to outwait them and
once they take the rental car away, they usually have no alternative but to
settle for however much they can get.