What should I do if a vehicle damages my property?
Well, the first step would be to contact the driving party’s insurance company to let them know of the accident. You will want to also have the damages to your property assessed. Also, ask about a rental car if you think one is needed. If the driver at fault hasn’t reported the incident or accident, an accident report will need to be shown before they (the insurance company) admit liability. You can get a copy of the report yourself and send it to them, which should considerably speed up the process.
What can you expect to get?
As the aggrieved party, you are technically entitled to recover your losses. Usually, that means the difference between what your car was worth before the accident and what is currently worth after the accident. It can be determined based on the costs involved with repairing the car or its fair market value. The fair value can be determined via the Blue Book value of the vehicle.
Who decides how to evaluate the value of the vehicle?
Usually, the insurer or insurance company will decide based on the nature of the accident and the cost estimates. If the repair costs are 75% of the vehicle’s Blue Book value, the car will be totaled, and you will be paid its current fair market value.
Should I get any estimates?
You don’t and shouldn’t get estimates. The insurance adjuster will take a look at the vehicle and make an estimated cost of repairs assessment. If the business decides that the vehicle should be repaired, you can then find a repair shop with the required expertise to handle it. If the shop, during the course of repairing your vehicle, finds damage which the adjuster might have missed, the shop should contact the adjuster and work out any additional payment to fix it.
Can I keep my car that has been totaled?
It is possible to keep the totaled vehicle, but in that case, the insurance company will reduce what they pay you based on the vehicle’s salvage value. The vehicle’s title may also need to be sent over to the DMV so that it can be marked as a totaled vehicle. If anything, this will undoubtedly affect the future value of the car.
What Blue Book should be used if the vehicle was totaled?
Generally speaking, there are three values given, i.e., the wholesale value, the loan value, which tends to be the lowest, and the retail value, which is the highest. Since you are expected to pay retail value for a replacement vehicle, that’s is the value you should ask the insurer to pay.
What if my car is totaled but I owe more than what the vehicle is worth?
If you are in this situation, speak with your lender about substitution of collateral. If your lender agrees, the insurance money can then be used to buy a replacement and use the vehicle as a security against the loan.