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Re: how do I save a car from being totaled?

Sorry to hear about your problem Todd ... I'm nearing the end of dealing
with the same issue on my motorcycle, which was involved in a minor fender-
bender a couple weeks back.  Fortunately the repair person agreed to do 
the work for the maximum amount that the insurance company was willing to
pay without totalling the bike ... but now I am without it for a month!

My first question is - is State Farm your insurance company or the other 
person's?  Was the other person at fault?  If SF is your company you might
have better luck negotiating with the other person's insurance ... assuming
that they were at fault.  My wife was hit by someone who had SF, and we had 
the same situation.  In my case it was a simple decision ... the car was a 
POS 1977 Toyota Celica and the insurance company was willing to give us $2500
for it, much more than it was worth.  I tried going round with SF buying the 
car back, but they didn't want to budge on the salvage title issue.  The 
other insurance company may be more willing to talk.  It really bugs the s!$#
out of me that they set the rules ... if my vehicle is damaged due to no 
fault of my own then there should be no way I should have to compromise to
restore the situation to where it was before the accident (of course all of
this is predicated on teh fact that it is not your fault).  

Make sure that SF is aware of the real market value of the car.  I seem to
recall Jeff (audidudi) recently had to deal with this same issue and used the 
quattro list to help justify the local value of his car ... you might want 
to check the archives or contact him.  Make sure that they are aware of the 
fact that you have aftermarket parts on the car, and that you expect them to 
either pay you for them (added to the total value) or allow you to remove 
the parts as part of the settlement (SF did this for me on the Toyota).  You 
need to decide if the car will be restored to an acceptable state when the 
repairs are complete ... if not you might want to simply let the car go and 
find an undamaged replacement.

.... tough choices :(

Good luck!
Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)