Insurance claims (was re. Pics of the accident)

ben swann
Mon, 26 May 2003 00:06:12 -0400


Play harder and hold your ground.  Have the insurance company locate
you a comparable vehicle within driving distance.  Do some surfin' on
the net to locate vehicles that would be a suitable substitute and send
them this info, especially if it helps.  Have them provide a guarantee
that the replacement car won't need brakes, transmission, etc. shortly
after you buy it.

In my case, I proved that a 1987 5000 CS turbo quattro avant in perfect
condition - and it was as documented by the insurance rep. could not be
found any where near me on the east coast.  I made it clear it had to
be an avant, otherwise I could have found a sedan closer to $4500 with
new/updated everything and maintenance out the wazoo.

I further pressed the point that although indeed the book value may be
low, this reflects the condition of vehicles that have been generally
neglected and that is why they are sold at such low price.  It is
several thousand dollars and hundreds of man hours later when they are
restored to almost new condition.

For the record, I pressed my case 'til I got around $6k + $900 for a
rental car (that wasn't needed cause I had my beater to fall back on,
but it was an obligatory fee).  I had then almost enough to buy what I
could find - my '91 200 turbo quattro avant.  Even this car needs a
couple thousand to get it up to snuff, but I degress.

I had done a good documentation with spreadsheet backed by receipts
showing around $17k in parts and labor plus base price of car around
$3k and it was backed by over $9k in receipts.  They originally said
they'd give me about $3K.

Put your facts together.  If you truly had something worth say $7k then
have them locate a car similar to yours for $3k or whatever pitlin they
want to settle with.  They may find you a $3k creampuff and pay your
airfare mileage and a days work to get the car out of state.  If so get
your assurance that they'll pay for items that, say fail inspection.
Tell them what you demand for a fair settlement.

I feel I could have been compensated for more, especially since my wife
had a minor injury and had a good case, but I also wanted the matter
settled and didn't want to waste time going to court when nothing is
ever certain in these matters.  Keep in mind the insurance company
doesn't want to go to court either, so use that to your advantage.  But
be reasonable - don't expect way more than the car is really worth.

Hold your ground and work angles like lost time, wages, rental car, buy
back yours to part out or sell - someone will take it off your hand for
more than the adjuster will.  Be a persistant pain in the butt, but
calm and deliberate.  You should get reasonably compensated.

Hope this helps, and Godspeed,



I wrecked my Audi 200 about 3 years ago and even though I could provide
receipts for thousands of dollars worth of things the answer I got from
insurance company was the value was based on a car in good operating

They indicated that tires, brakes, etc. were all maintenance items and I
wouldn't be reimbursed for them.

I searched the archives and found horror stories of people
bad experiences with their insurance company.

My ins. co. indicated they would accept documentation of recent Audi
sales -
not asking prices, but actual sales.

"True Market Value" versus "What it's worth to me" are often two
prices.  The best indicator of market pricing for many items is ebay.  A
recent search of completed 1991 Audi 200tq on ebay only shows one in the
last 30 days.  It was described as "METICULOUSLY MAINTAINED" with 134K
miles.  The high bid was a paltry $3750.

Unfortunately, these ones highly sought after cars are not commanding
prices they once were.

I'll be posting my Pearl 1991 Audi 200tq with 197K miles in the
shortly.  I'm not expecting loads of money for it.

I'm sure the list is interested in how you make out.  Keep us posted.